It is absolutely possible to make delicious, flavorful Vegetable Stock from vegetable scraps. This recipe for Instant Pot Vegetable Stock from Scraps is one of my favorite things to make because I am making something from nothing! With food prices at an all time high, you’ll enjoy this cheap, easy way to make an all natural, additive free, low sodium Vegetable Stock.
You’ll find me shaking my head when I see recipes, or worse – videos, showing how to make vegetable stock from prime vegetables. Vegetable Stock can be and should be made from everyday Vegetable scraps.
This recipe will tell you how to make Vegetable Stock from frozen kitchen scraps. Vegetable Stock can be made in an Instant Pot, slow cooker or stovetop.
Vegetable Stock can be used as an ingredient in soups, stews and curries or as a soothing hot drink – great on a cold winter’s day! It’s time to turn your vegetable scraps into liquid gold!
Use an assortment of root vegetable peelings, woody asparagus stalks, bell pepper bits, and the leaves of herbs. Scroll down to see what vegetable scraps to NOT include. This recipe uses frozen vegetable scraps. As you prepare vegetables, collect the scraps in freezer bags and store in the freezer. Add to the bag every time you have unwanted vegetable scraps. After a while, you will have enough to make Stock. This batch of Vegetable Stock is about 3 months of vegetable scrap accumulation.
Follow the easy procedure below to make your own Instant Pot Vegetable Stock from Scraps. This is a one pot recipe. Veggie Stock can be made stovetop or in the slow cooker. I used the slow cooker function of the Instant Pot. High pressure cooking is not required.
Consider grouping Vegetable scraps you want to cook together. Knowing what your Vegetable Stock will be used for will help you with grouping.
Place the Vegetable Scraps in a pot, big enough to fit them, and enough water to submerge them.
Bring the water to the boil, lower the heat, put a lid on the pot and simmer for 1-2 hours. Simmering the Stock for up to 2 hours will draw out the maximum amount of flavor from the Vegetables.
Strain the Vegetable Stock through a find sieve. Discard leftover vegetable mass.
Pour the Vegetable Stock into whatever container you wish – mason jar, Tupperware, freezer bag for storage.
Asian Inspired Stock
I used fennel pieces, yellow onion skins, lemon, ginger peel, bell peppers trimmings and some scallions to make Vegetable Stock that I will use with an Asian inspired recipe, such as Potsticker Soup.
This Vegetable Stock was prepared stove top.
Stock for Asparagus and Pepper Soup
The next batch of Vegetable Stock included predominantly woody asparagus ends, bell peppers, parsley and onion skins. I’ll use this stock to make Asparagus and Pepper Soup.
This Vegetable Stock was made in the Instant Pot. After adding the water to the Vegetable scraps, the glass lid was used to cover the pot and the 4 hour slow cooker mode was selected.
Italian Inspired Vegetable Stock
This Italian inspired stock consisted of soft tomato wedges, red onion and peel, garlic skins, celery stalks and root, basil, Italian parsley, thyme and oregano leaves. I will use this particular stock as a base for Minestrone Soup.
This Vegetable Stock was cooked stovetop in a pot.
Multi Purpose Vegetable Stock
The final style of Vegetable Stock I made was multi purpose, a basic stock consisting of carrot peelings, parsley stems, yellow onion and garlic skins, and leeks.
Multi purpose Vegetable Stock is a key ingredient in any recipe requiring Vegetable Stock. This Vegetable Stock made from Scraps was prepared in the Instant Pot.
Things to Consider When Making Homemade Vegetable Stock
- The peelings from carrots and parsnips will provide sweetness to the Vegetable Stock. Limit them if you don’t want your stock to have too much sweetness.
- The Stock will only be as good as the vegetable scraps you are using. If the vegetables scraps were on the way to the ‘dark side’ (i.e. decomposing) then do not save them. Throw them in your composter, that way they are still being used, just not consumed.
- Onion skins especially from red and yellow onions will provide a brownish color as well as flavor.
- Parsley will give the Stock a greenish hue if you add a lot of it.
- All Vegetable Scraps need to be clean (free from dirt). For example I wash carrots first, then peel them and save the peels.
- Some vegetables can be included but really don’t provide much in the way of flavor, such as squashes.
What You Should Not Include in Vegetable Stock and Why
Almost any and all vegetable scraps can be included in the making of Veggie Stock but there are some exceptions:
- Stems and stalks of certain herbs such as rosemary and thyme contain essential oils which end up making the Vegetable Stock bitter. Only include the leaves if possible.
- Dirty, unwashed vegetable scraps. Wash vegetables before peeling and freezing. Soil and grit do not belong in a Stock.
- Do not include green beans (the tops and tails). They give Vegetable Stock an unpleasant vegetative taste that overpowers the flavors given by the other vegetables.
- Any vegetable typically served uncooked, such as lettuces, radishes, cucumbers. These vegetables can become bitter when cooked, making the Vegetable Stock bitter as a result.
- Certain herbs like mint, borage and cress end up flavoring Vegetable Stock in an undesirable way.
- Peels from beets give the Stock an earthy flavor and pink / red color.
