Recipe: Homemade Vegetable Broth

Save money and reduce waste by following this slow cooker vegetable broth recipe. It’s so easy – all you need are enough vegetable scraps (store them in your freezer!), water, some spices, and a slow cooker or crockpot.

However, I must be honest, this is barely a recipe.

I like to save most of my vegetable scraps and turn them into a homemade vegetable broth, which is great to use in recipes that either call for broth, or in place of water in savory recipes. And it could not be easier.

How to Make Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth

slow cooker vegetable broth recipe slow cooker vegetable broth recipe

Step One: Hoard your vegetable scraps in the freezer. It’s easier to list what I don’t save instead of what I do. Potatoes will make your broth startchy, beets will make your broth dark red, so I don’t save scraps from either. I try not to include seeds. I do include herbs. Veggies that are wilting are fine, but obviously not anything that is rotting or growing mold. But everything else is good to go! Including the parts of vegetables that you wouldn’t normally eat like stems and ends.

You still want to clean anything that you use. I store it in a ziplock bag, marked “NOT GARBAGE” so that my husband won’t throw it out.

slow cooker vegetable broth recipe slow cooker vegetable broth recipe

slow cooker vegetable broth recipe slow cooker vegetable broth recipe

Step Two: Get out your slow cooker. Once a gallon-size freezer bag is full, it’s time to make broth! The frozen scraps go into the slow cooker along with any other veggies in my fridge that are about to turn, anything off my herb plants that looks overdue, along with some olive oil, salt, and a few cloves of garlic. I top it all off with water until the slow cooker is full.

slow cooker vegetable broth recipe slow cooker vegetable broth recipe

Step Three: Cook on LOW for 8 hours. You can stir occasionally just to make sure everything is submerged and what not, but otherwise you pretty much leave it alone.

Step Four: Let it cool. Once the 8 hours is over, I put on oven mitts, remove the ceramic bowl and let it cool on my stove. Once it’s cooled a little bit, I remove the veggies with a slotted spoon.

Step Five: Store it. I save plastic containers from take-out (or gelato). Once the broth is cooled enough, I use a soup ladle to fill the containers. Make sure not to fill completely since it will expand as it freezes.

slow cooker vegetable broth recipe slow cooker vegetable broth recipe

Step Six: Use it in recipes! You can make soup, or anytime a savory recipe calls for water, use broth instead. Or, of course, use it in recipes that call for broth. Since I don’t use a lot of salt in my broth, I make sure to add it when cooking with it.

Do you make your own broth? Any other suggestions? 


Share this post

8 Comments on “Recipe: Homemade Vegetable Broth”

  1. How long does it take you to gather enough vegetables to make a batch of broth? How does the broth compare to broth that comes from bouillon? I’ve loved this idea for a while (especially since for some reason no one sells vegetable bouillon cubes where I live), but I’m not sure it’s practical for my personal broth to vegetable use ratio.

    1. It can take a month or longer, depending on how often you eat fresh veggies and how many people you’re cooking for. If you have a smaller crock pot it might take less time. I’ve never tried bouillon cubes so I can’t compare the flavor.

      1. Thanks! I may give it a shot because we do eat fresh veggies pretty often, but we also use a lot of broth for soups and stuff. It will be interesting to compare the homemade broth to the broth that comes from bouillon.

  2. I’ve actually never thought to make my own broth. We go through so many veggies it won’t take long to fill a big freezer bag. I’m going to try this!

  3. I love to make broth. I just made chicken broth last week and then used it last night for a risotto. I’ve never used the crock pot for making broth before, that’s a great idea! I always like to throw in a lemon and peppercorns and whatever herbs are overflowing from my plants as well!

  4. I never thought to do this, either! Usually I give the ends of veggies to Chewie to eat (he loves carrots and cucumbers) but maybe I’ll start saving some of them.

    Have you ever thought about freezing it in ice cube trays so you can just use a little at a time? And do you defrost it first before cooking or do you just have it melt while you cook it?

    1. Ice cube trays is a good idea. My mom would freeze the broth in a muffin tin but my freezer isn’t wide enough.

      It depends on the recipe if I defrost first or let it melt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.