If you had asked me two or three years ago whether I had ever considered making my own chicken or veggie stock, I surely would have laughed at you.  At the time it just seemed so unnecessary.  Why bother making something I can so easily buy at the store?  Clearly I’ve been undergoing a transition in the recent past and now I’m all about DIYing.  Now if you asked whether I prefer to buy stock, I might laugh.  Making your own stock just makes so much sense.  A great way to use up wilting items in the produce drawer?  Check.  Make a huge amount of stock at once to freeze for later use?  Check.  Healthier because you can control the sodium?  Check.  More eco-friendly because you aren’t wasting disposable cans or cartons?  Check.

Are you on board yet?  Give it a try.  Every time I pull out a container of this stock to use in a recipe, I’m reminded just how simple it is to make and I’m always so pleased with the flavor it adds to my cooking.  I will add that I don’t think this is not necessarily the most economical thing to make if you actually went out and purchased all the ingredients specifically for this recipe.  I prefer to wait until I have most of them hanging around the fridge and then buy the few, if any, I might need.  And because I know the question is inevitable, yes, I’ll be posting about chicken stock soon too :)

*Note – The containers pictured above are from Garnish.


2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped fine
15 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
5-6 quarts water
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into chunks
1 tomato, chopped
8 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. black peppercorns


  • 01

    Add the onions, celery, carrots, scallions, garlic, oil, and salt to a large Dutch oven or stock pot and stir together.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the pan bottom begins to brown lightly, 20-30 minutes.

  • 02

    Add in the water, cauliflower, tomato, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns.  Partially cover, bring to a gentle simmer (not a boil) and cook for 1½ hour, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.

  • 03

    Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher and pour into storage containers.  Use within 3 days or freeze until ready to use.

  • Melanie S

    I save all the ends of veggies and the little bits of left over veggies that are about to need to go to the compost but aren’t too far gone in a container in the freezer. When it’s full, I make chicken or veggie stock. I haven’t tried beef stock yet though.

  • Chefblogdigest

    I would love to try making my own veggie stock. The benefits you just mention make sense.

  • Kristin

    I always make chicken & turkey stock, but I really needed a good veggie stock recipe. Thanks!

  • Fawn Hernandez

    You probably know this already but you can actually put the ends/ roots of your scallions in a container with water in it on your window sill and you are growing scallions! They actually grow much quicker than I expected and they are always handy.

  • I haven’t made my own veggie stock yet, but Natalie at Perry’s Plate just recommended to save all the “scraps” and put them i the freezer until you are ready to make some stock and use those….I thought that idea was genius!

  • Beth

    Such a great idea! I make chicken stock whenever I’ve roasted a chicken, but I haven’t tried veggie stock yet. I”ll have to add this to the to-do list. : )

  • Michelle

    Melanie S…..that is an AMAZING idea. Thanks :-)

  • MegH

    I have been making my own stock lately. It is wonderful. I started to I could control the sodium in soups for my Gram but it is just wonderful how much better they taste. Like previous reader, I keep little bits of leftover veggies in the freezer and just use those when it is time. I freeze the tops of a celery stalk, carrot peels, the root end of an onion. Now I’m not so picky about getting as close to the root as possible, as I know it will go to good use. Whenever we have a roast chicken, after dinner I take the carcass and the bag of veggies and put in the crockpot overnight. I get up to a big pit of stock, all ready to go. LOVE ANNIES EATS~

  • Anonymous

    Definitely true. I prefer to follow a recipe rather than throw in random scraps to ensure the correct flavor balance. I trust the people at CI :)

  • Melanie S., that is pure brilliance. I also wonder if, for the cauliflower at least, you could then take the veggie and puree it (with a little of your new veggie stock) and use it as a thickener in another soup. For example, I use pureed cauliflower in place of milk in my broccoli cheddar soup.

  • Emilie Schulz

    Melanie S., that is pure brilliance. I also wonder if, for the cauliflower at least, you could then take the veggie and puree it (with a little of your new veggie stock) and use it as a thickener in another soup. For example, I use pureed cauliflower in place of milk in my broccoli cheddar soup.

