Recipe: Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot

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Chicken Stock Ingredients

I’ve shared this recipe on the blog before, but to be honest it’s kind of buried in the intro paragraph of another recipe, which basically means it’s hard to find. And now that I’ve realized how incredibly popular this slow cooker “overnight chicken stock” recipe is I’ve decided it deserves a page all of its own! If you don’t already own a slow cooker I like to give people plenty of reasons to buy one because I love mine (we use this basic, inexpensive slow cooker) and use it quite frequently for everything from “Flank Steak Fajitas” to “Refried Beans.” But one of the best crock pot discoveries (thanks to a friend!) has definitely been this recipe below for chicken stock that cooks while you sleep using the leftover chicken bones from your dinner. I highly recommend using the leftovers from “The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot” recipe, but any chicken bones will do, and you’ll be amazed with the outcome. Get ready to say goodbye to canned chicken broth forever!

Chicken Noodle Soup made with Homemade Chicken Stock


4.6 from 22 reviews

Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot
  • Leftover chicken bones or carcass roughly equivalent to one small or medium sized chicken
  • 1 onion, peeled and loosely chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped (no need to peel)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Salt, to taste
    Note: If you are missing any of these ingredients I wouldn’t let that stop you from making it anyway.
  1. After removing all edible meat from the chicken put/leave the bones, skin, cooking juices, etc. in the crock pot. If you are using the chicken carcass from the “The Best Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot” recipe just leave every single thing that’s leftover (except the good meat of course) in the crock pot including the original onion and spices you used when making the chicken.
  2. Add the onion, celery, carrot and spices on top of the bones and fill the crock pot almost to the top with tap water (leaving about ½” at the top).
  3. Turn the slow cooker onto “low” after dinner and cook all night long or alternatively you could start it in the morning and cook on “low” for 8 – 10 hours during the day.
  4. After the stock is done cooking turn off the heat and, using a soup ladle, pass the stock through a fine sieve to remove all herbs/bones/etc.
  5. Either refrigerate or freeze the stock for future use. I usually freeze some in both 1 and 2-cup portions, and I also sometimes freeze stock in ice cube trays just in case I just “need a little” for making sauce or rice. This stock is great in soups like chicken noodle soup and also in rice like risotto.

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331 comments to Recipe: Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot

  • Alyssa

    Cooking overnight is fantastic! It’s also good to put a couple of tablespoons of vinegar (preferably Apple Cider Vinegar) per quart in your stock. The vinegar helps to draw all of the calcium out of the bones and makes for a more nutrient dense stock. There will be no vinegar aftertaste.

  • AmyJ

    A big second here on the apple cider vinegar. Also, a budget tip is to save up the ends and peelings from onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, etc throughout the week and use those for the making of the stock instead of brand new vegetables. I keep a container in the freezer and when it’s full, I’m ready.

  • I found your lovely site with this recipe. It makes wonderful stock. I will try adding cider vinegar next time. Homemade stock is hands down better than the boxed or canned stuff.

  • Netty

    Thanks for this additional info for the stock. I’m actually making your “The best whole chicken in the crockpot” recipe for the first time today and was planning on making the stock after we eat the yummy chicken tonight. THANKS so much for your website I just started to make some of your recipes for my family ( hubby and 3 kids ) and they have all been a hit. I made your pizza dough yesterday and we will NEVER be buying store frozen pizzas AGAIN. The crust and pizza turned out AWESOME. The granola has been a big hit and pancakes and waffles as well. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your website. :)

  • shawna

    The stock ice cubes are great for using in kids’ soup bowls to help cool too hot soup quickly without diluting soup’s flavor. Even tomato soup!

  • Kathy

    I always make my own stock with the leftover bones but I have never tried the crockpot for i. What size crockpot do you use?

  • Thank you for this recipe! I am sorry to say that I’ve let a number of carcases go to waste because I was intimidated by the thought of making broth. Question- if I had dried herbs do you think I’d have a similar result of tasty broth?

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      I don’t think it would be exactly the same, but it will still certainly work! There are many variations to homemade broth and it’s hard to go wrong…give it a shot!

    • Carrie

      You shouldn’t have a problem using dried spices. We do that. It is easier if you can use the fresh or tie them up in a cheese cloth/ tea bag but you don’t have to. I was intimidated too until about a month or so ago, now we make the whole chicken in a crockpot so we can make homemade stock. :)

  • Holly

    Can I ask what you pay for the pastured chicken I’ve seen you mention? I’ve found organic, or some such, but it’s out of my price range.


  • Love this! It’s my favorite way to make stock and so easy! I also add vinegar.

    Holly, I pay $15 to 23 for an organic, free range chicken from the farmer’s market. $15 for a 2-3 lb, $23 for 4-5 lb.

    • Holly

      Thanks. That’s about what I’ve been seeing at the Farmer’s Market. I know it’s better, but do you think it makes a difference in taste? I’m slowly coming to the organic/free-range way, but the price can sometimes be a roadblock.

