Homemade Vegetable Broth

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I have recently started making my own homemade vegetable broth for a few reasons.  First, most commercial vegetable broths are laden with MSG and other scary additives.  The only decent brand I have found was Pacific Organic.  You can read more about my comparisons of soup broth here.  Making your own homemade vegetable broth is easier than you would think.   The best part?  Homemade vegetable broth costs nothing because you use all the veggie odds and ends that you would normally throw away.

broth 1

This is the bag I keep in the freezer.  I just throw all kinds of veggie scraps in there and wait until I get a decent amount.  The tomatoes I had in my fridge, but they were almost on their way out, so I threw them in as well.

broth 2

 Homemade Vegetable Broth

Homemade Vegetable Broth

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours

Homemade Vegetable Broth


  • There really isn’t a recipe, per say.  Just a method.  You can throw in any combination of vegetables and it will work.

In this case, I had cabbage, tomatoes, celery, green onions, garlic and broccoli.  I also threw in some sea salt and a bay leaf for extra flavor.  I threw everything in a pot and filled with water.  On the stove, I brought it to a boil and then turned down to low, covered it and let it simmer for 6 hours.  Most of the veggies break down in the long cooking process.  When it’s done, strain it into a bowl.  If you like a chunky broth, you can puree what is left of the veggies and throw them back in.  I strained mine and this is what I had at the end.

I made about 10-12 cups of broth.  About enough for 3 large soups.  I just store it in the freezer in serving size containers so I just pull out what I need.  That’s it.  Super easy.


78 thoughts on “Homemade Vegetable Broth

  1. LOVE THIS!!! I hate buying vegetable broth, but it is all I use when I make soups, risotto, etc. Thanks so much for sharing, can’t wait to make a batch!!!!

  2. I use an electric pressure cooker and it cuts down cooking time to a fraction of the 6 hours you simmered it for. 15-20 min under high pressure depending upon the type of veggies I have in my scrap bag. Kale means a little longer :) !!! In the summer when my herb garden is flourishing I like to also through in a few good sized bunches of whatever fresh herbs I have on hand. I don’t grow my own cilantro but the stems all go in my stock bag whenever I buy a bunch!! I never buy broth at the store anymore :)

  3. thank you thank you thank you SO VERY much. There are sooo many young people who desperately NEED this very type of information…you’re changin the world girlie, one at a time :) Keep up the GREAT work!

  4. oooh see now i read full blog and recipes details its very cheap and easy to make in our kitchen
    i will try tonight and then come to you


  5. I use Leek, carrots, onions, parsley, celeriac ( gives an incredible unami flavor…not celery but celeriac-ugly but yummy!) and parsley root. I chop the veggies up and sear them in the bottom of a big heavy pot with a touch of oil-until yummy flavors a released and you can “scrape them a bit” off the bottom of the pot. Then I add wAter and simmer for a few hours. If I do a beef stock I sear it with the veggies really well then I add water. Do same for chicken. Searing really provides the aroma. I use very little salt. Adding bay leaf and thyme,rosemary in a sort of bouqet garni is also a nice touch. Fenugreek or savory is also awesome…be adventuresome :)

  6. Great tips! I love making my own broth.. It feels good to not only to save all those onion peels and veggie scraps for an extra use instead of putting them right in the trash, but to be using broth that you know is fresh and clean!!

  7. I juice almost daily..Can I use the leftover pulp form juicing for the vegie broth ??/ When I juice I do throw in a apple, does this matter..??

    1. I have never tried, but I suppose you could. I would love to know if it works. The apple might add a slight sweetness to it.

  8. I would love to let you know how it turns out with the leftover pulp from my juice machine..Also, how long would you recommend the broth stay frozen? I make alot of soup in the fall and winter months, I do not want the broth to go bad in my freezer if I make the individual broths now and make some of the soups in sept

    1. It should keep well for at least six months. Mine has never stayed in the freezer longer than four, but I am guessing 6 would be fine too.

  9. I do the same thing, except I throw my frozen veggie scraps in a crockpot and cover them with water. I usually do this before I go to bed. In the morning, it’s ready to strain and cool. Wonderful broth with absolutely no effort!

    1. I have made it in the crock pot as well. The crock pot we own is smaller, so lately, I have been making it on the stove. I love that this recipe pretty much costs nothing and calls for no waste!

  10. This is a really great idea!!! Not only do you avoid throwing good veggies out but you can put in those you would normally throw out like lettuce.

  11. My homemade broth is really expanding :) I toss in potato peels (GOOD idea to wash all thse before peeling), both sweet and white, radish green’s, fennel fronds etc. The freezer’s always full of baggies with veg. scraps since I’ve learned your “how to”! :) Hey…would you mind sharing what type of dehydrator you purchased? thats on my list, as well as a GOOD water purifier. Any thoughts? Thanks again!

