An easy, step-by-step tutorial for how to make Chicken Stock on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. Making homemade Chicken Stock is the gateway to taking any broth-based recipe to the next level; the flavor is incomparable and you will never buy store-bought again!

A bowl with homemade chicken stock in it.

Why I make my own stock:

  • Healthy and flavorful: Simmering bones to make stock has next-level depth of flavor that you can’t get from chicken broth or store-bought stock and it takes any recipe to the next level! Also, I love knowing and controlling exactly what’s in my stock.
  • Easy: I grab a rotisserie chicken from Costco for $5 and feel good that I can use the meat in several different recipes, and instead of wasting the carcass, I use it to make healthy and flavorful homemade broth!

Difference Between Chicken Broth and Chicken Stock:

The biggest difference between the two is chicken broth is made from simmering the meat and vegetables, and chicken stock is made from simmering the bones, which removes extra flavor and collagen from the bones (which is why stock has a jello-like texture when it’s refrigerated).

You can use stock and broth interchangeably in most recipes, but chicken stock has richer depth of flavor and is highly preferred for recipes where it’s the “star”, like in chicken noodle soup. In my opinion, it’s hugely worth it to make chicken stock from scratch!

How to make Chicken Stock:

Remove Meat from the rotisserie chicken. Place meat in a covered container in the fridge to add to the soup later, or freeze chicken meat for up to 3 months.

Add leftover bones and skin from the rotisserie chicken to a large stockpot. Add carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and water.

Chicken bones, carrot, celery, onion and spices in a pot with water being added.

Bring mixture to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer on low for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours, for even richer flavor.

A stockpot full of chicken bones, vegetables and herbs cooked together to make homemade chicken stock.

Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer, discarding bones, vegetables, and seasonings so you are only left with a clear, smooth stock. Stir in chicken bouillon.

The ingredients for chicken stock being strained into a bowl.

Store in refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Use to make homemade chicken noodle soup!

Storage and Freezing Instructions:

To Store: Refrigerate the stock for use within 3-4 days. (Note that it will take on a gelatin-like texture in the fridge, but will liquidize once warmed again). After refrigerating, skim off any fat that rises to the surface.

To Freeze: Measure out the stock in freezer safe bags in batches of two cups each. This way, when you pull one out, you know there is exactly 2 cups of homemade chicken stock!

A ladle full of homemade chicken stock.

Instant Pot Chicken Stock:

Place chicken bones and skin, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and water into Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release.

Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer, discarding bones, vegetables, and seasonings so you are only left with a clear, smooth broth. Stir in chicken bouillon. Store in refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recipes with Chicken Stock:

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A bowl with homemade chicken stock in it.
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 2 hours
Total 2 hours 15 minutes
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  • 1 rotisserie chicken , meat removed so you're only left with bones and skin
  • 2 ribs celery , with leaves, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium carrots , cut into chunks
  • 2 medium onions , cut into chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 2 Tablespoons Better than bouillon chicken paste* , or 6 chicken bouillon cubes


  • Place rotisserie chicken, vegetables, spices and water into a large soup pot. 
  • Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.  
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low heat for at least 2 hours or longer.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
  • Strain stock through a fine sieve strainer, discarding all vegetables and seasonings so you are only left with the stock. Season with chicken boullion paste, to taste. 
  • Store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Skim off the fat that rises to the top. If not using within a few days, freeze for up to 3 months.


Yields about 8 cups of stock.
Better than Bouillon Chicken*: I absolutely love this stuff and always use it to enhance the flavors of my stock. You can omit it, if you want. 
Storing Instructions: Refrigerate the stock for use within 3-4 days. (Note that it will take on a gelatin-like texture in the fridge, but will liquidize once warmed again). After refrigerating, skim off any fat that rises to the surface.
Freezing Instructions: Measure out the stock in freezer safe bags in batches of two cups each. This way, when you pull one out, you know there is exactly 2 cups of homemade chicken stock!
Instant Pot Chicken Stock: Place chicken bones and skin, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and water into Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release, then strain and discard bones and vegetables. Stir in chicken bouillon.


Calories: 22kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.04gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 32mgPotassium: 132mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 2604IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 0.3mg

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I originally shared this recipe April 2019. Updated September 2021.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I cooked this recipe last night, and it came out INCREDIBLE. I let it simmer for just about 6.5 hours. The only things I did that wasn’t mentioned in the recipe was I also included the drippings from the rotisserie, I added sprigs of fresh oregano and parsley, I did also add frozen food scraps I’d been collecting for a few months, and I added mushrooms. The flavor profile was absolutely spot on, and I indulged myself in a bowl of it immediately. VERY pleased with the results and will definitely make this again!

