Finding an au jus substitute might feel overwhelming, but it is easier than you think. If you don’t have the time to make it, or enough liquid to serve, there are some options to still make your meal taste great.
What is Au Jus?
Au Jus is French for “with juice” and is a light, flavorful broth made from beef drippings as the meat cooks. It is used to add a rich and savory flavor to dishes like prime rib, beef roasts, and sandwiches.
What Is Au Jus Made Of?
Traditional Au Jus is made from beef drippings. However, you can make au jus from any meat, including turkey and chicken. Depending on your preference or recipe, you might add extra seasonings, thickener, or broth to the drippings before serving or using the liquid.
Common Uses for Au Jus
- Dipping sauce for sandwiches
- The base for gravy or sauces
- Flavoring for casseroles, soups, and stews
How to Choose a Substitute for Au Jus
- Consistency – au jus is a thin liquid. So, if you need your substitute to be the same consistency, choose an alternative that has little to no thickeners added.
- Flavor – most instant sauce mixes have other seasonings and salt added. Therefore, make sure the alternative will work for the desired taste of your dish.
- Color – au jus has a rich brown color. Thus, an alternative like consomme might look odd if you are serving it instead of a darker-colored alternative.
7 Best Au Jus Substitute Ingredients
1.Au Jus Gravy Mix
If you are looking for the quickest and easiest substitute for au jus, powdered au jus gravy mixes are your best choice. It won’t have as many thickeners as normal gravy powder, so you might need to thicken it by following McCormick’s instructions as needed.
2. Beef Bullion
You can use beef bouillons as is as a replacement for au jus, but you can also make your own au jus gravy mix from it. Family Dinners has a great recipe to make your own mix to keep on hand at home.
3. Beef Stock
Whether you use liquid beef stock, or beef stock powder, the results will be similar in the end. The beef stock has less fat in it without compromising on the flavor. Erin Nudi explains the small difference between the two.
4. Bone Broth
Bone broth is a healthy and tasty stock made from beef bones and can replace an au jus since it has a similar consistency and flavor profile. The key difference is that bone broth is not made with any pieces of meat, and au jus is.
5. Onion Soup Mix
You might have used onion soup mixes to enrich your dishes since it also has a rich, hearty taste similar to au jus. Better yet, most onion powder mixes are vegetarian or even vegan, which is great if you need an alternative without animal products. Make the soup according to the packet and replace the sauce in this vegetarian french dip sandwich recipe by Budget Bytes.
6. Beef Consomme
Consomme is a flavorful but clear broth and uses egg whites to remove most of the color of the broth. It still has a lot of flavors and can be used to replace au jus in almost any recipe. The Spruce Eats has an easy recipe to follow.
7. Brown Gravy
Brown gravy also includes meat drippings or beef broth but is usually thickened with flour and includes milk or cream in the base. Drive Me Hungry has a brown gravy recipe that doesn’t call for drippings if you’re running short.
8. Espagnole Sauce
Espagnole sauce is a rich brown gravy and has french origins. It is not often used as is for serving but rather used as a base for other dishes, making it ideal to use if you want to replace au jus as the base of a recipe. Epicurious has an easy recipe to make your own.
Demi-glace is a time-consuming sauce but is worth it when you taste the end results. It can be used as a base for other recipes or served as a sauce to drizzle over your food. The Spruce Eats shows you how to make it.
10. Dry Gravy Mix
If you don’t have all the ingredients for homemade gravy, or you’re running out of time, grabbing any packet of brown gravy mix from the store would do the trick. Real Simple shows you a few tricks to make the store-bought mix taste even better.
11. Chicken Broth
Of course, chicken broth won’t have nearly the same flavor as any of the beef-based alternatives to au jus, but it can make for a tasty base to most sauces and even be used to make a dipping sauce like au jus. It works well with chicken or turkey-based dishes. Taste of Home has an easy recipe to follow, and you can freeze it for future use for a few months.
12. Mushroom Au Jus
If you need a meat-free alternative to au jus, making soy and mushroom au jus would be a unique and tasty alternative to the real thing. Food.com shares its recipe for an easy and tasty sauce.
13. Red Wine and Worcester Sauce
Mashed shares their recipe for a tasty red wine and Worcester sauce recipe, which is ideal for serving if you need a flavorful sauce to accompany your meat-based dishes.
14. Red Wine Reduction
This red wine reduction from Best Beef Recipes uses only a tablespoon of drippings making it ideal if you’re running low on drippings from your meat and adds balsamic vinegar and red wine to make a rich and tasty sauce.
Tips for Au Jus Substitution
- Keep the number of additional spices and salt in mind to avoid your food being overseasoned.
- If you haven’t got any drippings to work with, choose an alternative that uses other beef products, like beef broth or bouillons.
- If you need your au jus to be vegan or vegetarian, replace your beef broth with vegetable broth or onion soup mixes to ensure no animal products are included.