Make veggie stock for free in 4 simple steps

June 17, 2013 at 7:00 am

Instead of putting veggie waste into the compost or garbage, make veggie stock. Since you would have been throwing this stuff out anyways, if you make stock from it, I consider this free.

Typical organic veggie stock sells for at least $2 a carton. While doing this simple DIY stock will not let you retire early, you’re getting every last ounce of goodness out of every veggie, and the flavor is no match to the stuff in stores. Also, every batch will taste different!

Veggie scraps to save

  • carrot peels, tops and greens
  • onion ends
  • potato ends
  • celery
  • herbs that are about to go bad
  • tomatoes
  • leafy greens
  • garlic
  • unfinished salad? Throw it in.


veggie scraps to avoid

  • strong tasting vegetables that would significantly alter the color or flavor in a not so awesome way, think turnips, beets, cabbage

 bow to DIY veggie stock in 4 steps

  1. Keep a large ziplock bag in the freezer and add to it constantly. When the bag is full, make stock.
  1. Empty the bag into a large pot. Add spices like salt and pepper, thyme, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic – this part is really up to you, throw in whatever herbs and spices you like.
  2. Cover the veggies with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes. Drain the liquid and use right away in soups or sauces, or freeze it to use later.
  3. Compost the veggies.


Making your own veggie stock will save money, and every batch will be unique. You will never taste store-bought stock that is better than yours! Use it in homemade soup, mashed potatoes, sauces, rice, quinoa, lentils, or to sauté onions and peppers in place of oil.

For more urban-minimalist cooking tips and super-simple plant-based recipe inspiration check out Barefoot Essence. 



  1. Anne Hengehold says:

    Local Beet – You’re awesome! Would love to have convenience of Twitter button on your website.

  2. Robert Haugland says:

    Chickens or pigs will eat what is left of the vegetables after the stock is made!

  3. Jacqueline says:

    Forgot to mention I also give many, many scraps to the dogs!

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