Vegetable stock adds flavor and depth to a variety of dishes. Learn how to make vegetable stock cubes at home. Here you'll find a simple vegetable stock recipe, with step-by-step photo instructions.
Homemade vegan vegetable stock cubes are a perfect base for most soups and stews. Making them from scratch at home is a great way to create budget friendly recipes.
These concentrated veggie cubes can be frozen using an ice cube tray, then reconstituted with water when you're ready to make a nice pot of warming soup, a comforting stew, a flavorful sauce, or delicious gravy.
Table of Contents
The Advantages of Homemade Stock Cubes
These stock cubes are perfect for both vegetarians and vegans. If you are looking for a substitute for beef stock or chicken stock in any recipe, then these vegetarian stock cubes are your answer.
In Ireland and the United Kingdom, stock cubes or bouillon cubes are sold in grocery stores. They are reconstituted to a broth by mixing one bouillon cube with one cup or 8 fluid ounces of boiling water.
But can you make your own stock cubes? It's actually simple enough to make your own stock cubes, especially these vegetarian cubes.
When you make your own stock cubes, you can freeze them in ice cube trays, then simply pop one cube into a cup of boiling water to create a delicious stock for your recipe.
Soups, stews, pastas, rice, casseroles, sauces and gravies all taste better when cooked with a good stock. These stock cubes will replace vegetable bouillon cubes, and vegetable bouillon powder in your pantry.
Commercially produced stock cubes tend to have a high salt content, and can even contain some artificial ingredients. So, homemade stock cubes are the way to go, especially when you're health conscious and only eat the very best, wholesome ingredients.
These homemade frozed vegetable stock cubes are the perfect substitute for store bought bouillon and stock cubes.
What is the difference between gravy and stock?
Stock is an ingredient that can be used to make gravy, but it is not a finished menu item. Stocks are a base for creating more complex foods such as soups, stews, sauces, and gravies.
Stock or broth can be vegeterian or not. Stocks are made by simmering a mixture of animal bones, meat, vegetables and water with a little salt. Different recipes call for different types of stocks, such as beef stock, chicken stock, fish stock or vegetable stock.
Only vegetable stock or vegetable broth will work for vegetarian recipes.
Gravy can be made from stock, with added seasonings, and sometimes flour to thicken it. Stock is added to gravy, which is then reduced down over heat to thicken it and to concentrate the flavor.
Vegetarian stock cubes can lend a wonderful flavor profile to gravy.
Ingredients for Homemade Veggie Stock Cubes
Here's a quick list of what you'll need to make these vegetarian stock cubes. You'll find exact quantities in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- shredded carrot
- shredded butternut squash
- green onions
- brown onion or Vidalia onion
- fresh parsley
- garlic cloves
I do not use celery in my stock, but feel free to add a stalk or two. Be sure to chop it into small pieces before cooking.
You can replace the butternut squash with pumpkin or even a spaghetti squash, and the result will be pretty similar.
Other vegetables you might like to add include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes or peppers.
I also do not add too many herbs or spices to my basic vegetarian stock recipe. I like this recipe to be versatile. If it boasts strong flavors it will overpower any dish you use it in.
Stock boasts a concentrated, but slightly bland flavor so you can use it as a base ingredient in multiple recipes.
Bay leaves can be added to the cooking pot, but if you use them, be sure to remove them before puréeing the stock. A sprig or two of fresh thyme adds warm flavor, but once again, remove the stalks before puréeing to a paste.
Black pepper can also be added to this homemade vegetable stock, but again, do not overuse it, since it will overwhelm the flavor.
Directions for Making Frozen Stock Cubes
First prepare the carrots by shredding them in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor you can simply grate the carrots using a box grater.
If the carrots are clean you can shred the skins too and use them in the stock. Nothing should go to waste.
Peel the butternut squash and cut it into cubes. Place the cubes in a food processor and pulse to shred the orange flesh.
Once again, use a box grater if you do not own a food processor.
Peel and chop the onion.
Chop the leeks and discard any dark green parts. Wash the chopped leeks well since dirt can hide in the layers of a leek.
Slice the green onions or scallions and discard the tails.
