If you look at nearly any pantry must-have list, you’ll find broth - especially at this time of year. In fact, you could even have a forgotten box or can way in the back of your pantry just waiting patiently for its turn to shine in a dish. (I’ll give you a moment to check because you’ll likely want to cook with it once you see the flavorful recipes below.)
Benefits of broth
Oh good, you’re back. So let’s take a look at the benefits of broth and what’s great about cooking with it. Here are four go-to reasons to love broth.
- Flavor booster. Use broth as a substitute for water in cooking rice and other grains to enhance a dish’s flavor.
- A hurried home chef’s BFF. Store-bought broth is a great shelf-stable pantry staple that can be used in a variety of dishes. (Check out some tasty examples below.)
- An alternative to cooking with oil. Learn how to “steam fry” with broth below.
- Multi-use. Buying broth in reclosable cartons is very convenient because you can use what you need now and keep the rest in the refrigerator for something else later.
Can the junk
Homemade broth is delicious and a resourceful use for veggie and/or chicken scraps (here’s a recipe for Homemade Vegetable Broth and one for Golden Chicken Broth, if you want to give it a go) but the problem is you need to plan ahead or have plenty of time to make it. Thank goodness, there’s a convenient substitute – store-bought broth. Like everything we sell at Whole Foods Market®, there are no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives in any broths on our shelves. We carry a wide variety, including kosher, low-sodium and organic broths – beef flavored, chicken and vegetable. (Looking to save? 365 Everyday Value® organic broths are priced competitively.)
Cooking with broth
Once you learn all that broth can do, you start to realize what an underappreciated pantry item it is. Take a look:
- Deglazing. Heat broth in pan to loosen browned bits of food to make a sauce.
- Mashing/puréeing. Use broth as a flavorful addition or replacement for cream or butter when mashing or puréeing vegetables.
- Simmering. In soups and stews, braising liquids or cooking whole grains, risotto and seafood.
- Fondue/Hotpot. Dip thin slices of raw meat and vegetables in boiling broth to quickly cook.
- Steam frying. Sauté with broth instead of oil. Check out how in this short video:
Soup and stews and stuffings…oh my!
Although soups, stews and yes, stuffings are top of mind when it comes to recipes that use broth, there are several other delicious dishes that rely on its rich flavor too. Here are some of my favorite uses for those boxes and cans of broth sitting in my pantry and fridge.
- Wholesome Chipotle Veggie Stew is loaded with veggies and a hearty broth and powered by chipotle peppers and Mexican seasonings.
- Chicken and Brown Rice Soup is a must as temperatures begin to drop. (Sing it with me now, “In September, for a while/I will ride a crocodile/Down the chicken soup-y Nile.”)
- Elegant and easy Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Ravioli in Sage Broth will impress any guest.
- For a sensational seasonal side dish, make Creamy Pumpkin Brown Rice, a brown rice dish, cooked with puréed pumpkin and vegetable broth with creamy, risotto-like results.
- Vegan Mushroom Gravy. Good gravy, that’s delicious! Add your favorite beans and greens for a hearty ragout.
- In Shrimp and Fish in Aromatic Coconut Broth, you pair shrimp and fish with vegetable broth and varied veggies and voila! Spicy savory soup in a flash.
- The holidays may be a few months ago but there’s no reason to wait for a delicious dish like Apple, Sausage and Sage Sourdough Stuffing.
- Chicken in a Pot. Tender chicken. Root vegetables. Flavorful broth. What else do you need on a chilly autumn evening?
- It could be the bacon, the Gruyère cheese or the porcini mushrooms that makes Spinach and Porcini Mushroom Risotto so mouthwatering, but surely the chicken broth has something to do with it too.
What are your favorite uses for broth? I’d love to hear them.