  • Love how easy this is. Thanks for sharing!

  • Cbuellsalzer

    I was just complaining to my husband about how much “hidden” sodium is in our diets. I’ve been trying to add more home cooking to our lives with the added benefit of lower sodium. Store bought broth and stock have so much sodium!! Love this idea, gonna try it soon.

  • I am obsessed with making my own stocks too! So easy and much more flavorful than the store bought variety. Plus WAY cheaper since you are using ‘scraps’ and things you would otherwise through away. One tip I wanted to share is when I have veggies that are wilting in the fridge but I don’t have quite enough to make a batch of stock, I throw them in a large freezer bag and freeze them. After I have collected enough of these veggie leftovers that is when I go to town making my homemade stock!

  • Anne

    I have switched to using DIY stocks exclusively and totally LOVE them! They are so much better and with a drawer full of veggies, I am going to whip this one up this weekend!

    PS: thank you again for the Garnish gift certificate!! Love their stuff, Anne

  • Really? This easy? I never would’ve guessed. You’ve converted me!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar


  • Anonymous

    My mom has always made her own stocks, for as long as I can remember. It’s nice to see this DIY trend coming back. I love the control you gain from making your own staples at home. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • ChelseaW

    Hi Annie! Let me first say that I have never commented on your blog, but I have been following it for a long time and every recipe has been wonderful. Thank you so much for your great step-by-step instructions as well as the pictures and tips! I have one question. I have a foodsaver and have found it useful for buying and freezing large amounts of meat, etc. Freezing liquid that way can be a bit more challenging. With the containers you use (thanks for including the link, by the way!), do you ever run into the issue of freezer burn because of the air in the container?

  • Anonymous

    Hi Chelsea,
    I haven’t had any trouble with freezer burn. Though of course, I go through a lot of stock and so it doesn’t sit in my freezer for too terribly long. But, I recently used a container that had probably been in there 2 months and it was fine.

  • Brenda

    I do this too! I have an ongoing container of “stock parts” in my freezer & every time i clean a onion, peel & clean a carrot, or cut up celery, i save these scraps until the container is full & then make stock. A couple of years ago i read in a comments section of a cooking site a comment from someone that worked at a high end restaurant saying that this is how they always made their vegetable stock at the restaurant. I thought using the scraps was such a super idea. It’s great to find a use for these otherwise useless scraps and have free stock. :)

  • Sheila Thoburn

    Oh, I’m happy to have the veggie stock recipe, but I am so happy to have the link to Garnish. I had been driving to a store (about an hour away) to get containers like these. Deciding to ditch the drive, I tried to find a place on the internet, but with no luck. Thank you!

  • cuisinedejan

    Hi Annie, Brilliant as always. I do not know how you mange to do it all. If you were not a brilliant Doctor, I am sure you would be an amazing Project Manager! If I could only have one “cookbook”, it would be your blog. Thank you and best regards, Jan

  • Jan Mcintyre

    Hi Annie, Brilliant as always. I do not know how you mange to do it all. If you were not a brilliant Doctor, I am sure you would be an amazing Project Manager! If I could only have one “cookbook”, it would be your blog. Thank you and best regards, Jan

  • Kim

    I make my own chicken stock, but have never made veggie stock. Thanks for the recipe. I will definitely have to try this. When I freeze my stock, I freeze it in a muffin tin, then run a little warm water underneath the pan and the stock “muffins” just pop right out. Then I freeze them in a gallon size baggie. That way I know each “muffin” is 1/2 cup and I can sub it in any recipe that calls for canned.

    Thanks for such a great website. You are my go to girl for sure when it comes to new, quality recipes!

  • Homemade veg stock is so versatile, and just as much flavor (if not more!) than chicken stock. I remember years ago, when getting my ingredients together for Alton’s Turkey brine, where I’d get all the vegetable stock the recipe called for. Made my own that night, and never looked back. Yours looks great! Such rich, dark color. Love the addition of cauliflower!

  • Erin

    Hey there! I’m just wondering if it is OK to just leave the salt out all together?

  • Funny that Perry’s Plate did the same topic today!

    I love making my own veggie broth but I’ve never sauteed the veggies first. . . I’ll give it a try next time!

