Vegetable Stock with Kitchen Scraps


Nothing beats homemade vegetable broth, and this recipe is as easy as it gets! Just start with a gallon-size sealable plastic bag containing the onions, celery and carrots and pop it in the freezer. Over time, add your vegetable scraps to the bag and once it's full, place the contents in a pot, add water and some spices and simmer away. It's a great way to reduce food waste and have delicious homemade broth ready whenever you need it. For the clearest and most flavorful stock, simmer gently--and don't stir.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 10 mins
6 cups


  • 2 large onions, quartered

  • 1 stalk celery, cut into thirds

  • 1 medium carrot, cut into thirds

  • About 6 cups well washed trimmings from vegetable and herbs, such as mushrooms, tomatoes, fennel, potatoes, sweet potatoes, leeks, bell peppers, butternut squash, garlic, kale, chard, thyme, basil, parsley, sage, etc. (see Note)

  • 8 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Place onions, celery and carrot in a gallon-size sealable plastic bag and place in the freezer. Add vegetable and herb trimmings until the bag is filled.

  2. Place the vegetable-herb mixture in a large pot. Add water (add more, if needed to cover vegetables), peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring to boil; reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer, partially covered, without stirring, until the vegetables are very soft and the liquid is golden brown, about 2 hours.

  3. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. Carefully pour the liquid through the strainer to collect the solids and any grit at the bottom of the pan. Press the vegetables into the strainer to extract any liquid. Let cool, then refrigerate or freeze for future use.


Note: While most herbs and vegetables work well in stock, some may give it an off or bitter flavor. Avoid cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Make sure your vegetables pieces are the size of a quartered onion, or smaller, so they have enough time to cook. When adding herbs go light on ones with stronger flavors like rosemary and sage.

To make ahead: Refrigerate cooled stock in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

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