Basic Vegetable Broth

Vegetable broth in bowl

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
40 Calories
0g Fat
9g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 40
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 93mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 1g
Calcium 39mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy and flavorful vegetable broth recipe will give you the base to make vegetarian soupsgravy, or just to add flavor to a variety of vegetarian dishes. If you are cooking vegetarian or vegan, you can use this vegetable broth as a substitute for any meat broth or stock that recipes list.

After you've followed this recipe once or twice, you can be creative in the vegetables you include in your broth. Onions, celery, and potatoes seem to give the best flavors, so try to always include at least some of those. Mushrooms are optional, but they add a savory umami touch, which makes the vegetable broth a better substitute for meat broth or stock.

Making vegetable broth is a great way to use up vegetable trimmings or potatoes that are about to go bad. Plan ahead and save things like broccoli stalks, onion ends, celery ends, carrot tops, kale stems, collard stems, and potato peels for your vegetable broth. You can also freeze those vegetable odds and ends in a ziplock bag or a freezer-safe container so they are ready when you are and don't go to waste.


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  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 medium potato (chopped into large chunks)
  • Optional: 1/3 cup mushrooms (chopped in half)
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic (crushed or whole)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 8 cups water
  • Dash salt
  • Dash pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.

    Veggies in pot
    The Spruce
  2. Reduce the heat and let your vegetable broth simmer for at least an hour, covered with a lid.

    Vegetables simmering in pot
    The Spruce
  3. Once your broth is done cooking, strain out the vegetables and garlic and remove the bay leaves.


  • You can serve your vegetable broth immediately. It is great for sipping to warm you on a cold day. Or, use it as a base for another dish. You can use this homemade vegetable broth to make vegetarian soup, gravy, risotto, stew, stir-fry, and more.
  • Your vegetable broth will keep for three to four days in the refrigerator. Be sure to refrigerate it promptly. To keep it longer, freeze it in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Be sure to label it with the contents and the date. It can be convenient to freeze it in measures you usually use in your recipes, such as 1 cup, 2 cups, or 1 pint.
  • Frozen vegetable broth should keep for four to six months in the freezer. It will still be safe to use after that point, but may not be at its peak quality.

Recipe Variation

  • Omit the soy sauce if you need to make a broth for a gluten-free soup. It adds a nice extra flavor, but it's not really needed. Tamari, Bragg's, or nama shoyu can also be used in place of the soy sauce.