Home » Recipes » Homemade Bouillon Powder

Homemade Bouillon Powder

Editor note: Let me just admit here how many times I had to think about the spelling of the word bouillon while writing this and that was after looking it up multiple times to make sure.  It was a lot.  Like every time I wrote it.  Bull-yawn.  It’s a tricky word.  Even now I look up in the title for this post and see an extra “i”.  Again.

Jump to the recipe…

A popular way to add flavor to common backpacking food staples like noodles and such is bouillon.  It is basically what that little spice packet is that comes with Top Ramen, for example.  No one actually believes that there is any nutrition in there, but it sure makes things tasty.

 

#chickenbroth #vegetables #sage #thyme #rosemary #seasalt #ginger #garlicpowder

 

Why Make Homemade Bouillon?

I like to build my meals from basic dehydrated ingredients that I have stocked in my fridge and I thought it might be fun to see if I could come up with a “spice” packet of my own.  That would mean starting from scratch, because if you have ever read the labels on bouillon at the store you know there’s no way I could use that.

When you become a nutrition label reader, it can come as quite a surprise all the things you might find hidden (or not so hidden) inside your favorite food products.

See, even these folks couldn’t figure out the word bouillon and just went with “base.”

Yeah, no thank you to the soybean oil, grits and powder, potato starch, pea powder, and maltodextrin (sugar).

What You Will Need For Homemade Chicken or Vegetable Bouillon

I made this in 2 parts, a chicken part and a vegetable part. You can skip the chicken part and just go for the vegetables and still have a tasty bouillon powder for vegan dishes.  See next section below…

Starting with the chicken side, I opted for a broth I buy at Costco.  I make my own beef broth but I have never liked the work of making chicken broth with all those bones.  It’s worth it for turkey vegetable soup but not so much for broth.  For me, anyway.  Your call. If you want to make your own chicken broth, here’s a good recipe.

There are a couple decent brands at Costco, and of course you can find pastured chicken brands like this one.  However, to make this recipe worth it, I would need a high volume of broth and the good stuff is cost prohibitive for me.  I can always add collagen to my bouillon afterwards like this brand from Thrive Market.

For this part, bring 32 ounces of broth to a boil and then reduce to a soft simmer on medium low heat.  Your goal is to reduce it down to a thick sauce so you can put it in the dehydrator by evaporating the water (and it’s mostly water).

It will take 25-30 minutes and as the liquid gets low in the pan, you will want to watch it and stir occasionally to keep it from burning to the bottom of the pan.  I reduced mine down to about a few tablespoons. Yep, that’s it.

I put this tiny bit of flavor gold onto a jelly roll tray and let it dry overnight on the meat setting (145 to 155 degrees) until I was able to pick it up and break it into pieces.  You want it brittle.  I put it in my spice grinder (the food processor is a bit big for this job).

If it doesn’t break down into a powder, put the pieces back into the dehydrator to dry a bit longer.

Eventually, I had 4 teaspoons of powder.  It was actually a little depressing.  So little…

Doing the math, I figured this gave me 4 servings (1 tsp per 8 ounce cup of water) to bring it back to it’s original state.  You can see why those store bought brands add all that filler!

Adding Vegetables To Your Homemade Bouillon

Debating my options, I thought about the how my bf makes his broth, with just straight up veggies.  Following his cue last year, I started storing my vegetable scraps in the freezer to add to soups and such for flavor or if I needed to make vegetable broth for vegan recipes for the family.

Hmmm…I bet I could use them to supplement my broth and add more vegetables to my meals.  Bonus!

I had two canning jars of scraps, about 8 cups frozen.  It was a mix of onion, kale, celery, carrots, parsley, broccoli and cabbage.  I tossed it in the food processor and broke it down into small pieces.  If you don’t have scraps, any combination of similar vegetables will work.

Homemade Bouillon Powder Must Hike Must Eat A great alternative to soy and other fillers normally found in bouillon paleo gluten free nightshade free

 

If you are going the vegan route or just want more flavor, you could soak your vegetables a few hours in coconut aminos before dehydrating them to give more depth to the flavor of the bouillon.

Homemade Bouillon Powder Must Hike Must Eat A great alternative to soy and other fillers normally found in bouillon paleo gluten free nightshade free

 

Once dry, I tossed this in the food processor and then the spice grinder to break it down into a powder.

