Tomato bouillon can be used in chilies, soups, stews, and more. It adds a kick of tomato flavor to dishes while still offering balanced flavors. You might love adding tomato bouillon to your food, but if you run out or if your local store doesn’t carry it, you’d be looking for a substitute.
You can substitute tomato bouillon with chicken bouillon cubes, tomato paste, beef bouillon cubes, tomato sauce, and more, depending on what you are cooking. Discover what your options are when you run out of tomato bouillon, and how the various substitutes work in its place.
The Best Substitutes In Place Of Tomato Bouillon
Different bouillon cubes are made with different ingredients, such as beef or chicken, after simmering down the ingredients in water.
There are frequently additional flavorings added to tomato bouillon, such as chicken or herbs.
This tomato bouillon has quite a strong flavor due to the acidity of the tomatoes. However, this makes it perfect for soups, stews, and more!
It can be difficult to find a substitute for tomato bouillon, since you’d want that same intense flavor and texture.
The following are some best substitutes for tomato bouillon – just keep in mind what you’re making and your desired taste!
1. Chicken Bouillon
Despite its different ingredients, chicken bouillon (in either its cubed or base form) can be a good substitute for tomato bouillon.
While chicken bouillon has a milder flavor than tomato bouillon, it works well in many of the same dishes, including stews, soups, and more.
Using chicken bouillon will result in less acidity in a dish, but vinegar or lemon juice can always be added to add more acidity.
If you use chicken bouillon instead of tomato bouillon, half a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice will add the right amount of acidity. Just taste as you go to ensure the same flavor balance.
2. Tomato Paste
Tomato paste is the best substitute for tomato bouillon if you’re looking for that deliciously strong and rich tomato flavor.
It is an intense paste that adds a punch of flavor to soups, stews, and more. All you need is a small amount to accomplish the same results.
Just like tomato bouillon, tomato paste adds depth to a dish with its balance of sweetness and acidity.
The paste is quite thick, whereas tomato bouillon cubes are usually mixed with water, so you might need to add a little more liquid to compensate.
Work your way up from one part tomato paste to two parts water until you reach the right consistency.
You only need a tablespoon of tomato paste, so start with that and add more if necessary, tasting as you go.
3. Beef Bouillon
You can use beef bouillon as an alternative to tomato bouillon. It has a deep, rich flavor that matches tomato bouillon’s intense flavor but is less acidic.
In many of the same ways that tomato bouillon cubes are used, beef bouillon cubes (or base) add great flavor to a dish.
Try mixing half a cube with the other ingredients and then tasting. Half a cube might be all you need, but you can always add more if desired. Beef bouillon cubes have quite a strong flavor, so you might want to start out by using half a cube.
Add a little lemon juice or vinegar to enhance the tomato bouillon-like notes to compensate for the lack of acidity.
4. Tomato Sauce
The use of tomato sauce as a substitute for tomato bouillon makes sense for stews or soups requiring acidity and tomato flavor.
In comparison to tomato paste, tomato sauce has a more liquid consistency, so it’s ideal when you want a more liquid consistency. Tomato sauce is usually seasoned, and you can buy it pre-made or make it yourself.
Many flavors that would have been present in tomato bouillon are replaced by garlic, onion, salt, herbs, and spices.
If you are making tomato sauce from scratch, it helps to let the sauce simmer for a little while, especially if the sauce is replacing tomato bouillon.
5. Vegetable Bouillon
When you don’t want to use any meat products in your meal, you can also use vegetable bouillon cubes (or a good veggie base) in place of tomatoes.
Several types of vegetables are used to make vegetable bouillon, and this makes it an excellent substitute for tomato bouillon when making vegetable soups and stews.
You can compensate for the lack of acidity in vegetable bouillon with some lemon juice while cooking the dish as you do with the other substitutes.
If you want a more similar flavor, you may need to add additional ingredients such as lemon juice (or sugar) to balance the flavors.
6. Chicken Broth
The flavor of chicken broth and chicken bouillon is much the same, but chicken broth is prepared differently.
To achieve a similar taste when substituting chicken broth for tomato bouillon, mix in a tablespoon of tomato paste to the warm broth.
Due to the acidity in tomato paste, and the rich flavors in chicken broth, this creates a deliciously deep flavor that is ideal for soups and stews.
Tomato paste also adds a good sweetness to the chicken broth, balancing out its saltiness.
When the broth is simmering, add the tomato paste and stir well. Next, add the remaining ingredients after the tomato paste has simmered for several minutes.
7. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
In its name, sun-dried tomatoes are tomatoes that have been dried in the sun. This process allows the tomatoes to have a strong flavor, which makes them a great addition to so many meals.
As an alternative to tomato bouillon, you can break the bouillon cube up into small pieces and add it to rice (or other dishes) for enhanced flavor.
You can replace tomato bouillon with sundried tomatoes by chopping them up fine and adding them to your dish.
In addition to their rich flavor and balanced sweetness and acidity, sun-dried tomatoes make for a great substitute for tomato bouillon when you prefer a more solid ingredient.
To add more tomato flavor to soups, stews, and pasta sauces, puree the sun-dried tomatoes (or chopped them) and add chicken or vegetable broth as liquid.
It’s up to you to decide whether you want to stick strictly to tomato flavor or if you want to blend in other flavors as well.
A tomato kick can be achieved with tomato paste, tomato sauce, and sun-dried tomatoes.
Alternatively, you can use another bouillon cube (such as chicken, beef, or vegetable) if you do not mind a slight change in flavor.
Having learned all about tomato bouillon and some of its top substitutes, we thought you might have some additional questions.
What is tomato bouillon powder?
The tomato bouillon powder is the same as the traditional tomato bouillon cubes, just in powder form. It allows you to add as much or as little as you like to your dishes.
Does tomato bouillon contain chicken?
Several tomato bouillon cubes and powders contain chicken. The chicken and tomato ingredients are blended with spices such as onion, garlic, and more to create a rich taste.
Is Caldo de Tomate the same as chicken bouillon?
It is a combination of chicken, tomato, onion, spices, and herbs that can be used in much the same way as tomato bouillon.