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Best Homemade Vegetable Stock Recipe!

best homemade vegetable stock
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Best Home­made Veg­etable Stock recipe. Hand’s down! With a title like that, you’d think I’d be feel­ing a lit­tle pres­sure about hav­ing to deliv­er. But you guys…this is seri­ous­ly the best veg­etable stock I have ever tast­ed. No com­par­isons. And it will be the base for so many things I cook, from soups and stews, to rice and quinoa or roasts.

I’ve hon­est­ly tried mak­ing home­made veg­etable stock in the past, but the fla­vor nev­er real­ly grabbed me. It was­n’t any dif­fer­ent than the car­tons of stock I could buy at the store. And to tell the truth, I always “doc­tor” those up when I use them. They just don’t have much flavor.

After dozens of stock pots of tri­al and error exper­i­ments, I’m hap­py to announce I have dis­cov­ered the best home­made veg­etable stock recipe. This beau­ti­ful veg­gie broth has a rich, savory fla­vor that makes you think meat, even though there isn’t any. That uma­mi is com­ing from lots of onions and gar­lic, a bit of nutri­tion­al yeast and the earth­i­ness of baby bel­la mush­rooms. Car­rots bring the sweet and the toma­toes and cider vine­gar reign them in, so there’s a per­fect bal­ance of sweet and acid. The fin­ish is an unex­pect­ed kick of gen­tle heat from some jalapeno and ginger.

The nutri­tion is off the charts, too. My home­made veg­etable broth boasts all the col­ors of the rain­bow in veg­gies, herbs and spices, so the vit­a­mins and min­er­als are all in there. 

best homemade vegetable stock

The Best Homemade Vegetable Stock Ingredients

Does It Make Economic Sense?

The great news is, it did­n’t cost me any more to make this from scratch than it costs to buy those car­tons of stock I’m used to. And if you fac­tor in every­thing I add to car­ton broth, it prob­a­bly costs a lit­tle less, to make it at home.

The rea­son this stock is so much more afford­able than meat broths is that it starts with veg­gie scraps. All the peels and car­rot tops, all the root ends of cel­ery, rub­bery zuc­chi­ni from the back of the crisper, onion skins, roots & tops, bell pep­per ends and stems and all the rest. 

Save Veggie Scraps in the Freezer

I keep a one-gal­lon zip-top bag in my fridge freez­er. I use it to col­lect all the bits and ends of veg­gies I’ve used in oth­er dish­es or ones that have got­ten too old before I get them used. When the bag is full, it’s time to make home­made veg­etable stock.

A recipe with so many pos­si­ble vari­a­tions can seem com­pli­cat­ed. Trust me! This is 10 min­utes to get every­thing into the stock pot and that’s it. I add fresh veg­eta­bles to the bits and pieces from the freez­er with a few herbs and some water. 10 min­utes of prep and then I’m off about my busi­ness. The stock pot and my stove do all the work for the next 8 hours, so I can just get on with my day.

The beau­ty of this kind of stock is you are work­ing with a few sta­ple basics and then the rest can be altered to use what you have on hand. It’s hard to call it a recipe because so many vari­ables can change, depend­ing on what’s in your pantry. And the end result, 4 beau­ti­ful quarts of stock! Yup. One whole gallon!

best homemade vegetable stock ingredients

You need 8.5 pounds of veg­gies in your stock pot [affil­i­ate link]. (That’s the link to my favorite stock pot. I’ve had it since 2003 and after two decades, it’s still going strong.) 

Of course you’re going to have a bag of odds and ends from the freez­er. Perfect! 

And you’re going to get every stray brus­sels sprout, aspara­gus spear and bell pep­per from the back of the crisper draw­er. Outstanding! 

Your home­made veg­etable stock will be a mix-up of all the favorite veg­gies that you’re used to buy­ing. But, there are some ingre­di­ents, after all my test­ing, that I would con­sid­er crit­i­cal to a great end prod­uct, above and beyond those items. To get the same results, you will need to add these.