You want it to be as fine as possible so that it will rehydrate into a broth and not have too many chunky things floating around.  If you will probably be adding this to meals, not such a big deal, but if you want to drink it, definitely more appetizing.

Spicing Up Your Homemade Bouillon Powder

Now I had some chicken powder and some vegetable powder to use for a base to add flavor to.

I was just going to use dried spices I already had but I scored some fresh that day; some sage, rosemary and thyme.  Hey, I think there is a song…don’t pretend you didn’t just read that to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel.  These three spices are also commonly called poultry seasoning, maybe because it reminds you of how turkey and stuffing smell fills the house on Thanksgiving day.

 

I added these to the dehydrator set to “herbs”, about 95 degrees, and let dry a few hours until crisp and brittle.  They should flake when you pick them up.  Except rosemary, she is one tough chick.  She’s more stubborn and likes to just crack instead.

Powder these by hand or in your spice grinder.

If you want to see the difference between herbs you dry yourself and the ones you buy in the store, here was my newly made poultry seasoning on the left next to some store bought on the right.

Big difference, right?

Put Your Homemade Bouillon Powder Together

Okay, now I am ready to put them together.  I used 2 tablespoons of the vegetable powder…

…and 1 teaspoon of the chicken powder for my base, plus 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. If you are thinking that is a lot of salt, trust me.  Bouillon needs to be a bit salty and you will want that on the trail.  I tried it with a bit less and although the flavor was there, the salt makes the drink more appetizing.  You can vary the amount based on your own health needs.

Then for one, I added 1 teaspoon of my dried poultry seasoning spices to make a “chicken” flavor and to the other one I added 1 teaspoon of dried ginger to make an “oriental” flavor, in an effort to mimic popular Top Ramen flavors.

To make a cup of broth, I used 1 heaping teaspoon to 8 ounces of hot water.  I guess I should have known it would be green with all the vegetables, but it still took me by surprise.  And it was quite tasty, too.

I think I will use the bouillon in recipes as I make my backpacking meals, but I also like the idea of keeping the spices separate so when I make meals on trail I can add whatever flavor I feel like the day!

 

How To Use Your Homemade Bouillon Powder

Now, what will I do with this, you might ask?  You can use your homemade bouillon powder in any recipe that calls for bouillon powder. Here are some ideas some ideas for backpacking meals:

  • Paleo Top Ramen: sweet potato noodles, bouillon and veggies.
  • Chicken Pot Pie: dried sweet potatoes, bouillon, meat and veggies.
  • Oriental Chicken Salad: Dried cabbage (like this recipe), dried chicken, bouillon and almond slivers.
  • Drink it straight up as an alternative to hot cocoa or tea!

 

 

If you are new to dehydrating or want more information, especially if you need your meals to last more than a month without refrigeration, please visit my Dehydrating 101 page to find out how to do it safely!

Also, for more backpacking meal ideas, check out my page How To Go Backpacking Paleo.  All those recipes are nightshade free, as well! You can, also, find all head to my Hiking and Backpacking Recipe Index for more great recipes like this one.

Do you have favorite meals you add bouillon to?  Do you like to drink it straight up?

 

Pin for later!

Homemade Bouillon Powder Must Hike Must Eat A great alternative to soy and other fillers normally found in bouillon paleo gluten free nightshade free

Thank you so much for stopping by Must Hike Must Eat.

Find out what’s been happening outside the blog by following here:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

A weekly email goes on Friday mornings to keep folks up-to-date on events both on and off the blog:

If you have a question you don’t want to post in the comments, you can ask them here:

