Vegetable Stock from Scraps

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Making Vegetable Stock is super easy, money-saving, and smart. Check out how simple it can be!

cutting board with vegetable scraps and knife

Vegetable scraps make great veggie stock

Rather than waste all those veggie scraps–leek greens, cabbage cores, green onion tops, celery ends, carrot tops, zucchini and squash ends, broccoli stalks, ugly potato pieces, crushed garlic, etc.–why not make your own vegetable stock from scraps? Saves money and you know exactly what’s in there.

veggie scraps in pot for making broth
Instead of throwing out those scraps, use them to make veggie broth.

Saving vegetable scraps for broth

During the weeks, as I’m chopping veggies, I save all the scraps in a gallon size freezer bag and keep them in my freezer.

Below is a bag I just started with baby carrots that were on the verge of going bad and the outer leaves of Napa cabbage that had those brown spots on them.

Vegetable Stock from Scraps. veggie scraps in freezer bag
Collect scraps and store them in a gallon-sized freezer bag until needed.

Full bag means stock-making time

When the bag gets full, I know it’s time to make homemade broth. I dump the scraps into a large stockpot and fill it with water and spices like:

  • 2 bay leaves
  • tarragon
  • Italian seasoning (oregano, parsley, basil, etc.)
  • Worcestershire sauce (without anchovies)
  • or any seasonings you like

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

Vegetable Stock from Scraps. spices
There are many different flavoring options to choose from.

Use whatever spices you like, but remember, so it can be used in many different recipes, don’t get too crazy.

Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Allow to cool, then strain out veggie scraps in a colander and large bowl.

Another great idea is to do this in a CrockPot and allow it to cook on low all day.

Vegetable Stock from Scraps. straining
Strain veggie scraps from broth and discard the cooked scraps.

Salt is a big thing when comparing the taste of homemade broth to store-bought. The prepackaged versions are loaded with salt and have about 600 mg of sodium per one-cup serving, which is nearly 1/2 of the recommended daily allowance.

Store broth in refrigerator or freezer

Pour into mason jars and keep in the refrigerator and/or into quart-size freezer bags to store in the freezer.

One batch makes 4 quarts of broth, so I usually pour into 2-quart mason jars and 2-quart freezer bags. I use this broth for many purposes, and add salt and more seasonings while I’m cooking, depending on what I’m using it in.

Uses for vegetable broth

  • stir fry veggies in, instead of oil
  • add to hummus, instead of plain water
  • add to salsas
  • stock for soups
  • add to sauces and dips, when needing to thin out
homemade veggie broth stored in mason jars
Store in mason jars and/or freezer bags.

Recipes that use vegetable stock as an ingredient

Vegetable broth ice cubes

Ice cube trays can also be used if you would like to be able to pull out approximately 1 Tbsp at a time for sauteing.

Just pour the veggie stock into trays and freeze. When they are solid, pop the cubes out and store in a freezer bag for easy use. So simple and handy!

homemade veggie broth in ice trays
An ice cube is about 1 Tbsp of veggie broth.

I love the idea of not wasting scraps and making my own stock! Saves money, and I know exactly what’s in my broth, unlike the bought brands.

Homemade Vegetable Bouillon Powder

Another great option is this easy vegetable bouillon powder that is a great way to add incredible flavor to those soups, casseroles, and veggie dishes. It is super quick and simple to make in only minutes and also makes a terrific vegetable broth substitute.

vegetable bouillon powder in a glass jar with lid on a white wooden table
Homemade Vegetable Bouillon Powder. Click the photo to see the recipe.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

Veggie stock
4.75 from 8 votes

Vegetable Stock from Scraps

Rather than waste all those veggie scraps–leek greens, cabbage cores, green onion tops, carrot tops, zucchini and squash ends, broccoli stalks, ugly potato pieces, etc.–why not make your own vegetable stock from scraps? Saves money and you know exactly what’s in there.
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 5 quarts

Ingredients 

  • 1 gallon freezer bag vegetable scraps
  • 5 quarts water
  • spices Italian seasoning, tarragon, bay leaf, any spices preferred

Instructions

  • Place all frozen veggie scraps in large stock pot or crock pot with water and spices and bring to a boil.
  • Turn heat down to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  • Allow to cool, then strain out veggie scraps in a colander and large bowl.
  • Pour into mason jars and keep in the refrigerator and/or into quart-size freezer bags to store in freezer.
  • Ice trays are great for freezing 1 Tbsp portion sizes. 

Video

Notes

Salt is a big thing when comparing homemade broth to store-bought. The prepackaged versions are loaded with salt and have about 600 mg of sodium per one-cup serving, which is nearly 1/2 of the recommended daily allowance.
Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

Nutrition

Calories: 23kcal | Fat: 0.3g

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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17 Comments

  1. The strained out veggies are then thrown out after? Or can they be used as fiber for let’s say, muffins or blended in spaghetti sauce?

  2. Should I be worried about making sure these pieces are very clean if I am using them for this purpose? I buy organic product for the most part.

  3. Would you use the pulp from juicing vegetables? Straining would be a pain, but a good use if you juice occasionally!

    1. Sure! The pulp would make good broth too. You’re right that straining might be a pain, but the flavor and nutritional value would be the same.

  4. I also dislike wasting all the stems and ends and cores of veggies. I have no way to compost so saving for broth is the next best option…or maybe it’s the first best. I make broth every month or two and since I have a pressure canner I bottle it up into pint jars and process it so it is shelf stable. Usually end up with 10 quarts total.

  5. Is there anything that you wouldn’t put in? I know some people use onion peel amongst other things. Will anything taint the broth or put the taste off?

    1. Kirsten, I wouldn’t use the outer skin (brittle part) of the onion. Other than that, I can’t think of any others.

  6. I am seriously going to do this! How much water should I put into the pot, though, to be able to have 4 quarts after it’s done?

    Thanks for all your work – I have been following your blog (newsletter) and facebook for a while now and love it!

    1. Hi Jennifer, I put approximately 5 quarts in the pot for veggie broth. Thanks so much for following!

  7. You can use the onion skins and other peelings, just not too much of broccoli or cabbage because it gets too strong. Homemade broth is so much better than store bought and when it’s cooking makes your house smell wonderful

    1. Hi Adele- Approximately 1 tsp each of the spices and a couple of bay leaves should work just fine. The amount of veggie scraps used in this will vary greatly, so the measurements are just estimates. Salt can also be used, but I usually just wait until I’m cooking and add it to the recipe I’m working on.

  8. Hi forgive my ignorance, but can you please clarify your statement; “during the weeks, as I’m chopping veggies, I save all the scraps in a gallon size freezer bag and keep them in my freezer”. Are you removing / replacing the bag in and out of the freezer as you’re collecting the scraps throughout the week(s)?

    Thank you
    Neal

    1. Hi Neal–That’s correct. As I chop vegetables, I add the scraps to a freezer bag that I keep in my freezer. When it’s full, I make a batch of veggie broth. Hope this helps. 

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