This recipe for Instant Pot vegetable broth goes wonderfully in soup recipes. It's a whole 30/paleo compliant recipe that's incredibly inexpensive and gluten free!

homemade instant pot veggie broth for under 10 cents.

Since I started writing recipes for the Instant Pot, I have had an absolute ton of requests for vegetarian dishes. One problem with that though - my taste testers (aka my family) doesn't do meat-free meals. I've tried them, many times, and have gotten complaints pretty much every time.

Writing vegetarian recipes when your family basically won't touch them is a little bit of a struggle (especially when you don't like throwing food away if at all possible). But, I finally found an incredibly easy and delicious vegetarian Instant Pot meal to share today! I've had this idea for a month or two, but couldn't really try it out until now (you'll see why in a second).

My favorite part of this vegetable broth is that it's basically free. Why, you ask? Because you're really just using veggie scraps that you would throw away anyway to make a rich, delicious broth that...I'll say it...I think tastes better than chicken broth in dishes. It would be perfect as the base in a veggie noodle soup, as the liquid in a pasta dish, or even to thin out a sauce or a stew. I promise - use this as the replacement for chicken broth in a dish, and you'll never know the difference.

And all you'll pay for is the water to put in the pot and the electricity to cook it! That's got to be well less than 10 cents.

bag of frozen vegetable scraps in front of an instant pot.

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About a month ago I started saving all of the scraps that I would normally toss after chopping veggies (and I'll be honest - I can't take credit for the idea...I originally saw this on Facebook and adapted it to work for the Instant Pot). For this particular bag, I used...

-Ends of onions
-Tops of carrots
-Carrot peels
-Tops and insides of bell peppers
-Ends of celery stalks
-Stems of broccoli
-Ends of squash
-Stems of parsley
-Stems of cilantro

That's just what my family happened to use in the past month or two...I didn't buy anything special to make this recipe. (A reader shared this link to what you can/cannot include and I wanted to share it with you's fantastic!) I kept a gallon bag in my freezer and just put the scraps in there whenever I cooked. Once it was full, I was ready to make my veggie broth!

I did wash my scraps before putting them in the bag originally. If you forget to do that, you might want to give them a quick rinse before putting them in the pot to cook.

vegetables in an instant pot liner.
setting an instant pot to 35 minutes.

I put all of the (still frozen) scraps in my Instant Pot (with about 2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper), filled the water to the top of the veggies (not passing the max fill line...I had a reader let me know that new advisories say not to fill past ⅔ full), and locked on the lid. The pot was set for manual, high pressure, 35 minutes. I let the pressure naturally release for about 15 minutes before taking the pot out to cool on a trivet on the counter.

cooked vegetables in broth in an instant pot.
vegetable broth before straining in front of an instant pot.
pressing broth out of cooked vegetables with a silicone spatula.

Once cool, just drain the broth into your freezer dish! Make sure you press the broth out of all of the cooked-down veggies to really get the good stuff.

two containers of vegetable broth in front of an instant pot.

I got almost 2 full containers (of my favorite IP freezer container, of course). That way, if I want to use the frozen broth for a soup in the Instant Pot later, there's no need to thaw it before popping it out of the container for use...I know it will fit in the Instant Pot while still frozen!

Now go forth and use those veggie scraps, Instant Potters! You won't regret it!

(And friends - if you love my Instant Pot recipes, check out the line-up of Instant Pot freezer meal boot camps I'll be releasing on June 14th! These packs will have everything you need to prep freezer meals specially designed for your pressure cooker. You can see the menus here!)


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  1. I've had my Instant Pot for a year or so and use it almost daily, but it still took me a while to realize the vegetable scraps I'd been taking to the compost heap were *gold* when you've got a pressure cooker at hand. And you're right: There's nothing handier than grabbing a block of stock from the freezer and adding it straight into your recipe, no thawing necessary. It even works with non-presoaked beans (though I usually add 200 ml of water to get things started quicker).

    The only thing I'd add is what your friend recommended. I made some soup the other day and took it all the way to the marked fill line. Enough splashed into the pressure valve that it avoided a good rinse, baked on, and kept the valve from properly closing the next time I used the cooker. Some careful scrubbing and dilute white vinegar did the trick.

  2. Questionner says:

    Hello. I'm worried about the fact that the vegetables will have been frozen, unfrozen and then frozen again if the broth goes in the freezer.This is supposed to be terrible for bacterias. Is the pressure cooking making it ok? Thanks.

    1. You're going to be taking any vegetable pieces out of the broth before freezing, so it shouldn't be an issue. I don't recommend thawing and refreezing any kind of meats/veggies, but since you're straining these before refreezing, it shouldn't be an issue!

  3. I've been collecting veggie scraps for broth for awhile-- and making it in a pot on the stove, which takes hours. Then we got an instant pot for Christmas this year, and like everyone else on the planet, our lives were transformed. So of course I had to search for a way to make broth. Your directions are perfect -- and both tastier and lower in salt than my old method. Thanks!

    1. You are so welcome, hope it works wonderfully for you!

      1. A small piece of rind from a hard cheese such as Parmesan or Romano adds richness to the soup.

  4. Andrea Kennedy says:

    I’ve been making veggie scrap broth for years but now the IP does the job so much quicker! Depending on the flavors you like, try using thyme or bayleaf or even red pepper flakes. Like you, I keep a one gallon zippper storage bag in the freezer and throw in the ends and peels as I prep veggies for other dishes. Also I’ve saved the stems of mushrooms. And onion skins give a nice golden color to the broth.

  5. I've been saving the scraps from my veggies and the leaves/ bunch of the beets. Can the leaves of the beets be used to make the broth? Thanks.

    1. I've never tried it, but I don't see why not! I did a quick google search that says they're not toxic, so it should be safe. Whether it gives the broth a good flavor, I don't know, but there were several suggestions for beet green soup.

    2. Beet greens are my favorite sautéed with garlic and olive oil. I buy the beets solely for the greens. Try them. Better than Swiss chard in my opinion. Radish greens are also wonderful.

    3. We actually steam and eat beet leaves as greens. You can use leaves, stems, and root tops for broth too.
      Beet greens are my favorite green.

  6. I made this today for the first time. I found it to be way too peppery for our tastes. Did your mean 2t of whole or ground pepper?

    1. Hmm - not sure what happened. I used ground pepper for recipe, and 2 tsp should be able right for a pot full of broth.

  7. This is my favorite way to do broth. I reduce the amount of salt and add a great big heaping tablespoon of red miso. That umami flavor is awesome!

    1. That sounds amazing, I'll have to try it!

  8. I used to buy quarts of broth at Costco; $12 for four. Now I just use your recipe and every time I make it I think, “That’s another $12!”. I love that I can get the most out of the produce I buy and control the flavor & sodium. Its awesome for spinach and mushroom risotto!