This simple and quick-to-make basic vegetable broth recipe is the key to the most delicious, flavorful and nutrient dense soups, stews, sauces, and more! The broth is easy to make with leftover, frozen, or fresh veggies and herbs, and you can easily prep a big batch to freeze into vegetable broth cubes for later use!

vegetables in stock

The most flavorful basic vegetable broth recipe- to use in all of your soup recipes!

One of the best basic cooking recipes to master when you’re first starting to cook is a good, trusted, and hearty vegetable broth. And, this is my go-to.

Seriously, this vegetable broth will take your favorite soup recipe from great to out-of-this-world delicious. It’s going to become a kitchen staple for you (like my homemade vegan cashew cream, homemade oat milk, and cherry tomato sauce!).

It’s the perfect base recipe for some of the most delicious soups, stews, and even my non-vegan family’s favorite VEGAN stuffing recipe. I use this vegetable broth when I want to make my favorite vegan tortellini soup, vegan chili, this hearty vegetable stew, and even sweet potato curry.

Plus, you’ll see shortly why it’s actually way more beneficial to make your own homemade broth rather than purchase in stores (*ahem* let’s save some cash here!!).

container of vegetable stock

Why make your own vegetable broth vs. store bought:

A homemade broth not only tastes way more flavorful than any store-bought stock, but it also is packed with more nutrients and uses up any kitchen scraps that would have gone to waste.

Now I know that store bought veggie broth runs about $3-6, depending on the brand, but when you’re using everything that you already have on hand, you’re saving some money. It’s definitely more economical, especially making your own homemade soups- way cheaper than buying canned!

and packs in a healthy amount of electrolytes and minerals, especially if you’re using organic vegetables (whether fresh or frozen!).

Are vegetable stock and broth the same?

Vegetable stock and vegetable broth are essentially the same thing; however, a true “stock” requires non-vegan ingredients (specifically bones) to be included in the broth in order to call it a “stock.”

Since that isn’t possible, vegetable stock is really just vegetable broth, though many still use the term “vegetable stock!” Which personally, I don’t have an issue with- it’s like how people say vegan cream cheese– it’s the vegan version of the more conventional recipe.

Basic vegetable broth ingredients:

Every vegetable broth I make has a base recipe, then I like to use a few of the customizable ingredients and optional flavor enhancers to help enhance the flavors- just whatever I have on hand!

Here’s what you need for an easy vegetable broth that’s perfect for every recipe:

Base ingredients for a vegetable broth:

  • The golden trio: Onion, celery, and carrots are a MUST for every vegetable broth. These three vegetables contain so much flavor and really infuse the water. You can use fresh, frozen, or veggie scraps
  • Garlic cloves
  • Rosemary: Along with thyme and sage, this is the flavor that most people associate with a chicken broth. This trio of herbs is therefore often referred to as a “poultry blend.” But, as we learned from my guide on how to properly prepare tofu, herbs are the key to flavoring any protein (yet the protein often gets the credit for it 😉 ).
  • Thyme: You can use dried or fresh thyme. I mention this below, but if you’re doing fresh thyme, try to still remove the leaves from the stems and don’t use too many wooden stems.
  • Sage
  • Sea salt
  • Filtered water

Optional & customizable flavor enhancers:

  • Any other herbs: Especially that will complement the recipe that you intend to use the vegetable broth in. I love adding dill sometimes, parsley, sometimes a bay leaf, etc.
  • Any extra vegetable scraps: kale stems, spinach leaves, beet leaves (it might give your veggie broth a bit of a sweeter flavor!), parsnips, shallots, leeks, peppercorn, mushrooms, anything!

Ingredients to avoid:

  • Too many celery leaves: It will make your soup bitter.
  • Too many onion skins: This is why I just like to completely remove the outer skin of the onion. Too many, and your soup will be bitter as well!
  • Bitter greens: Think mustard greens, dandelion greens, etc.
  • Wood stems from herbs: As much as I want there to be absolutely NO work to this vegetable broth, we still need to de-stem our herbs. Adding the wood stems of rosemary can lead to a super bitter broth (though I find a few wood stems of thyme are okay- I still remove the leaves from the stem on those too).
  • Too many dried herbs: I use dried parsley in my vegetable broth all the time, but too much can lead to a bitter vegetable broth.

