Easy Vegetable Broth
This easy vegetable broth recipe is a great kitchen staple to have in your fridge or freezer to add to all kinds of recipes. Cheaper than the boxed veggie broths you find in the store, it is also a great way to use up vegetable scraps or almost gone veggies.
Broth is an ingredient that is in so many recipes and dishes. It can be the base of a delicious soup or stew or even an oil alternative when sautéing veggies that also adds amazing flavor.
In fact, I got the idea for sharing my tried-and-true vegetable broth recipe when I went to go make a homemade Alfredo sauce that called for broth, only to realize I was totally out of my freezer stash. Luckily, this homemade vegetable broth recipe is not only seriously easy to make while you get other stuff done around the house, but it is full of fresh flavors and can be made using super basic and affordable vegetables. Having a batch of this chilling in your fridge or freezer (pun absolutely intended) can help you add flavor to a meal or whip up a quick soup with odds and ends after busy day.
Why you should make homemade broth
- Inexpensive. This broth is made of vegetables that many people have on hand on the regular or are relatively cheap to buy. Boxed broth simply can’t compete with the cost of homemade broth. Check out the price of a box of broth the next time you are at the store. Chances are, you could make one big batch of broth that would last for multiple meals/recipe for the cost of one premade box of stock.
- Better ingredients. If you are thinking about buying stock, I always encourage people to carefully read the ingredient list. Premade stocks can often have add sugar, preservatives or other additives. There are some really great quality broths out, of course, but they are usually pricy.
- Better flavor. Like anyone, I have and will use boxed vegetable broth in a pinch (I have a box in my pantry as we speak). However, the flavors between premade and homemade stocks and broths are so noticeable. Homemade broth is full of fresh flavors that premade stock just can’t compete with.
- Less waste. Our family tries to be conscience of our waste and minimize how much ends up in the trash can. Homemade broth is a wonderful way to reduce your family’s trash output, as you can make it with whatever veggie scraps (see list below of veggies to add to broth) and almost gone vegetables (think limp carrots). Plus, no packaging like store bought broth!
- Fridge and freezer friendly. Cook once and have it on hand for meals to come. I love that homemade broth is easy to store in your fridge or freezer to add to soups, stews, rice, quinoa, stir-fries, risotto and so many more things.
How to make vegetable broth in your slow cooker or crock pot
If you are in need of easy vegetable broth for dinner, but need to race off to face the day or you just have a bunch of veggies that need to be used ASAP, you can totally make this veggie stock in your slow cooker or crock pot! In fact, I often do during meal prep or when I just don’t have the time cook it on the stove top.
To make vegetable broth in your slow cooker or crock pot:
- combine all ingredients in your slow cooker/crock pot. Stir a few times to combine.
- Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
- Strain, cool and store as directed below.
Other veggies to add to your vegetable stock
The onions, carrots and celery in this recipe are the base of pretty much every stock recipe. They create the flavor that you expect broth to bring to a dish and truly can’t be replaced.
However, so many other veggies can be added to this vegetable broth recipe to reduce food waste or to jazz up the flavor to fit your family’s personal palate. Feel free to toss your veggie scraps from other meal into this stock or toss in veggies that are destined for the compost bin.
If you are looking for a little guidance about what veggies you could add to this broth, some that I personally enjoy using:
- summer squash
You will notice that I don’t suggest using cruciferous vegetables ( broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and such) as they can give your broth a strong bitter flavor.
How to store your vegetable broth
Okay, cool. You’ve skipped the store bought vegetable stock and have made your own! Oh man, and you love how easy it was! But, now you have all this stock on on your hands and have no idea how to store it until you need it.
Worry not! There are lots of different ways to store your amazing homemade veggie broth! Here are a few that I suggest:
- In a mason jar. I love mason jars for storage because they are clear (so you can see what is in them), easy to clean, portable and are fridge and often times freezer safe. This post explains how to freeze broth (or just about anything else) in a mason jar.
- In an ice cube trays or silicone molds. This method is great for if you don’t have a ton of freezer safe or like to have broth in your freezer that is easy to portion out. Once frozen, transfer the broth cubes into a jar or bag and freeze again for later use.
- In any air-tight container. If you haven’t hopped on the mason jar trend yet, you can store this broth in your fridge in any air-tight container you have for 4-5 days.
Recipes to use your vegetable broth in….
- Instant Pot Black Bean & Butternut Squash Soup
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup (+ slow cooker instructions)
- One-Pot Curry Lentil Soup
- Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
- Carrot Ginger Soup
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash + Apple Soup
Easy Vegetable Broth
- 1 tbsp olive oil, sub water if your are avoiding oil
- 1 onion, quartered, leave the peel on
- 4 carrots, roughly chopped
- 4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh herbs of choice, use whatever you have on hand or none at all if your prefer!
- 10 cups water
- stock pot
- In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the vegetables and stir a few times to coat them with oil.
- Cover and continue to cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Add the water to the vegetables and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, add garlic, bay leaves and herbs (if using). Season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Reduce heat, cover and let the stock cook at a low simmer for about 45 minutes.
- Once cook time is up, carefully strain through a fine mesh strainer. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
- Portion the vegetable broth into jars or storage containers of choice and let cool to room temperature completely before storing in your fridge for up to 5 days. If you would like to freeze your cooled broth, store in a freezer safe container with enough room for the liquid to expand as it freezes. For easy freezer storage and use, portion broth out into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once freeze, pop the broth cubes out of the tray and store in a freeze safe container to add to stir-fries, soups, rices, quinoa or however you like to use broth.