Make Vegetable Broth Without Buying Anything

Posted on Jan 27 2011 - 3:16am by Mike Lieberman

You can make this simple recipe without buying a single ingredient. You will just be using what you were going to toss out.

What you need to do is start to save your vegetable scraps and store them in the freezer. This includes any or all of the following:

  • Carrot tops
  • Beet tops
  • Veggies or herbs that were starting to go bad
  • Kale stems
  • Onion skins
  • Celery leaves
  • The bottom part of celery
  • Pretty much any vegetable scrap

When you are ready to make the broth

  • Pull the food scraps out of the freezer
  • Fill the pot about 1/2 to 3/4 way with the frozen veggies
  • Cover with water
  • Put on stove at a low to medium heat
  • Let it slowly boil for anywhere from 1-4 hours
  • Remove pot from stove and strain out the veggies
  • You’ll be left with the vegetable broth

That’s it. Pretty simple. Certain vegetables and herbs will lead to different flavors. Experiment and see what works best for you.


35 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Jes_divine January 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm -

    Oh I love making veg stock at home! It’s way too easy. I like adding garlic and pepper corns to mine. Last time I even added some cilantro stalks to experiment. Also, if mushroom stalks aren’t your thing, they’re good in the stock.

    Absolutely love your website! Jes @

  2. Anonymous January 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm -

    Great! y’know I bet this would work great with a crock pot 🙂

  3. Mike Lieberman January 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm -

    Thanks for the tips.

  4. Duane January 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm -

    How long with the broth last in the fridge?


  5. Mike Lieberman January 27, 2011 at 5:20 pm -

    I’m sure it certainly would.

  6. Stephanie January 27, 2011 at 6:57 pm -

    How long do the veggie scraps last in the freezer? Thanks!

  7. Anonymous January 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm -

    great idea for stuff that usually ends up in my compost.

    I freeze my stock in ice cube trays then put in a zip lock bag then you can add as required for any recipe.

  8. Mike Lieberman January 27, 2011 at 7:56 pm -

    Good call on the ice cube trays. Never thought of that one.

  9. Mike Lieberman January 27, 2011 at 7:56 pm -

    I dunno. They last a pretty long time. I’ve had mine in there for a few weeks.

  10. Mike Lieberman January 27, 2011 at 7:57 pm -

    About a week or two, but you can ration it out in ice cube trays and save it that way.

  11. Tas'. January 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm -

    I also put these veggie scraps in my bone broths. I’ve always cringed at using whole veggies in stock, when you’re going to throw it out at the end. I use the scraps to flavour the stock and then use the whole veggies in the resulting soup or whatever.

  12. Mike Lieberman January 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm -

    The only whole veggies I put in it are the ones that are starting to go bad.

  13. Junglemn January 28, 2011 at 6:15 am -

    remember all you non-culinaires out there what mike made is a broth not a stock they only difference is what ever you make if it has bone then its stock if not the its a broth also on freezing broth and stock walmart has some awesome ice tubes tray that make little rods of ice just perfect size for a water bottle oh and all the meat eaters out there this is a good way to stoart home made chkn noodle soup also if you take the boiled vegetable and throw them into a blender and puree them it makes a wonderful gaspacho(fancy word for soup from puree veggies)

  14. Mike Lieberman January 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm -

    Thanks for all the tips and explanation.

  15. Neven January 29, 2011 at 8:12 pm -

    This is such a great idea, I never thought of using vegetable scraps to make stock.

  16. Mike Lieberman January 29, 2011 at 11:48 pm -

    Stick with me, you’ll learn a lot 😉

  17. Mysterygirl January 30, 2011 at 11:52 am -

    I’m a big believer in using all parts of the vegetables and that a lot of the nutrients are right under the skin. Love this idea of using the scraps to get the most out of what has been grown/bought before it goes into the compost. Keep up all the tips, look forward to reading more!!

  18. Mike Lieberman January 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm -

    Thanks. Who needs to buy the store bought stuff?

  19. Michael Nolan February 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm -

    I save everything! Juicing leaves a lot of pulp from carrots and celery and they are great for making broth before finally going to the compost.

  20. Mike Lieberman February 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm -

    Sometimes I’ll use the veggie pulp to make crackers.

  21. Mary Ann Birchfield February 4, 2011 at 6:39 am -

    This tip takes it up another notch for me! Great idea Mike, thanks! You da man. 🙂

  22. Mike Lieberman February 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm -

    Yes Mary Ann. Yes I am. 😉

  23. kara March 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm -

    Finally have some time to cook up all the frozen veggies I’ve been saving. Thanks for the idea. I usually put the scraps in the compost bin. (I have a tumbler.)
    Now need to find some containers to store the broth in. Any ideas?

  24. Mike Lieberman March 9, 2011 at 7:53 pm -

    Glass jars, but be sure to leave an inch or two at the top when you put in the freezer. Can reuse jars that you buy applesauce, past sauce, pickles, etc.

  25. Tracie May 10, 2011 at 9:00 pm -

    Okay, this is an awesome idea! Can you share your recipe for veggie pulp crackers?

  26. Mike Lieberman May 11, 2011 at 2:53 am -

    Sure I’ll hook up that recipe too.

  27. Brittany Massey August 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm -

    Thank you!! 🙂

  28. Mike Lieberman August 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm -

    A thank you.

  29. Mike Lieberman December 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm -

    I will have to share the recipe eventually.

  30. Josh Pritchett February 12, 2012 at 7:04 pm -

    I’ve been doing this for several years. I’ll occasionally freeze some of the scraps I would usually compost until I have a gallon bag full and then make vegetable broth (and then compost the scraps). It works very nicely in the pressure cooker. 

  31. Mike Lieberman February 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm -


  32. Catherine May 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm -

    Think I can take the mushy leftovers and put then into a hole in my garden to add nutrients to the soil? That would be the ultimate in really usng your veggies!

  33. Catherine May 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm -

    Mason jars.

  34. Mike Lieberman May 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm -

    Yes. Just make sure to bury them deep otherwise rodents will get to them and it’ll attract flies.

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