I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of bovril substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion.
Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or seeking an alternative tailored to your specific dietary requirements, rest assured that I’ve got you covered.
The best substitutes for Bovril are Bovrite, a yeast extract like marmite, or beef bouillon. For plant-based options, try miso paste or mushroom duxelle. You can also try pantry staples like Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce to give your dish a flavor boost.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
I whipped up a batch of gravy to put loads of Brovil substitutes to the test.
Bovril is a meat extract paste with a salty, beefy flavor profile. It’s reminiscent of the popular Vegemite and can be used as an accompaniment to bread or a flavor booster.
Here’s what I tested and the verdicts:
|Substitutes||How to Substitute||Verdict|
|Bovrite||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Yeast Extract||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Beef Bouillon||Use half the amount||10/10|
|Miso||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||9/10|
|Mushroom duxelle||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||9/10|
|Worcestershire sauce||Replace with a few splashed to taste||8/10|
|Soy sauce||Replace with a few splashed to taste||7/10|
Common uses for Bovril and the best substitutes
Here are some common use cases for Bovril and the best substitutes for those situations:
- As a spread: Try using Bovrite, yeast extract, miso paste, or mushroom duxelle. Or mix beef bouillon with butter.
- For soups, sauces, and stews: Try using Bovrite, yeast extracts, beef bouillon, or Worcestershire sauce.
- For “beef tea”: Try using Bovrite or yeast extract. You can use any yeast extract including marmite, Vegemite, or promite.
Bovrite is the perfect substitute for Bovril!
It’s a beef-flavored spread so it has Bovril’s rich, savory flavors down to a tee.
The only difference I noticed was it had a slightly runnier consistency than Bovril.
But don’t worry — you can still easily spread it over your toast, and it will definitely dissolve in sauces.
You might be wondering where to find this gem of a substitute – it can be a bit elusive in local stores, but rest assured, it’s widely available online!
How to substitute: replace Bovril in a 1:1 ratio with Bovrite.
For those who are looking for a meat-free alternative to Bovril, yeast extract is your new best friend.
With its salty flavor and umami kick, it comes pretty close to the real deal!
There’s a whole world of yeast extract spreads to choose from – Vegemite and Marmite are popular choices, or you can go with an own-brand supermarket option.
Psst… the own brand options also tend to be gluten-free.
How to substitute: replace Bovril in a 1:1 ratio with your favorite yeast extract spread.
Beef bouillon is a convenient substitute for Bovril in cooking.
You can use the concentrated powder as a seasoning, or you can use it to create a rich, mouthwatering broth for your soups, gravies, and stews.
And to use it as a spread, mix a small amount into some butter.
The only thing you’ll nee to watch out for is the salt content.
How to substitute: use half the amount of beef bouillon as bovril called for, whether in granules or cubes.
Miso paste doesn’t taste like Bovril, but it’s another meat-free substitute that will bring a similar umami depth to your dishes.
It works fantastically in Asian style dishes, but can meld with more Western flavors too.
There’s a miso for every taste – red miso is the saltiest, while white or yellow miso are milder.
Pro-tip: Try adding a dash of beef bouillon granules to your miso paste to give it a meaty essence.
How to substitute: replace Bovril in a 1:1 ratio with miso.
If you’re not a fan of miso, mushroom duxelle is another plant-based alternative you can try instead of Bovril.
This mushroom paste boasts an intensely savory flavor with a wicked umami punch.
It’s most often used to make wellingtons, but it also works wonders as a flavor booster for soups and sauces.
But my favorite way to enjoy duxelle is smeared over a crunchy crostini!
Making this mushroom paste from scratch is a breeze with The Spruce Eats’ recipe, and you can freeze it so you’ll always have some on hand.
How to substitute: replace Bovril in a 1:1 ratio with mushroom duxelle.
Worcestershire sauce is kind of like a magic sauce – one splash can instantly elevate your dish.
It’s salty and savory like bovril, but with an added sourness that really complemented my gravy.
Want to use it as a spread like Bovril? No problem – simply mix Worcestershire sauce with butter and some herbs to create a flavorful spread you can use on toast or sandwiches.
I don’t think a kitchen pantry would be complete without a bottle this hanging around.
How to substitute: replace Bovril with a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce.
Soy sauce isn’t a perfect substitute for Bovril, but it will work in a pinch if you need to give your dish an umami boost. And I’d guess all of you have some to hand!
It’s a good flavor enhancer. But it’s more one-dimensional than bovril.
It also doesn’t have any meaty-ness, although you can fix that by mixing the soy sauce with beef (or even chicken) bouillon.
How to substitute: replace Bovril with a few splashes of soy sauce.
Other substitutes to consider
The list above are my top picks for Bovril substitutes, but here are other options you can use if you have them:
- Black olive tapenade – this is a great fresh and healthy alternative to bovril. It’s an delicious spread of bread, and you can also add a dollop to sauces and stews for a salty flavor boost. The best part? Making it from scratch is as easy.
- Maggi liquid seasoning – this popular Asian seasoning sauce is chock-full of umami like Bovril but has a saltier, more savory flavor. A few drops go a long way with this condiment.
- Nutritional yeast – nutritional yeast has a nutty, savory flavor and will bring a delectable umami twist to your dishes. Just sprinkle a handful over whatever you’re cooking.
Brewer’s yeast – substitute to avoid
I saw Brewer’s yeasr a few times during me research for Brovil substitutes, but I don’t recommend using it.
It’s an ingredient for yeast extracts (which are closely related to Bovril), but brewer’s yeast has a distinct bitter flavor that can easily overpower your dishes.
Save it for your homemade beer and bread instead!
Best Bovril Substitutes [Tried And Tested]
- 1 tsp Bovrite
- 1 tsp Yeast extract
- ½ tsp Beef bouillon
- ½ tsp Miso paste
- 1 tsp Mushroom duxelle
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Soy sauce
- Cook your meal according to the recipe.
- Add your chosen Bovril substitute at the appropriate cooking time.
- Mix until thoroughly combined and continue with the recipe