- Regular and sweet potatoes or their peels. They will end up releasing starch into the Stock. Potato peels also oxidize (brown) quickly and decomposing vegetables will compromise the Stock.
- Any vegetables belonging to the brassica family, such as Brussel sprouts, cabbage, turnip etc. Their flavors are overwhelming and unpleasant in Vegetable Stock.
What is the Difference Between Vegetable Broth and Vegetable Stock?
A broth contains animal bones and if desired vegetables for added flavor. Homemade vegetable broth technically should include some animal bones such as the chicken leg bones, but not the entire chicken carcass, along with vegetable scraps or vegetable pieces. If making a broth using a chicken carcass with vegetables, the end result is chicken broth. Broths are thinner (more watery) than Stocks. One exception is bone broth, where animal bones are cooked under pressure, in a pressure cooker (Instant Pot). The end result is a thicker (when compared to stock), broth due to the presence of collagen which is released from the bones during high heat cooking.
Vegetable Stock only uses vegetables (and aromatics such as herbs) to obtain its flavor. Vegetable Stock does not contain any meat or meat products.
Storing Veggie Stock
Vegetable Stock can be stored in three different ways. How it is stored is determined by when you will use it.
Canning Vegetable Stock
Pressure canning homemade Vegetable Stock is the best choice if you have limited freezer space and you want to have a shelf stable Stock on hand. Follow the instructions given by Get the Good Stuff how to do this. Label and date your jars of Vegetable Stock. Store jars in a clean, cool, dark, dry place at a temperature range between 50 and 70 °F. Use within one year. The quality of the Vegetable Stock will last for up to 2 years but after the first year, the nutritive value diminishes.
Using Freezer Bags
Pour cooled Vegetable Stock into a gallon sized freezer bags. I like to place the freezer bag in a tall mason jar (even a vase will work), to provide stability. Label the freezer bag and if possible place each bag flat in the freezer. Once it has frozen I like to store the bags vertically.
If you plan to use the Vegetable Stock within 3 days of making it, feel free to store it in an airtight container. I like to use mason jars, and place them in the refrigerator.
Is Making Homemade Vegetable Stock Worth it?
Simple answer to this question is YES!
- It is easy and cheap to make, because it uses only kitchen scraps and water. There is no cost to this recipe. I made 224 fluid ozs / 6.6 liters of Vegetable Stock, using mostly organic vegetable scraps. Buying this amount of Vegetable Stock in a store would cost around $19 / £15 / €17.75.
- It doesn’t take much time or any skill, so anyone can make homemade Vegetable Stock.
- Low sodium, no artificial additives or flavorings and no MSG.
- You control the ingredients, so only add the vegetable scraps you like.
Can I make Veggie Stock cubes from this Vegetable Stock?
From this basic recipe for Vegetable Stock, you can make concentrated Stock. Simply simmer the stock for several hours until a small amount of liquid remains in the pot. Simmering the stock will allow water to evaporate, so you are left with a Vegetable Stock Reduction. Either freeze, pressure can or store it in a mason jar in the refrigerator (3 month shelf life).
Making Stock cubes is more involved and requires the presence of whole vegetables (not just the scraps) and oil, and the use of a dehydrator. Samira over at Alpha Foodie has an excellent recipe for making Vegetable Stock cubes.
I’ve got answers – hopefully!
The idea of using frozen vegetable scraps allows you to use something that would typically be discarded. Gather up a bulk amount of vegetable peels and skins over weeks and months, freeze them, and then use them to make Stock. Fresh vegetable scraps can of course by used.
Yes it is, using only vegetable scraps and water will make it GF.
As broth requires animal bones, you can make a broth, such as chicken broth, using a chicken carcass and vegetable scraps. I prefer to make broth in an Instant Pot using high pressure. Add lots of vegetable scraps and water to the chicken carcass to two thirds of the way full and cook in the Instant Pot under high pressure for 45 minutes to make chicken and vegetable broth or for 120 minutes to make bone broth.
Simple, add salt. If you have used acidic vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbage and spinach, it is highly likely your Vegetable Stock will be acidic. Salt will correct this. Add enough to fix the acidity but without making the Stock taste salty. You can also add a teaspoon of sugar once you have fixed the acidity with salt. The addition of sugar will eliminate the last bit of bitterness in your Stock.
Both of these recipes make something from nothing!
Strawberry Top Vinegar, made from strawberry tops. Great as an ingredient in salad vinaigrettes.
Dandelion Jelly uses fresh garden dandelion petals to make this delicious and unique jelly.
Vegetable Stock From Scraps
- 5 lbs Vegetable scraps See the 'What you should not include and why' section to see what vegetables to exclude.
- 1 pint water
- Add clean, frozen vegetable scraps to the Instant Pot.
- Add water, make sure the vegetable scraps are submerged in the water.
- Set the Instant Pot to 'slow cooker' mode and cook for 4 hours.
- Alternatively, place the vegetable scraps and water into a pot large enough to fit the scraps and water. Cook on the stovetop, at a low simmer for 1-2 hours with the lid on.
- Strain the Vegetable Stock through a find sieve. Discard leftover vegetable mass.
- Pour the Vegetable Stock into whatever container you wish – mason jar, Tupperware, or freezer bag for storage.