Prep Time  30minutes
Cook Time  150minutes
Total Time  180minutes

Homemade Chicken Soup From the Carcass

One the greatest by-products of roasting a whole chicken (which I do as a pretty frequent Sunday meal), is the opportunity to make Homemade Chicken Soup with the leftover bones & carcass.  Not sure if there is a food that feels more comforting and homey than Chicken Soup.  Just about every family and every culture has a version, and it’s one of those foods that just makes you feel good.  This Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe is not hard to make, as I’ll do with the leftover chicken(s) after the Sunday Roast (although you could start from an uncooked chicken).  I’ll show you how to make the broth from the carcass, and then put it together with the classic vegetables, and some pasta.  Of course, it’s easy to add other ingredients to make it your own.  Hope you enjoy this Chicken Soup Recipe!

Recipe Overview & Keys to Success

To make the best Chicken Soup, just follow these few cooking techniques:

  1. Make your own chicken broth/stock with left over bones/carcass (you can even freeze them until you have enough)  While it takes a bit more time, the essence of the soup is the broth, and you can make much better broth than you can buy
  2. Try to get the vegetables as uniformly cut as possible.  Not only will that help ensure they cook evenly, but it makes the chicken soup easier, and more pleasant to eat.
  3. If you’re using leftover chicken like me, make sure to pull the chicken meat you want in the soup, off the carcass before making the broth.  While the bones simmer and make the broth, the meat is going to give up all it’s flavor and get every dry – you won’t want that in the soup. Instead we’ll add the meat back to the soup at the last minute
  4. Note, you can freeze the leftover chicken carcasses and make the soup another day; or better yet, make the chicken broth, and freeze that.  Then you can pull it out to make the chicken soup, whenever you want
  • 1 – 2 left over chicken carcasses (with some meat on the bone)
  • 1/2 cup pieces of chicken meat
  • 2 carrots diced into quarter inch pieces
  • 1 large celery rib diced into quarter inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves mined
  • 1/3 cup orzo pasta (you can use traditional spaghetti or any pasta you’d like)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 ear of corn (optional)
Homemade Chicken Soup From the Carcass
  • Assuming you’re using leftover roast chicken, remove any remaining meat from the carcass and dice it for the soup
  • If you need more chicken meat, you can certainly cook off another breast and dice it up as well
  • Place the chicken carcass(es) in a stock pot and cover with water by 2 – 3 inches
  • Bring the water up to a very light simmer, and continue to simmer for 45 minutes to hour to make the chicken broth
  • Remove the chicken bones from the broth and discard.
  • Pour the broth into a bowl, through a strainer to collect any small  bones or bits of chicken, and set the broth aside
  • Clean the soup pot, and put it back over medium heat, coat with olive oil
  • Add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic. 
  • Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine
  • Continue to sweat the vegetables until the onions are just translucent
  • Add the thyme leaves, and the chicken broth
  • Bring everything up to a simmer again, and cook until the carrots just soften (about 10 minutes)
  • Add the corn, chicken and orzo pasta
  • Cook for another 5 – 8 minutes until the orzo is tender
  • Taste and re-season the soup if needed

Serve up this delicious Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with some crusty bread and a nice salad, can you’ve got a perfect, warming, comforting meal.  Hope you enjoy it!

Wine Recommendation:  Soups can make for a tough wine pairings.  I don’t really like reds for chicken soup, as the flavors are likely to drown (no pun intended) the lighter soup.  Similarly, so would full bodied or oaky whites.  I’d suggest you go with an austere white wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley in France.  The wines are generally fairly tight, minerally, and clean tasting, and should accent the sweet elements in the soup.  Hope you enjoy it!

Homemade Chicken Soup

Comments (15 )

Sean Kendle
April 9th, 2012 - 4:51pm
Great recipe, thanks! Very simple and fun! I'm cooking my broth now.
September 29th, 2014 - 2:07am
I really dislike celery, I mean, really, even the smell makes me shudder, can I substitute something else for the celery, or can it not be tasted at all in the soup? Yours looks like one of the better recipes I've found so I'd like to give it a go, but the celery puts me off.
December 8th, 2014 - 12:00pm
I would use a bell pepper (green or red). I've done it with chilli when I didn't have celery around and it tasted just as good (if not better).
November 12th, 2016 - 6:00pm
Thanks so much for making this a quick and simple tutorial for us soup beginners... tried finding a non-complicated way to make a classic chicken soup (with a carcass) and your video made it that much easier to know where to start :)- will be a perfect Sunday project!
January 5th, 2018 - 11:38am
I had a chicken carcass left over from our new years day roast, seemed a shame to throw it away, so I thought I would make chicken noodle soup, I came across your recipe and thought I would give it a go, currently simmering away as we speak, I have never made this before so hopefully it will come out ok. :-)
Alena Sham
January 18th, 2019 - 3:58am
Woke up this morning and saw snow on the mountains and came here looking for a good soup. Just finished and my two year old devored two bowls. So yummy.
August 31st, 2019 - 11:17am
Unfortunately I did not watch the video, just followed the recipe as written. Had I watched I would have realized I did not need 2-3 inches of water above the 2 carcasses I used and that more vegetables were needed than noted. I now have a big pot of mostly broth:-( I will put in the fridge and cook more chicken and veggies tomorrow.
September 9th, 2019 - 5:49am
I have a duck carcass and a bit of meat left and thought I'd make a soup. The duck was cooked with the giblets inside. If I were to make a soup with it of a similar recipe, would it be wise to remove the giblets? I don't mind leaving them in for flavor but don't particularly want them falling into the soup.
April 29th, 2020 - 4:30am
Hi Dave, what a wonderful heart warming chicken soup recipe. This is the first time I have ever made chicken soup and the family absolutely loved it. Great COVID-19 lockdown comfort food here in Australia. Dave I added a bit of linguine to make it more like chicken noodle soup. I also wanted a very hearty soup because I have hungry teenager boys - so I added a cup of soup mix - barley, lentils, and split peas. Thanks Dave for sharing this now great family favourite recipe with us all. Lots of love from Australia
Darren flynn
November 13th, 2020 - 8:12pm
Going to try this, what if using a raw carcass? Can the same steps be used?
December 3rd, 2020 - 3:46pm
I just used this recipe. It was great tasting. I added a bay leaf also. I simmered the carcass for 1.5 hrs to extract more gelatin. I simmered the left over skin too and then cooled it down and siphoned off most of the fat. Worked perfectly and was fun to make.
Penny Taylor
January 27th, 2021 - 5:56am
I loved this recipe! The only thing I did different was I cooked the chicken in a wok first. It added a nice flavor. I also added some cilantro
June 18th, 2022 - 1:09am
Thanks for sharing this amazing family loved it.will be sharing this recipe with my friends.they will like it.
December 14th, 2022 - 4:59pm
This recipe was excellent. I did add a tablespoon of Better than Bouillon in a cup of water and a few tablespoons of the leftover chicken gravy. Thank you!
Mike Hébert
December 30th, 2023 - 9:15am
My rotisserie chicken carcass is simmering on the stove as I type this comment. Your recipe is very simple and I thank you for sharing. I love to cook and I was looking for a super easy recipe, this one is right on target.

Leave a comment

Top Categories

Our most popular recipes in our most popular foods.


Our best pasta recipes & techniques will have you cooking like an Italian Grandma.


The best chicken recipe, is the well-cooked chicken recipe. Learn our secrets now...


Tired of dull, dry pork? So are we! Learn how to make the best chops on the block.


Fear not! The grill, the pan, the oven, we've got you covered with the recipes and techniques to get the perfect steak...