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Homemade chicken broth in the crockpot

By January 26, 2015Recipes, Slow Cooker

I finally conquered making homemade chicken broth in the crockpot!  It’s so easy – I don’t now why I didn’t try making it sooner.  Here’s everything you need to know to make some broth yourself…

Homemade Chicken Broth in the Crockpot

I started buying whole chickens to make salads for my husband’s lunch and knew I needed to make broth with the bones.  I’ve been reading a lot about the health benefits of homemade bone broth, but I was more even more motivated by the cost savings.  I buy at least one carton of chicken broth at the grocery store each week, and even the cheapest containers cost $2 (on sale).

Since I’m addicted to my crockpot, I knew I had to make my chicken broth in it.  It seemed much easier and less intimidating than the stovetop.  Plus, I can leave the house instead of hanging around a boiling pot all day.

Homemade Chicken Broth in the Crockpot

My mom told me that she saves scraps from carrots, celery, and onions to flavor her broth, so of course I had to do the same.  By making this crockpot chicken broth with bones and washed ends of carrots, celery, and onions, it’s literally free.

Homemade Chicken Broth in the Crockpot

If you don’t have any scraps on-hand, never fear – Just make your broth with fresh veggies as described below.  Then, save your scraps in the freezer from here on out.

Homemade Chicken Broth in the Crockpot


  • Bones from one whole chicken (I either cook a fresh chicken in my crockpot first or buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store and eat the meat for dinner or in salads at lunchtime.)
  • 1 carrot, washed and chopped*
  • 2 celery ribs washed and chopped*
  • 1 onion, washed and chopped*

*I substitute a few handfuls of veggie scraps


  1. Add all of the ingredients to your crockpot and and fill with water until about an inch away from the top.  (My crockpot holds 7-quarts so I add about 16 cups of water.)
  2. Add lid, and cook on low 8 hrs or on high 4 hours.  You will know when the broth is done because it will take on a darker color and smell amazing.
  3. Strain out the bones and vegetables and discard. (I do this over a big pot to catch the broth.)
  4. Use broth immediately or save for later.

If you’re going to save your broth for later, cool it to room temperature and then add to your refrigerator or freezer.  Most of my soup recipes call for four cups of broth, so I use quart-sized freezer bags.

Homemade Chicken Broth in the Crockpot

I don’t add any salt to my broth when I’m cooking it.  I’d rather add add salt to taste based on the soup recipe that I’m making.

If you’re looking for some good new crockpot soup recipes, here are some of my favorites:

The total amount of chicken broth will depend on the size of your crockpot, but I get about 12 cups of broth from my 7-qt crockpot (affiliate link).  I’ve been making my own broth for a month now and haven’t needed to buy any at the grocery store.  Yay!

Homemade Chicken Broth in the Crockpot

Thoughts or questions?  Please leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you.



  • […] Kelly from New Leaf Wellness shows you how to make Homemade Chicken Broth in the Crockpot. […]

  • ms.v says:

    Thanks for the great recipe. I was wondering how many days broth will last in the refrigerator. And how long in the freezer?

  • Meghan O. says:

    Thanks for sharing. I keep meaning to this, I really try to watch our sodium intake and store bought has too much. I end up paying $3 or more for the healthy kind! Meghan

  • Ann says:

    I do the same thing but add more seasoning to mine along with a whole bunch of garlic as well for the health benefits. I will roast a chicken then put the carcass in the crockpot as we are cleaning up and stripping the meat off of the bones to put away for leftovers. I toss in the veggies and seasonings (usually thyme, rosemary, tarragon, sage, parsley and some salt and pepper) and then let it cook all night. By morning, the broth is a lovely dark golden color! After breakfast, I can strain it all and pick through and get enough meat to add to the broth and then I freeze it in 2 cup portions. This is now my “chicken soup starter” which I use when anyone is sick in the house. I just chop up some fresh veggies and add in some noodles or rice and cook until it is all tender and voila! Quick homemade chicken soup!

    • Kelly says:

      Yum. Love the idea of cooking it all night. That would give it lots of time during the day to cool before freezing. Thanks, Ann!

