May 11, 2022

How to Make Vegetable Scrap Broth in the Slow Cooker

Quart container of vegetable scrap broth.

Use your vegetable scraps to make delicious and easy vegetable broth in the slow cooker. Just save your vegetables in a freezer bag and when you have enough you can make this simple broth for soups, gravy, sauces, and more. 

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If you are like me and you don't like to waste food or make garbage, then this is a recipe you must try! Aside from reducing food waste, this is a terrific money-saving recipe to make vegetable broth at home all year round.

Grab a gallon sized freezer bag to get started. Then start saving your vegetable scraps in it until it is full.

What are the best vegetables to use to make vegetable scrap broth? Celery, carrots, white, yellow, or red onions, green onions or scallions, and mushrooms are what I save for my broth. I also save stems from fresh parsley and occasionally some thyme or sage.

Freezer bag full of vegetable scraps.

When you are chopping up vegetables for something else, simply save the onion skins and ends you chop off and put them in the freezer bag. Save the celery ends and leaves. Save carrot tops and mushroom stems. Save the stems of fresh herbs like parsley as well. 

Also, if you find that your carrots are starting to get a little bendy or your find you celery isn't great for fresh eating anymore, but hasn't gone bad, toss those in the freezer bag, too.

Do ensure that everything you put in the freezer bag is clean. You use it straight from the freezer bag, so don't add dirty onion skins or mushroom stems with dirt on them, for example. Ensure they are clean and ready to use and also have not started to rot or go bad.

I always have a bag or two of vegetable scraps going in the freezer. It's such a great way to make food from things that may otherwise be tossed in the trash. Plus, you then have broth to use for soups, gravy, sauces, and other recipes ready to go in your freezer once you've made it.

Slow cooker with vegetable scraps, water, and salt and pepper.

To make the broth, simply dump the full bag of frozen vegetable scraps into your slow cooker. I use a 7 quart slow cooker. Then fill with cold water until the vegetables are covered and it's almost to the top. Add a teaspoon of black peppercorns and a teaspoon of salt. 

I only add a small amount of pepper and salt to my broth. This way it is light seasoned, but is ready to be flavored and seasoned to your liking in whatever recipe you are using the broth in later.

Then you cook the broth on high for 7-8 hours, or low for 11-12 hours. I usually do high during the day and low if I'm cooking it overnight. 

After it's finished cooking, let it cool down a bit. Then, strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer, or as I like to use, a gravy separator. Using a gravy separator is handy because it strains the vegetables and also measures out the amount of stock you have. Once you reach 4 cups on the strainer, you have a quart of broth. 

I store my broth in one quart freezer containers and freeze it. I label and date the containers with this freezer tape and a marker. Then I thaw it out in the refrigerator overnight when I'm planning to use it. I do not pressure can this broth and this is not a canning tested recipe. 

This method usually results in about 3-4 quarts of vegetable broth, depending on how full my vegetable bag was and how much water I can add to the slow cooker.

Three containers of vegetable scrap broth.
Yield: about 3 quarts
Author: Amy (Savory Moments)
Slow Cooker Vegetable Scrap Broth

Slow Cooker Vegetable Scrap Broth

Use your vegetable scraps to make delicious and easy vegetable broth in the slow cooker. Just save your vegetables in a freezer bag and when you have enough you can make this simple broth for soups, gravy, sauces, and more.


  • 1 gallon bag of vegetable scraps (such as celery, carrots, onions, mushrooms, etc.)
  • water
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Empty a full one gallon freezer bag of vegetable scraps into a slow cooker (I use a 7 quart).
  2. Fill with cold water until the vegetables are covered.
  3. Add the black peppercorns and salt and stir.
  4. Cook for 7-8 hours on high or 11-12 hours on low. Let cool to warm.
  5. Strain and discard the vegetables. Pour broth into freezer containers, ensuring to leave at least 1.5-2 inches of headspace. Cool fully, put on lids, and freeze.
  6. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using in recipes.
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I hope you give this vegetable scrap broth recipe a try! Let me know in the comments below.

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Collage of finished vegetable scrap broth and broth in the slow cooker.

Check out these other recipes for reducing food waste: 

Candied Watermelon Rind

How to Freeze Basil in Olive Oil

Carrot Top Hummus 

How to Dry Garden Herbs in the Oven


  1. Waste no, want no...this is a great idea!

  2. Such a great idea! We all should be doing this. :-)

  3. This is a great option to make homemade broth wihtout wasting food! Great, yum, and nutritious!

  4. Thank you! You've just convinced me to make my own vegetable broth. A lot of food scraps go in my compost and why I'm not saving them for broth, I'll never know. Well, that's about to change. Thanks!

  5. I hate to say it but so often I have so many vegetable scraps laying around I don't need to resort to freezing to keep myself in broth. I do freeze meat bones and shrimp shells to make meat and seafood broth. I've started pressure canning now to keep some foods out of my freezers they are so full!


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