Recipe: Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot

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


4.7 from 30 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.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.


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  • Comments

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

      • Amy |

        I do that too! Just learned to do it 2 wks. ago and already have a half of a gallon bag full!

    3. |

      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.

    4. 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. :)

    5. 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!

    6. 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?

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        Mine is 5 quarts.

    7. |

      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. :)

    8. 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.


    9. |

      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!

    10. 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?

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