Homemade Chicken Stock | Made 3 Ways!

Homemade Chicken Stock | Made 3 Ways!


Looking for ways to be less wasteful, healthier, and more budget friendly? Then making your own homemade chicken stock should be at the top of your list. This very simple recipe will help you eliminate food waste in your kitchen and enhance the flavors of anything you make involving chicken stock or broth!

I began making my own stock about a year ago when my husband gifted me an instant pot and I’ve never looked back. It’s so easy and requires very little hands on time. While I typically choose to make mine in my instant pot, I know that not everyone has one. That’s why I have included instructions for making homemade chicken stock in a crock-pot and on the stove top too!


blue pot with carrots, mushrooms, onion, celery and pepper in water.


If you’re on the fence about purchasing an instant pot, I would totally encourage you to go for it. Don’t do it for the make an entire meal in 12 minutes gimmicks though. I found that those types of recipes never worked well for me. But it is excellent for making stock, beans, rice, lentils, roasts, and chicken for shredding. Let me know if you have any particular questions and I would be happy to help!

The best part about making your own stock is that you really don’t have to go out and buy ingredients for it. I keep two large Ziploc bags in my freezer to collect my ingredients. One bag is for all of the vegetable scraps and the other is for any chicken bones, skin, or giblets. I just pull them out when I’m done de-boning some chicken thighs or chopping some veggies and sweep everything in. 

You can even freeze the leftover bones from making my Roast Chicken with Herbs and Citrus. Just pop the whole thing in your freezer bag and you haven’t wasted a single thing! Don’t forget to put the giblets that come with the chicken in the bag too. It feels amazing to cook a meal and then be able to re-purpose every bit of scraps.

I like to pour my stock into mason jars and then just pop it in the freezer to use whenever I need it. It will keep for at least 6 months, but mine only lasts a few weeks at most. If you’re tight on freezer space you can pour it into freezer Ziploc bags and lay them down flat. 


stock in glass jar sitting on wooden cutting board with vegetables


What goes in homemade chicken stock?

  • Basic Ingredients: Bones, onions, celery, carrots, salt, and lots of water.
  • Optional Ingredients: Garlic, bell pepper, stems from leafy greens, broccoli stems, mushrooms (highly recommended), parsley, thyme, or bay leaves.
  • Don’t Include: I wouldn’t advise using any squash remains, potatoes, eggplant, or fruit scraps in your stock. Some of these things can get very bitter if over cooked.

Tips for making great chicken stock:

  • Do give it plenty of time to cook. The longer the better! This allows the gelatin to cook out of the bones giving you a nice, flavorful base for future recipes.
  • Don’t put it in the fridge/freezer before it has cooled. If you are storing it in glass, this could cause it to break. If you are storing it in Ziploc bags this could cause it to stay too warm for too long and allow bacteria to grow. You can cool it down by putting your containers in a bath of cool water in the sink for a few minutes. 
  • Do use it in everything! Not only can you use it in recipes calling for stock/broth. You can also use it when making grains/beans in place of the water to add more flavor to the dish. Just use the same amount that the water called for in the original recipe or instructions.
5 from 4 votes
stock in glass jar sitting on wooden cutting board with vegetables
Homemade Chicken Stock
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 10 mins

Rich and flavorful this homemade chicken stock will bring a savory element to any dish you use it in. Simple and versatile any can make this recipe no matter their level of experience. With instructions for how to make it three different ways there is no reason to not make this pantry staple yourself!

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 Cups
Calories: 400 kcal
Main Ingredients
  • 1 Whole Chicken Bones
  • 10 Cups Water
  • 1 Onion With skin, cut into quarters
  • 2 Carrots Broken into 4 pieces
  • 2 Stalks Celery Broken into 4 pieces
  • 2 Tsp Salt
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 Clove Garlic With skin, cut in half
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 4 Shiitake Mushrooms Dried or Fresh
  • 2 Sprigs Thyme Fresh
  1. Roughly chop all ingredients besides bones leaving the skins and seeds. Add along with water, bones, salt, and thyme to stock pot/crock-pot/instant pot.

  2. Stock Pot: Bring water to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover with lid and let simmer for 3 hours.

     Crock-pot: Add all ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

     Instant-pot: Add all ingredients and seal lid. Set on manual high pressure for 60 minutes. Allow a natural release.

  3. Once cooked, strain stock using a mesh strainer or colander into a large bowl or measuring cup. Then pour into whatever container you will be storing it in. If using a jar allow 1/2" at the top for the liquid to expand. 

  4. Fill your sink or a large bowl with cold water and set the sealed container in the water bath. This will allow the temperature to come down more quickly and prevent it from staying warm too long in the fridge/freezer.

Recipe Notes

Depending on the size of your pot you may need more or less water. Aim to have all ingredients covered by 1" of water. Be sure to allow some room at the top of the pot so that the water does not spill over with cooking.

While you can use a colander it will not catch all of the small pieces as well. I would highly recommend purchasing a mesh strainer.


Helpful Tools to Make Homemade Chicken Stock:

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