I started making my own vegetable broth years ago because I could never find one I liked at the store. Some had too much salt and some were made with tomatoes. The slow cooker method is by far my favorite way of making it, set it, and forget it.
Uses for Vegetable Broth
I don't add any salt to the slow cooker so I can adjust the seasonings when I use it for a recipe. Of course, it's great for soups, but it is also great for making: rice, rice casseroles, risotto, gravy, and helping to saute vegetables in a pan without oil. I also have a slow-cooker quinoa chili that uses vegetable broth instead of water to give it some extra flavor.
What Goes into Vegetable Broth?
I use vegetable scraps for my vegetable broth because I love getting the most out of them. When I chop up onions or nearly any other kind of vegetable, I add the scraps to a gallon-size bag that I keep in the freezer. I add onion peels, celery ends, bell pepper cores, mushroom stems, carrot ends, and peels to the bag. Don’t use veggies like broccoli, beets, kale, or potatoes. Vegetable broth is excellent for old limp vegetables that have been sitting in your refrigerator way too long, just make sure they don't have any mold on them. Fresh herbs and bay leaves are also great to add to the pot for some extra flavor. When the bag gets full I make vegetable broth.
Cook on high for 4 hours or 8 hours on low. Let it cool before you handle it. If you don't have a slow cooker a large pot will work too. Bring the water and vegetables to a boil, then with the lid on lower to a simmer for at least an hour to develop the flavors.
The easiest way to separate the vegetables from the broth is to put a large pot in the sink and place a large strainer in it. Carefully pour the contents from the slow cooker into the strainer so the vegetables stay in the strainer and the broth goes into the pot. Press the vegetables to get more liquid out but not too much because you don’t want the vegetables to go through the strainer.
Let the liquid cool and pour it into glass jars to store. I use a measuring cup to fill the jars because I like to measure the liquid as I fill the containers so I know how much I have in each one. I reuse 26 oz glass peanut butter jars so I get about 2 ½ cups in each jar. Masking tape works great to label the lids with the content info, the date, and how much is in each jar. If you freeze the broth, leave at least two inches from the top because the liquid will expand and could bust the jar.
I usually get 10-11 cups of broth out of each batch and I store them in the freezer until I need it.
Homemade vegetable broth made from kitchen vegetable scraps.
- 1-gallon size bag full of vegetable scraps (onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, mushrooms)
- 12 cups of water (or enough water to cover the vegetables leaving 1 inch of water on top)
- Add the vegetables and water to a slow cooker.
- Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
- Let it cool before you handle it.
- Strain the vegetables in a colander and use a pot to catch the vegetable broth.
- Measure out the vegetable broth into glass containers.
- Store in the refrigerator or freeze to use later.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Category: Soup
- Method: slow cooker
- Cuisine: american
Keywords: How to make vegetable broth from kitchen scraps, how to make vegetable broth in a slow cooker, money saving vegetable broth