HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Using boullion cubes

I've never been a heavy user of boullion cubes but recently saw a few varieties that made me curious. I now have boxes of Knorr garlic, onion, and chipotle boullion cubes - and no idea how to use them. I know that they'll be pretty salty as well so I'm a bit worried about turning my recipes into salt licks!

My initial thought is to throw the onion and garlic into a crockpot when I'm making pot roast but have no idea on proportions. I'm also a bit clueless on how to use the chipotle variety. I usually use chipotles in adobo and don't know how to translate the cubes into the recipes I use with canned.

Does anyone have any suggestions?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Not quite sure what youre asking, but generally, 1 boullion cube goes with 2 cups water. Hope that helps. It's not good in all instances though.

    One time I tried subbing out boullion cubes in my French onion soup, and the result wasn't very good.

    3 Replies
    1. re: natewrites

      I'm really just looking for recipes where I can use these cubes. I've added other flavors of boullion to soups in the past but don't know the right balance- basically, I'm concerned that I'll make the flavors either over- or under-whelming.


      1. re: natewrites

        The instructions are on the package on how to rehydrate the cubes, but I agree with this about 2 cups of water per bouillon cube where I double the water called for the cubes.

        Also, I don't see the cubes as a replacement to an ingredient. I see the cubes an alternative to water. For example, I would not replace the chipotles in a recipe with the cubes, I would add a bouillon cube with the liquid called out in the recipe, plus reduced the salt called out in the recipe.

        Also for recipes, I would go to the manufacturer's website for ideas.

        1. re: dave_c

          I think of the cubes as a form of salt. And some of the Mexican varieties replace the hot sauce as well.

      2. With the chipotles cube I think I would make a creamy sauce with fish like salmon or shrimp. The cube -could- add a nice kick to it. I'll quite often add a few dashes of hot sauce to creamy sauces and it works nicely, but I'm not sure if the cube could be too strong.

        I think it'd also be good when making pulled pork in the slow cooker.

        What I would try is diluting the cube with water then trying the broth. It'll give you a better idea of the flavour it has so you'd know which dishes it could be adapted in to.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Musie

          That sounds amazing, thanks! I've seen recipes for a chipotle alfredo sauce that this would be perfect for!

        2. Considering that garlic, onion and chipotle are commonly available throughout the year I don't understand why anyone would use bouillon cubes to add their flavor to recipes. Besides the dehydrated primary ingredient (garlic, onion, etc.) they're compressed cubes of salt (lots of salt) and fats with a few herbs and/or spices added.

          4 Replies
          1. re: todao

            I always thought bullion cubes were supposed to add meat or poultry flavor -- maybe use one to enhance the gravy in a chicken pot pie, that sort of thing.

            1. re: todao

              I've seen these Knorr cubes in the Hispanic aisle

              Whether you understand it or not, Knorr products like this a quite popular in countries like Mexico. And indication of this is the pound jars of Knorr Tomato Chicken boullion seasoning that I see in Hispanic groceries


              1. re: paulj

                The cubes are what I bought. Thanks!

              2. re: todao

                It's a fair point, I was just curious to try something I haven't seen before.

              3. Have you tried the website of the manufacturer for suggestions?

                1 Reply
                1. re: KSlink

                  I did but with little luck. Their Spanish language website was beyond my abilities and their English website didn't mention the products at all. Frustrating.

                2. With Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon bases now widely available in supermarkets and online, IMO there is zero reason to buy cubes, which are a lot saltier and not as flavorful. BTB still has plenty of salt, even in the reduced sodium alternatives they make for their beef, chicken, and vegetable flavors, but less than the cubes.

                  1. Bullion cubes don't belong in any food you are making at home. Home stock is the way to go. Quality canned stock is a reasonable substitute. Bullion cubes will detract from a great dish with fresh quality ingredients.

                    1. You might want to use them in big quantity recipes like chili or pork carnitas, etc., to start with. You can use just one cube and see how the flavor works without it overtaking the whole recipe. If you like what it adds, you can adjust the amount for future dishes. I've never seen these flavors of boullion cubes, so I'm just guessing. It would be interesting if you'd update after you've tried them.

                      1. I like Musie's suggestion: Make some broth with the cube itself, familiarize yourself with the flavor, and that'll probably help you figure out how you'd like to use it.

                        Aside from that... You know, sometimes I get terribly frustrated with tone. The OP wasn't asking for a treatise on the evils of bouillon, right? As blue room suggested, bouillon is often used to enhance the meat flavors in a dish - so the availability of nonmeat flavors can be intriguing, hence the OP's curiosity. It's not like anyone's suggesting grating a bouillon cube into your eggs as a truffle substitute or anything.

                        1. Use it to marinade meats.

                          1. I crumble bouillon cubes and add some to stir fries, or to sauces where I want a little extra oomph. I never use the whole cube - I break off what I need, and save the rest for next time.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: boogiebaby

                              When I use them, that's how I use them, crumble them with my fingers. I don't use the onion or garlic as I have onion and garlic powder. I keep the chipotle and cilantro ones around to use if I don't have the real thing. Of course they are not the same as the real deal but they do in a pinch. The Knorr tomato chicken bullion someone mentioned above is a great product I use all the time.

                            2. I use them, usually the chicken, when I am making rice pilaf....it's how my mom did it and it just works for me. I haven't compared caned stock to the cubes in a taste test, but then again I like with the cubes, and one lighter thing to bring home from the grocery store.