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Easy Homemade Vegetable Stock on a Budget

I am a food enthusiast and am always trying new recipes. I love to garden, get crafty, and read a good book!

Make your own veggie stock at home.

Make your own veggie stock at home.

How to Make Veggie Stock

Making vegetable stock is great because you really only need a handful of ingredients that are most likely already in your kitchen. Take the first three main ingredients: onions, carrots, and celery—and then it’s up to you if you’d like to add anything else.

Simple Ingredients for Delicious Stock

I always like to add garlic as well as peppercorns, but you can tailor your stock based on what you’re going to do with it once it’s complete. If you plan to use it as a base for a noodle soup, you may want to add spices likes sprigs of parsley and thyme. But for this recipe, I’ve given you my basic stock recipe that you can adjust as needed.

This stock recipe is easy to make, and great if you're on a budget.

This stock recipe is easy to make, and great if you're on a budget.

What's the Difference Between Broth and Stock?

This question is apparently more complex than I’d realized! I was under the impression that stock was made by using the bones of an animal, whereas broth was made from just meat. So stock will have a richer flavor due to it being cooked with bones which release gelatin into the stock.

I found some information from Alton Brown where he similarly agreed that the difference between a broth and a stock is that the broth is made of meat or vegetables, whereas stock is made from bones. But you may have come across recipes that call for vegetable stock or broth, which then complicates things because neither of those will be made with animal bones!

Sautéeing vs. Simmering

In an attempt to come to the bottom of this debate, I found another person who claimed that you could differentiate between vegetable stock and vegetable broth by another simple factor. It stated that vegetable stock requires you to sauté the vegetables before adding water, whereas, with a broth, you simply simmer the vegetables in water. So that is why my recipe is called vegetable stock; it's because I like to sauté my veggies before boiling them. Especially since the stock will not have the rich flavor from using bones or meat, I like to add a little fat via the olive oil in the sauteeing step.

A Few Tips When Making Vegetable Broth

  1. Save your veggie scraps in a bag in the freezer and when you have enough collected. You can make your stock!
  2. You can vary the type of onions that you use: shallots will lend great flavor just as well as yellow, sweet, or red onions.
  3. Stay away from cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, as they will make the stock have a bitter flavor.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

45 min

1 hour

6 Cups


  • 3 cloves garlic garlic, chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, whole
  • 2 bay leaves, whole
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Frozen veggie scraps
  • 1/2 cup onion skins
  • 1/2 cup celery tops and leaves
  • 1/2 cup carrot peels and tops
  • 1/4 cup garlic skins


  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add frozen veggie scraps and stir until warmed and until the onion skins have wilted and browned slightly.
  3. Add 8 cups of water to the pot along with the bay leaves, peppercorns, and any other spices you would like.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 45 minutes to an hour. Once the stock has finished cooking, turn the heat off and add fresh chopped parsley and the juice of half of a lemon. Let the stock cool slightly before straining to allow the parsley and lemon flavor to infuse into the stock.
  5. Pour the stock through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-safe bowl or container and discard the solids.
  6. Store the stock in freezer bags or smaller portions to be used either as a base for soups or stews or even when just when a recipe calls for a cup of broth.

© 2018 Lisa Bean