The Case for Vegan Chicken-Style Seasoning

It can be challenging to find a good-tasting plant-based alternative for chicken broth that contains ingredients you’re comfortable eating.

Sometimes you want a chicken-style flavor:

  • as a substitute in a recipe that calls for chicken broth
  • when making soups and gravies
  • when making a chicken-style sandwich spread
  • when vegetable broth isn’t the right flavor
  • when plain salt doesn’t fit the desired flavor profile

Product Review: Chicken-Style Seasonings

It’s convenient to purchase chicken-style seasonings. Among the options available for purchase, these brands are the most common and the considered by many to be the best-tasting:commercial vegan chicken-style seasonings

Edward and Sons Not-Chicken Bouillon Cubes

Ingredients: Sea salt, organic palm oil, yeast extract, organic cane sugar, organic garlic, maltodextrin, organic mace spice.

Serving size: 1/2 cube (For 1 cup broth dissolve 1/2 cube in 1 cup hot water)

Sodium: 810 mg

Notes: Packaged in individually wrapped cubes. Must be dissolved in water.

Available from Amazon.

 

Bill’s Best Chick’Nish Vegetarian Seasoning

Ingredients: Soy flour, salt, food yeast, onion, garlic, parsley, celery, plus our unique blend of vegetables and herbs (organic ingredients).

Serving size: 1 teaspoon (For 1 cup broth: 1 rounded teaspoon to 1 cup hot water)

Sodium: 242 mg

Notes: The label states: No black or white pepper, sugar, MSG, fat, dairy products, or fillers.

Available online.

 

Orrington Farms Vegan Chicken Flavored Broth Base and Seasoning

Ingredients: Maltodextrin, salt (includes sea salt), yeast extract, onion powder, spice [includes white pepper, celery seed, turmeric (spice and color), rosemary], carrot powder, garlic powder, dextrose, natural flavor, parsley, spice extract.

Serving size: 2 teaspoons (makes 1 cup broth)

Sodium: 750 mg

Notes: Recommended by America’s Test Kitchen for a vegan broth.

The label states: produced with genetic engineering.

Available online.

 

McKay’s Vegan Special Chicken-Style Instant Broth and Seasoning

Ingredients: Dextrose, salt, potato flour, pure vegetable oil (safflower seed oil), celery, turmeric, onion powder, garlic powder, sunflower lecithin, spices, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate.

Serving size: 1 teaspoon(For 1 cup broth: 1 teaspoon to 1 cup water)

Sodium: 550 mg

Notes: The label states: no MSG added. Gluten-free. Non-dairy. Not GMO. No hydrogenation.

Available online.

 

The Vegetarian Express Veggie Chick Seasoning

Ingredients: Onion, garlic, sea salt, herbs, paprika, turmeric, parsley, silicon dioxide to prevent caking.The Vegetarian Express Chick seasoning

Serving size: 1 teaspoon

Sodium: 520 mg

Notes: The label states: All natural ingredients. No artificial anything. No hydrogenated fats. No refined sugar.

Available online from The Vegetarian Express

 

Additional Vegan Chicken-Style Seasonings

There are other brands available but I haven’t addressed them here because I can’t speak about them from personal experience. Some also contain wheat or large amounts of hydrolyzed vegetable protein–a highly processed source of excitotoxins.

How to Choose a Vegan Chicken-Style Seasoning to Buy

If you prefer the convenience of a purchased vegan chicken-style seasoning, pay close attention to the ingredients first.

After you find the ingredients that align with your nutritional priorities, narrow it down to the one(s) that taste the best.  Try them side-by-side and in recipes to find what works best for you.

Sometimes you can’t find what you’re looking for in a ready-to-purchase product. That’s why it’s helpful to know how to make your own.

 

DIY Vegan Chicken-Style Seasoning

Here’s why I like to make my own chicken-style seasoning:

  • No unpronounceable ingredients
  • No ingredients that usually keep company with MSG. I’m talking about you—disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate. To learn more read this at Be Food Smart
  • Sugar is a minor ingredient and can be omitted
  • I can control the amount of sodium
  • I can eliminate ingredients if I need to accommodate a food allergy or intolerance
  • It costs much less
  • It contains the antioxidants and nutrients of a wide variety of vegetables and herbs
  • No vegetable oil

Ingredients: nutritional yeast flakes, sea salt, dried red bell pepper flakes, onion powder, granulated sugar, turmeric, dried parsley, garlic powder, celery seed, paprika, sage, marjoram, thyme, tarragon, rosemary

Serving size: 1 teaspoon (For 1 cup broth: 1  teaspoon to 1 cup hot water)

Sodium: 590

Notes: This recipe is adapted from Delightfully Vegetarian by Sharlene Lindskog-Osorio. Unfortunately, the cookbook is now out of print.

“Are You Sure It’s Not Real?”

My friend, Diana, who shared this recipe with me told that she made vegetarian “chicken” noodle soup with this seasoning. She took it to work in her lunch.  Her coworker knew she was vegetarian and was curious about it.

“Can I have a taste?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Are you sure it’s not real?”

That’s an impressive confirmation about the taste of this homemade chicken-style seasoning from someone whose husband was a meat cutter!

Step 1: Assemble the Ingredients

The ingredient list is long, but you likely already have most of the herbs. The rest can be purchased in small quantities where bulk seasonings are sold.

The hardest-to-find ingredient is dried bell peppers.  Look for dehydrated red bell peppers online were bulk herbs are sold.

 

Ingredients for chicken-style seasoning

 

Step 2: Grind the Ingredients

vegan chicken-style seasoning ingredients in the blender

Step 3: Use it to Season

To make 1 cup broth: Use 1 teaspoon Vegan Chicken-Style Seasoning to 1 cup water. Or use it to season soups, gravies, scrambled tofu, popcorn, or chicken-style sandwich filling [coming soon].

homemade vegan chicken-style seasoning

 

homemade vegan chicken-style seasoning
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Vegan Chicken-Style Seasoning

–Adapted from Delightfully Vegetarian by Sharlene Lindskog-Osorio
Prep Time10 mins
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: American
Keyword: seasoning
Servings: 48 teaspoons
Calories: 7kcal
Author: Heather Reseck

Ingredients

  • cups nutritional yeast flakes
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried red bell pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary

Instructions

  • Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until finely ground. (Or grind in batches in a spice grinder).
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Makes 1 cup.

Tip:

  • After blending the seasonings together, wait for a minute or so to let them settle before opening the lid.

Nutrition

Serving: 1teaspoon | Calories: 7kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 590mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg