What Is Chicken Bouillon And How Does It Compare To Chicken Broth?

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Chicken bouillon, often found as a cube, is a staple in many kitchens. So what is it, really? Let’s read on to find out!

What Is Chicken Bouillon?

Chicken bouillon is a condensed, savory seasoning to flavor soups, stews, and other dishes.

It’s typically made by simmering chicken bones and meat to create a dehydrated stock, which is then turned into a cube or powder. Because it’s condensed, chicken bouillon is high in sodium, something chefs and home cooks should be aware of.

What is Chicken Bouillon?
What is Chicken Bouillon?

Common forms

Chicken bouillon usually comes in two main forms: a cube or a powder.

  • The chicken bouillon cube is the more solid form of bouillon and can be stirred into soups or stews to add chicken flavor.
  • The powdered version can be made from dehydrated chicken broth and is often sold as granules. Both are used interchangeably in recipes.

How it’s made

Chicken bouillon is typically made by simmering chicken meat and bones to create a rich stock. This stock is then dehydrated and condensed into a cube or granule form. Sometimes, MSG is added for extra flavor.

So, whether you’re a chef or someone who loves cooking at home, chicken bouillon can be a convenient and quick substitute for chicken broth or stock. But be cautious of the high sodium content, especially if you have dietary restrictions.

Common Uses Of Chicken Bouillon

Wondering where you can use chicken bouillon in your cooking? Here are some of the most common ways:

  1. As a seasoning in dishes: One simple answer to “What is chicken bouillon?” is that it’s a quick and easy seasoning. Whether making a homemade chicken dish or just needing a flavor boost, a cube or teaspoon of chicken bouillon can add a savory touch.
  2. In soups and stews: Chicken bouillon serves as a great base for soups and stews. Instead of starting with chicken stock or broth, you can simply dissolve a chicken bouillon cube or some powder into hot water and use it as the foundation of your dish.
  3. As a quick substitute for chicken broth or chicken stock: Don’t have chicken stock or broth on hand? You can easily use chicken bouillon as a quick substitute. It provides a concentrated version of chicken flavor that can be diluted to match the strength of stock or broth.

Whether you make your homemade chicken dishes or buy chicken bouillon for convenience, this versatile ingredient can simplify your cooking process while adding flavor.

Pros And Cons Of Chicken Bouillon

Knowing what is chicken bouillon and how to use it is just part of the story. Like any ingredient, it has its pros and cons. Let’s dive into the advantages and disadvantages of using chicken bouillon.

Pros And Cons Of Chicken Bouillon
Pros And Cons Of Chicken Bouillon


  1. Convenience: One of the best things about chicken bouillon is its convenience. You can easily add a cube or spoonful of water for an instant chicken-flavored base.
  2. Long shelf life: Unlike fresh chicken stock or broth, chicken bouillon has a long shelf life. You can store it in your pantry and use it when needed without worrying about it going bad quickly.
  3. Versatility: Chicken flavor bouillon can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to gravies and marinades. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be useful in many cooking scenarios.


  1. High sodium content: Chicken bouillon is a concentrated source of flavor, which also means it is high in sodium. If you’re watching your salt intake, this could be a drawback.
  2. Lack of natural nutrients: Chicken bouillon does not offer the same natural nutrients compared to rich and flavorful chicken broth and stock. Broth and stock are made from simmering meat and bones, which allows for the extraction of beneficial nutrients.

So there you have it—the ups and downs of using chicken bouillon in your kitchen. Knowing these can help you make informed choices in your cooking.

Chicken Bouillon Vs Chicken Broth Vs Chicken Stock

If you’ve ever been puzzled about the differences between chicken bouillon, chicken broth, and chicken stock, you’re not alone. These three ingredients are often used in similar ways, especially in soups and sauces, but they’re not the same. Understanding what sets them apart can help you make tastier and more authentic dishes. In this section, we’ll dive into the unique characteristics of each and guide you on when to use them.

Ingredients used in chicken broth and chicken stock

The difference between chicken broth and chicken stock starts with the ingredients. Chicken broth is usually made from chicken meat, vegetables, and seasonings, while chicken stock is made primarily from bones and sometimes includes vegetables and herbs.

How chicken broth and chicken stock are made

The broth is made by simmering chicken meat and vegetables in water for a shorter time. Stock is made by simmering bones for a longer time, often resulting in a thicker liquid due to the collagen released from the bones.

Differences in texture, flavor, and use

  • Chicken bouillon, often found as a cube or powder like the chicken bouillon powder of Knorr, offers a more condensed flavor and is high in sodium. It is often used as a quick substitute in soups and sauces. 
  • Chicken stock is thicker and has a richer flavor, often used as a base in many dishes like gravy and bone broth.
  • Chicken broth is lighter and is often used for making chicken soup.

The difference between chicken broth and chicken stock often lies in texture and depth of flavor. Chicken broth is typically thinner and less concentrated, while the chicken stock has a more robust flavor and thicker consistency.

When to use each

  • Use chicken bouillon: When you need a quick and easy flavor boost for soups and sauces.
  • Use chicken stock: When making dishes that require a richer, deeper flavor, like many stews or gravies.
  • Use chicken broth: For lighter dishes like chicken soup or when you prefer to use broth instead of stock cubes.

In summary, knowing what is chicken bouillon and how it differs from chicken stock and chicken broth can help you choose the right ingredient for your cooking needs.


What is a substitute for chicken bouillon?

The best swap for chicken bouillon is chicken broth. Whether from a store or homemade, chicken broth will give your dish the flavor you want.

Can I use broth instead of bouillon?

Yes, you can. If a recipe asks for bouillon cubes or broth, you can use either one. Some quick recipes use broth because it’s faster than bouillon cubes.

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