Add all the prepared vegetables to a large skillet or soup pot. Place the pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the salt to the pot.
Oil is not used in this recipe. The salt helps the vegetables to release water, which helps cook the vegetables. Do not add any extra water, since we want a thick, concentrated vegetable mixture for our stock cubes.
Cook the vegetables until they are softened. This will take about 20 minutes. Stir the vegetable mix from time to time to prevent sticking or burning.
As the vegetables cook, they will break down and reduce significantly. They will start forming a paste like mixture, but there will still be some texture remaining at the end of the cooking process.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then use a food processor to transform it into a smooth paste.
If you wish to retain some texture in your stock cubes, then limit the time you pulse them in the food processor.
Your vegetable stock is ready to use at this point. You can keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container or mason jar for up to 7 days.
To use the stock, mix two tablespoons of vegetable stock concentrate to one cup of boiling water.
However, I prefer to freeze this mixture in an ice cube tray.
Freezing Homemade Vegan Stock Cubes
Choose an ice cube tray with large cube spaces.
Allow the mixture to cool completely, then fill the spaces of the ice cube tray. Each space should take about 2 tablespoons of vegetable mixture.
Cover the top of the tray with two or three layers of plastic wrap and place in the freezer.
You will have ready-to-go vegetable stock cubes whenever you need them.
You can remove the stock cubes from the ice cube tray, once they are frozen, and them place two to four cubes in small freezer bags. Return them to the freezer and you will have recipe sized packages of vegetarian stock cubes.
Since you reconstitute these concentrated stock cubes with boiling water, there's no need to defrost these cubes before using them.
Recipe Tips for Storing and Using Freezer Stock Cubes
This veggie stock cube recipe should yield about 30 cubes, but your yield is totally dependent upon the size of each compartment in your ice cube tray.
The vegetables will get smaller and reduce significantly during the cooking process, but some texture will remain.
I highly recommend using a food processor if you wish to have a smooth paste.
You can keep all of the stock in the fridge for up to 7 days but I much prefer freezing this stock as cubes, so that I can have ready-to-go stock cubes whenever I need them. I love to add them to soups, casseroles, stews, pasta, and even rice.
These stock cubes will last in the freezer for up to three months, why not make them in autumn or fall so that you're ready for soup season.
This vegetable stock is delicious and very handy! It is very salty, though, because it is intended to be used as a concentrated stock cube. Reduce the amount of salt if desired or if you're following a heart healthy diet.
Here's a short video outlining the steps for this recipe.
Here's the printable recipe card.
Homemade Vegan Stock Cubes
- 3 cups shredded carrots about 3 peeled carrots
- 3 cups shredded butternut squash 1 small butternut squash
- 1 whole leek washed and chopped - white part only
- 2 whole green onions chopped and ends discarded
- 1 whole onion brown or white - peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley washed and chopped
- 2 whole garlic cloves peeled and minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Peel and shred the carrots using a food processor or grater.
- Peel and chop the butternut squash. Shred using a food processor or grater.
- Peel and chop the onion. Chop the leeks and discard any dark green parts. Wash the chopped leeks well since dirt can hide in the layers of a leek. Slice the green onions or scallions and discard the tails.
- Add all the prepared vegetables to a large soup pot. Place the pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the salt to the pot. Cook for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
- The vegetables will start forming a paste like mixture, but there will still be some texture remaining at the end of the cooking process.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then use a food processor to combine it into a smooth paste.
- Allow the mixture to cool completely, then fill the spaces of the ice cube tray with the vegetable mixture. Each space should take about 2 tablespoons of vegetable mixture.
- Cover the ice cube tray with three layers of plastic wrap. Freeze in the freezer. You can remove individual vegetable stock cubes each time you need one.
- When you are ready to use a stock cube, simply add 1 cup of boiling water. Use one cube for every cup of stock required in your recipe.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
If you love making soups then here are some of my other recipes you might enjoy.
Happy soup making. I hope you find this recipe very handy.
Plus, if you like this recipe, please do share it on social media channels such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. I really appreciate your support in spreading the word about Irish American Mom's recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade