Chicken Stock vs. Broth

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Are you preparing a soup recipe or another meal that requires chicken broth or stock? These two ingredients seem so similar that it's hard to know which one to use. 

Today, let's demystify these liquids once and for all. First, we'll go over the differences and likenesses of chicken broth and stock, and then we'll show you how to make your own! Plus, we'll get into a few tasty soup recipes you can make in no time.

Mushroom Tortellini Soup

The Main Differences Between Chicken Stock and Broth

One of the unique factors about chicken stock is that it’s made by boiling a chicken carcass with the bones in a stock pot. On the other hand, chicken broth comes from boiling just the meat, along with other veggies and seasonings.

Another difference between broth and stock is the seasoning. In general, chicken stock has a milder flavor because it is unseasoned. Chicken broth includes seasoning, which gives it a rich flavor.

Visually, stock can also look darker than broth. In many cases, broth is a more appetizing substitute for water in recipes, and chicken stock tends to work better with already flavorful ingredients. 

The Similarities Between Chicken Stock and Broth

Chicken stock and broth are both products that come from boiling parts of a chicken and straining out the impurities and inedible parts. These liquids can also function as bases for delicious, cozy soups and sauces. Though some people refer to them interchangeably, they have a few slight differences that allow them to remain separate. 

What Is Chicken Stock?

Simmering bones gives you stock. Simmering this liquid for a long time allows part of the nutrients in the chicken bones to transfer to the water! 

One of the primary reasons people love chicken stock is because of its collagen content. Collagen is an ingredient that has been linked to skin health and immune support, among other things, and it comes from animal bones. Though it doesn't have a strong seasoning, chicken stock can be a delicious liquid that adds nutrients and chicken flavoring to your soups!

What Is Chicken Broth?

Chicken broth is what you get when you boil a chicken carcass with the skin and meat, along with other vegetables and seasonings and aromatics, like peppercorns, garlic cloves, and more. As the chicken simmers, the flavor from the meat blends with the liquid, and the broth's herbs and spices get into the chicken. 

Many people enjoy sipping chicken broth by itself because it's so packed full of flavor. Add in the chicken and vegetables from the simmer and perhaps a few dumplings, and you've got a soup perfect for relishing on a cool day. 

Broth recipes can be extremely flexible, so you can add in whatever veggies you have on hand, or you can start with a classic mirepoix, a mixture of carrots, celery, and onion. 

Which Makes the Best Soup Base?

The flavors of chicken broth and chicken stock also differ slightly. While chicken broth is rich because of the ingredients and spices added, chicken stock retains a rich, earthy flavor due to its simmering process. 

Because of this difference, it's up to your preference concerning which liquid makes the best soup base. If you want a base that has more flavors from veggies, herbs, and spices, chicken broth is the way to go. However, chicken stock may be the best choice if you want a more authentic, earthy chicken flavor. 

Which Is the Healthiest: Stock or Broth?

Good news –– both chicken broth and chicken stock are wonderful options that are full of nutrients! You can't really go wrong when choosing one or the other. However, chicken stock has a slight advantage because of the sheer nutritious value it brings to the table. This liquid contains a higher amount of fat, protein, collagen, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

The Best Substitutes for Chicken Broth

Let's say you're cooking a soup, and you notice you're out of chicken stock. If you don't feel like going to the grocery store to get chicken, you have several substitute options! Each one presents a unique flavor and consistency, which could help improve your soup and make it a trademark recipe. 

Vegetable Stock

One of the most obvious substitutes for chicken broth or stock is vegetable broth. Add in whatever veggies you see fit, and enjoy their contribution to the stock.

Vegetable stock may have a more neutral flavor, but you can add spices and herbs as you see fit to create the perfect result.

Chicken Bouillon

Chicken bouillon is a terrific ingredient to have in your pantry. Whether you use it in granule or cube form, it's an excellent source of chicken flavor when you're in a pinch. Simply add one teaspoon per cup of hot water, and use it as you would chicken broth.

Beef Broth

Want to adjust the flavor of your soup? Using beef stock can introduce new tastes to your soup or stew with the broth from a piece of beef simmering. It tends to have a more robust flavor than chicken broth, so you can dilute it if you feel it's too strong.


In instances when your recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of chicken broth or less, you can substitute wine. Keep in mind that wine will alter the taste of your soup or meal. White wine is especially good for a soup base.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk has a distinctly refreshing creaminess and mouthfeel. When preparing an Indian dish, coconut milk will usually pair well.

Homemade Chicken Broth

Want to know how to make broth at home? 

Let's look at the ingredients you'll need to pull it off:

Here's a quick rundown of everything you need to do:

  1. Gather portions of chicken meat or a whole chicken
  2. Add chicken, carrots, celery, parsnips, bay leaves, thyme, onion, salt, pepper, and water to a slow cooker.
  3. Ensure two inches of water cover your ingredients.
  4. Set the slow cooker to its low setting, and let it cook for 10-12 hours. 
  5. Finally, strain the broth through a mesh strainer and enjoy!

Easy Recipes That Use Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth

Some days call for nutrient-rich, warm soups. When you're in the mood for preparing soup recipes that include chicken broth, you can refer back to this list of easy recipes.

Chicken Pappardelle Soup

What do you get when you mix delicious pasta with chicken noodle soup? Our chicken pappardelle soup is packed with flavorful ingredients and is done in no time. Enjoy the blend of garlic, onions, carrots, parmesan, and chicken stock in one dish. You'll want to make this soup over and over. 

Mushroom Tortellini Soup

A vegetarian-friendly meal that tastes even better than it looks. You can make this dish on a cozy night inside or prepare it as a course to share with someone you love. Our mushroom tortellini soup will enchant you.

French Onion Soup

Now and then, a bowl of french onion soup is just what the doctor ordered. This recipe includes nutritious chicken broth, and it's simple to make. Savor every bite! You might even make sure you have a sandwich nearby.

French Onion Soup

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

This soup is a classic for days when you need a little extra TLC. Our chicken and vegetable soup includes nutritious leeks, carrots, and tasty chicken broth. This soup only takes 25 minutes to prepare, and you'll love the result!

Chicken & Vegetable Soup

Curry Shrimp and Coconut Soup

Do chicken broth, coconut, and curry shrimp go together? According to this delicious recipe, they do! Our curry shrimp and coconut soup recipe combines several different flavors to make a wonderfully unique dish. 

We'll Help You Make Soups — And Other Meals 

We know whipping up a 10-hour chicken broth isn't doable for everyone. The truth is that you can purchase store-bought chicken stock without going through all the hassle. 

Still, getting a list together and going to the store can be challenging for some people. At Jow, we're here to make some of that easier. You can think of us as personal grocery shopping assistants. From making your list to securing your groceries and cooking your favorite Jow recipes, we can help you make home-cooked meals happen.