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4.67 from 12 votes

Homeade Vegetable Broth from Saved Kitchen Scraps

Limp celery, carrot tops, and onion butts - oh my! Come learn how to make homemade vegetable broth from saved kitchen scraps, plus how to freeze it to save for later. It's a fantastic way to reduce waste and save money. This recipe is incredibly flexible and easy to do!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course, Soup
Keyword: freezing vegetable broth, homemade vegetable broth, vegetable broth from scraps, vegetable broth frozen scraps, vegetable broth kitchen scraps


  • Stock pot or large saucepan
  • Fine mesh strainer, cheese cloth or nut milk bag
  • Freezer-safe storage containers (if freezing extra broth)


Saved and/of Fresh Vegetable Scraps (any combination and amount)

  • garlic, and plenty of it!
  • onions, including the ends and skins
  • celery stems and greens
  • carrots and carrot tops
  • mushrooms and mushroom stems
  • potatoes and potato skins
  • tomatoes
  • fresh herbs or remnants, such as the stems - sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley, oregano, and bay leaves. Use dry herbs as needed.
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • other welcome additions include: bell peppers, cabbage, corn (and spent corn cobs), kale, swiss chard, zucchini or other summer squash, hard squash, peas, green beans, leeks, bok choy, sweet potatoes, shallots, beet tops, garlic scapes, and eggplant.
  • add any edible veggie trimmings or those that are about to go bad (e.g. limp celery, wilted basil, sprouted onions) but don’t include anything rotten or moldy in your collection.
  • use broccoli & cauliflower only in moderation

Optional, to boost flavor as needed

  • a splash of olive oil, coconut oil, or butter
  • nutritional yeast
  • canned tomatoes (paste or crushed)
  • miso paste (mixed and dissolved in water before adding)
  • concentrated vegetable bouillon


  • If using any fresh (not frozen) ingredients such as garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and herbs, saute those first. Add olive oil or butter to the bottom of your stockpot or sauce pan and cook fresh ingredients over medium-high heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add all frozen saved kitchen scraps to the pot.
  • Next, add enough water to fully cover the veggies - but only until they just start to float (able to stir freely, but not swimming in a vast sea of water)
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and partially cover the pot with a lid.
  • Simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to an hour or longer.
  • Strain broth from the solids, reserving the broth and composting the solids.
  • Store finished homemade vegetable broth in the refrigerator and enjoy within one week, OR
  • Transfer to freezer-safe containers and use within one year.