Bone broth has so many amazing health benefits that it’s in your interest to consume it regularly– either just sipping it or using it to cook with. It’s actually pretty easy to make at home, especially so if you have a pressure cooker or slow cooker. But, when you’re in a pinch and need bone broth fast, there are ways to use a bone broth substitute and other alternatives.
In all honesty, no bone broth substitute, including regular old stock, can truly replicate the superfood, gelatinous goodness of homemade bone broth made with grass-fed beef bones, but the following options come pretty close.
Bone Broth Substitutes
The following products can be added to stock or broth (homemade or store bought) that provide the nutritional and/or taste of bone broth.
These powders are much more convenient than making bone broth from bones yourself, and can transform regular stock and broth in a pinch.
If making your own bone broth just isn’t feasible for you, Perfect Supplement’s Powdered Bone Broth is the perfect option. Just add hot water, and you instantly have bone broth. o boost it even further you could add gelatin powder so it gels. I really like the taste of this one, and I find that I can even add it to rice for a nutritional boost without affecting flavor.
- same taste and nutrient density as homemade bone broth
- made with free-range, organic chicken and is tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and other contaminants.
If you have regular broth or stock, you can instantly give it a nutrient boost by adding hydrolyzed collagen powder. Collagen will not make the broth gel, but it will add important collagen proteins to boost nutrition. Collagen is tasteless and odorless and will dissolve into your stock or broth. It’s important that the collagen is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine, and also that it is free from glyphosate and other contaminants.
- made with grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine bones
- certified glyphosate free
Bone broth has many nutrients but it’s known as a great source of gelatin, which is just collagen which has been boiled down. You can add powdered gelatin to regular stock or broth to give it the superfood benefits of bone broth. Gelatin solidifies when cool, and is liquid when heated. Gelatin is tasteless and odorless, but it does change the consistency of the liquid to solid when cool.
It’s important to use a high-quality gelatin, as you want it to be as nutrient dense and pure as possible to get maximum benefits. Perfect Supplements makes a great gelatin powder that I personally have used and feel comfortable recommending.
- made with pastured-raised, grass-fed bovine bones
- certified glyphosate free
Store-Bought Bone Broths
These are the best store-bought bone broths that I’ve tried.
The best bone broths sold in grocery stores is usually found in the freezer section. The brand Bonafide Provisions consistently, has a rich, flavorful taste, and a texture that is actually gelatinous. I really found this to be far better tasting than shelf stable versions.
- only grass-fed and pasture-raised bones, along with collagen-rich chicken feet, and all their ingredients are certified organic
- bag is also BPA-free, too.
Kettle & Fire is a great shelf-stable bone broth that combines 100% grass-fed bones with organic vegetables and filtered water, which is slow-simmered for 20-24 hours to produce a nutrient dense broth.
- convenient to have on hand as it stores in the pantry with 2-year shelf life
Is stock or broth the same as bone broth?
They’re all very similar but not quite the same. Bone broth is made by simmering bones in water and vinegar, drawing out the collagen and nutrients from the bones. Bone broth is more oily and thick than regular broth or stock. Bone broth also usually isn’t flavored with herbs or seasonings. Broth is made by usually boiling meat and seasonings without bones, while stock is the meat and bones with seasonings, herbs and vegetables. Stock and broth are usually more interchangeable, and are not usually very gelatinous. Bone broth is much different in taste and consistency than both regular broth and stock.
How can I make bone broth taste better?
The taste of bone broth can be surprising and unpleasant to someone who is used to classic stocks or broths, particularly store-bought ones. Try these tips to improve the taste of your bone broth:
- Roast the Bones: In my opinion, it’s worth the extra time it takes to roast the bones. The roasting brings out the flavor more, and it also renders away some of the excess fat, so the broth won’t be too greasy. Simply pop the bones in a 400°F oven for 40 minutes, flipping the bones halfway, and you’re set.
- Skim the Scum From the Top: In the first half hour of boiling your bones, you might see a frothy scum rise to the top of the pot. If you skim this scum out, your bone broth will taste more pure and less oily. The scum isn’t unsafe to eat, but it does affect taste.
- Try Chicken Bones: A lot of bone broth recipes call for beef bones, but I find that chicken bones can produce a more palatable and familiar flavor and smell. Even using just drumsticks can make a very nutritious, gelatinous broth. Personally, I think the smell and taste of beef bone broth can be a little overwhelming for someone who is unfamiliar, but the taste of chicken bone broth is closer to beloved chicken soup.
- Use Less Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar, which most recipes call for, has a very strong taste that may be unpleasant to some. ACV is used in bone broth because it’s thought to draw out more nutrients from the bones. If you don’t like the way it tastes, feel free to use less or skip altogether.
- Use Salt: I notice that not every recipe mentions adding salt, but I find it to be a crucial ingredient. The salt really brings out the flavor, and also makes the bone broth taste more like a classic stock.
- Add Seasonings: I often like to add some smoked paprika and crushed red pepper to my bone broth to give it a spicy kick. The seasonings and spices can mask some of the undesirable tastes of bone broth, and make it taste more like a stock or broth. Go ahead and have fun trying different seasoning combinations. Adding ginger, turmeric and lime juice to bone broth is a great combination as well.
What are bone broth substitutes for vegetarians?
There really are not substitutes for bone broth that are vegetarian friendly. Bone broth has a very unique taste and nutritional profile that no plant-based alternative would really come close. The only thing that comes close to matching the nutrients found in bone broth, such as the amino acids glycine and proline, would be a seaweed based broth. Seaweed broth tastes much different than animal-based bone broth, though.
Can you drink beef broth instead of bone broth?
You can, but you will be not getting all the same health benefits that bone broth is known for if you drink beef broth. Bone broth is much richer in amino acids and other nutrients, as well as having a different flavor. You will still get some health benefits from sipping broth or stock, though, if you can’t handle the flavor of bone broth.