This Easy Crockpot Bone Broth recipe is made from the scraps of a whole chicken, some veggies & spices in the slow cooker! Paleo, whole30 & budget friendly!
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Once you give this Easy Crockpot Bone Broth a try, you’re going to fall in love!
It’s no secret that bone both has become increasingly popular over the past few years. You can now find bone broth at basically any grocery store, online, or even in some cafes/restaurants!
But.. you might be wondering.. what IS bone broth?
What is bone broth?
Bone broth is the SAME thing as chicken stock or broth.
At it’s core, bone broth is really just soup made probably the same way your grandma used to make it… with bones that were either leftover from a meal, or that she got from a butcher (our gram’s still make it like this!).
The bone and vegetables cook low and slow, creating an extremely nutrient dense, delicious broth.
You might be thinking.. if it’s broth.. what is so great about it? I wrote this entire post about Bone Broth Benefits, but I’ll outline them here.
Many people drink bone broth because it’s so nutrient packed. When the bones are cooked low and slow they release their naturally occurring collagen + gelatin which is thought to be great for your gut health, skin + nails!
Bone Broth Benefits:
‘Gut’ health– If you look online you’ll find many people claiming they have a ‘leaky’ gut. While this isn’t a medical term, it is a real thing. Many people have chronic stomach pain, issues, or intolerances, coming from an unknown cause. Some holistic health coaches believe that these issues stem from small holes in the intestines. Bone broth is filled with gelatin and collagen, which many health coaches claim can help repair these holes, and alleviate stomach issues. (Source)
Fuller skin, lips, and healthier hair– When made with specific types of bones, broth can be loaded with collagen. Collagen allegedly helps to fill out the cells, and can give your skin a fuller, brighter appearance.
Strong joints– You may not be worried about your joints just yet, but if you’re older, or experience joint pain due to an injury or exercise – you’ve probably heard of or taken glucosamine. Most drug stores sell glucosamine in a liquid form or pill, and it can help protect your joints from pain and keep them healthy.
Amino Acids-Amino acids are great for helping recover from your workout, but they can also help in a number of other areas including digestion and organ function. Most bone broths have a high level of Glutamine, Arginine, Proline and Glycine.
Yes, bone broth certainly requires a little bit of time and patience to make, but it really requires no labor and is incredibly easy to do! If you have a crockpot.. and leftover chicken (or chicken bones!) you’ll be good to go!
Ingredients for bone broth:
To make bone broth, you really only need bones + water. However, I like to throw in some extra veggies and herbs for flavor. Here I have some carrots, onions + celery as well as some thyme + rosemary.
Making the bone broth is really as easy as just filling your pot with water, and turning it on!
How to make crockpot bone broth:
Basically, all you have to do, is pile allll your chicken bones + scraps in the crockpot. I use the scraps and bones from my One Hour Whole Roasted Chicken or my Whole 30 Crockpot Lemon Rosemary Whole Chicken.
Anything that we don’t eat, goes right into the crockpot. I load it up with spices + veggies, fill it up with water, and let it cook away!
There really is no ‘wrong’ way to do it, and you can customize what you put in the crockpot for spices according to your taste.
Once the broth cooks for about 16-18 hours (10 at minimum!) You’ll want to strain the broth with a colander to get the bones/any big pieces of veggies out.
Step 4 shows the broth after it’s been strained once. You can stop here, but I prefer to strain it again. Using a nut milk bag or a cheese cloth, I will strain the broth again to remove any random fragments or pieces that may have escaped.
Step 5 shows the broth after it has been strained twice.
If you really want to get all the nutrients you can out of the broth, I like to take any veggies I cooked the broth with (onions, carrots, celery, etc) and blend it up with the broth for added flavor.
What kind of bones should you use for bone broth?
My favorite way to make bone broth is with leftover bones from a whole chicken. After I’ve cooked the chicken, everything goes in the slow cooker and gets turned into broth!
(This broth has a more orange color because the broth has been blended with carrots, celery + onions)
I make my Easy Crockpot Bone Broth a little different from other people. Most people just strain the broth after it cooks + use/drink that. I take the veggies that cooked with the bones + puree them up to make the broth extra nutrient dense!
I find it adds even more flavor, and who doesn’t want to sneak in extra veggies?! You have to give it a try!
Do you need to roast the bones for bone broth? No – you don’t. Roasting the bones can give the broth extra flavor but it’s totally not necessary!
Can you cook bone broth for too long?
Technically, yes. If you go past the 24 hour mark – your broth might wind up turning out bitter or getting a weird flavor. I normally cook my slow cooker bone broth for about 18-20 hours, and have never had an issue with it, but I wouldn’t cook it for any longer!
