How to Make Vegetable Stock

Learn how to make vegetable stock! Perfect for using in soups, sauces, risottos, and more, this homemade broth is super flavorful and easy to make.

How to make vegetable stock

The other day, I was making vegetable stock with veggie odds and ends I’d accumulated throughout the week. As I stood in the kitchen, savoring the delicious aroma wafting from my stock pot, I realized that I had yet to share my method for how to make vegetable broth on the blog. I have over 80(!!) soup recipes on here, and another soup season is right around the corner. Suffice it to say, this vegetable stock recipe is long overdue.

I’m so excited to share it today because I believe that vegetable stock is something that everyone can and should make at home. It’s unbelievably easy and cheap, and it tastes SO much better than any broth you’d find at the store. Don’t worry – I’ll never blame you for reaching for store bought broth when that’s the most convenient option (I still use it sometimes too!). But whenever you do make your own, the extra time and effort will always be worth it.

Leeks, onions, bay leaves, celery, carrots, garlic, parsley, and thyme

Vegetable Stock Recipe Ingredients

I have two methods for how to make vegetable broth. The first starts with fresh, aromatic veggies. I use

  • onions,
  • garlic,
  • carrots,
  • celery,
  • and herbs like thyme and parsley.

Then, to give the broth even more depth of flavor, I add salt, whole peppercorns, leek tops, and bay leaves.

Vegetable scraps on a cutting board with knife

In the second method, I use vegetable scraps instead of the vegetables themselves. This method keeps these veggie odds and ends from going to waste, and it yields a super tasty broth. As it turns out, the parts of vegetables that we normally toss are actually packed with flavor.

All sorts of scraps can contribute to a flavorful stock. Here are a few that work especially well:

  • leek tops,
  • fennel fronds,
  • carrot tops,
  • herb stems,
  • corn cobs,
  • mushroom stems,
  • scallion roots or tops,
  • onion skins and ends,
  • and garlic skins and ends.

Steer clear of veggie scraps from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, or cauliflower, as they can make your stock bitter.

Tip: Keep a freezer bag or container of veggie scraps in your freezer and add to it whenever you cook. When you have about 6 cups of frozen scraps, it’s time to make veggie stock!

How to make vegetable broth - chopped veggies in a large pot with water

How to Make Vegetable Broth

Whether you’re using whole vegetables or vegetable scraps, making homemade vegetable broth is incredibly easy.

  • First, wash the vegetables well. You don’t want to simmer any dirt or sand in your stock!
  • Next, chop them. The shape isn’t important – you just need to break them down enough so that they fit neatly in your pot.
  • Then, simmer. Add the vegetables to a large pot with the salt, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Add 10-12 cups of water and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
  • Finally, strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer to remove the vegetables and peppercorns.

That’s it!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

3 jars of vegetable stock

Storing and Using Homemade Vegetable Stock

Allow the stock to cool to room temperature. Then, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze it for several months. (Psst! When you have a stash of homemade vegetable stock in your freezer, it’s just as convenient as the store bought kind!)

Use the homemade stock as you would any veggie broth – in recipes for stuffing, gravy, pasta sauce, and risotto, and, of course, soup. Find my favorite soup recipes below.

Vegetable stock recipe

Favorite Soup Recipes

Once you make this vegetable broth recipe, try using it in one of these soups:

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Vegetable Stock

rate this recipe:
4.98 from 36 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves 8
Once you learn how to make vegetable broth, you'll never get the store-bought kind again! It's easy, cheap, and super flavorful, perfect for making soups, sauces, and more.


  • 2 medium onions, halved
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 to 2 medium celery stalks, chopped
  • Leek or fennel tops, chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 10 to 12 cups filtered water


  • Place the onions, carrots, celery, leek tops, garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper and water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat (If 12 cups of water won’t fit in your pot, you can use 10). Reduce the heat and simmer gently, covered, for 1 hour.
  • Strain and discard the vegetables. Season to taste and use in your favorite soup recipes.


Note: I often like to use all vegetable scraps to make my stock (leek tops, fennel tops, carrot tops, scallion tops, herb scraps, and herb stems). 6 loose-packed cups of roughly chopped veg scraps can be used in place of the vegetables listed in the recipe above.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. amy

    5 stars
    I often make veggie stock from scraps using this recipe. I like to freeze it in one-up cubes so it’s easy to grab exactly what I need. I saw these freezer trays in Real Simple magazine- like ice cube trays only there are four one-cup rectangles per tray. I forget what they’re called but exactly what I needed for freezing stock.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Amy, do you mean Souper Cubes? They’re the best! So glad you’re enjoying the stock recipe too.

  2. Lainey

    5 stars
    Hey Jeanine.

    Finally trying your recipe for stock – it looked so gorgeous in the pot before adding the water I took a pic. So excited that my pot held 12 cups so I now have 3 mason jars ready to freeze for my next batch(s) of fall soup. I used some scrapes (fennel, leeks) I basically cleaned out the veggie drawer with what is left from the fall markets. I used pretty much everything you listed and it smelled so good in my house all afternoon. I’ve been buying Organic (reduced salt) stock for years and like everything the price is just getting stupid. expensive. This yielded 12 cups and I think for maybe a few dollars using scraps. Can’t wait to try it my next soup.
    PS – Also inspired by the stocks in your new book, I just had more ingredients for this version.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lainey, I’m so happy to hear that you’ve been so inspired by the stocks!

  3. Betsy

    I’m new to making my own stock but I’ve already figured out to use whatever I have and no matter what, it will taste better than anything from the grocery store. Also a great way not to waste veggies that are getting “tired”.

  4. terry

    Why dont you use the vegetables after making the stock? I need minestrone soup and all these vegs go in it……

    • Miquela

      This sounds like a great idea. Have you tried it?

    • Miquela

      Have you tried it, & if so, how did it go? Also wondering how to use the leftover vegetables but can’t find any minestrone recipes that use leftovers from making vegetable broth.

    • Joe

      The vegetables will be flavorless mush after boiling. The point of the recipe is to extract the flavors from the veggies so make a tasty stock. Sure, you CAN eat them, but it won’t taste good.

  5. LJ in PA

    Would kohlrabi greens work also?

    • Miquela

      Any vegetable from the cabbage family can make your broth bitter.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.