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Recipes/ Sauces & Condiments/ Tips & Hints/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

How to Make Vegetable Broth (With Kitchen Scraps!)

Vegetable Broth Made with Kitchen Scraps
How To Make Vegetable Broth with Kitchen Scraps

Making vegetable broth is one of those things that’s really easy to do, but I bet most of us don’t do it. Or, at least, don’t do it often.

I use vegetable broth in a lot of my recipes, but I’ll be honest, I often use store-bought broth. But I shouldn’t because making your own vegetable broth is so, so easy. And you know what else? It tastes so much better too.

Unlike meat-based broths, there’s no skimming off fat or any of that ickiness. You don’t need to keep the pot on the stove for hours either. But it does require a little bit of advance planning. It also requires these three things:

Onions + Celery + Carrots

Onions (or a member of the onion family–leeks or shallots work too), celery, and carrots. That’s your starting point, but from there, you can tailor your broth to what you’re going to be using it for.

Add sprigs of thyme and parsley to make a cooking liquid for rice and other grains. If you’re going to be using the broth as a base for an Asian-inspired soup (like this Thai Red Curry Soup), try adding fresh ginger and lemongrass.

Bag of Vegetable Scraps

Now, back to that thing I said about advance planning! You can buy whatever you want for your broth, chop it all up, and put it in your stockpot. But I’m cheap and it kills my soul a little to think about throwing away all those perfectly good veggies.

It’s bad enough I have to throw away the onions, celery, and carrots!

So instead of buying what I need, I collect scraps in a freezer bag and when I have a few cups worth, I use them to make broth. Here’s what I used in this particular batch:

Frozen Scraps for Vegetable Broth

But really, you can use so many different things. You do want to stay away from cruciferous veggies–no cabbage, no broccoli, no cauliflower, and for the love of all things holy, no brussels sprouts–because they can leave bitter flavors in your broth.

Make sure everything you use is clean too–you don’t want to make dirt soup!

And remember, there’s a difference between things you don’t want to eat vs. things you shouldn’t eat. Clean carrot peel is fine in a broth or stock; a moldy carrot is not.

Vegetable Broth Made with Kitchen Scraps

Oh, and speaking of stock! Have you ever wondered the difference between vegetable broth and stock? Broth is seasoned, while stock is not.

So this recipe can be used for both vegetable broth or stock. To make stock, skip adding salt and pepper at the end.


Vegetable Broth Recipe

Basic Vegetable Broth

Don't throw away those vegetable scraps! Use them to make your own delicious vegetable broth instead. It's easy and it's so much cheaper than buying broth at the grocery store.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, French, Italian
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: how to make vegetable stock, vegetable broth recipe, vegetable stock recipe
Servings: 6 cups
Calories: 55kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 onions large, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery chopped
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 8 cups water
  • frozen vegetable scraps 2-3 cups is a good amount
  • 2 bay leaves
  • parsley a few sprigs
  • thyme a few sprigs
  • salt and pepper to taste, omit if you are making stock


  • Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic, onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the water, frozen vegetable scraps, bay leaves, parsley, and thyme. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes.
  • Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a large heat-proof bowl or pot; discard solids.
  • Once the broth has cooled, transfer it to airtight plastic containers or freezer bags and store it in the freezer. (I usually freeze it in 2-cup portions so I don't have to thaw all the broth every time I use it.)


Calories: 55kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 55mgPotassium: 213mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 5188IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

This post was originally published on January 8, 2013.

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  • Reply
    March 31, 2019 at 5:11 am

    5 stars
    Delicious and easy

  • Reply
    April 6, 2019 at 12:14 am

    5 stars
    This is really a great recipe. I will make this at the next chance i get.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2019 at 2:13 am

    5 stars
    That recipe looks so yummy! I’ll have to try that one. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      December 9, 2020 at 3:01 pm

      5 stars
      It is delicious indeed!

  • Reply
    Joshua Howard
    July 24, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Thank you for sharing the recipe! I have a question. Can I make it without olive oil?

  • Reply
    September 21, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    5 stars
    I made the broth this morning . then I found this post and guess what I put eight cups of kale in it I pretty sure I should throw it out and start over ! Any advice

  • Reply
    February 27, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    4 stars
    WTF!?! — FROZEN vegetable scraps? You can’t use fresh vegetable scraps? They have to be frozen first? And no fresh vegetables of any sort? And no dried herbs?

    • Reply
      December 3, 2020 at 8:57 pm

      Lmao… My goodness, Karen. I want to start by saying ai love your dramatic use of “WTF?!” and subsequent ineptitude to understand that the frozen veggie scraps are from previously prepared meals. People like you really provide for some great internet entertainment.

    • Reply
      Stacie Roberts
      December 6, 2020 at 9:21 pm

      So I don’t need to use cut up vegetables just the scrap, but make sure that they are frozen..

    • Reply
      Just Susan
      December 28, 2020 at 7:22 pm

      So the idea is, when you are cooking… like BEFORE you even approach cooking this recipe, save the veggie scraps. like mushroom stems, celery and onion tops and bottoms, carrot and potato peels, extra parsley or rosemary. Freeze them use them LATER to make your stock or broth.

    • Reply
      February 8, 2021 at 3:11 pm

      Hi so what I did was as use fresh vegetable scraps that I had frozen till I had enough to make the broth. That way you have less waste and get more usage out of your veggies! I hope this helps!

  • Reply
    April 5, 2020 at 4:31 am

    Hi do you get flavor or color from onion skins? ive never thought of using them in stock.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    In making the homemade food for my 2 dachshunds, I am left with a huge amount (close to 24 oz of broth) from green beans, carrots, green peas & chopped broccoli. While I do want to freeze some broth, I am wondering if I could can it as well. Have you ever canned your broth? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated, thank you…Cynthia W.

  • Reply
    December 16, 2020 at 11:18 am

    5 stars
    I’ve been saving my vegetable scraps for years. Some go to compost, but the rest go into a ziplock in the freezer, when it gets full, I make broth. Normally I add some dry herbs or clip off some thyme or rosemary from the garden. After broth cools pour into ziplock and freeze flat.

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