What To Substitute For Beef Broth When Making French Onion Soup

When making French onion soup, one of the key ingredients is broth. In this recipe, the beef broth adds a deep, complex flavor that is essential in making this classic soup taste its best. However, if you don’t like the flavor of beef broth, what other options are there?

Fortunately, there are other options that will work just as well in this recipe. For example, you could use vegetable broth, which will give the same rich, onion flavor. Or, if you’d rather not go through the trouble of making your own broth, you could use chicken broth. Even if you’re not vegetarian or vegan, you might be surprised at just how good vegetable broth and water can taste together.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the differences between beef broth, vegetable broth, and chicken broth, and provide examples of how to substitute each of these options if you don’t have any on hand. We’ll also explain why it’s important to use broth as one of the key ingredients in this recipe, and give you some other ideas for making French onion soup that don’t involve broth.

What is beef broth?

Beef broth is the clear, colorless broth that is made from either beef bones or beef meat. It is a common flavoring in soups, stews, casseroles, and other dishes. The beef broth you’ll find in most grocery stores is actually only beef tallow – a solid fat that is separated from the broth during the boiling process. A good way to think of beef broth is as a liquid version of beef tallow, with a more delicate flavor.

What is vegetable broth?

Vegetable broth is made by simmering various vegetables in water. The vegetable broth you’ll find in the grocery store is typically made from carrots, potatoes, and other root vegetables. Because it is made from vegetables, vegetable broth has a stronger flavor than beef broth. You can taste this in the fact that it takes longer to develop flavor.

What is chicken broth?

Chicken broth is made by simmering chicken bones with water. It has a much weaker flavor than beef or vegetable broths, and isn’t a good substitute for them in this recipe.

Beef broth vs. vegetable broth: What’s the difference?

Beef broth has a stronger flavor because it is made from beef bones and beef meat. On the other hand, vegetable broth is made from vegetables, so it has a more delicate flavor.

The main difference between beef broth and vegetable broth is the taste. The beef broth will taste beefy, while the vegetable broth will have less of a beefy flavor and more of a subtle onion taste.

French Onion Soup without broth

French Onion soup doesn’t require beef broth to be made, though it is a key ingredient in this classic soup recipe. If you don’t have any beef broth on hand, you can still make French onion soup.

One of the traditional ways to make French onion soup is to use stock instead of beef broth. Stock is made by simmering bones, vegetables, and other herbs and spices in water.

You can also use wine, vermouth, or vinegar in place of the beef broth in this soup. While these alternative broths will give the soup a different flavor, they won’t alter the texture or consistency of the dish.


If you don’t have any beef broth, vegetable broth, or chicken broth on hand, you don’t have to worry. You can easily substitute these ingredients with another type of broth.

Vegetable broth has a stronger flavor than beef broth, and you can taste this in the fact that it takes longer to make. So if you’re looking for a soup that has a stronger flavor, vegetable broth is the one to use.

Although chicken broth has a weaker flavor than beef or vegetable broth, it is still an acceptable substitute for these broths.

If you want to make French onion soup without broth, you can use stock, wine, or vermouth in its place.