How to Make Vegetable Stock

Here’s a quick way to turn kitchen discards into a flavorful vegetable stock.

The holiday season starts in earnest with Thanksgiving next week and I know that I’ll be peeling potatoes, chopping celery, dicing onions and clipping herbs.

Instead of throwing away the potato peels or composting the celery ends, I plan to work some kitchen magic by turning discards into stock.

I’ve been recycling my holiday kitchen waste ever since I read a recipe for making potato peel broth years ago.

The light brown broth is so flavorful you won’t believe it came from vegetable bits that are usually tossed away.

Here’s how you can reuse vegetable kitchen scraps, too:


Well-washed vegetable peels, whole vegetables and fresh herbs.
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns or fresh-ground pepper
2-3 bay leaves
1-2 cloves garlic
Kosher salt to taste (optional)


  • Wash vegetables before you peel, scrape, chop, etc.
  • Use scraps immediately or reserve all the potato peelings, onion bits, celery ends, herb stems and other vegetables in a plastic bag or other container.
  • Add vegetable scraps to fill a stock pot half full.
  • Cover vegetables with water.
  • Add pepper, bay leaves, garlic and salt.
  • Bring water to a boil and then simmer stock one hour or more.
  • Allow mixture to cool.
  • Strain into a container; refrigerate or freeze.
  • Discard or compost the cooked scraps.

How to Cook with Vegetable Stock

Substitute vegetable stock for water and meat-based stocks in the same quantities.

Use as the base for a garden-grown vegetable soup, vegetarian minestrone soup or other soup recipes.

Use stock to boil potatoes for mashing, to cook rice, to sauté vegetables, to make ramen noodles, to make salad dressing and to whip up dozens of other recipes.


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This looks awesome. Always like having stock on hand. Thank you for sharing.

Thanks for your comment, Jami. This is the time of year when potato peels really pile up. If you’re too busy to use them right away, just stash them in a plastic bag in the fridge and they’ll keep a few extra days.

If I steam or boil vegetables for a meal, once I remove the veggies I pour the water into ice cube trays and pop them in the freezer to add to stock, soups or broth later. 😉

Thanks, Danielle. This is a great idea for reducing food waste and saving money on vegetable stock at the same time.

I appreciated hearing from you,

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