The iconic yellow and green packaging of Knorr-brand chicken bouillon is unmistakable in a well-stocked pantry. The golden powder is a blend of salty, umami flavors, with a hint of sweetness; just a pinch in soups, sauces, and stir-fries adds an intense hit of lip-smacking, meaty depth. In short, it’s the perfect all-purpose seasoning.
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What Is Knorr Chicken Bouillon?
Most notably, Knorr chicken bouillon is a pantry staple in Latin American and Mexican kitchens, added to dishes such as Sopa Seca or arroz con pollo to boost color and flavor. It’s commonly used in lieu of store-bought stock and can be sprinkled straight into dishes with ease. While cubed bouillon is used in most parts of Latin America, the granulated version is most popular in Mexico (fondly referred to as “caldo con sabor de pollo,” with an iconic chicken logo on the jar). In the case of most recipes, however, the cubes can be crushed and used interchangeably with the granulated version.
Among other shelf-stable ingredients, Knorr bouillon contains salt, dehydrated chicken fat and meat, onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is naturally occurring in umami-rich foods such as mushrooms and Parmesan cheese, and it lends the bouillon its signature flavor.
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The Story Behind Knorr Chicken Bouillon
Despite its popularity in Latin cooking, Knorr is first and foremost a European brand, founded in Germany in 1838 as a chicory supplier for the coffee industry. The founder, Carl Heinrich Knorr, later began experimenting with dehydrating vegetables and seasonings, which led to the company’s first line of dried soups. These soups were launched across Europe in 1873, with the Knorr bouillon cube following suit in 1912.
The brand was first integrated into non-European kitchens by way of company consultants, or “flavor experts,” who were hired by Knorr to tailor the brand to different markets. Thanks to its low cost and ease of use, the bouillon caught on quickly. By the early 2000s, Knorr had expanded to nearly 90 countries. Today, Knorr sells 600 bouillon cubes per second globally.
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How to Use Knorr Chicken Bouillon
Use Knorr bouillon as you would any salty, flavorful seasoning.
- Stir it directly into soups, stews, or sauces for extra richness, or dissolve a few cubes in hot water for a stock replacement.
- Add a pinch to rice or noodle dishes for a golden hue, or sprinkle into taco filling, meat dishes, or hearty vegetable sides for a savory hit.
- Or go bold as the experts do; bring some bouillon to the table and crumble it straight over cooked dishes.
No matter the application, this powerhouse seasoning is worth having on hand to elevate your cooking game.