Many slow cooker recipes require beef broth as an ingredient, but you may not always have it to hand. And beef broth won’t work out if you’re cooking a vegetarian meal! Thankfully, there are tons of great substitutes that’ll work just as well in your slow cooker. In fact, there’s a good chance you already have the perfect substitute for beef broth in your pantry.
Each beef broth substitute on this list still offers the rich, savory flavor that you’d expect from beef broth. This means you can still make the delicious slow cooker meals you love, regardless of what you have to hand.
10 Easy Beef Broth Substitutes
- Beef Bouillon
If you still want a beef base but don’t have any beef broth on hand, beef bouillon cubes are the best choice. Beef bouillion comes in cube and granule forms and is a staple ingredient to keep in your kitchen. All you need to do is dissolve the bouillon granules or cube in hot water and add it to your slow cooker.
The amount of beef bouillon you’ll need can vary between brands. On average, one tablespoon for every cup of water is usually enough.
- Beef Bone Broth (Beef Stock)
The terms beef stock and beef broth are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two.
Beef stock is made from simmering beef bones for a long period of time, usually 4-6+ hours. As the bones are simmered, the collagen and other nutrients are slowly released into the liquid, resulting in a thick, rich stock. While beef bone broth has ‘broth’ in its name, it is technically a stock as it is bone-based.
On the other hand, beef broth is made by simmering beef meat. It also almost always includes vegetables and herbs for additional flavor.
But while beef broth and beef stock are prepared differently, they can still be used in place of each other. So if you have beef stock or bone broth, they make some of the best beef broth substitutes!
- Beef Base
Beef base is a concentrated form of beef stock. It’s usually sold in jars or cans, and you only need a small amount to make a large batch of beef broth. Mix the beef base with hot water to create a rich and flavorful beef broth.
- Chicken Bone Broth (Chicken Stock)
While it may seem obvious, many people don’t think to use chicken stock as a beef broth substitute. This is an easy switch that will work great in your slow cooker recipes – plus, chicken stock is super simple to make. The chicken stock offers a savory yet slightly more subtle flavor than beef broth.
- Vegetable Broth
If you’re looking for a vegetarian-friendly option, vegetable broth is an excellent substitution for beef broth. This type of broth is typically made from cooked vegetables such as carrots, onions, celery, and also herbs. It provides an earthy taste and can be used in any slow cooker recipe that calls for beef broth.
You could even use a specific vegetable broth, such as mushroom broth. This is a good option if you want to add some extra flavor to your dish. Vegetable stock will also work out perfectly.
- Miso Paste
Miso paste is a brilliant vegetarian substitutions for beef broth. It’s made from fermented soybeans and salt and has an umami flavor.
Traditionally, miso paste is used in Japan to make a soup-like broth that can be enjoyed as a beverage. But it can also be added to other recipes like crock pot meals. Simply dissolve a tablespoon of miso paste in some hot water and mix it into your dish.
Use one cup of miso and water for every cup of broth your recipe calls for.
- Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is one of the most commonly used condiments in Asian cuisine. Not only is it delicious, but it also makes a good substitute for beef broth! Its salty flavor provides a delicious depth of flavor, making it a perfect beef broth substitute. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce to your slow cooker or mix a few tablespoons with enough water to replace the beef broth.
When using soy sauce in a recipe, always adjust the amount of salt required – you don’t want your meals to get overly salty!
- Liquid Aminos
Similar to soy sauce, liquid aminos are made from fermented soybeans and can be used in place of beef broth. However, unlike soy sauce, it is gluten-free and contains less salt. This makes it a great choice for anyone looking for a healthier beef broth alternative.
Mix equal parts liquid aminos and water to replace the beef broth in your slow cooker recipes.
Red or white wine is often paired with beef dishes, so why not use it in your slow cooker recipes as well? You can add a splash of wine directly to your slow cooker for a deeper flavor. Alternatively, you can replace the broth entirely with one cup of red wine to one cup of water.
However, it’s important to note this beef stock substitute will be more watery than the real deal. Always allow your slow cooker dish to simmer to reduce the liquid volume and cook off the alcohol content. Doing this is a great way to get the best results when using wine in place of beef broth.
- Worcestershire Sauce
You may notice that Worcestershire sauce often appears in beef broth recipes. This is because its sweet and tangy flavor adds a unique and delicious taste to any dish. But did you know Worcestershire sauce is also a good substitution for beef broth? Like many other alternatives on this list, it offers savory flavors perfect for beef crockpot meals.
Add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce to your slow cooker and some water or stock for some beefy flavor.
With so many beef broth substitutes available, you’ll have no problem finding a great alternative for your slow cooker meals. You can use what’s already in your pantry or get creative with some of the best substitutes listed above.
Whichever you choose, you’ll still achieve amazing results and a lot of flavor in your slow cooker!