No-Big-Deal Vegetable Stock

How to make fresh, clean-tasting vegetable stock in a slow cooker with just a few simple vegetables. You've got onion, carrot, celery and maybe mushrooms too, right? The broth tastes so delicious, you just might find myself sipping a glassful while cooking dinner.

No-Big-Deal Vegetable Stock for the Slow Cooker ♥ Absolutely delicious, just 4 common vegetables, seasoning.

Vegetable Stock Made from Scratch. A Year-Round Kitchen Staple for Cooking But Good Enough to Drink. Budget Friendly. Great for Meal Prep. Easy DIY. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.

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Why Buy Food and Then Just Throw It Away?

Through lean years, through comfortable years, we eat largely the same. I'm not a Child of the Depression but I was raised by one, my mom.

It's as if food frugality is built right into my very DNA. No wonder I keep adding new features to How to Save Money on Groceries.

I just don't see the sense of buying a chicken to make chicken stock, then throwing the meat away because it's "spent".

I just can't grasp buying special vegetables to make vegetable stock, then throwing them away because they've served their purpose.

I can't. I just can't.

But I also don't want to buy stock either, what's essentially water and salt, lugging home cartons, storing them, cooking with them, trudging back for more.

No-Big-Deal Vegetable Stock for the Slow Cooker ♥ Absolutely delicious, just 4 common vegetables, seasoning.

Enter No-Big-Deal Stocks, First Chicken & Now Vegetable.

Instead, I want to use what's on hand for stock worth making. Sure, I'll invest time and effort for special-occasion dishes. But for kitchen staples like stock? My aim is always:

  • Low Effort.
  • Low Cost.
  • Big Taste.

And that's how I switched from complicated chicken stock to what I call No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock, just water and the bones of a rotisserie chicken, so easy to make. Really, it's no big deal.

Nntil now, a low-effort, low-cost and big-taste vegetable stock has been elusive.

But finally here we are, No-Big-Deal Vegetable Stock is reality. Call me thrilled that vegan stock is now just as easy to make. Really, it's no big deal.

Will it end up becoming the Best-Ever “Most Useful” Recipe for 2023? It's the leading candidate, so far only Manna Café Oatcakes (Oatmeal Pancakes) is also a contender. UPDATE: It did, indeed!

No-Big-Deal Vegetable Stock for the Slow Cooker ♥ Absolutely delicious, just 4 common vegetables, seasoning.

About This Recipe

  • For a large batch of clear, fresh-tasting vegetable stock with a peppery finish, simmer common fresh vegetables with seasonings in a slow cooker with water for about three hours.
  • Short Ingredient List = onion + carrot + celery + mushrooms + peppercorns + salt + water
  • It takes only about 10 minutes to prep the vegetables, then it all simmers away in the slow cooker for 3 hours.
  • If you leave the skins on the onions, the stock turns out a lovely golden brown color. Skip the skins if you'd prefer a clearer stock, for cooking rice, say, and keeping it white vs colored.
  • This is pantry-friendly recipe, calling only for a common onion, a few carrots and mushrooms, a few ribs of celery. Chances are good, you already keep these on hand for everyday cooking.
  • This is a calorie-friendly and budget-friendly recipe, no oil, just water, vegetable juices and seasoning.
  • As written, the recipe makes about 9 cups but it's easy to scale up and down, depending on your needs.
  • It's a totally different tack and definitely a bigger deal to make, but I'm also a fan of Homemade Vegetable Bouillon Concentrate, finely chopped vegetables preserved in salt and easily scooped out by the spoonful from the freezer.

What's In No-Big-Deal Vegetable Stock? Pantry Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. Usually I'm a big fan of substitutes, in this case, I recommend sticking with the recipe, it just works.

  • Carrots add color and a savory sweetness. Leave the skins on unless they're gnarly.
  • Onion and Celery add an underlying savoriness, the onion skins stain the stock with a pretty brown color.
  • Mushrooms add woody, earthy flavors and are the source of umami, that meaty deliciousness that is one of the five basic tastes (sweet, sour, salty and bitter are the others).
  • Salt & Peppercorns Salt is important here, so is the pepperiness.
No-Big-Deal Vegetable Stock for the Slow Cooker ♥ Absolutely delicious, just 4 common vegetables, seasoning.

How to Make No-Big-Deal Vegetable Stock

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights in three easy steps. You can do this!

  • PREP ALL THE VEGETABLES and combine them with the other ingredients in a slow cooker.
  • SLOW COOK ON HIGH for three hours. Then press the vegetables with a potato masher, expressing the liquid they've absorbed for even more flavor. Pull out the peppercorns and lift out the vegetables with a slotted spoon.
  • STRAIN & TRANSFER to storage containers, then refrigerate or freeze until ready to cook with.
  • See what I mean? No.Big.Deal.

Why Vegetable Stock Is So Worth Making

Why would anyone go to the trouble of making Vegetable Stock from scratch? Here are a few reasons. Why do you make it? Let me know in the comments!

  • It's pure delicious.
  • It uses only common vegetables, no need to buy a bunch of other vegetables.
  • No one vegetable flavor dominates, instead the combination blends together as if forming an entirely new vegetable flavor.
  • It adds such generous flavor to dishes calling for stock, especially vegetarian dishes.
  • No more stocking up on cartons of, well, stock, that's mostly water and salt.
  • Minimizes reliance on rotisserie chickens just for making No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock.
  • Ready to get started? Here's your recipe!

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If a simple method for making vegetable stock inspires you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

No-Big-Deal Vegetable Stock for the Slow Cooker ♥ Absolutely delicious, just 4 common vegetables, seasoning.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time-to-table: 3 hours
Makes about 9 cups stock
  • 1 large onion, ends trimmed & discarded, skins left on, quartered
  • 3 - 4 medium carrots, ends trimmed & discarded, skins left on, cut in chunks
  • 4 medium ribs celery, ends trimmed & discarded, cut in chunks
  • 4 mushrooms, stems trimmed & discarded, cut in chunks if large
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 10 cups water

Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on High for 3 hours.

After the three hours, press the vegetables with a potato masher, expelling the vegetable juices. Use a slotted to lift out the vegetable solids, then poke around to find and remove the pepper corns which have likely settled on the bottom.

Pour the stock through a strainer into storage containers, I use quart-size and pint-size glass canning jars.

Use within a week. The stock freezes beautifully even in glass jars, see How to Freeze Stock in Canning Jars.

ALANNA's TIPS Precision isn't so important here but I aim for about 8 ounces (225g) of onion, carrot and celery and 4 ounces (112g) of mushrooms. Use this information to scale up the recipe for a large batch, say. The broth itself is fantastic, so fresh- and clean-tasting. But the vegetables themselves, especially the mushrooms, are also quite good. I wouldn't actually ever "serve" them but I sure would make myself a quick lunch using them.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .

More Kitchen Staples

~ The Homemade Pantry ~
The Homemade Pantry ♥, a special collection of recipes for ingredients and dishes we could easily buy but choose to make from scratch at home because they taste better, cost less, have fewer or higher-quality ingredients or are simply more convenient.
My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing, another Master Recipe ♥, quick, easy meal prep. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.

Spiced Pickled Red Onions ♥, a game changer for tacos, salads, eggs and more.

How to Make Homemade Applesauce, another simple seasonal recipe ♥ No added sugar!

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

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~ carrot recipes ~
~ celery recipes ~
~ mushroom recipes ~

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.