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  • Writer's pictureEmma Tierson

Zero Waste Homemade Stock

Making your own stock is easy.

If you've never cooked before, I promise you can do it.

If you have a tendency to burn water, you may have to try a couple of times to get it right...

But I still promise you can make this recipe.



The basic premise of my homemade stock is simple. Make meals with vegetables during the week. Save all the scraps. I've done this for a couple of years now, and I don't think I'm ever going to stop. Not only am I preventing waste, but I'm also creating a preservative-free stock, that I know every single ingredient in. If you're someone who likes to look for the healthiest food options out there, this is definitely something you should try.


Okay, so how does this actually work?

Start out with a freezer bag. Or if you're waste-free, a freezer box. I'm poor, so I use bags.

As you go through your week and make meals involving vegetables, OR meats, put whatever scraps that you are not using in your meal, i.e. stems, peeled skins, ends, fat, bones, giblets, whatever it is. Put. It. In. That. Bin.

Things that SHOULD NOT go in the bin.

  • Never put rotting or unwashed items in your freezer bin. If you wouldn't eat it as it is right now, then you shouldn't put it in a bag that will be stock later. Put those types of items in the compost!

  • Herbs or leafy green items. These can be saved in a separate bin, but they do not do well cooking for long periods of time. So if you choose to save them, add them to the end of the cooking process. More on this later...

  • The seeds from vegetables like peppers, or soft vegetables like tomatoes. (If any of y'all come at me and tell me that a tomato is a fruit...you don't even know what's coming...)

  • Rotting meat. This should be obvious. But in case it isn't..throw that s**t out! It's stinky! Its gots ta go!

  • Don't put delicate salad type of greens in a bin meant for stock. Lettuce is to be eaten raw. Don't disgrace lettuce by putting it in soup.


But what if I don't cook, but I want to make stock...what do I use?

These ingredients will make a nice stock:

  • Potatoes or Potato skins (any kind, sweet, yams, yellow, red..)

  • Zucchini

  • Yellow Squash

  • Onions or Onion skins

  • Garlic or Garlic skins

  • Ginger or Ginger skins

  • Peppers (NO SEEDS OR STEMS)

  • Squash skins or meat

  • Green Beans

  • Peas

  • Carrots

  • Corn

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Asparagus

  • Cabbage

  • Kale

  • Bones or meat, Rotisserie Chicken, Raw Chicken...whatever you like or can afford to get (my motto is the cheaper the better). Bones are a great stock addition if you are a meat eater!

Honestly just get creative with it. There are a lot of recipes out there to hone in on a particular flavor profile. If that's more of your thing then do it! Personally, I like just putting together what I have an using the stock for a bunch of recipes afterward.


After you have a full bin.....

Put the content in a big pot. Fill with water. Turn the heat up high until it starts to boil, then turn to low. Let it go down to a steady simmer and put a lid on the pot. Keep it on for 30 minutes-10 hours.

If you just have vegetables, 30 minutes-2 hours is fine. Taste it, if it's not developed enough, leave it for longer. If it's not done after that, season it with some salt or however else you want to flavor it, maybe with herbs, and taste it again.


If you have bones, I highly recommend leaving it on for at least 4 hours. I keep it on for 8-10 hours. Sometimes I'll take the vegetables out around the 2 hour mark and just leave the bones in to develop some extra flavor.

Once you achieve the flavor you want from your broth strain out all of the contents, I use cheesecloth to do this.

Use right away, save up to 4 days in the fridge, or a few months in the freezer.


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