6 Fantastic Substitutes For Beef Base

If you have ever wondered what gives beef its flavor, then you might be surprised to know that it is actually beef base! It is a common ingredient found in many recipes and you have probably used it before without even realizing it! 

If you are making a recipe that calls for beef base but you find yourself in a situation where you do not have access to any, then you might be scratching your head trying to work out what to do. 

Well, don’t worry! We are here to help! There are many fantastic substitutes out there for beef base that you can use, and we have put together a list of 6 of the very best. Read on to find out more about each of them! 

6 Fantastic Substitutes For Beef Base

What Is Beef Base? 

Beef base is a kind of savory paste that is usually made from concentrated beef stock. It’s incredibly rich in flavor is used in dishes to add depth, richness, and flavor.

You can usually find beef base in the soup section of the grocery store, and it is a very common ingredient used in cooking. 

You can add it to things like soups and stews to boost the flavor, but you can also just add it to water to create a delicious gravy which you can add to your dish once it has been made. 

Beef base is an incredible ingredient to have on hand, and it will make lots of your dishes taste even better. 

6 Fantastic Substitutes For Beef Base

Beef base is always the best to use first, but on the off chance that you don’t have any and can’t get any for a while, there are plenty of things you can use as a substitute for it.

Because there are so many different substitutes for you to choose from, we have narrowed the list down to 6 absolutely fantastic substitutes that you should turn to before anything else. 

On this list, we have included Beef Stock, Bouillon Cubes, Beef Broth, Demi-glace Sauce, Better than Bouillon Beef Base, and Vegetable Stock. Each of these substitutes has something different to offer, so read on to find out a bit more about each of them! 

1. Vegetable Stock

First, on the list, we have vegetable stock. Vegetable stock is perfect to use in the place of beef base, especially if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet because there are no traces of meat in this option! 

One thing to note about vegetable stock is that it isn’t actually as concentrated as beef base, so you may need to simmer it a bit longer to reduce the amount of liquid.

How you use vegetable stock in the place of beef base depends on how much liquid the recipe calls for. 

If you want your vegetable stock to taste a bit more like beef, then it’s in your best interest to get a vegetable stock that contains mushrooms.

It will have a richer, earthier flavor and it will also be stronger, and closer to the real thing! This is perfect whether you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet, or you just can’t get hold of beef base at this current time. 

In some cases, vegetable stock actually tastes better than beef base, so even if you do follow a meat diet, do not write of vegetable stock as a worthy substitute! 

2. Beef Stock

Beef stock is a great substitute for beef base and it will add lots of delicious flavor to any dish you add it to. It is incredibly rich in flavor and in lots of cases, it will elevate the dish in ways that wouldn’t have been possible if you hadn’t used it! 

Beef stock is thick in texture and it’s perfect for thickening up dishes such as stews and sauces. It also works really well in gravy and other related things. 

As a substitution for beef base, beef stock is easily one of the best! All you need to do when you are using it in the place of beef stock is to simmer it, and let it reduce by half.

Because beef stock is made out of most of the same ingredients as beef base, the taste shouldn’t be too different. 

The main difference is just the strength of the taste, but if you prefer stronger flavors, then beef stock will be perfect for you! 

3. Bouillon Cubes

Bouillion cubes are another fantastic option and they are perfect for those times when you want to add some extra flavor to your dish quickly. You can get meat bouillon cubes or vegetable bouillon cubes, and both work really well as a substitute for beef base. 

They are so easy to use and they will dissolve in boiling water, so all you need to do is add them to your dish. They work especially well in dishes such as sauces, stews, and soups. They are also great for seasoning your meat and vegetables. 

Bouillon cubes have quite a strong flavor and they are slightly salty in taste. This is a fantastic substitute to use when you want something quick and easy, that still contains a strong taste. 

If you are going to use bouillon cubes, make sure to use them sparingly and start with less because even just one bouillon cube can add a lot of flavor to your dish!

When you do use them as a substitute for beef base, use one cube per cup of water for the best results. 

If you are using vegetable bouillon cubes use one quarter cube per cup of water, and for chicken, use one-half cube per cup of water. 

4. Beef Broth

Beef broth is a fantastic substitute for beef base and both are quite similar. Beef broth is creamy and smooth, with quite a thick consistency. It is quite high in calories and fats, which is great if you are trying to gain weight. 

You can use beef broth in practically any recipe that calls for beef base. It is incredibly versatile and works in practically any dish. It is especially great in dishes such as stews and soups. 

In order to use beef broth to its full potential, make sure to let it simmer for a full hour. This will allow all of the flavors to meld together properly, and it will add a fantastic burst of flavor to your chosen dish. 

Along with soups and stews, beef broth also works as part of a seasoning mixture. Some of the best seasonings you can mix together with it include herbs, garlic, and other related things. 

5. Demi-glace Sauce

Demi-glace sauce is a fantastic ingredient to have on hand. It is used to enhance the flavor in dishes and it does so really well! 

It has an incredibly rich and hearty flavor, made out of red wine and brown stock, which makes it perfect to use as a substitute for beef base.

Because it has such a velvety texture, it works incredibly well when you want to glaze meat or vegetables. 

Demi-glace sauce is perfect for dishes where you want to add a lot of flavor. When you use it as a substitute for beef base, it will give your whole dish a deeper flavor, and once you use it for the first time, you will likely want to use it again and again! 

6. Better Than Bouillon Beef Base

For the final substitute, we have Better than Bouillon Beef Base. This option is a fantastic way to add nutrition and flavor to your dish, especially if you do not have access to beef base. 

Better than Bouillon Beef Base is made from real beef and is then simmered for hours and this is why it has such a potent and delicious flavor.

It works especially well in dishes such as soups, stews, gravies, and sauces, but it is quite versatile, so you can use it in pretty much anything! 

When using it as a beef base substitute, simply add however much you desire to hot water and stir it until it has dissolved. 


Beef base is fantastic to use, but when you cant get hold of any, each of the substitutes we have listed today works perfectly as well! You won’t be disappointed when you use them for yourself. 

Next time you make a dish that calls for beef base, try one of these substitutes instead! 

6 Fantastic Substitutes For Beef Base

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Vegetable Stock

  • Beef Stock

  • Bouillon Cube

  • Beef Broth

  • Demi-glace Sauce

  • Better Than Bouillon Beef Base


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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