Easy Vegetable, Chicken and Beef Stock Recipes | Tips and Tricks


Making your own stock is an easy way to reduce food waste and save money. Homemade veggie, chicken, and beef stock are a healthy alternative to many store-bought alternatives. We show you can use leftover scraps and odd ingredients in your fridge to make a delicious base.

Why not just use stock cubes?

Store-bought stock cubes or bouillon cubes are easy to use, especially when short on time. However, they often taste artificial and lack the richness of the homemade stock. In addition, they tend to be higher in sodium and contain preservatives, which can actually hurt the taste of your food.

Homemade stock can be prepared ahead of time. The ingredients for making stock - vegetables, meat, or any leftover scraps - can be found in any kitchen. 

  • No preservatives: you know it's fresh, and choose each ingredient
  • Minimise waste: you can use the produce or scraps available 

Cooking vegetable broth

What’s the difference between stock and broth?

Stock and broth are quite similar, but their difference lies in the preparation. Vegetable stock is more like a sauce or soup, whereas vegetable broth has more of a liquid consistency.

For meat-based brews: stocks are made from bones, whereas broths are made from meat.

Find out how you can make your own stock with minimal effort.

Basic Vegetable Stock Recipe

The best part of this recipe is that it can be fully personalised. This combination forms a mouthwatering stock, but you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand.

Before cooking vegetables, we often peel the skin off and cut off the stems. But in this process, we are throwing away a lot of nutritional goodness. In fact, a significant quantity of vitamins, minerals and fibre is contained in skin of these vegetables.

Save your vegetable scraps in a container, and freeze. Wilted vegetables may not be pretty to plate, but make an excellent addition to your stock. When you have several cups-worth, you’re ready to brew.

Easy vegetable stock recipe

Makes: 2L stock

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ bunch of celery
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 tomatoes
  • ½ cup parsley
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 3 carrots
  • ½ pumpkin
  • 2 onions
  • 2 kale leaves
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt

Method

  1. Roughly chop vegetables into large cubes.
  2. Combine chopped vegetables, salt and extra virgin olive oil in a pot. 
  3. Add enough water to fully cover the vegetables, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 1 hour. Stir every now and again for a rich and even stock. 
  5. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. 
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for up to 4 weeks. 

Tips: 

  • Avoid using kale stems as they will add bitterness to your stock. Instead, use them to make pesto. 
  • Use a roughly equal portion of each vegetable so your resulting stock is balanced in flavour. 
  • Other recipes may recommend straining the stock before storage. Blending the stock mixture produces a thicker stock while retaining fibre and nutrients. 
  • Allow the mixture to cool completely before transferring to your fridge or freezer for storage. (Read more about how to store your food safely, and for longer!). 
  • Freeze your stock in an ice cube tray, or portion into zip-locked freezer bags. This enables them to be stored compactly and thawed easily when you need it. Make sure to mark the date on the container so you know when each batch of stock was made.


Vegetables to avoid

Avoid using any rotten or mouldy veggies. Some veggies can overpower the flavour of the stock, so avoid adding large amounts of:

  • Cabbage
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Turnips
  • Rutabagas
  • Artichokes

Avoid beetroots and purple onion skins as they can turn your stock a reddish-brown.

How to make chicken or beef stock

When prepared properly, meat-based stocks can be extremely nutritious. When boiled, the minerals within bone, cartilage, and marrow are infused into the stock. For this reason, meat-based stocks require a longer cooking time to extract all the goodness. 

You can add vinegar or wine during cooking to help draw out calcium, magnesium, and potassium into the stock.

Use your leftover roast chicken carcass or purchase cheap beef bones from your butcher.

Cooking chicken stock

Makes: 2L stock

Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Leftover chicken or beef bones
  • 1 onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt

Method

  1. Roughly chop vegetables into large cubes.
  2. Combine chopped vegetables, salt and extra virgin olive oil in a pot. 
  3. Add enough water to fully cover the vegetables, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 1.5 hours. Stir every now and again for a rich and even stock. 
  5. Add the bones to the stock and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the bones with a slotted spoon.
  7. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. 
  8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for up to 4 weeks. 

What can you make with stock?

You’ve made your own stock cubes - now, what do you do with these nuggets of deliciousness? The possibilities are endless! We’ll show you a couple of creative and simple ways to enhance the flavour of your meals. 

Beef stock spaghetti

1. Pasta sauce

Enrich your sauce with your own vegetable or beef stock. Just add a few cubes to the sauce when simmering to make delicious pasta, and finish with meatballs.

Chicken stock noodle soup

2. Chicken noodle soup

Tap into the lazy (or shall I say, time-wise?) way to boost any chicken noodle soup. Stir in a portion of homemade chicken stock into your broth for a rich and tasty kick.

Vegetable stock thai curry

3. Thai curry

Pop a serving of vegetable stock into your next Thai curry recipe for a more deeper and robust flavour. Say hello to the new master chef!

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