Simple Zero Waste Bouillon Paste Recipe From Vegetable Scraps

jar of DIY vegetable bullion paste blocks on tabletop in front of window

Ever since reading The Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson, it’s been a goal of our family to reduce our overall waste. We have found the most success in reducing kitchen food waste by making our vegetable scrap bouillon paste.

Like most families, we have a lot of food waste and it’s been a battle figuring out the best system. These are easy to make and keep for months in the freezer. Making them an easy way to add a pow of flavor to your soups, meats, and rice dishes.

vegetable scraps in plastic container on tabletop to be used in a vegetable bullion recipe

The Kinds of Vegetables To Use in the Vegetable Scrap Bouillon Paste

The best part about using vegetable scraps to make a bouillon paste? You get to use the skins, end pieces, and leaves of vegetables you already use in your everyday cooking. Peels of carrots, celery leaves, ends and tops of zucchinis, ends of onions, and the stems of herbs. Keep the scraps in a container in your fridge or freezer.

vegetable scraps in plastic container on tabletop with cutting board, knife, and vegetable scraps in the foreground being prepared to make vegetable bullion cubes

Food Scraps to Avoid

Although most food scraps are game for making these bouillon pastes, some, like fennel fronds, may overpower the overall flavor of the pastes. Part of the surprise is not knowing exactly how the paste’s flavor will turn out. Keep your scrap mix eclectic and not too much of any one vegetable and the result will be a delicious flavor profile.

Vegetable Scraps in a food processor to make vegetable scrap bullion

How to Make Vegetable Scrap Bouillon Paste

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Vegetable Scraps: vegetable peels, mushroom stems, onion ends, etc.

1/4-1/2 cup of salt

Tools Needs:

Food processor

Non-stick or cast iron pan

measuring cup


Silicone ice cube tray

Freezer-safe jar (I like to use these)

Vegetable Scrap Paste in an iron skillet - in a step to make DIY vegetable bullion cubes

How to Make

  1. Pour all of the food scraps into the food processor. Blend until a paste begins to form.
  2. Transfer the paste to the cooking pan.
  3. Add the salt and stir until combined.
  4. Cook the paste on low for 30-60 minutes until all of the water has evaporated.
  5. Keep stirring so the paste doesn’t burn.
  6. Once the water has evaporated, the paste will be very salty.
  7. Transfer the paste to silicone ice cube trays and place in the freezer for 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  8. Remove the paste cubes from the ice trays and transfer to a freezer-safe storage jar. Keep the pastes in the freezer and pull out to use when cooking.
Cooked Vegetable Scrap Bullion Paste in iron skillet with rubber spatula and ice cube trays

Cook Using your Vegetable Scrap Bouillon Paste

Add 1-2 Zero Waste Boullion Paste cubes to rice, soups, and instant pot recipes for beans or meats. Have fun experimenting with adding them to your favorite recipes! No need to add salt and you will get a small boost from the extra vitamins. Plus, that good feeling of eliminating waste in your home. Happy cooking!

Vegetable scrap bullion paste filled into an ice cube tray on countertop

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