“Must Have” Ingredients

  • Onions, at least 3 very large — I actu­al­ly used 1 large red, white and yel­low and then two more small­er red ones.
  • Gar­lic — a cou­ple Table­spoons of minced gar­lic will add to the savori­ness of your fin­ished veg­etable broth
  • Mush­rooms — I used 1 pound of baby bel­las. My guess is any “meaty”-type mush­room will do the same thing.
  • Whole Peeled or Diced toma­toes — these canned toma­toes will add col­or and nutri­tion, but they’ll essen­tial­ly “melt” away into your stock, giv­ing it body, acid and meatiness.
  • *Nutri­tion­al Yeast [affil­i­ate link] — I’ve sprung this ingre­di­ent on you in oth­er recipes. It is that kick of amped up fla­vor that many veg­gie dish­es ben­e­fit from. If you’ve nev­er tried it, you will be blown away by the depth of fla­vor it can add to a dish. I would­n’t leave this out. I’ve pur­chased it at Wal­mart, but most often order in bulk, online.
  • Apple Cider Vine­gar- The vine­gar cre­ates a good sweet and acid bal­ance that is a nice fin­ish to the broth.
  • Bay leaves, jalapeno and gin­ger — Bay leaves are an herb I con­sid­er essen­tial to any broth, stock, soup, stew, or roast meat dish. No oth­er herb brings that spe­cif­ic aro­ma and fla­vor. I only used half a jalapeno and you can use even less if you want, but that pep­per along with the gin­ger, leave that lit­tle bit of sat­is­fy­ing heat at the back of your throat when you fin­ish a bite of this home­made veg­etable broth. You would be miss­ing that spec­tac­u­lar lay­er of fla­vor if you omit­ted them.
  • Your Favorite Herbs — Use the com­bi­na­tions you love best. Fresh or dried real­ly does­n’t mat­ter. Remem­ber that with dried the fla­vor is con­cen­trat­ed, though, so only use 1/3 the amount you would with fresh. I raid­ed the last of my dry­ing up herb gar­den for these. They worked perfectly!
herbs for best homemade vegetable stock

How to Make the Best Homemade Vegetable Broth

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best homemade vegetable stock

Best Homemade Vegetable Stock Ever!

  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 quarts (16 cups) 1x


Best Home­made Veg­etable Stock has a rich, savory fla­vor that makes you think meat, even though there isn’t any.


  • 8.5 lbs of fresh veg­eta­bles and veg­etable scraps (should include onions, gar­lic and mushrooms)
  • 1 (28 oz) can of whole peeled (or diced) toma­toes ( or 2-14 oz cans)
  • 24 cups (6 quarts) of water
  • 2 Table­spoons sea salt 
  • 2 Table­spoons of coarse black pepper
  • 2 Table­spoons minced garlic
  • 3-4 bay leaves (If you have no oth­er herbs, these are essential.)
  • 4-5 Table­spoons of mixed fresh herbs (or 2-2 1/2 Table­spoons dried)
  • 1/4 cup nutri­tion­al yeast
  • 2 Table­spoons apple cider vinegar

Veg­gies I used today in addi­tion to my frozen scraps.  These with my scraps com­prised the total 8.5 pounds of veggies.