Contact Me


Homemade Bouillon Powder Must Hike Must Eat A great alternative to soy and other fillers normally found in bouillon paleo gluten free nightshade free
Homemade Bouillon Powder
Yum
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
15 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30-35 minutes 11-12 hours in dehydrator
Servings Prep Time
15 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30-35 minutes 11-12 hours in dehydrator
Homemade Bouillon Powder Must Hike Must Eat A great alternative to soy and other fillers normally found in bouillon paleo gluten free nightshade free
Homemade Bouillon Powder
Yum
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
15 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30-35 minutes 11-12 hours in dehydrator
Servings Prep Time
15 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30-35 minutes 11-12 hours in dehydrator
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Bring 32 ounces of broth to a boil and then reduce to a soft simmer on medium low heat. It will take 25-30 minutes and as the liquid gets low in the pan, you will want to watch it and stir occasionally to keep it from burning to the bottom of the pan. Reduce until you have a thick sauce.
  2. Add the sauce onto a jelly roll tray and let it dry overnight on the meat setting (145-155 degrees) until you are able to pick it up and break it into pieces. You want it brittle.
  3. Put the pieces in a spice grinder until they make a powder. If it doesn't break down into a powder but clumps instead, put the pieces back into the dehydrator to dry a bit longer.
  4. Add 8 cups of coarsely chopped vegetables to the food processor and pulse into smaller pieces. Add these to the dehydrator on the vegetable setting and let dry completely.
  5. Once dry, I tossed this in the food processor and then the spice grinder to break it down into a powder. You want it to be as fine as possible so it dissolves in water.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable powder and 1 teaspoon of the chicken powder together with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
  7. For a "chicken" spice packet, add an additional 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning. For "oriental", add 1 teaspoon dried ginger.
  8. To make a cup of broth, add one heaping teaspoon to 8 ounces (1 cup) hot water.
  9. Store in an airtight container to retain flavor.
Share this Recipe

25 comments

  1. Unbound Roots says:

    This bouillon powder looks absolutely delicious – full of flavor! And, I love that it’s gluten free. We have two in this house with Celiac disease and it’s hard to find gf bouillon. Can’t wait to try it!

  2. Masha says:

    This looks really great and healthy, a little too much preparation for me. I eat mostly organic and am very conscious of ingredients in food like boullion (ok misspelled not looking it up) like in bouillion cubes, I haven’t used them in a few years now. The only vegetable broth that I use is the one you mention here, the Pacific. Thanks

    • Snuffy says:

      It is a bit of work and I tend to save it for meals I need to take backpacking and like you stick to broth at home. Pacific does make a great product, don’t they?

  3. Parul Thakur says:

    I will admit that I had never heard of the word. This is totally new information for me and I understand that this is needed. I would say that the process needs a lot of effort. Thank you for sharing! I learnt a new word and what it means 😉

    • Snuffy says:

      I’m glad to pass on a new food word to you, Parul! It is a bit more work than making straight broth and not always necessary for day to day cooking but handy when adding flavors to things quickly. Thank you for stopping by!

    • Snuffy says:

      It is pretty tasty and a swap for tea when you want something a bit heartier. I’m sure the time commitment is why most folks buy it in the stores and if I could find some with the same ingredients I totally would myself! Making it helped me appreciate why the good stuff would cost more and why so many of them are filled with less than ideal ingredients!

  4. josypheen says:

    This sounds really tasty!

    I have to admit, I cheat. I make stock quite often, and then just freeze it including all the liquid, rather than dehydrating it. It tastes soooo much better for anything like risotto or soup!

    • Snuffy says:

      Oh, that’s not cheating. That’s just smart. I do the same thing when I make bone broth, there are jars filled in the freezer for when I cook at home. I only dehydrate like this for when I want to add flavor to dishes I haven’t already cooked in broth!

  5. Carol says:

    Hi fellow label reader…great tutorial and although time consuming you can really see the difference and obviously no nasties…Thank you for following my blog 🙂

  6. Heidi Anderson says:

    This is such a great idea! I noticed that early in the post you said you could add collagen powder later, but you didnt mention it again. I’m wondering if you did, or how much you’d recommend.
    Thanks!

    • Snuffy says:

      That is a great question, Heidi! I usually add 1-2 tablespoons of collagen to store bought broth before I boil it down. I suppose it could be added to the dry mix, too, when adding spices at the end. Thank you for asking!

  7. David Masaoka I says:

    I will convert rotisserie costco chicken carcass into broth or soup. For some reason this makes an excellent gelatinous product, much more gelatinous than if i use a home cooked chicken.

    • Snuffy says:

      I imagine that it does, their chicken is very tasty. I do know they use things like potato starch in the processing of their chicken, which may also make the broth thick.

Tell me how you really feel...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.