  • Jackie

    I started saving all of my veggie ends in a container in the freezer, when it fills up, I boil all of the contents with some salt, whole peppercorns, and bay leaves. It makes wonderful veggie broth and costs nothing. The only things I don’t throw in the freezer “broth bucket” are things that would give it a strange flavor, like cilantro stems, jalapeño bits, ginger, etc.

  • This is awesome! I had no idea on how to make vegetable stock! Now I know and I plan on making this. I love that you can freeze it. To defrost it, do you just leave it in the fridge?

  • I’ve made my own vegetable stock for years…but I keep a ziploc bag in my freezer and when I’m cooking regular meals I save things like celery leaves, carrot and zucchini tops, onion peels, etc and place them in the freezer bag. I’ve also thrown in mushroom stems and tomatoes that are beginning to get mushy. When the bag is full it’s time to make stock.

    Here’s a link to how I do it!!! Thanks for sharing…this is something that is so easy and saves $$$!

  • Anonymous

    You can, but it won’t taste quite right. Your call :)

  • I’ve never done this but have been wanting to. Thanks!

  • Bradandgretchen

    I save odds & ends in the freezer too but I throw all my stuff in the slow cooker! I let it go all day, strain it, and it’s done. Easy peasy! Same with chicken stock.

  • You know, I have never actually thought of making my own stock but I have noticed that sodium level in cans/boxes is pretty insane.

    Now, I’ll do like the other people commented and start saving my veggies in a container in the freezer and make my own stock!

    Thanks for the idea! I love it!

  • Anonymous

    You can defrost it any way you like. I normally leave it in the fridge but if I forget I either defrost in the microwave or in a pan on the stove over low heat.

  • Anonymous

    I love that idea! Next time I’ll do some large quarts and some in muffin tins. Great tip!

  • Louann

    The silicone muffin “tins” work great, cuz they just pop right out.

  • Danita

    Great way to use the leftover, slightly wilted veggies in the frig. Thanks for the post.

  • Whenever I prepare chicken with a bone, I throw all the leftover bones in a bag in the freezer so I can make chicken stock later. I’ve never made my own veggie stock and using up wilted vegetables is a great idea!

  • bigbearswife

    I have a ton of chicken stock in the freezer but no veggie stock. I need to make some. Thank you for this recipe!

  • GREAT photos Annie :)

  • samara kapich

    This sounds great! But what do you do with the veggies after you are done making the stock?

  • Anonymous

    Discard them.

  • This sounds yummy, easy, and very economical just like you said! I’m sure it tastes way better than the store-bought versions, too. :)

  • April

    store bought stock doesn’t hold a candle to homemade stock, no matter how great the brand! I make chicken stock all the time w/my left over whole chickens, I put it in reused containers (large yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.) premeasured, so simple and cheap!!

  • Michelle D

    Hi Annie – I’m looking forward to making this tomorrow since I have some veggies that need to be used up. I see lots of recipes where chicken broth or beef broth is used but I’m having trouble finding ones that use veggie broth/stock. Do you have some recipes on your site that use it that you can point me too? I’ve tried searching and haven’t had much luck, maybe I’m not searching correctly…
    On a side note, I came across your blog a few months ago and have been a devout follower ever since. Everything of yours that I have made has come out terrific! Even my husband has been pleased and he is a picky eater. Thanks for helping me to become a better cook and baker! :)

  • annieseats

    There are certainly many I have come across that call for veggie stock, but I also sub it in the majority of recipes that call for chicken broth. Enjoy!

  • Guest

    Many years ago I took a cooking course with a great chef in his Mexican restaurant in Tucson, AZ. He used to diligently clean all his vegetables before he peeled them and saved all the peelings. When he had enough, he would put them in a net-like bag, put the bag in water and boil to make a vegi stock. When the stock was ready, all he had to do was to remove the bag and he was done. No further straining needed.

    For the life of me, I can’t fine a commercially available bag or net that I can purchase that would do the same job for me. The closest I come are the net bags that are designed to was fine linens or undies.

    Does anyone know of such a boiling bag or net that is OK to use with fool?