Overview: How to make a homemade vegetable broth in 3 steps:

Start by prepping the vegetables: You can wash fresh vegetables, slice them, and add them to the pot.

vegetables in stock

Bring to a boil: Once all ingredients have been added to the pot, bring the veggie stock to a boil for 3-5 minutes, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.

vegetable broth in pot

Cook for 1-6 hours: Let the vegetable stock cook for 1-6 hours, but keep in mind that the longer it cooks, the more flavorful it will be!

jar of vegetable broth

Strain: Pour the veggie stock over a large container with a sieve, and use the broth immediately or store for later.

Pro chef tip:

Want an even MORE flavorful veggie stock? Chop the vegetables. It gives way more surface area, making it easier for the flavors to steep in the broth.

I like to slice the carrots into almost small match sticks (but you can do coins!), and chop the celery too. You can slice the garlic a little more for more flavor there as well. Thank me later! 😉

What to do with leftover vegetables after making a veggie stock?

After we strain our broth, what about all of those other vegetables? Well, if you bought fresh vegetables to make your broth, you can definitely still consume those.

In fact, I’ll save them, chop them up, and add them to a stir fry with tofu, stir them into a bean dish, or serve them along side any other vegetable side. I’ll admit, they don’t look that attractive, but they still have a lot of flavor.

strained veggies after making broth

Alternatively, you can actually blend your vegetable broth into an immediate vegetable soup! Add in a can of chickpeas or beans, and serve for a veggie soup that’s packed with plant-based protein as well (and serve along side some fluffy vegan focaccia or garlic bread!).

How to freeze vegetable broth:

As soon as I made my first vegetable broth, my mother-in-law, Norma, said immediately, “Oh you have to freeze some for later!!” which I did, and I’m so grateful for that!! Because now I have vegetable broth ready to be added to any recipe without the 6 hours of prep 🙂

To freeze this vegetable stock: Simply pour it into an ice cube tray or wide-mouth mason jars. I find it easiest to freeze it in smaller quantities, but you can go with smaller or larger mason jars. From the ice cube tray, simply transfer them to another glass container or freezer-safe bag. Then you can freeze it for up to 3 months!

You can also use restaurant-quart sized plastic containers (but I’m cautious of those, because of the BPA).

To use from frozen, I allow the veggie broth to sit at room temperature, or if I know I’m going to use it the next day, I’ll thaw it overnight in the fridge.

close up of sweet potato curry

You’re just going to love this homemade vegetable broth! It’s seriously so easy to make, and will make weeknight meals a game changer (and even the holidays!).

If you’re looking for more meal planning tips, especially around the holidays, check out this guide:

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

Fresh and Simple Homemade Basic Vegetable Broth Recipe pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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vegetables in stock

Fresh and Simple Homemade Basic Vegetable Broth Recipe

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  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 360
  • Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 10.5 cups 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This simple and quick-to-make basic vegetable broth recipe is the key to the most delicious, flavorful and nutrient dense soups, stews, sauces, and more! The broth is easy to make with leftover, frozen, or fresh veggies and herbs, and you can easily prep a big batch to freeze into vegetable broth cubes for later use!


  • 2.5 liters (10-11 cups) filtered water
  • 58 celery stems, washed, most leaves removed
  • 67 large carrots, washed and sliced in quarters
  • 1 large onion, skin removed and sliced in half
  • 45 garlic cloves, whole (shell removed)
  • 45 sage leaves, washed
  • 1 tbsp fresh or dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh or dried thyme*
  • Salt + pepper, to taste


  1. Prep: Wash all of the veggies and herbs thoroughly. You don’t need to remove the carrot skins, just give them a good scrub. 
  2. Boil: Pour the water into a large pot, followed by adding in all of the veggies. Start by adding in 1 tsp of sea salt at first. Stir everything, then bring the broth to a boil on medium-high heat to boil for 3-5 minutes. Then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 3-6 hours. The longer it cooks, the more flavorful the broth. Add more salt and pepper to taste as needed if it needs more.
  3. Strain: When ready to strain, place a sieve over a large container and pour the broth and vegetables into the sieve and container. Remove the sieve from the liquid, and allow the vegetable broth to cool, slightly covered, at room temperature. Store the veggies if desired in a separate container or use for a vegetable soup (see blog post for tips on what to do with the cooked vegetables).
  4. Storage: If you’re using the broth right away, you can immediately add it to your recipe. I have tons of soup recipes you can check out! Otherwise, you can store the vegetable broth in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze it in an ice cube tray then transfer it to a storage container to be stored for up to 3 months in the fridge.


Customizations: Check the blog post for all flavor variations!