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The 9 Best Substitutes For Kitchen Bouquet

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Although there are new and exciting revelations in the world of cookery every day, some old favorites simply never go out of fashion. Kitchen Bouquet is one of those, having stood the test of time and graced pantry shelves for over 100 years! 

But, what if you have run out of this versatile seasoning?

What is the best substitute for Kitchen Bouquet? If you are looking for an ingredient with a flavor as close as possible to Kitchen Bouquet, then the best option is Maggi Liquid Seasoning. You can also use other sauces such as Worcestershire sauce, dark soy sauce, and Bragg Liquid Aminos as substitutes for Kitchen Bouquet.

Got a favorite recipe that normally includes Kitchen Bouquet, but your cupboard is bare?

Don’t panic; these substitutes will make sure your dish still tastes delicious! Let’s take a look at the 9 best substitutes for Kitchen Bouquet and how to use them.

What Is Kitchen Bouquet?

Many of us have used Kitchen Bouquet for years, as our mothers and grandmothers (or fathers and grandfathers!) did before us.

But have you ever stopped to think about what Kitchen Bouquet actually is? We all know that it adds great flavor to our food, but how?

Kitchen Bouquet is a sauce that is supplied in a bottle, used to add seasoning and flavor to food. It is low in sodium and gluten-free, making it a healthier choice than other high-salt flavorings

The amazing thing about Kitchen Bouquet is that it has been around for what seems like forever! Records show that it was being produced in the USA in the late 19th century and has remained popular ever since.

There is a good reason why people love Kitchen Bouquet! This simple sauce adds an incredible depth of flavor to savory dishes and makes cooking simple and straightforward.

No more chopping and adding multiple seasonings—they are all here in this one bottle!

What Does Kitchen Bouquet Taste Like?

To get an idea of the flavor that Kitchen Bouquet adds to food, let’s look at what this punchy sauce contains:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Onion
  • Turnips
  • Parsnips
  • Parsley
  • Spices
  • Salt
  • Caramel Coloring
  • Sodium Benzoate (preservative)

Looking at this ingredient list you might for thinking that Kitchen Bouquet tastes like vegetables. After all, it looks very much like the ingredient list for a hearty vegetable soup or broth!

But, in reality, Kitchen Bouquet tastes very different from what you might expect.

The flavor most people associate with Kitchen Bouquet is actually beef! This is due to the clever blend of vegetables and spices, which creates a rich and intense flavor.

Some people think that it has slightly burnt overtones to the taste, but this all adds to the delectable intensity this sauce gives to cooked food.

What Is Kitchen Bouquet Used For?

If you’ve never used Kitchen Bouquet, you might be wondering why you might need it. Fans of this cooking sauce use it for many cooking techniques, and it can transform the flavor of even the blandest recipes.

The full name of this delicious sauce should give you a clue as to what it is used for: “Kitchen Bouquet Browning & Seasoning Sauce”.

This sauce is designed to be used during the cooking process, and not as a dipping sauce or for flavoring cooked food. It’s used to help add a wonderful golden brown color to food and bring a deep, rich flavor to it!

However, don’t be tempted to pop a bowl of Kitchen Bouquet out for your guests to dip their breadsticks into, as the raw sauce is quite bitter and unpleasant!

Kitchen Bouquet is used for a range of different cooking techniques, including marinating, slow cooking, brining, and baking. It takes food to a whole new level of rich, intense flavor, which is why it has remained popular for many decades!

As said before, this punchy sauce is also ideal for use for browning purposes. If you’re not sure what browning is, it is a method of darkening gravies, marinades, and soups.

This adds color to foods that may otherwise be grey and unappetizing, such as microwaved or slow-cooked food.

When used as a marinade, Kitchen Bouquet will bring out the best in your grilled meats. The dark, caramel color will help to create the perfect seared griddle effect on the barbeque, as well as give you an incredible flavor.

The 9 Best Substitutes For Kitchen Bouquet 

So now we’ve got you all excited about Kitchen Bouquet, we need to turn our thoughts to what you can use as a substitute for this incredible flavoring.

There are plenty of options available, so don’t be disheartened if your Kitchen Bouquet supply has run out!

Here are the 9 best substitutes for Kitchen Bouquet:

1. Maggi Liquid Seasoning

If you want a flavor as close as possible to Kitchen Bouquet, then the best option is Maggi Liquid Seasoning. In many ways, Maggi Liquid Seasoning is very similar to Kitchen Bouquet, with a comparable flavor and color.

Maggi Liquid Seasoning is a rich sauce with sweet, savory, and slightly spicy overtones. It also is dark in color, so will add a rich brown caramelized appearance to your food.

The important thing to note about Maggi Liquid Seasoning is that it is much saltier than Kitchen Bouquet. We would recommend that you add only 1/2 the amount to start with, as you can always add more later.

You will probably find that you will not need to put any additional salt in your recipe when using Maggi Liquid Seasoning.

2. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce, despite its English name, actually originates from Bengal. It was discovered in the 1830s and soon became popular around the world.

This rich and pungent sauce makes a great substitute for Kitchen Bouquet. It will add an intense depth of flavor to cooked dishes, without being too salty.

You can add Worcestershire sauce in the same quantities as you would add Kitchen Bouquet, as the flavor is of similar strength.

This unique combination of molasses, garlic, onion, and spices, along with anchovies, will lift and enhance any savory dish. It can also be used for browning in the same manner as Kitchen Bouquet.

3. Dark Soy Sauce

Dark soy sauce is the Kitchen Bouquet substitute of choice if you are looking for a browning agent. This pungent condiment has a deep brown color and will help your food to caramelize beautifully.