      • Kate

        Do you have a Trader Joe’s locally? Our farmer’s market prices are around what you mentioned. Usually $5 a pound for organic, free range chickens. But I just got one at TJ’s for $2.49 a pound!

  • Kerry

    Wow – this is timely! I am actually at the tail end of. Aking my first batch of crock pot broth! Roasted two chickens yesterday. Due to ice storm here in Pac Northwest, lost a lot of fridge items. my celery was gone (hubby cleaned out fridge) and I was out of onion. that didnt stop me – improvised with carrots and fresh garlic. Still awesome! :).

    We get organic chicken two pack at Costco – roughly two 5 pound chickens for around $20, maybe?

  • JJ

    I guess it is just me but I think it common sense to make homemade chicken stock from the carcass. Funny! I also do not follow a recipe.

  • Andrea

    I’m making Crock Pot Chicken this weekend and Chicken Stock right after. I love both of these recipes. Thanks for the apple cider vinegar and “keeping the ends of veggies” for the stock tips. I love this website!

  • Susan

    We have broth all week long with this recipe! So yummy on a chilly morning! Being able to get broth for a week really helps us rationalize the expense of a pastured chicken

  • Angela

    I’ve always been scared to make my own broth. This seems simple enough …after I make your crockpot chicken, I will try this! What about a beef broth?? Thank you!!! xo

  • Tiffany

    Get some chicken feet! They make the stock “gel” even more…awesome!!!

  • Kristi

    I just made this for the first time last night. It looks so yummy!

    On another note, I just found this blog at the beginning of the year and have already watched Food, Inc and read Michael Pollan’s book. Two days ago my husband received some blood results, which was drawn prior to any diet changes, that his glucose levels are high (he was sort of on board before, I think he more on board with the changes now!). Because of this website and the research I’ve done, I am unfazed because I know we can change it. It’s a great feeling to be empowered to become a healthier family. Thanks so much!

  • Angelia Johnson

    I have been using my electric pressure cooker and it cuts time to an hour I love it thanks!!

    • I was going to mention that I have the best results when I make chicken stock in my pressure cooker too. I have tried making chicken broth with the overnight crock-pot method, with terrible results. Maybe my crock-pot cooks too high or something, but it’s always burned if I cook it overnight on low. And my house smells pretty awful in the middle of the night! But I had never heard of the apple cider vinegar tip, I’ll definitely be using that one the next time I made stock!

  • Just discovered this on Pinterest after pondering this morning whether or not I could make chicken stock in the crockpot over night. Serendipity!! I love your blog and tried to subscribe to the RSS feed but noticed that you only provide partial feed.

  • Wendi

    Love this so much that I’ve used it twice in the past two weeks. I made a Mexican chicken soup with it the first time and it was delicious! Just put the second batch of broth in my fridge this morning!

    I roast whole chickens regularly and always save carcasses to make broth, but it seemed to make a larger amount and have a richer flavor in the crockpot. Thanks so much for the idea!

  • This sounds delicious. I’m gonna have to get a crock pot now! Thanks!

  • Denise

    I actually have a crockpot full of chicken broth brewing right now, per your recipe. I don’t know if your other recipe had this, but I put the broth in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the fat solidify and then skim it off the top. It’s messy but it is better than doing it when I’m pouring 8 cups in to make my tasty Split Pea Soup, also your recipe.

  • Erica

    I tried to make this after making the best crock pot chicken (which is amazing) but my problem is that my stock ends up being very oily. I skim all the fat off the top the next day once its cooled but it still seems very greasy. Should I not leave all the juices from the first dish in there?

    • Erica, it might not be actual grease that you’re noticing. It might be the natural gelatin that gets released in homemade broth. Try cooking your broth over a super-low heat (no boiling) or for a shorter time.

  • Yum. Made a turkey broth today with a similar recipe. :) I love crockpot recipes!!

  • chrystal senter

    do you guys think it mattes what size crock pot you’re using? Mine is pretty big and if I follow the recipe and fill it, I Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to make it too diluted! thanks! :-)

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Mine is about 5 quarts and you could definitely end up with a stock that’s not as “rich” but it would still be stock!

    • cjeffery

      I have the same question. I used my large 5 quart crockpot with a whole chicken plus a 1/4 breast with ribs (for more meat). The chicken turned out great, but the broth that I made overnight was almost flavorless. Did I use too much water? Did I remove the flavor when I strained it?

      • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

        It may have been that it was too much water, especially if the chicken didn’t yield a lot of juices. Sorry it didn’t work out, hope it works out better next time. Jill

  • Cathy

    We’ve been doing this for several years after reading Nourishing Traditions. We also add the vinegar and actually let it cook a minimum of 2 days…gets even better and more nutrient-filled with longer cooking. Yum!

    • Holly

      I’m actually glad to see that you cook yours for 2+ days, as I forgot the crockpot batch I started yesterday at noon. I remembered it when I woke up this morning and wondered what that aroma was! It looks nice and rich after straining, so I’m hopeful that it’s still good!

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