    1. Radish Greens? What kind of flavor does that add? I just composted a whole bunch of them, I wish I would have read this post sooner!! Thanks for the tip!!!

      1. I love to make broth in the crock pot. I usually start it after dinner and let it go while we sleep. Also I learned you can keep the broth going, it’s good for more than making one batch. :)

    1. I have done it in the crockpot and it works beautifully! I throw everything in in the morning, put on low before I go to work and when I get home, voila! A great aroma in my home and lots of vegetable broth to freeze.

    1. I don’t thing so. I have never heard of using it that way. I usually make the broth when I know I will be home all day.

  12. I am going to make some this weekend. Can you use the veggie stock instead of chicken stock in recipes? Or do you think it would mess with the flavor?

  13. @Caroline
    Searing the veggies, and/or any meats, etc. Makes a world of difference in FLAVOR in broths finished flavor. Oh….SCRAPE that pan!!! Right?? Even though I filter all the liquid, it plays a HUGE part in overall flavor. I learned that trick from 2 different chefs. One when I was 17. One when I was 40. Mmmmmm.

  14. Great idea! Most broths I’ve seen are recipes — “must use this, must use that”. I never considered just using whatever I had on hand and storing odds and ends in the freezer until I had enough. Thanks!

  15. Thanks so much! Would you believe that I was looking for a way to make my own broth just 2 days ago, but haven’t had the time to look up the process. I hate MSG in the packaging. WHYYYY do they do that to us? Thank you, again. I will be doing my own broth from now, on.

  16. Have you ever made this in your crockpot overnight on low? I make my chicken stock in the crockpot overnight after I make a whole chicken (I use the leftover chicken bones and some veggies from the freezer like you do). When I wake up in the morning it smells like Thanksgiving in my house. I love it! Plus it cuts down on the time my stove is on during the day.

  17. does it matter what ratio of left over veg to water? — i love this idea as all veg stocks you buy are loaded in sodium – even the low sodium brands :(

  18. I just made some this week! I usually throw it in the slow cooker overnight on low. By the morning it’s good to go if I need it for that day. Otherwise I strain it, let it cool then pour into ice cube trays to freeze before throwing the cubes into the bag. I find myself not remembering to take the broth out of the freezer in enough time to properly thaw and end up having to cut the bag. Having them in ice cub pieces makes it easy to pull out and melts much quicker.

  19. Many, many years ago, around the turn of the 19th century, a basic part of any kitchen was the stock pot simmering on the back of the stove. Into this pot went all the veggie scraps. Anytime the cook needed broth for anything, it was readily available. Because most stoves at that time were woodburning, this burner was always on a low heat. Nice to see we are coming back around to something that was so common to our ancestors.

  20. I wonder what the leftover pulp that my juicer leaves behind would be like if I saved it up and boiled it down for a few hours, do you think it would work as a stock, seems a waste to throw it away and I could do with making my own veg stock, what do you think x

      1. Thanks for that, lots of ideas to try. Made your overnight oats with almond butter and chocolate last night, I love it, I put some ground pistachios in it too! Love your website x

  21. I almost never buy stock. I make it regularly and then freeze 2-3 bags for a quick meal. While i agree that a stock is more about the method than recipe, i have a couple of staples that i always have in the fridge for use in broth/stock. Here they are:
    – Parsnip – gives an incredible flavor. I put one small/med. or a half of a large one;
    – Carrots – give color – flavor-sweetness. I put 1 or 2.
    – Roasted onion. As i start cooking, i put one onion in a toaster onion without peeling it. Bake on 350-400F for about 20-30′, then peel and put the entire thing in the boiling pot. Gives color and flavor.
    – I am a HUGE fan of thyme and always have is in my freezer. a couple of twigs give a beautiful aroma.
    – Celery – 2-3 stalks. I actually freeze ends-leaves and use those too.

    These are my main ingredients that i always use in a stock. Everything else – optional :)

    Melissa, thank you so much for the incredible site! I greatly appreciate that the site is friendly to non-vegetarians who like to eat healthy. I tried a bunch of recipes and will continue to follow your wonderful site!

  22. I have been collecting scraps in my freezer so I can make this. How much is “a decent amount”. I mean, how do I know when I have enough scraps that it will turn out alright and not too watery?

  23. Love all the ideas and can’t wait to make my first batch. . . my question is about storage/freezing containers. What works best?

  24. This may be a dumb question, but could you use avocado? put that in the freezer bag? Or how about the core of red/green peppers with the seeds? I dont know if the seeds would add any flavor, but would it do any harm tossing it into the freezer bag too? I usually toss these scraps into the compost, but what a great way to use them!

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