I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of mushroom stock 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 mushroom stock are the homemade version (all you need are dried mushrooms) and mushroom powder. You can also try beef or vegetable stock. And for a really easy substitute, mix water with an umami-rich condiment like miso, marmite, or soy sauce.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
I whipped up a basic risotto to test loads of mushroom stock substitutes.
Mushroom stock is a versatile ingredient you can use as a base for numerous dishes, it’s a great vegan alternative to beef stock!
It has a rich, earthy taste and tons of umami notes that’ll give your dishes a deeper flavor and more complexity.
Here’s what I tested and the verdicts:
|Substitutes||How to Substitute||Verdict|
|Homemade mushroom stock||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Mushroom powder||Replace in a 1:1 ratio with dissolved mushroom powder||10/10|
|Other broths||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||9/10|
|Mushroom paste||1 cup mushroom stock = 1 tsp mushroom paste||9/10|
|Water + seasoning||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
|Miso paste||Replace in a 1:1 ratio with miso paste mixed with water||8/10|
|Red wine||Use 1/2 the amount of red wine + water||6/10|
Common uses for mushroom stock and the best substitutes
Here are some common use cases for mushroom stock and the best substitutes for those situations:
- Soups, stews, and stir-fries: Try using homemade mushroom stock, mushroom powder, or beef stock.
- Sauces and gravies: Try using homemade mushroom stock, mushroom powder, red wine, or miso paste.
- For braising, poaching, and steaming: Try using homemade mushroom stock, other broths, or water mixed with seasonings.
Homemade mushroom stock
It’s pretty easy to make your own mushroom stock if you can get hold of dried mushrooms.
Simple soak the dried mushrooms and you can use the resulting soaking liquid as stock.
But if you have more time to spare, consider trying Holy Cow Vegan’s easy recipe!
It takes about 30 minutes and incorporates a delightful blend of dried herbs and spices that add depth and complexity to your homemade mushroom stock.
And for those who prefer who only have fresh mushrooms, don’t miss out on Becky Selengut’s recipe.
The first step is to roast the mushrooms and vegetables to deepen their flavor.
Pro-tip: make a big batch and freeze the excess so you’ll always have mushroom stock ready to go when you need it.
How to substitute: Replace mushroom stock in a 1:1 ratio with homemade mushroom stock.
Mushroom powder is a convenient mushroom stock substitute you can use.
Simply dissolve a pinch of the powder in water to create a savory liquid that mimics traditional mushroom stock’s earthy, umami flavor to a tee.
You can buy mushroom powder in well stocked grocery stores and wellness shops, but did you know you can also make a DIY version?
Just blitz a handful of dried mushrooms in your food processor, and you’re good to go – you can even add dried herbs and spices to give your homemade blend more complex flavor.
Pro-tip: store this potent powder in the fridge and you can savor its flavor for up to a year!
How to substitute: Replace mushroom stock in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with dissolved mushroom powder.
Vegetable broth is a super easy plant-based alternative to mushroom stock.
The catch is that it has a lighter flavor than mushroom stock. But you can boost its taste with additions like soy sauce, nutritional yeast, or even marmite.
And if you’re not following a vegan diet, you can’t go wrong with good old beef broth.
Its rich flavor and deep color closely resemble mushroom stock.
Psst… you need to watch out for the salt content of store bought broths. It can be surprisingly high!
How to substitute: Replace mushroom stock in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with your choice of broth.
If you can’t find mushroom powder then try mushroom paste instead.
It’s very similar in that’s it’s a concentrated form of mushrooms.
And you can easily dilute it with water (or another type of stock) if you need extra liquid in your dish.
For my risotto, I mixed vegetable stock with mushroom paste.
How to substitute: Replace mushroom stock in your recipe with a few spoonfuls of mushroom paste.
Water and seasoning
Water is a quick and budget-friendly substitute for mushroom stock that can save the day in a pinch.
You won’t need to do much if your dish is already loaded with flavors – like rich stews.
But if mushroom stock was contributing a lot of flavor to your dish, you’ll need to make up for that missing flavor with some agressive seasoning.
To mimic mushroom stock, I’d add some umami-rich condiments like soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, or even a parmesan rind.
How to substitute: Replace mushroom stock in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with water.
To create an umami-loaded broth you can use to substitute mushroom stock, simply mix miso paste with water.
I used yellow miso in my risotto, because I think it offers just the right amount of saltiness and earthiness.
But if you want to explore bolder territory, red miso is the way to go.
And you don’t have to stop there – you can add other ingredients like kelp (especially if you’re making an Asian dish) to further deepen the flavor of this simple substitute.
Pro-tip: you can also try chickpea miso for a gluten-free option. Or you can replace the miso paste with instant miso soup that will work too!
How to substitute: Replace mushroom stock in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with miso paste mixed with water.
Red wine might not be the most obvious choice for replacing mushroom stock, but it’s a superb alternative cooking liquid, especially for hearty dishes.
Its acidity adds a bright note, helping to balance flavors and create a more complex taste.
And if you’re cooking with meat, you get to hit two birds with one stone because red wine also helps keep it tender and juicy.
You just need to make sure you’re going to cook the dish long enough for the alcohol to evaporate.
Pro tip: choose a wine you enjoy drinking – I’d go for a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Pinot Noir.
How to substitute: Replace mushroom stock in your recipe with 1/2 the amount of red wine and use water if you need extra liquid.
Other substitutes to consider
The previously mentioned substitutes are my top picks as an alternative for mushroom stock, but here are other options you can use if you already have them:
- Dashi – this isn’t an exact flavor match for mushroom stock, but it will lend your dish lots of umami goodness, thanks to the kelp and bonito flakes. It’s a great substitute for more delicate dishes like poached fish.
- Bean liquid – if you’re cooking beans to go in your dish, don’t throw the cooking liquid away! It’s perfect for adding some extra flavor to your dishes but won’t be too overwhelming. Even better if you cooked your beans with garlic and bay leaves.
- Garlic stock – this is another unexpected plant-based substitute. Garlic has a pungent flavor when raw, but simmering it with water mellows it out and gives you a delicious savory broth. Food 52’s recipe only calls for garlic cloves and water!
Avoid using mushroom soup
Someone on another blog suggested using mushroom soup to replace mushroom stock. I tried it, and I wasn’t impressed.
It worked okay in my risotto, but the flavor was more creamy than mushroom-y. And for most dishes where you use mushroom stock, mushroom soup isn’t going to work!
I also thought the taste was pretty artificial and shallow. My risotto lacked the depth mushroom stock brings.
10 BEST Mushroom Stock Substitutes + 1 To Avoid
- ½ cup dried mushrooms
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp allspice berries
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 4 cups water
- Combine all the ingredients in a deep stock pot over medium heat.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pan and adjust the heat to lower heat. Let the stock simmer for at least 30 minutes up to two hours.
- Turn off the heat, strain the stock and use immediately or store in airtight lidded jars.