Crockpot Chicken Soup from leftover roast chicken is a favorite staple in our home. We have roast chicken at least once a month as a main meal. Then we eat the leftovers as a second meal, usually in sandwiches or pasta dishes. When the majority of the meat is gone off the bones, I throw them in the slow cooker to make a delicious broth or soup!
Most of the time, we get our roasted chickens from Costco. I’ve also roasted them myself, but I like the convenience of already cooked chicken. If you prefer organic, then roasting the chickens yourself is a better option though. Someday soon, I hope to raise our own meat chickens!
There are a couple of ways you can go about making chicken soup from the leftovers of your roast chickens. You can throw them into the crockpot to make another meal for that week or your can freeze them for later use. I tend to do the latter because I make my soups and broths in bulk and then either can or freeze them for lunches and dinners.
My daughters especially love homestyle chicken noodle soup. I have also made garden chicken soup, chicken and rice soup, and white chicken chili. There are lots of possibilities so the key is to start with a good broth base and go from there.
Another benefit of using leftover roasted chicken when making soups and broths is that you get the added nutrients from the bones such as trace minerals, collagen, and more. When you combine that with vegetables and herbs, you end up with a health-boosting infusion that nourishes the body and soothes the soul. Comfort food with a kick- and with my recipe, the crockpot does all the cooking for you!
How to Make Crockpot Chicken Soup from leftover roast chicken
The first things you will need are a couple of roast chicken carcasses, 1 if your crockpot is smaller. Place them in a slow cooker, add about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and cover them with water. I usually do this at night before bed. Turn the setting to LOW, put the lid on, and go enjoy a good night’s sleep.
I try to cook the carcasses for at least 12 hours. If you want bone broth, it’s important to simmer the chickens long enough until the bones are softened and break easily. For me, that usually happens around lunchtime the next day or even later, especially if I started with frozen carcasses.
If I am making this as a broth only, when I wake up, I will add my preferred vegetables, herbs, and seasonings to cook along with the bones until it is time to strain it. If I am making a soup, I don’t add anything till after straining the bones.
Once the broth is done, it’s time to strain it. My crockpot is huge, so I grab a big stovetop pot and place my strainer over it. Then, I carefully pour the broth and bones over the top of the strainer and into my big pot. I set the bones and leftover bits of meat in the strainer to the side. Then, I rinse out the crockpot and transfer the broth back into the slow cooker.
Depending on what I am making from the broth, I then add the other ingredients I need for my recipe. Today I am sharing my recipe for Crockpot Chicken Soup, so this is what you want to add:
- chicken Bouillon
- sliced carrots, celery and onion
- sometimes I add frozen peas too
- chicken bits from the carcass that is set aside if I am making soup
Measurements Nicci??? Here’s the thing- I DON’T MEASURE.
I just eyeball it. If I were to guess, I would say that I add about a tablespoon of garlic, a tablespoon of chicken Bouillon, about 3-4 carrots, 3 stalks of celery, and 1 huge onion. But again, my crockpot is HUGE, so if your crockpot is smaller, you will need to adjust those amounts. This recipe is very forgiving and it is hard to mess it up!
Put the lid back on the slow cooker and simmer until the vegetables are soft. After the vegetables are cooked I then add:
- herbs of choice- for me that is parsley, basil and oregano, sometimes rosemary or thyme and more garlic if it needs it
- salt and pepper to taste
- I like to add a tiny amount of ground cayenne, it gives it that extra something
- about 3-4 tablespoons of butter
Simmer for a bit longer and serve hot with some buttered bread or crackers!
OR- portion it out and freeze.
OR- put it in mason jars and store in the fridge for up to a week.
You could also- put the soup in mason jars and process it in a pressure canner to store in your pantry.
I also make egg noodles separately as needed to add to the soup because not everyone in my family likes noodles in their soup.
And that’s it! This soup is hearty and super comforting on a cold day, but my family eats it year-round. Enjoy!