Ingredients and notes
- Vegetable scraps- carrot peels, vegetable stalks, onion skin, the end part of red peppers and tomatoes, mushroom stems and peels, tops of leeks/carrots/sweet potatoes, stems from leafy greens (like kale or spinach), etc.
- Salt. It's optional, but I do like to salt my broth for more flavor.
- Herbs. You can add fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, or cilantro. For dried herbs, I like to add a few bay leaves.
- Tomato puree, about 1 tablespoon for deep umami flavor. Optional.
What to avoid
- Citrus peels and herbs with tough stems. They're bitter and don't provide much flavor.
- Strong tasting vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.
- Hot peppers. I don't recommend making your broth spicy, because it's less versatile to use.
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes. They'll release starch into the broth, and again, don't provide much flavor.
How to make vegetable broth from scraps
Let the broth cool enough to handle (10-15 minutes) and strain into another pot or into a bowl.
At this point, you can season with salt if desired. Then, transfer broth into jars and it's ready to use!
Freeze scraps to make broth later. This is my go-to tip for you! Whenever you are cooking and you are left with a bunch of peels, stems, etc., simply transfer them to a bag and freeze them for later. I like to use reusable bags to avoid waste.
Simmer it for at least 1 hour. With broth, the longer you cook it, the deeper the flavor gets. You can go as long as 3 hours.
If you have any vegetables that may be going bad, throw them in! That's a great way to use vegetables that you forgot or couldn't cook when they were fresh.
Be sure to wash your scraps very well before using them.
How do I store it?
You can store it in the fridge for 5-6 days. For longer life, freeze it up to 6 months.
Is vegetable stock the same as vegetable broth?
Yes. These two are the same thing, so if a recipe calls for vegetable stock you can use your homemade vegetable broth!
Can vegetable broth be substituted for chicken broth?
Yes, you can use it in place of chicken broth, but I recommend spicing it up a little bit by adding 1 tablespoon soy sauce. This will provide flavor and richness.
Can you make it in the Instant Pot?
Yes! Add everything into the Instant Pot and place the lid. Press the Manual button and cook for 30 minutes. Then, allow for slow natural release. Strain the broth and it's ready to use.
Can you freeze it?
Yes! This broth freezes well and keeps for a few months in the fridge. I always make a big batch and freeze it for later so I can have it on hand at any time.
Ways to Use Vegetable Broth
Easy Homemade Vegetable Broth From Scraps
- Soup pot
- 1 gallon-sized freezer bag of vegetable scraps
- 10-12 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- A small handful of fresh herbs such as thyme, cilantro, or parsley* (optional)
- In a medium pot, add vegetable scraps, water, bay leaves (optional), and any fresh herbs that you may be using. Brint to a boil and simmer over low heat for 1-3 hours.
- Once ready, let broth cool for 10-15 minutes, then strain into another pot.
- Add salt and mix. Divide between containers/jars. Let cool completely before storing in a refrigerator, where it lasts for 5 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. Use for soups, curries, sauces, and more!