Soy sauce is a flavoring made from soybean and wheat, popular in Asian cooking. There are many types of soy sauce on the market, and the dark version is the most similar to Kitchen Bouquet.

As with Maggi Liquid Seasoning, dark soy sauce is also incredibly salty. You will not need to add any extra salt to your dish when using this Kitchen Bouquet replacement!

We’d suggest that you just add half the amount to start with to avoid oversalting your dinner.

4. Bragg Liquid Aminos

If you’re following a healthy eating plan, then Bragg Liquid Aminos can be a great alternative to Kitchen Bouquet. This liquid sauce is very similar to soy sauce but is much healthier.

Bragg Liquid Aminos is made from soybeans and purified water. It contains no additives or chemicals and is verified as free from GMO ingredients.

This makes it more expensive than other Kitchen Bouquet replacements, but the flavor more than makes up for this!

Just remember that you only need a small amount, as this sauce is intense and very salty. We’d advise that you reduce the amount by at least 1/2 to start with when replacing Kitchen Bouquet with Bragg Liquid Aminos.

5. Dark Molasses

Dark molasses might not sound like an obvious choice as a Kitchen Bouquet replacement, but it does share many of the same qualities.

If you are looking for a browning effect, then the intense and rich darkness of molasses will certainly do this! Dark Molasses will also give the caramel tones which we have come to expect in Kitchen Bouquet.

Dark molasses does not contain any salt, so you may need to add more seasoning to your dish when using this as a Kitchen Bouquet substitute.

Remember that you will also get a slight sweetness from the molasses, so you may need to adjust your recipe perfectly.

6. Gravy Master

Most pantry shelves have a bottle of Gravy Master, normally positioned right next to the Kitchen Bouquet!

For those who are not familiar with it, Gravy Master does exactly what it says on the label—it makes delicious and perfect gravy, every time.

Gravy Master is very similar to Kitchen Bouquet. It contains a blend of vegetables, in a base of caramel, vinegar, salt, and sugar.

It is marketed for use as browning and seasoning sauce and will add an intense flavor and richness to your savory dishes.

When using Gravy Master as a Kitchen Bouquet substitute, it is important to note that the former is much stronger in flavor, so it would be advisable to halve the amount used.

Gravy Master will also thicken your sauce, so if this is not the effect you want then opt for a different substitute instead.

7. Parisian Essence

Parisian Essence might sound very fancy, but it is actually a very simple ingredient that can work well as a Kitchen Bouquet substitute.

It is a simple mix of water and caramel, which adds a brown color to other foods. This gives the same effect as adding caramelized meat juices to your sauces and gravies.

There is no real flavor to Parisian Essence, but it does add a rich, velvety brown hue to any food. So, if you are using Kitchen Bouquet simply as a browning ingredient, Parisian Essence would make a great substitute.

8. Liquid Smoke

If you haven’t stumbled across liquid smoke yet, you’ll soon fall in love with this ingenious ingredient!

Although it sounds like something from a 70s disco dancefloor, liquid smoke is actually a clever way to add a rich, smokey flavor to food.

Liquid smoke is made by condensing the water vapor from burning wood to capture the essence of smoke.

This means we can add a smokey flavor to our food, without having to fire up the outdoor grill! Liquid smoke is a fun ingredient to have in your store cupboard, helping to bring the classic barbeque flavor into your home.

The flavor of liquid smoke is not quite the same as Kitchen Bouquet, but it will add a rich, deep flavor to your dish.

Liquid smoke comes in different varieties, such as hickory and chipotle, and some versions may also contain salt and molasses. 

9. Coffee Granules

For years, using coffee granules as a substitute for gravy browning has been one of the best-kept secrets of home chefs!

So if you are just looking to add some color to your sauce, then coffee granules might be the way to go. And best of all, most home kitchens have a jar of coffee granules, so you don’t even need to go to the shop!

Remember that coffee granules don’t just add color, they will flavor your food too. This works really well with rich meat dishes, such as beef, but coffee might be a bit odd in a zingy Chinese vegetable stir fry!

So, when it comes to using coffee granules as a Kitchen Bouquet substitute, pick your recipe carefully and use them with caution.

Related Questions

Now that we’ve gone over the absolute best substitutes for Kitchen Bouquet, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!

What is the best way to make a browning sauce like Kitchen Bouquet?

If you’ve run out of Kitchen Bouquet, it is very simple to make a browning sauce using just a few store cupboard ingredients!

The great advantage of making it yourself is that it will be cheaper than the commercial version, and also free from artificial colors and preservatives.

All you need to do is gently melt some brown sugar over very low heat, then carefully stir in some boiling water. Please take care when melting sugar, as it can reach very high temperatures.

This method will give you a caramel-flavored sauce to be used as a browning, similar to Parisian Bouquet.

To make your sauce more like Kitchen Bouquet, you can flavor it with some concentrated stock—either beef or vegetable will work well. Why not try playing around with your own recipe to create your perfect kitchen seasoning sauce?

Can Kitchen Bouquet be used to make gravy?

Many people struggle to make good gravy at home, and it is so disappointing when it lacks the flavor you were expecting!

Maybe Kitchen Bouquet is the secret ingredient you’ve been missing all along? Many gravy recipes include a splash of Kitchen Bouquet, and for good reason.

This rich and concentrated sauce will not only flavor your gravy perfectly but will also add a deep brown velvety color.

So, if your meat stock has not turned out as rich as you’d hoped, or your first attempt at gravy was a complete fail, then Kitchen Bouquet will come to the rescue.

To use Kitchen Bouquet in a gravy, simply make your gravy as normal using a low-salt broth and thickener such as cornstarch. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of Kitchen Bouquet and your gravy will be transformed!

To take it to the next level, you could consider adding onion powder and other flavorings such as paprika.

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