  2. 5 stars
    Hi Lauren, can’t wait to make this. Can I put everything in the stock pot in the fridge overnight and put it on the stove top in the morning to simmer throughout the day until I’m ready to make the soup when I get home from work?

  3. I don’t get it…if I’m making homemade chicken stock…what is the better than bouillon doing in the recipe? I mean it’s a little ironic, isn’t this supposed to be better than better than bouillon? But ok whatever, I’ll try it…

    1. Taste the stock first, then add the better than bouillon and taste again. It’s way more flavorful with it added in. But do you

    2. One option several chefts advise is to make the “stock” part unsalted…Then add salt ( in this case Better Than Boulion”) to taste foe whichever recipe you are making. That said, It does help to add a little Better than boulion ….maybe 1/2 amout to start. It can help bring out the flavors of the other ingredients. Then I add more to whatever I am making. I start w/ small amoutsand add/ taste as I go. But Better than Boulion especially the ROASTED CHICKEN flavor truely is better than any boullion cube I have tried..

  4. 5 stars
    Your site has been my guiding light as I learn to make all our meals from scratch! I made this stock per the recipe, and it was very flavorful. I used the first batch for chicken noodle soup (your recipe), and I am about to make this stock again for chicken and dumplings, plus some to freeze (I’m doubling the recipe).

    I did not experience a reduction in volume, as others have mentioned, after simmering for about 6 hours. I did keep it covered while simmering.

  5. 4 stars
    I used this as a general guide for making my first chicken stock and with a pre-roasted chicken carcass. I agree with others on increasing the amount of water. I used 12 cups of water (thanks to those who shared) and this yielded 8 cups of stock. I also eliminated any rosemary (too powerful) and substituted fresh thyme and Italian parsley and added couple of parsnips instead. Turned out pretty good.

  6. 5 stars
    I love the recipe but I always need to add more water. You should be covering the carcass and when I make this I need a minimum of 12 cups.

    1. 5 stars
      Yes, you can always substitute fresh herbs for dried. The flavor of fresh is often better but not as concentrated as dried. I like a 3:1 ratio of fresh to dried herbs, so if a recipe calls for a tsp of dried thyme, I would use a Tbsp of fresh thyme.

  7. I am making the broth in the instapot. I accidentally put the chicken bouillon in before it was cooked. How can I fix it?

  8. 5 stars
    I made the broth and used the 8 cups of water. I left it on the stove for about 2.5 hours. After removing everything and even pressing out the veggies I got maybe 5 cups of broth. Did I do something wrong?

    I added 32oz of stock from a box when I made the soup and it still has barely any broth. It tastes great, but I think I need to make another batch of broth.

    1. I thought the water amount was a flaw in the recipe also, I guessed too much would evaporate and put in 11-12 cups of water instead and looks like I will get 8-10 cups after simmering 2.5 hrs. Flavor is still great and can be tweaked when making the soup if you want it stronger. Also make sure you are bringing to a boil on med and simmering on low, high will cause much more to evaporate?

  9. Thank you for this recipe it’s an excellent guide!! I have made this twice now, the first time I used dried herbs as the recipe calls for. It was so delicious.
    Second time I used organically home grown fresh herbs. I also added two home grown green onions, and fresh oregano. Now I am in love~ If you have them available to you. Always use fresh herbs.
    I have a third batch simmering on the stove now, going to let it simmer for 8 hours in total. <3

  10. I’m simmering the chicken stock right now, but the water seems to be evaporating…. Is this NORMAL? I’ve already added more cups of water to it, but I don’t know if I’ll be getting 8 cups of stock from this. Any suggestions?

  11. 1 star
    There are so many great reviews for this recipe that I think I must have done something wrong. I threw bones, skin, and a fair amount of chicken still attached to the bones in with all of the other ingredients, fresh garlic, etc. After 4 hours, I added 6 teaspoons of bouillon powder and when I tasted it after a bit it was like the la croix version of chicken broth. I ended up adding another 8 or so teaspoons of bouillon and the broth didn’t have any deeper flavor than if I had just used water and buillon. For me, the rotisserie didn’t have enough impact to jutify 4 hours of prep time. I’ll just use bouillon next time, since I ended up using the same amount anyway and wasted a ton of veggies.

