10 Demi Glace Substitutes [Best Options]

When I think of demi glace, I think of fancy dinners and high end restaurants. It is such a rich, flavorful sauce that I never think of having it at home.

But why not? Don’t we all deserve a little decadence right at our own kitchen table?! Absolutely!

I recently started looking for recipes that used demi glace in order to step up my home cooking game.

However, I often can’t find demi glace at my local grocery store and I don’t always have time to make the sauce myself. I found quite a few incredible alternatives to demi glace that are just as decadent and just as delicious. 

The best demi glace substitute is Better than Bouillon paste. It is thick and rich, just like demi glace. Bouillon granules or cubes are great demi glace substitutes for adding to soups and stocks. Beef gravy is a good substitute for replacing demi glace as a sauce for meat. 

Best Demi Glace Substitutes

Here are my favorite demi glace substitutes. Take a look at all the details as each substitute has its own, specific perks! 

1. Bullion Cubes – a Perfect Demi Glace Substitute for Stock

Demi glace is often added to stock to give it a silky texture and a richer taste. If you don’t have demi glace to make your stock, you can use bullion cubes instead. 

Bullion Cubes

Bullion cubes are concentrated, dry cubes that are made from chicken, beef or vegetables. They have a very powerful, strong taste that will enhance any stock

Replace ¼ cup of demi glace with one bouillon cube. I like to use beef bouillon which work best to get the closest taste to real demi glace. Add the bullion cube to the stock and stir to dissolve it completely. 

2. Beef Demi Glace as a Veal Demi Glace Substitute

The classic way to make French demi glace is to use veal bones and veal stock. Some people may not like the taste of veal or you may just not be able to find veal bones. They can be tricky to find in your local grocery store! 

Beef Demi Glace

You can replace the veal with regular beef and still make fantastic demi glace. If your demi glace recipe calls for veal bones, replace them with the same amount of beef marrow bones. Marrow bones have a good amount of fat still on the bone which will help your demi glace be smooth and creamy. 

If your recipe uses just veal stock, substitute it with the same amount of beef stock. The flavor of the demi glace will still be very rich. 

3. Chicken Demi Glace – a Lighter Demi Glace Replacement

Demi glace has a very strong, beef taste. It is made with concentrated beef broth which does have quite a potent flavor.

If you are looking to avoid this intense flavor, you can try making demi glace with chicken broth instead. 

Use your regular demi glace recipe but replace the beef broth or beef stock with chicken stock. You can cook the sauce the exact same way, reducing it until it is thick and smooth. 

This is also a great dairy free option to replace regular gravy. I make a batch of chicken demi glace at Thanksgiving for those in my family who can’t have dairy but still deserve gravy on their holiday mashed potatoes! 

4. Vegetable Demi Glace Substitute

You can easily make a vegetarian demi glace to replace beef demi glace. All you need is vegetable broth! Homemade veggie broth or store bought will work. 

Use vegetable broth to replace beef broth in your quick demi glace recipe. Cook the recipe exactly as directed. Your thick, vegetable based sauce will be ready in no-time! 

I like to use veggie demi glace as a sauce for roasted vegetables. It coats the veggies nicely and really amplifies the flavor of the roasted vegetables. 

5. Condensed Stock – Perfect Demi Glace Substitute for Soups

You can find condensed stock in most grocery stores. It’s in the same aisle as regular beef stock or beef broth but in a much smaller jar. That’s because it is condensed!

Condensed stock is reduced and thickened much like demi glace. It has the same powerful flavor as demi glace and can be used in much the same way.

Condensed stock is actually thicker and stronger than the classic demi glace. You will want to add a little water to the condensed stock to make it thinner and more like the texture of demi glace. 

I like to add a little red wine to my beef condensed stock to make it more flavorful and a little fancy. Veal condensed stock will work great as well to make a classic veal demi glace. 

6. Demi Glace Substitute Better Than Bouillon 

Better than bouillon is a thick paste that can be used in much the same way as demi glace. You can replace demi glace using the same quantity of Better than Bouillon. The two ingredients are almost identical. 

There are many different types of Better Than Bouillon. The classic roast beef base is the closest to classic demi glace. You can also try the chicken, seasoned vegetable or mushroom base. 

I like to use the organic line of Better than Bouillon to replace demi glace. It has fewer ingredients and I think it tastes closest to the real thing. 

Better Than Bouillon 

7. Gravy – Great Demi Glace Sauce Substitute

Demi glace and gravy are often used interchangeably. Both are thick, beef based sauces.

The only difference is that gravy is typically thickened using flour or cornstarch while demi glace is made thick by a long cooking time and water evaporation. 

Gravy

Gravy can sometimes also contain dairy while demi glace does not. Butter and occasionally milk is added to gravy to make it richer.

I always keep this in mind when using gravy as a demi glace substitute, especially since I have a lot of dairy-free friends!

Gravy is a good substitute for demi glace if you are using it as a sauce. It is great on top of potatoes, slathered on meats or used inside a meat pie. Replace demi glace with the same amount of gravy and you will be very happy with the result!  

8. Bouillon Granules

Bouillon granules are just like bouillon cubes but they are easier to scoop and measure. The loose granules come in small jars so you can use as much as you need.