  • 1 large red onion and 2 small­er red onions, quartered
  • 1 large white onion, quartered
  • 1 large yel­low onion, quartered
  • an old rub­bery zucchini
  • 1/2 a toma­to we had used for slic­ing sev­er­al days ago
  • half a bag of wrinkly baby bell peppers
  • half a jalapeno with seeds
  • wilt­ed rem­nants of a bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 1/2 lbs car­rots (mix of old­er baby car­rots and 1 lb of whole new carrots)
  • old cel­ery root and 4 fresh ribs, rough diced
  • 1 lb of baby bel­la mushrooms
  • 2”knob fresh gin­ger, unpeeled and quartered
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 7 or 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage


  1. Rough chop all the veg­gies and put them in a LARGE (at least 16 quart) stock pot [affil­i­ate link].  If your stock pot is small­er, cut this recipe in half.  If half the recipe won’t fit in your cur­rent stock pot, you need to invest in a great stock pot as an essen­tial kitchen tool.  I use mine, at least once a week and often, even more.  It’s a great item to add to your Christ­mas or birth­day wish list if you don’t have the cash to invest, right away.  But get a good one.  Some­thing sol­id.  Mine are hard core, heavy duty stain­less steel and will lit­er­al­ly be passed down to my kids and prob­a­bly my grand­kids, even with all the use they get.  I have a *16 quart and a *12 quart that I pur­chased in 2003.  They’re still going strong!
  2. Add the canned toma­toes, salt, pep­per, gar­lic, bay leaves and oth­er herbs.
  3. Pour 24 cups (6 quarts) of water over every­thing.  Veg­gies will be show­ing above the water and that’s fine.  As this cooks, the veg­gies will cook down and shriv­el as they release their own liq­uid.  You don’t need every­thing sub­merged right now.
  4. DON’T ADD the yeast or vine­gar until the end, after the broth has been strained.
  5. Turn the heat on high to get the water to come to a boil.
  6. Once it’s boil­ing, reduce it to medi­um-low (On my stove, that’s 4 out of 10.) You don’t want it to stay at a hard boil, just to con­tin­ue to bub­ble and sim­mer.  Now, go about your busi­ness and enjoy your day.  Your house is going to start smelling like someone’s Grand­ma invad­ed and is cook­ing you a sump­tu­ous meal from the “old coun­try”.  The aro­ma will be intox­i­cat­ing! Enjoy!
  7. If you pass the kitchen through the day, check your water lev­el.  You’re going to allow this to sim­mer a min­i­mum of 8 hours, so start­ing first thing in the morn­ing is a good plan.  Try and keep the water lev­el about at the same lev­el as when you first began.  It will def­i­nite­ly drop some over time.  So, if you’re pass­ing and it seems a lit­tle low, you can add some more water.  I added an addi­tion­al 5 cups of water about 4 hours in.
  8. After 8 hours, place a strain­er over a large pot and strain what’s left of the veg­eta­bles out of the stock.  They will look like a sad, pile of brown mush.  All the good­ness has cooked into your veg­etable stock!  Dis­card the spent veggies.straining best homemade vegetable stock
  9. Stir the nutri­tion­al yeast and apple cider vine­gar into your strained stock. 
  10. Taste the stock and addi­tion­al salt if it’s needed.
  11. Trans­fer to con­tain­ers for the fridge or freez­er.  The stock will be good in the fridge for about a week and up to six months in the freezer.
  • Prep Time: 10 min­utes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Soups
  • Method: Slow Cook
  • Cui­sine: Amer­i­can

Key­words: veg­etable, broth, stock, herbs

best homemade vegetable stock

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20 thoughts on “Best Homemade Vegetable Stock Recipe!”

  1. Why would you not add the apple cider vine­gar until the end? Does­n’t it help break down the veggies?

    • Hi Bran­don. You could if you want­ed to. I’ve nev­er had an issue with the veg­gies break­ing down. The vine­gar and nutri­tion­al yeast are added for fla­vor and I pre­fer to do it after the stock is strained, so I get the max­i­mum fla­vor of both.

    • Denise, yes it can. You MUST use a pres­sure can­ner though, as you sug­gest­ed. A water bath can­ner will nev­er reach high enough tem­per­a­tures for the broth to be safe­ly canned.

  2. Thank you so much for these com­pre­hen­sive and detailed instruc­tions. They are SO help­ful! I’ll def­i­nite­ly be mak­ing this through­out the fall and winter.


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