A-to-Z List of Vegetables to Include or Exclude from Vegetable Stock or Broth

Homemade Vegetable Stock Broth

Making your own homemade broth or stock is super easy, only takes minutes of your time, and you can control the ingredients!

Are you wondering what vegetables make good stock or broth and what ones should be left out?  Check out this guide.

Acorn Squash

The peels are great for stock, but the flesh is too starchy and should be left out.

Asparagus

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/6 of the stock ingredients)

Basil

Good in very small quantities (no more than 1/10 of the stock ingredients)

Bay leaves

1 or 2 leaves per quart of liquid is a good amount.

Beet Greens

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/10 of the stock ingredients).  You may want to add greens toward end of cooking as they break down quickly.

Beets

Beets can be added, but they will turn the stock a very dark color, which may not work well for some purposes, such as butternut squash soup. Beet skins should not be used.

Bell or sweet peppers

Okay in small quantities (no more than 1/10 of the stock ingredients), but I tend to avoid using peppers as I don’t like the taste they impart.

Bok Choy

Foods in the Brassica family, such as Bok Choy, are too strong for stock/broth and can impart a bitter taste.

Broccoli

Foods in the Brassica family, such as broccoli, are too strong for stock/broth and can impart a bitter taste.

Cabbage

Foods in the Brassica family, such as cabbage, are too strong for stock/broth and can impart a bitter taste.

Carrots

Excellent for making stock/broth.

Carrot tops (leafy part)

Use only in very small quantities (no more than 1/16 of the stock ingredients). Too many can make the stock bitter.

Celery stalks

Excellent for making stock/broth.

Celery leaves

While the outer leaves can make the stock bitter, a small amount of the inner leaves can be used with good results.

Chard

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/6 of the stock ingredients)

Chives

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/10 of the stock ingredients)

Cilantro

Cilantro is too strong for broth/stock.  If you really want to use it, be sure to only use a very small amount. A little goes a long way.

Collard Greens

Foods in the Brassica family, such as collards, are too strong for stock/broth and can impart a bitter taste.

Corn

Corn doesn’t add a lot of flavor and can make the stock/broth cloudy.

Cucumber

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/6 of the stock ingredients)

Dill

Good in very small quantities (no more than 1/10 of the stock ingredients)

Eggplant

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/6 of the stock ingredients)

Garlic

Excellent for making stock/broth.

Green beans

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/5 of the stock ingredients)

Greens

Avoid bitter greens and members of the brassica family (kale, cabbage, Bok Choy).  Other greens can be used in small quantities.

Jerusalem artichokes

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/5 of the stock ingredients).

Kohlrabi

Foods in the Brassica family, such as kohlrabi, are too strong for stock/broth and can impart a bitter taste.

Leeks

Excellent for making stock/broth.

Lettuce

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/10 of the stock ingredients). Most lettuce varieties don’t add much flavor to the stock/broth.

Marjoram

Good in very small quantities (no more than 1/10 of the stock ingredients)

Mushrooms

Mushrooms add rich flavor to vegetable stock. (Because I opt for a plant-based diet, I personally don’t eat mushrooms [they are a fungus and not a plant], but if you eat mushrooms, they are a tasty addition to stock.)

Napa Cabbage

Foods in the Brassica family, such as cabbage, are too strong for stock/broth and can impart a bitter taste.

Okra

Okra can add body to broth.  Use in small quantities to avoid overwhelming flavor.

Onions

Excellent for making stock/broth.

Onion skins

Onion skins add a lovely color. Just don’t add to many of them unless you want your stock to have a dark color.

Oregano

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/10 of the stock ingredients)

Parsley

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/6 of the stock ingredients)

Parsnips

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/6 of the stock ingredients)

Peas

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/6 of the stock ingredients)

Pea Pods

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/6 of the stock ingredients)

Peppers, Hot Peppers

Not recommended.

Peppers, Bell Peppers

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/10 of the stock ingredients)

Potato peels

Can be used in small quantities. Potato skins add an earthy, but slightly bitter taste. Too many can make the stock cloudy.  Be sure the peels are very clean, otherwise you’ll end up with stock that tastes like dirt.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a little too starchy for good stock or broth.

Radish

Not recommended.

Romaine Lettuce

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/10 of the stock ingredients)

Rosemary

Some people like the taste rosemary imparts to stock/broth, but some find it lends a bitter flavor, so you may want to use it with caution.

Rutabagas

Foods in the Brassica family, such as Rutabagas, are too strong for stock/broth and can impart a bitter taste.

Scallions

Excellent for making stock/broth.

Shallots

Excellent for making stock/broth.

Spinach

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/6 of the stock ingredients).  Best added toward the end of cooking.

Squash

Squash is a little too starchy for good stock or broth.

Squash peel

Squash peels add good flavor to stock or broth.  Use no more than 1/8 of the total stock ingredients.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes don’t add much flavor to stock or broth and some variety are too starchy for good stock or broth.

Thyme

Very good in small quantities (no more than 1/10 of the stock ingredients)

Tomatoes

Excellent for making stock/broth.  Be sure to avoid including too many tomato seeds as this can give a bitter flavor.

Turnips

Turnips are too strong for stock or broth.

Turnip greens

Ok in small quantities (no more than 1/10 of the stock ingredients).  You may want to add greens toward end of cooking as they break down quickly.

Winter squash

Squash is a little too starchy for good stock or broth.

Zucchini

Good in small quantities (no more than 1/6 of the stock ingredients).

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