How To Make Vegetable Broth with Scraps

by Erin

Reduce your food waste by saving vegetable scraps in your freezer to make your own homemade vegetable broth!

How to Make Vegetable Broth From Scraps

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I hate food waste. I try very hard to plan meals around what needs to be used up first, freezing anything that can be frozen if needed, and finding new purposes for leftovers. But even when I am the most diligent there are still bits of waste that could be of use still.

I’m talking about all the scraps that arise from peeling and chopping vegetables for various recipes or general eating. Sure it may not seem like much, but we have not purchased our own vegetable broth (or poultry stock) because we make our own out of the scraps!

We do have a composter but not all food scraps should be pigeon-holed into one role, at least not at first. Instead, start a new habit to celebrate #NationalStopFoodWasteDay and save those vegetable scraps in a gallon sized zip-top freezer bag until it is stuffed full.

Frozen Vegetable Scraps

Things that you should save for vegetable broth include: onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, tomato, squash guts, mushroom stems, garlic skins, and herb stems (parsley, rosemary, thyme).

However, these should not go into your broth: stems from leafy greens, zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, potato, and beets. Basically, no starchy veggies. Save those scraps for the compost pile.

When you are ready, all you need are bay leaves, water, and a large stock pot. Once processed, you can can the broth or freeze it until you are ready to use it. And those boiled vegetables? Now you can toss them into the composter!

Making Vegetable Broth From Scraps

National Stop Food Waste Day

Vegetable Scraps Broth

Four years ago: Bacon and Vegetable PizzaBacon and Vegetable Pizza

Five years ago: Sourdough Pretzel Bagels

Six years ago: Avocado Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

Seven years ago: Spring Salsa

Nine years ago: Funfetti Month Recipe Round-Up

Making Vegetable Broth From Scraps


Yield: 4 quarts Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


1 gallon bag of frozen vegetable scraps

  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Bell pepper
  • Tomato
  • Squash guts
  • Mushroom stems
  • Garlic skins
  • Herb stems (parsley, rosemary, thyme)

2 bay leaves

4 quarts (1 gallon/16 cups) of water


  1. In a gallon sized zip-top freezer bag, save vegetable scraps.
  2. Once full, empty into a large stock pot, plus bay leaves and water (or enough to cover).
  3. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 1 hour.
  4. Strain vegetable scraps and discard (can compost). Pour broth into jars and process for canning (or freeze until ready to use).


Vegetables NOT to use: stems from leafy greens, zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, potato, beets. You can add meat bones to make beef or poultry stock.

Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: Inspired by Plant Brat.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see!

Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE

How to Make Vegetable Broth with Scraps #reducewaste #foodwaste #broth

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Paulina November 5, 2023 - 10:21 pm

Loved this Erin! Thank you. Do you need to refrigerate? If so, how long is it safe to keep refrigerated?

Erin November 6, 2023 - 9:31 am

I always can mine so I am not 100% certain. I would say 2 weeks or you can freeze it.

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Susan April 29, 2020 - 11:49 am

Thank you for posting this, it’s very helpful. I’m curious as to why to not use broccoli or cauliflower or other cruciferous veggies. I get not using the starchy ones and beets. Is it the strong flavor?

Erin April 29, 2020 - 12:07 pm

Yes they will make the broth taste bitter.

Rebekah @ Making Miracles April 29, 2020 - 10:42 am

THANK YOU for this reminder. I am SO bad about this… I hate throwing all those peels and odds and ends away, but forget that you can just save them in the freezer until you’re ready and use them for broth!! I am going to remember this next time it’s veg prep in my kitchen!

Erin April 29, 2020 - 11:18 am

Hooray I am happy to be a reminder! It’s so easy, I just pull out the bag anytime I am chopping, toss them in and back in the freezer it goes!

Wendy Klik April 29, 2020 - 10:29 am

Making your own stocks and broth is a great habit to get into. So much better and less expensive than the commercial stuff.

Erin April 29, 2020 - 11:19 am

Absolutely! Whenever we get a rotisserie chicken we make chicken stock too.


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