  • Ronni says:

    I make my own chicken broth like this now too. Once I did it once, I realized how incredibly easy it is. Now I make and freeze broth anytime I have leftover chicken bones!

  • Heidi says:

    I have the crockpot out making chicken broth as we speak. I also do like your mom and save veggie scraps. And I toss in some whole peppercorns, a bay leaf, and some dried thyme. I use the chicken broth for all kinds of things: chicken soup, as liquid in my cooked beans, in my lentils, as liquid when I cook brown rice in the rice cooker. It is a staple around here.

  • Linda says:

    If you are making broth with whole vegetables, strain the veggies and the bones, then discard the bones. Puree the veggies in the blender and freeze in 1 cup portions.. I keep small containers of pureed veggies to add to soups and casseroles. They add richness and color and also a little thickness to the soups. This allows you to get all the value from the vegetables you buy.

    • Kelly says:

      That’s a good point. I never considered how I could re-use the veggies if I used whole ones instead of scraps. Thanks for sharing!

  • I love this. I’ve made broth before with just the chicken bones but I’ve never added the veggies. Such a great idea.

  • Kerry says:

    I strain everything like you do, however I made 2 or 3 batches with the bones. It depends on the bones. They crumble and then you can’t use them again. I usually add a little more cooking time, and sometimes extra veggies. Try it yourself. I haven’t found any lessening of the flavor of the broths.

  • Sybil says:

    When you use the bones of a cooked chicken, how does that work? You cook the chicken, debone the meat and then save the bones? In other words, you are not using bones that have been eaten off of, correct?

    Also, it seems to me like the chicken bones can be very small and that bones from only one chicken would be very light in terms of flavor. I suppose it’s all about the ratio of chicken bone to amount of water, plus the amount of time that it cooks. What do you think?


    • Kelly says:

      I de-bone the chicken before serving, but I might even consider washing the bones if I serve a meal with bone-in meat (especially if we’re all healthy and we’re the only ones who will be eating the broth).

      I think the ratio is important, and the veggies add a lot of flavor too. I use my chicken broth in soups that have a lot of flavor – usually from a tomato base – so I’m not too concerned with the strength of my broth.

  • […] Kelly from New Leaf Wellness shows you how to make Homemade Chicken Broth in the Crockpot. […]

  • Melinda says:

    Have you read that adding some apple cider vinegar will help get the marrow out of the bones, making it more nutritious? I have also read when making bone broth you may want to stick with organic…/ I have three chicken carcuses in my fridge I can’t wait to try your recipe and I love the idea of using the left over veggies! Thanks

  • Jaymi A. says:

    I don’t have a whole chicken, but I plan on making about 5-6 quarters for dinner this week… Can I use the bones from them instead?! I am always running back to the store for broth or bullion cubes and would LOVE to always have it on hand.

  • Pam says:

    i also save all ‘broth/juice’ from any roast or Ham that I cook and once it has cooled I freeze it……these combined make for a delicious soup base or gravy!

  • megan says:

    I never thought about cooking a whole chicken in my crockpot. How do you do it and what do you season it with?

  • Sally says:

    Step 5: Put the bones back into the crock pot with a new handful of veggie scraps. Make a second batch of weaker broth. Mix the “first run” and the “second run” together for twice as much bone broth. Note: To get calcium from the bones, break the bigger ones in half.

  • Joan says:

    What a great idea! I always save the broth from my boiled chickens, but I am definitely going to try out saving out the bones and cooking it down longer in the crock pot! You are right, what a money saver!!!

  • Alyce says:

    Sorry stupid question but you’re cooking it as you’re cooking your chicken? Or you cook your chicken first and then use the bones (and veggies) only to make broth?

    • Kelly says:

      I cook the chicken first and then use the bones/veggies to make broth. However, I save the stock that’s left when I cook the chicken too. 🙂

  • L.L. says:

    I live alone so only cook for one. Are ther crockpots for 1 person?

  • Jayme says:

    If you wanted to not use plastic bags to freeze it in, you can freeze it in mason jars;) they do not break in the freezer, just be sure to leave a little free room at the top and be sure to let it cool down completely before placing in the freezer;) Thx for explaining everything!!

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