  12. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh, I made this at home and my husband, sister-in-law, & I are in love.

    Thank you for this❤️

    I plan to make more next week!

  13. Your recipe looks great. Your homemade stock calls for 8 cups of cold water but your soup recipe asks for 10 cups of stock. Do I have to double the batch of stock?

  14. Accidentally put the “Better than Boullion” in before putting it on to simmer. Oops! This looks amazing, and will be the base for a Chicken, Andouille, Shrimp gumbo tonight! Thank you for the recipe.

  15. Just wondering if I could leave the veggies in the bone broth for Chicken Noodle Soup? The recipe says to throw them out.

    1. 5 stars
      If you leave the vegetables in after making the broth. The vegetables are going to be to done and mushy with the soup. It’s better to start over with fresh veggies. All the nutrients from those original veggies, are in the stock already.

  16. Hello Lauren. I have an IP that I have not used yet. I want to make the chicken stock/broth in it. I have the 8qt duo. Do you know if I can double the recipe or do you think I should just make multiple batches? Thank you for your help. I love your recipes. Sam
    I make as much from scratch that I can, Beans etc.

  17. 5 stars
    Thank you for posting this recipe. I have been doing this for years, without the veggies. Even better with them, like your recipe. I lay my freezer bags flat in the freezer until they are frozen, then stack them. So easy to find and pull from freezer when needed.

    1. The jelly-like texture is due to the collagen extracted from the bones. That is super healthy!

      It’s good to know that this recipe does extract the collagen; I thought you needed to add an acid like apple cider vinegar to the cooking process to do so. I’ll have to try this now 🙂

  18. I made the chicken broth last night and put it in the fridge overnight. This morning, it’s a jelly-like texture. Is that normal, or should it be liquid?

  19. Why do you need to add chicken bouillon at the end? Isn’t that what the recipe makes?
    Genuinely interested 🙂

    1. Yeah my thoughts exactly. “The broth will be really mild in it’s own.” That means you need a better recipe. If you’re doing it right, you don’t need to add processed garbage to make it taste good. Read the label on chicken Better Than Bouillon – it’s full of salt, sugar, corn syrup, etc. Imho it is being used here to mask a lousy recipe. It’s very easy to make delicious stock without adding BTB.

  20. Thanks for your leftover chicken recipes! I usually eat the parts I like and throw the rest away. I always wonder if there are any not so good ingredients in those rotisserie chickens. I look forward to trying all of these ideas including the chicken broth recipe. I usually stud one of my onions with cloves and often throw in a few spices that I’m in the mood for. Be careful of using some of the bouillon and other flavor enhancers. They tend to have MSG and other undesirable ingredients. If you have a clean brand that you use, I’d love to know about it!

    1. Msg has been proven to be safe. The whole msg scare was a made up controversy that people accepted and promoted without any research.

  21. 5 stars
    Your recipes are so wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing with everyone. We have absolutely loved all that we have tried. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

  22. I like your bone broth recipe which I need to try one day. My knife skills aren’t the best, so I usually buy Kettle and Fire’s chicken and beef bone broths, which can be a bit pricey.

  23. 5 stars
    Excellent!! This is my go to broth recipe now. I have made it several times now and it turns out so tasty. I use this along with the Chicken Noodle Soup recipe, and that is also a favorite!

    1. Hi Carol, the label is an estimate of the entire broth recipe. The actual amounts will very greatly depending on the size of chicken, how much meat was left on the carcass, whether or not you skimmed any of the fat off, etc.

  24. Great stock idea, similar to what I do for soup. Difference is I have teenagers. We buy two Costco chickens and have just about enough leftovers for Pancit or small amount of chicken salad. I usually use the carcass for chicken noodle soup, but this gives more options for the stock to be used in other dishes.

    1. Dump the skin after the broth. It adds a lot of flavor. The fats skim off when it cools, but the flavor remains.

  25. I’ve been doing this for years! except I make really large batches. I freeze the carcasses until I have 3 or 4, then on cleaning day throw about double your ingredients with the carcasses and let it simmer 4-8 hours. After straining, I’ll divide it into 2 equal portions. One, I’ll divide into 1 cup portions and freeze in bags or containers. The second portion, I simmer in saucepan until reduced by at least half, until it is thicker and very hearty in flavor. This I freeze in ice cube trays to use in saute’s, pastas etc.. Where you want rich flavor with little liquid. Great minds think alike !