Nothing beats homemade stock and broth. It’s lots cheaper than buying boxed or canned broth at the store, and it tastes so much better. And if you’re worried about how to make chicken stock or how to make veggie stock, don’t worry; I’m here for you.

Homemade stock is easy! In this post, I’ll show you how to get broth, stock, or even bone broth from chicken, vegetables, and more. And the best part: You can save leftovers to make these hearty, nutritious stocks. No need to waste onion ends and chicken bones. And if you have leftover turkey bones after a Thanksgiving meal, nothing beats homemade turkey stock!

If you just want to get straight to the good stuff:

Jump to the chicken or turkey stock / bone broth recipe

Jump straight to ham stock recipe

Jump straight to the veggie stock recipe

chicken and veggie stock recipes

Using an Instant Pot to make chicken stock and veggie stock

Generally speaking, making broth is easy. You put scraps of food in water and boil it for hours on end. This can be done with just a pot. But you do have to pay attention.

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For example, if you forget about the stock and all the water evaporates, you’ll end up with a scorched mess instead of the beautiful stock you wanted.

Plus, you do need a whole day home so you can babysit the pot.

But with an Instant Pot, making stock and broth is so much easier! The time needed to make the stock is reduced a lot. Plus, it requires a lot less attention. There’s no worry about the pot running out of water (it’s trapped in the pot as it’s pressurized), and the keep warm feature will keep you from having to worry about immediately putting up the broth after you make it.

Shop Instant Pots here.

Using a whole rotisserie chicken or roasted chicken for stock and bone broth

I’ll be honest, something about roasting a whole bird makes me feel like a woman out on the prairie, kind of badass (clearly, it doesn’t take much to make me feel like a badass). Plus, roast chicken tastes really good, and it is a great whole food to give you protein and immune boosting nutrients!

I used to be really intimidated about roasting a whole chicken, but it’s easier than you might expect (Speaking of the prairie, the Pioneer Woman has a really good basic roast chicken recipe that I love).

But if you don’t have time or energy to roast a chicken yourself, a rotisserie bird from the grocery store is still a really good option to keep dinner fast and easy (and relatively inexpensive).

The first night we have a whole chicken, I serve carved pieces, with potatoes and veggies on the side. I love it, and the kids are happy to get chicken legs.

But the best part about roast chicken is the leftovers. You can get a surprising amount of meat off the bird, particularly from the back. From there, you can use chicken to make tacos, casseroles, or pretty much whatever your heart desires.

But wait, there’s more! If you save the chicken bones and other bits of the carcass that you don’t want, you can make the best chicken stock you’ve ever had (jump straight to the recipe here)!

Just throw the bones in a pot with enough water to cover, maybe add a bay leaf or sprig of herbs if you’re feeling fancy (you don’t have to), and leave it to simmer for several hours (don’t forget to check it and add more water back as needed).

Bam, now you’ve got chicken stock for the best soup you’ll ever make. I also like to freeze broth for when I’m sick. Whether I have a cold or am recovering from a stomach bug, nothing helps like homemade chicken stock.

If you simmer the stock long enough, you’ll actually end up with bone broth. Chicken bone broth is different because the gelatin is actually extracted from the bones, adding more protein. And because there’s lots of minerals (like magnesium) in the bones, bone broth has added mineral content.

If you want to learn how to make stock or bone broth, just jump to the recipe below!

(Pro tip: If you have an Instant Pot, making stock is super easy and hands off. In fact, with the added pressure you can easily use the chicken to make bone broth, which is an even better immune system booster than stock!

Getting the most out of produce with homemade veggie stock

Homemade vegetable stock is great too! There’s lots of good recipes out there for veggie broth, but I have a hard time justifying sacrificing perfectly good whole carrots, onions, or other veggies just to boil them to death and have to throw them away.

That’s why you make stock out of leftover vegetable scraps. Carrot tops and peelings, onion and garlic skins, tough tops of leeks… any vegetable (other than potatoes, too starchy) that you have scraps from can be used to produce broth (Skip to recipe here).

Usually, you won’t make enough scraps all at once to make stock, plus you probably don’t want to put forth the effort to make stock when you’re already cooking something else. So freeze your scraps!