You may even be able to find demi glace powder bouillon which is basically demi glace in powdered form. Grab this if you find it! 

I like to use beef granules to replace demi glace. One teaspoon of granules can replace 2 Tbsp of demi glace. Sprinkle the granules into your stock or stir them with some water to turn them into a thick sauce.

Bouillon is very salty so keep this in mind when using it to replace demi glace. Be sure to taste your recipe after adding the granules and adjust the seasonings as needed! 

Bouillon Granules

9. Canned Soup – An Easy Demi Glace Alternative

You can try a whole variety of canned soups to use in place of demi glace. This easy hack will help add flavor to your stocks and soups. Canned soups can even be turned into delicious sauces!

I like to pick condensed soups which have a more concentrated flavor. This is closer to the strong taste of demi glace. Chicken, beef and even veggie soup can be used in place of demi glace. 

I suggest using two times the amount of soup to replace demi glace in a recipe. Since soup is a little more liquid, you will need more to get that rich flavor. 

Canned Soup

10. Homemade Demi Glace

The best way to replace store bought demi glace is to just make demi glace at home! Homemade demi glace can be a long process but the result is incredible.

You will go crazy for the flavor, the creamy texture and how incredibly rich homemade demi glace is. 

My demi glace recipe makes quite a bit of sauce. I like to pour the extra demi glace into an ice cube tray and freeze it.

Anytime I need a little demi glace for my steak or to enhance the flavor of a soup, I can pop out a cube and it is ready to use! 

Take a look at my recipe below and try making your own demi glace. Feel free to use beef bones or even chicken bones in place of the veal bones. All variations will work!

Homemade Demi Glace

What is Demi Glace?

Demi glace is a rich, brown sauce that is typically served over meats. It is a classic, French sauce but it is now widely used in all different cuisines. 

Demi glace is thick and rich. It is typically made from beef broth or beef stock. Demi glace takes hours to cook, during which time a lot of the water evaporates, leaving behind a glossy, thick sauce that will coat your meat beautifully. It is that strong, intense flavor that makes this sauce so desirable! 

Uses for Demi Glace Sauce

Demi glace can be used on its own as a sauce for meats, potatoes or even veggies. It is also often used as the base for other sauces.

Demi glace can be used to make a red wine sauce or as the start to a mushroom sauce. It is even great as a braising liquid to help create very decadent meats. 

  1. Using it as an ingredient for a sauce will add flavor and depth to your recipe, transforming it into a restaurant worthy meal. 
  2. Pour it over your favorite meat as a sauce. Demi glace over a nice, thick steak is especially great! 
  3. Add some red wine to demi glace to turn it into a silky red wine sauce
  4. Saute some mushrooms and shallots then add demi glace to make a classic mushroom sauce. 
  5. Stir some demi glace into your beef broth to enhance the flavor and make the broth have a smoother mouth feel. 

Do you have a favorite way to use demi glace? I definitely like using it as a sauce the best! It is so rich and decadent- I can’t resist!

Is Demi Glace Healthy?

Demi glace is made with ingredients that are essentially healthy. Bones are packed with protein, vitamins and minerals and the veggies that go into demi glace have their own benefits as well. 

Demi glace can be high in sodium but is relatively low in overall calories. One Tablespoon of demi glace has about 45 calories, 1 gram of fat and around 240 mg of sodium. It is an overall, lean sauce. 

Final Considerations

Demi glace is an amazing sauce and simple way to quickly add flavor to a soup or broth.

There is a reason why it is a French culinary classic! However, there are lots of great demi glace substitutes as well. 

Give these substitutes a try if you don’t have demi glace on hand. I highly recommend making your own demi glace, too. It is rewarding and oh so delicious. Happy cooking!

Demi Glace

Homemade Demi Glace

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours

I’m going to warn you that demi-glace does take a while to make. However, it is worth the effort! The rich, silky sauce is unbeatable! Follow my recipe to a T to experience the magic of true, authentic demi-glace. 

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 pounds veal bones (joints are best)
  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart of red wine
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Add the olive oil to a roasting pan. 
  3. Add the veal bones to the roasting pan and spread them in a single layer across the bottom of the pan. Roast the bones in the oven for about 40 minutes, turning them after 20 minutes. 
  4. Add the roasted bones to a large stockpot. 
  5. Add the water to the pot and bring the mix to a simmer. Simmer the bones for 4 hours, skimming and discarding the foam on the top occasionally. 
  6. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the roasting pan, tossing it in the fat from the veal bones. Roast the veggies in the oven for 10 minutes. 
  7. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and add the tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf and wine. Stir the mix in the pan then return it to the oven for 10 more minutes. 
  8. Scrape all the ingredients from the roasting pan into the simmering stock pot with the bones. 
  9. Add 1 quart of water and bring the mix to a simmer. 
  10. Simmer for another 2 hours. It should be reduced by half.
  11. Pour the liquid through a fine mesh stranger and discard the bones and cooked veggies. 
  12. Return the strained liquid to a small pot and simmer again for one more hour to really thicken the sauce. 
  13. Use the demi glace right away or freeze for later. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 824Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 345mgSodium: 328mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 92g

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