Vegetable Stock Vs Chicken Stock- What is the Best

In several dishes stock plays a major role. It can be served as a base for different types of soups, sauces, gravies, braises, and much more.

The main reason for using stock in a recipe is to form layers in a recipe providing distinct and rich taste. Chicken and vegetables are mostly used ingredients for stocks.

What is the difference between vegetables and chicken is the main concern of this article? The answer to this question is that flavor plays a major role.

Chicken and vegetables are the main ingredients for chicken stock whereas, vegetables make the vegetable stock. The difference not only gives a specific flavor for each type of stock but also provides many nutritional benefits.

In this post, we will focus in detail on the difference between two stocks and the best ways to store them.

Let’s start.

What is a stock?

Before proceeding further, we have to discuss what a stock is and why it is used?


The main aim of stock as a culinary tool is the provision and building of a flavor base. This is the reason the stocks are used commonly for making soups, gravy, and other dishes that need reduction.

Therefore, having a stock stored in a batch in the freezer provides hundreds of possibilities as you have the main and important ingredients for nutritious and healthy meals.

The most efficient way of extracting the natural juices of your ingredients is stock formation.

This means the process is extractive as you are squeezing all the flavors out of the ingredients.

The rule is the same either you are using any kind of vegetable or chicken.

Vegetable stock Vs Chicken Stock

After getting a clear picture of the purpose of making stock along with the benefits related to it, now we need to talk about the main topic.

What is the difference between chicken stock and vegetable stock and the most obvious answer to this question is both have different tastes.

Now we will discuss in detail other differences that make them completely different.

1. Flavor Profiles

The flavor base has the main impact on the taste of a dish. This is where the safe and edible difference becomes important.

  • Chicken stock is more flavor enriched as compared to vegetable stock. The reason is all the gelatin is extracted during the making of chicken stock.

Chicken stock is also far better for making gravy if you prefer a meatier taste which is impossible to get from vegetable stock.

  • In contrast, basic vegetable stock is not preferred. Because of this reason, people use vegetables with a savory flavor profile.

The combination of onions, celery, mushrooms, and carrots makes the perfect stock.

  • It is worthy to mention at this point that all types of vegetables should not be used to make the stock.

In the case of potatoes and other starchy vegetables will give an undesirably cloudy and gummy vegetable stock.

Some vegetables turn bitter as they simmer.

2. Nutritional Benefits

Another difference between these two stocks is the health factors related to them.

It is accepted widely that both these stocks are healthy and provides a lot of nutritional benefits when consumed regularly.

Another important difference between the two is related to the calorie count.

Chicken stock is expected to have more calories as compared to vegetable stock. The chicken fat is also extracted with the rest of the chicken flavors.

The table illustrated below shows the nutritional status per cup.


Recommended Daily intake Chicken stock Vegetable stock
carbohydrates 8.5g 2.2g
Calories 86 13
Protein 6g 0.5g
Fat 3g 0.1g
Sodium 500mg 200mg
Potassium 1% 1%
Vitamin C 0.8% n/a
Vitamin A 0.1% 3%
Calcium 0.6% n/a
Iron 2.8% n/a

*RDI = Recommended Daily Intake

There is an easy way to resolve the issue. Only defat the chicken stock and the flavor won’t get affected however, it will minimize the risks related to health.

The difference between the two will be negligible, once you removed the fat from chicken stock.

3. Dietary Issues

There is a matter of dietary practices. It is worthy to mention as some lifestyles and diets effectively hinder the use of chicken stocks for recipes.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, then there is no question of using vegetable stock.

This emphasizes you to experiment with vegetable stocks and other plant-based substitutes.

Tips for making a flavorful stock

Similar to other culinary activities, making flavorful stock is also an art. Either you are planning to use vegetable or chicken stock, there are some tips mentioned below to make more delicious and mouth-tempting stock.

  • Be economical with your chicken parts
  • Use only the best ingredients
  • Get the most out of your vegetables.

Storing your Stock Properly

Either you have made vegetable or chicken stock, you will want to enhance the shelf life of a stock to use it for future recipes.

Let the stock cool down to normal temperature. You can increase the cooling time if you want to speed up the process.

Pour the stock into a bigger container after cooling. The container should be clean.

Do not fill the container to the mouth.

Make sure to leave one-inch space from the top of the container and seal it tightly.

Place the stock in the fridge or freezer. It will last for a week in the fridge whereas, in the freezer, it has a life of 6-8 months.

The loss of flavor is the main issue related to the freezing of your stock.

Reheating your stock

Proper reheating of stock is required when it comes to using a stock.

If the stock is refrigerated then normalize the temperature of the stock before adding it to your recipe.

If the stock is in the freezer, then there are two options to defrost the stock.

  1. Thaw the stock in the fridge overnight.
  2. For a quick solution, take a pot of hot water and put the stock in it.

Make sure there is no leakage of the container otherwise, all the stock will be spilled.

Can you substitute broth for the stock?

Yes, you can substitute an equal quantity of broth and stock. As the stock has a richer flavor and thicker texture, your favorite recipes enhance the flavor by using stock.

Stock is used for soups where the main star is liquid-like lemony turkey rice soup, chicken and dumplings, carrot soup, and French lentil.

The broth has a thinner consistency and is used mainly for recipes where the flavor is the main concern.

What is the difference between white stock and brown stock?

Brown and white stock can be made with beef, chicken, pork, veal bone, and chicken.

The difference depends upon:

  • Roasted and coated with tomato paste.
  • Either the bones are blanched before simmering.

The stocks are used to make mother sauces in classical French cuisine. In white sauces, white stock forms a base.

For heartier and richer sauces, the brown stock would be used.

Which is healthier, broth or stock?

Bone broth is enriched with nutrients like minerals and amino acids. Generally stock contains more calorie count, carbohydrate fat as compared to bone broth.

We suggest making the stock at home. This will ease controlling the levels of sodium.

For further increase in nutritional and antioxidant levels, you can add herbs, vegetables, and spices.


Taste is the main thing to consider in every culinary recipe. Both have their specific flavor and is the main distinguishing feature between them. These will enhance the flavors ultimately making it better.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use chicken stock in place of vegetable stock?

In that condition, probably the stocks are fairly close in calories. In chicken stock, there is gelatin and more flavor elements as compared to vegetable stock so, this is the reason chicken stock is used in place of vegetable stock.

What can I substitute for the chicken stock?

Luckily, we are here to tell you a game-changing secret. Water is the most acceptable replacement for chicken stock in stews, soups, sauces. In many situations, a better-tasting result is produced from water.

What can I substitute for the vegetable stock?

Simply the answer is yes. It is sometimes ok to replace vegetable stock with water. In most of the recipes that use vegetable stock, the main plus point over water is the flavor which is important for vegan food or vegetarian.