Can you reuse the bones in bone broth?
People say that you can reuse the bones for bone broth, but I’ve never had success with this. Typically after cooking once, the bones are nearly disintegrating.
Whenever I’ve reused them, the broth has not been as gelatinous or flavorful as the first time using them!
My bone broth didn’t gel?
It’s ok if your bone broth doesn’t gel, and rest assured it will be just as nutritious! Certain bones/cuts of meat can create a more jello-like consistency with the broth.
You could also have added a little bit too much water. Either way, don’t worry – and enjoy it!
How long does bone broth last?
Bone broth will last 6-7 days in your refrigerator. If frozen, it can last up to a year – but I’d recommend using it within 6 months for freshness!
Can you freeze bone broth?
You can freeze bone broth, and you probably will have to because this makes a lot!
I freeze my bone broth in glass mason jars, plastic containers, or ice cub trays. These silicone molds for soup are also a great way to freeze bone broth.
Freezing in glass: To freeze in glass, fill the bottle leaving about 1-2 inches of room – do not fill to the top because the liquid will expand as it freezes. Put them in the fridge and allow them to completely cool.
Once they have been in the fridge for at least 5 hours and are cold, you can transfer to the freezer. I leave the lids off and allow the jars to freeze completely, then add the lids on.
To defrost, I simply take out and put in the fridge the night before, or run under warm water.
Ice cube trays: I also like to freeze bone broth in ice cube trays. This is perfect for when you’re making a dish and only need a little bit, but don’t want to defrost a whole jar!
Substitutions for bone broth:
Bones – You can use any bones.. chicken, beef, or turkey will all work. We also have a Turkey Broth recipe.
Veggies – Carrots, celery, onion and garlic add flavor to the broth but are not necessary
Apple cider Vinegar – Some people add apple cider vinegar to their broth to help coax the nutrients out of the bones. This is not necessary, but if you’d like to add it – feel free!
Can you make this bone broth in the instant pot?
Yes, you can! I prefer to cook my bone broth in the slow cooker, but you can cook this in your instant pot for 120 minutes on high pressure, and let it naturally release. You can see our instant pot bone broth recipe here.
Depending on the size of your instant pot, you may need more or less water. Make sure you DO NOT fill above the max fill line! Leave about an inch and half before the max fill line.
Ways to use Crockpot Bone Broth
You can use bone broth in so many different ways. Here are some of my favorites:
- As the base of a delicious soup
- Pour it in a mug and drink it up! It’s packed with protein + veggies and so cozy.
- Add to sauces or stir fry’s for flavor
- Use in place of water or regular cooking stock
- Freeze it to have for a quick dinner or meal (or for when a cold comes on!)
We hope you love this as much as we do! We make this year round (basically anytime I cook a whole chicken!) and it’s a staple in our kitchen/freezer. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how easy + delicious it is!
Recipes that use this Easy Crockpot Bone Broth
- Paleo Butternut Squash Soup
- Leftover Turkey Soup (make Turkey Broth and use it up!)
- Healthy Lemon Chicken Soup
- Whole30 Italian Wedding Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Stew
Easy Crockpot Bone Broth
- 1 lb bones from chicken or beef The more bones, the better. You can use the scraps from a whole roasted chicken or rotisserie chicken, or raw bones
- 2 cups celery stalks halved - optional
- 1 cup carrots halved - optional
- 1 cup onion quartered - optional
- sprigs fresh thyme + rosemary optional
- salt/pepper to taste
- 8 cups water (approximately, fill to the top of your crockpot)
- Add all ingredients to a crockpot*, cover with filtered water and cook on low for at least 12 hours (16-18 is best). You may need to adjust the amount of water depending on the size of your crockpot. You can fill to the top of the crockpot!
- Allow broth to cool slightly, and run through a strainer into a large pot or container. (This will just be easier to do if it is not scalding hot).
- Optional, but recommended: I often strain my bone broth through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth to catch any miscellaneous small bones or fragments. At this step, the broth is ready to use, but I like to use up the veggies if you chose to add them in for flavor.
- Optional, but recommended: Carefully remove carrots, onions + celery from the strainer and place into blender. Puree in blender until smooth (You may need to add a little broth to the blender depending on it’s power)
- Stir veggie puree into strained broth and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
- *Note: If using leftovers from our One Hour Roasted Chicken Recipe, just place all scraps in a the crockpot. You can add additional veggies if you’d like, but not required.
- Storage: Store in airtight containers for up to 4 days, or put in the freezer until ready to use!