Enhancing Flavor: The 7 Best Beef Consomme Substitutes

The best beef consomme substitutes: Enhancing the flavor of your dishes

When it comes to cooking, using stocks, broths, or consommes instead of water can greatly enhance the flavor of your dishes. But what do you do when a recipe calls for beef consomme and you don’t have it on hand? Fortunately, there are several simple and delicious alternatives that can replicate the rich flavor of beef consomme. In this article, we will explore the best beef consomme substitutes and how to use them effectively.

Understanding the difference: Beef Broth, Beef Bouillon, and Beef Consomme

Before we look at substitutes, it’s important to understand the differences between beef broth, beef stock, and beef consommé. While they share similarities, their differences lie in their ingredients and cooking processes.
Beef bouillon is a flavorful liquid made by slowly simmering beef bones in water over a long period of time. To enhance the flavor, the bones can be roasted beforehand and vegetables such as onions, garlic, and carrots can be added. To make a simple beef broth, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F and place the beef bones in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.
  2. Roast the bones for 10-15 minutes, then flip and roast for another 10-15 minutes until nicely browned.
  3. Transfer the bones to a large saucepan. Add the coarsely chopped onion, garlic and carrot.
  4. Cover the bones with 2-3 inches of water and add sea salt and balsamic vinegar.
  5. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 6-12 hours.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool, then strain the stock through a sieve. Discard the bones and vegetables.
  7. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.

Beef bouillon, on the other hand, is made from simmered meat instead of bones. It is generally milder in flavor and has a thinner consistency than bouillon. While vegetables can still be added, the resulting broth will not be as thick or rich. Here’s an easy recipe for beef broth:

  1. Take 1 pound of stew meat and beef trimmings and add them to a stockpot.
  2. Roughly chop 2 carrots, 2 onions, and separate 1 bulb of garlic. Leave the skins on for extra flavor and add the vegetables to the pot.
  3. Fill the pot with water to cover the meat and vegetables by 3-4 inches.
  4. Add sea salt and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
  5. Bring the stock to a boil over high heat with the lid on the pot, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat and let the broth cool for 15 minutes before straining the meat and vegetables. Discard the leftovers.
  7. Pour the broth into containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.

Beef consomme is a clarified version of beef bouillon or beef consommé. It is made by using a mixture of ground beef, egg whites, egg shells and vegetables to form a raft. The raft adheres to the fats and impurities in the stock or broth, resulting in a clear, rich and flavorful consomme. It takes more effort, but the end product is worth it. Now let’s explore the best beef consomme substitutes.

1. Beef Broth

Beef bouillon is a light liquid made by simmering meat and vegetables in water. It is an excellent substitute for beef consomme, especially when you need a quick and easy alternative. Although beef broth is generally lower in fat than consomme, the flavor profile is similar. If you have the time, you can even turn your beef broth into consomme. Beef broth works well in most recipes that call for consomme, except when served alone.

2. Beef Stock

Beef broth, with its thicker and richer consistency, is another great substitute for beef consomme. Although it contains more fat, it still adds the desired beef flavor to your dishes. If you’re so inclined, you can use a raft to clarify your beef stock, although this step isn’t necessary for most recipes. Simply skim off any excess fat if desired. The rich flavor of beef broth makes it an ideal choice for a variety of dishes.

3. Mushroom consomme or broth

If you’re looking for a plant-based alternative or just happen to have some on hand, mushroom consommé or broth can be a flavorful substitute for beef consommé. Mushroom broth, made by simmering mushrooms in water, offers a rich umami flavor that adds depth to your dishes. You can use it as a 1:1 replacement for beef consomme in recipes where the mushroom flavor complements the other ingredients.

4. Beef Bouillon

Beef Bouillon is a concentrated paste or powder made from dehydrated beef, vegetables and seasonings. It is a convenient and long-lasting substitute for beef consommé because it is easily dissolved in water to make a flavorful broth. Keep in mind, however, that beef bouillon tends to be saltier than consomme, so adjust the salt level in your recipe accordingly.

5. Combining Vegetable Bouillon and Soy Sauce

For a vegetarian or vegan alternative to beef consomme, you can create a flavorful substitute by combining vegetable broth and soy sauce. Vegetable broth provides a savory base, while soy sauce adds umami and depth of flavor. Use equal parts vegetable broth and soy sauce to replace the amount of beef consomme in your recipe.

6. Chicken Broth and Liquid Aminos Combination

Similarly, if you don’t have beef consomme on hand, but do have chicken broth, you can use a combination of chicken broth and liquid aminos as a substitute. Liquid aminos, such as Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce alternative, add a savory flavor similar to beef consomme. Use equal parts chicken broth and liquid aminos to replace beef consomme in your recipe.

7. Au Jus

Au jus, which means “with juice” in French, refers to the natural juices released from cooked meat. It can be used as a substitute for beef consomme in recipes where the rich beef flavor is desired. To make au jus, simply collect the drippings from roasted beef, strain to remove any solids, and use the flavorful liquid as a substitute for beef consomme.

Using the Substitutes

Now that you know the best beef consomme substitutes, it’s important to know how to use them effectively in your dishes. Here are some tips:

  1. Measure accurately: When replacing beef consomme with any of the above alternatives, be sure to measure the replacement ingredients according to the recipe’s requirements.
  2. Adjust the seasoning: Since the substitutes have their own flavor and salt content, adjust the seasoning accordingly. Taste and add salt or other seasonings as needed.
  3. Consider flavor compatibility: Choose a substitute that complements the other ingredients in your dish. For example, mushroom consommé or broth works well in recipes that pair well with the earthy flavor of mushrooms.
  4. Experiment and adapt: Don’t be afraid to experiment and adapt recipes to your taste preferences. The above substitutions offer flexibility in creating unique and delicious dishes.

Keep in mind that while these substitutes can replicate the rich flavor of beef consomme, they may not provide the exact taste and texture. However, they are excellent alternatives when beef consomme is not readily available.


If you can’t find beef consomme, don’t worry. There are many substitutes that can enhance the flavor of your dishes. Whether it’s beef broth, beef bouillon, mushroom consommé, beef bouillon, vegetable broth and soy sauce, chicken broth and liquid aminos, or au jus, each substitute offers its own unique characteristics. Experiment with these substitutes and discover new flavor profiles that will enhance your culinary creations. Enjoy the process of exploring different options and adapting recipes to your preferences. Happy cooking!


Can I substitute beef broth for beef consommé?

Yes, beef broth can be used as a substitute for beef consomme. While the flavor profile may be slightly different, beef broth adds a similar richness and depth to your dishes.

How do I clarify beef broth to make consomme?

To clarify beef bouillon and turn it into consomme, you can create a raft with a mixture of ground beef, egg whites, egg shells, and vegetables. The raft helps trap impurities and fats, resulting in a clear and flavorful consomme.

What if I need a vegetarian alternative to beef consommé?

For a vegetarian option, you can use a combination of vegetable stock and soy sauce. The vegetable broth provides a savory base, while the soy sauce adds umami flavor to mimic the richness of beef consomme.

Is there a low-sodium substitute for beef consomme?

While some substitutes, such as beef bouillon, may have a higher sodium content, you can opt for low-sodium versions or use a combination of homemade beef broth and reduced-sodium soy sauce for a lower-sodium alternative.

Can I use au jus as a substitute for beef consommé?

Yes, au jus, the natural juices released from cooked meat, can be used as a substitute for beef consomme. It provides a rich beef flavor and can enhance the flavor of your dishes, especially those that benefit from the meaty essence.