Every time you cut up an onion or some carrots, stick the scraps in a gallon size freezer bag, and once you have a full bag and some spare time, that’s when you make stock. Again, just cover the scraps with water, add some pepper or peppercorns and maybe a few aromatic herbs of your choice, and let it simmer for at least an hour. Easy!

How to make ham stock

Nope, you don’t need a whole ham to make hot ham water. But you can extract flavor from a ham into other foods.

Here’s another great way to get more use for expensive meats. If you got a nice ham for Thanksgiving or Christmas, freeze the bone! When you make beans or soup later, it’ll add fantastic flavor.

If you’re like me and you eat beans more often than you have ham bones, you can go to your local meat market or even a Honey-baked Ham to buy ham hocks. They’re cheap, often have a lot of meat still left on them, and really flavors a pot of pintos or black-eyed peas like nothing else. Pick them up on sale and put them in the freezer.

If you prefer to make ham stock to have on hand for beans, collards, or other Southern dishes, you can. I prefer to put the ham bone directly into the pot as I cook the dish.

How to store broth and stock

If you’re not planning to use your stock in the next day or two, no worries! It can be frozen for months.

Some people like to use ice trays to first freeze broth into small cubes. That way, you can get broth out in only a few tablespoons at a time for easy portions.

I tend to store my broth in freezer bags. I just pour a few cups at a time (so I have enough to drink on a sick day but won’t waste extra) into quart bags, but you’re welcome to make larger bags for cooking lots of soup if you prefer.

Conclusions on making stock and broth

Hopefully, you see just how easy making stock can be! After you have chicken noodle soup made with your own broth, you’ll never go back!

Check below for chicken and/or vegetable broth recipes. I hope you can see the recipes are super flexible – just use whatever you have on hand (pssst! have leftover turkey bones and/or meat from Thanksgiving? They’re perfect for making turkey stock!) Eventually, you’ll hopefully not even need a recipe to make stock any more. Until then, let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

Chicken / turkey stock or bone broth recipe (with or without Instant Pot)

Bones, skin, and any other leftovers from cooked chicken or turkey

Bay leaf (optional)

4-5 peppercorns

A few sprigs of aromatics of your choice (rosemary, parsley, whatever you have on hand that strikes your fancy – also optional)

On-hand veggie scraps (onion tops and skins, carrot peels – yep, also optional).

Optional for bone broth – 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar*

Stock on the stovetop:

Add all ingredients to a stock pot. Add enough water to cover ingredients and set to boil, then down to simmer. Allow to simmer for several hours (preferably at least four, but a minimum of two).

Once done and slightly cooled, strain the broth with either a fine-mesh strainer or with cheesecloth. Either use immediately, store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, or freeze.

Stock or bone broth in the Instant Pot:

Add all ingredients to your Instant Pot. Add enough water to cover ingredients and set to manual.

If you want just stock, set your pot to 60 minutes. If you want bone broth, set your pot manually to the maximum time it will go. You’ll want to reset it later so the bone broth is boiled for at least four hours. You’ll know you’ve got bone broth (instead of stock) when the bones are brittle and easily break if you press on them with a spoon.

Either way, you’re welcome to wait for a manual release and even to use the “keep warm” feature for hours after the stock is done.

Once done and slightly cooled, strain with either a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Either use immediately, store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, or freeze.

*Apple cider vinegar isn’t necessary, but it helps extract all the nutrients into your bone broth.

Vegetable stock recipe

Gallon-sized freezer bag of vegetable scraps, possibly including:

  • Onion tops and skins
  • Garlic skins
  • Carrot tops and peels
  • Celery
  • Leftover leek scraps
  • Mushrooms

5-6 peppercorns

1-2 smashed garlic cloves

bundle of whatever aromatic herbs you like and have on hand (parsley, rosemary, thyme, whatever)

Bay leaf (optional)

Add all ingredients to pot. Add enough water to cover scraps, bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer for about two hours.

If you’re using an Instant Pot, set to manual for 30-40 minutes. You can wait for a manual release if desired.

Once done and slightly cooled, strain with either a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Either use immediately, store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, or freeze.