Easy Instant Pot Chicken Broth Recipe to Boost Your Gut Health
Follow this Instant Pot chicken broth recipe to learn a super easy way to cook chicken in the Instant Pot AND end up with a delicious and gut-nourishing homemade broth with therapeutic properties.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot you can follow a similar method using a slow cooker or even a big pot on your stove.
The Instant Pot chicken broth recipe I’m about to show you is actually one of my top most preferred methods I personally use most often for cooking chicken. That includes even just regular chicken for eating in meals throughout the week.
Why do I love cooking chicken this way so much?
- The chicken turns out both delicious and easily digestible.
- It’s easy to make… set it and forget it style.
- THE BROTH
You see, when you cook chicken in the Instant Pot this way, you don’t just end up with chicken. And you also don’t just end up with broth. You get the best of both worlds!
What’s so amazing about this broth?
The type of traditional chicken broth you end up with when you follow this Instant Pot chicken broth recipe has superfood-status therapeutic properties.
This broth has been a very important aspect of my personal gut-healing journey over the last 3+ years.
I typically go through at least 3 quarts of this broth per week. For a few months I routinely consumed 1-2 quarts per day, when I was really deep in an intense therapeutic diet called the GAPS Introduction Diet. But that’s a story for a different day.
Even if you just consume this broth as an occasional side dish, it can still do incredible things for your health.
Is this the same as bone broth?
You may have heard of this described as various names including bone broth, meat broth, meat stock. The truth is there are slight nuances that separate those different terms. But the method and health benefits are actually pretty similar between them all.
With the method I show here, you end up with delicious chicken you can enjoy as a meal in itself. This is actually NOT bone broth but very similar.
Check out the below video for an important breakdown of the differences between the two. You’ll learn why short-simmered meat broth can be a better option if you suspect any of the following issues:
- Histamine issues or MCAS
- Leaky gut or intestinal permeability
- Digestive upset or unpleasant symptoms such as acid reflux, gas, bloating, abdominal pain after meals
- Any need for gut repair instead of general health maintenance
Here’s a brief overview of why this Instant Pot chicken broth is so amazing
- Rich source of absorbable minerals (in a form that’s easy for body to absorb and use) – calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, trace minerals.
- Good source of gelatin, which promotes growth of healthy and strong fingernails and hair. Also helps build connective tissue which can help reduce cellulite and wrinkles.
- Rich in amino acids and other nutrients that support healthy joints, cartilage, tendons, and gut healing.
- Delicious taste, adds flavor to meals.
- Inexpensive (especially when compared to its nutritional value). Bone broth and meat broth is not wasteful; it uses almost every part of the animal.
- Traditional – Nearly every traditional culture boiled bones of meat animals to make a nourishing broth.
- Contains additional nutrients that support adrenal function and healthy stress response. This can have a positive cascade effect on hormone function and overall health, as well as benefits on numerous other body systems according to Chinese medicine.
Click here to read more about the health benefits and different ways to use this type of traditional broth.
Instant Pot Chicken Broth Recipe – Step By Step Instructions
Before you get overwhelmed by these steps, don’t panic! I outline some simple practices that can help take your broth to the next level. Once you get this process down it really is something you can throw together FAST.
If you’re overwhelmed, just know that all you really need is chicken, quality salt and water. Feel free to keep it as easy as possible the first time and level up overtime.
Sensitive to chicken? You can use other types of meat on the bone instead of chicken or even a whole fish/fish head to make fish stock. However, chicken is easiest and what I make most often. It’s what I recommend as a starting point and what I’ll outline in the step by step recipe below.
Add fresh or frozen chicken to the Instant Pot without rinsing.
Use any bone-in cut. I like using pasture-raised dark chicken quarters, which I get from the ranchers at my local farmers market.
Around 2.5 to 3 lbs is a good amount to use for this size batch of broth. You can also use a whole chicken, which can be a very economical option.
Add 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp Redmond’s Real Salt or unrefined sea salt to the chicken.
The apple cider vinegar (ACV) helps draw more of the nutrients out of the bones, but it’s technically optional. In a pinch I’ve made good broth without having ACV on hand.
Remember, all you really need is chicken, quality salt and water. Don’t let this be a barrier to taking action if you don’t have ACV on hand. But you’ll find it’s generally a good thing to have on hand in this real food journey anyways 🙂
Add optional additional items to add more flavor/aromatics.
I usually add in at least a few whole carrots or up to 1 lb if I’m using this method to cook all the carrots I would usually eat on my chicken rotation day in one pot.
Rinse the carrots, cut off the ends and chop in half. If you’re in a hurry, you can break them in half and toss them in without chopping them.
Other good options for aromatics you can add in include any of the following:
- A whole onion peeled and cut into quarters
- Garlic cloves
- An inch or two of fresh ginger root
- Whole fresh turmeric root
- Bay leaf
- Black pepper,
- One or more celery stalks
Bonus tip to make this even more economical
You can even use the leftover scraps from these types of veggies you cooked previously. Simply start a veggie scrap container or bag in your fridge or freezer. Then toss in whatever you have the next time you make broth.
You’ll generally want to discard all of these aromatics after the cooking is done, with the exception of the carrots. The carrots do end up pretty edible and work well tossed into a chicken soup or puree.
These items truly are optional. If you’re in a hurry feel free to not add any of these.
You’ll notice a definite improvement in flavor when you do add even just one of these items. But you can still use this method to cook the chicken the simplest way possible. If you do this, you end up with a broth you can drink or use as a base in soups for its health benefits.
It’s totally fine to not add anything extra if you’re overwhelmed and just trying to get these health benefits.
Add at least enough water to cover the chicken and other ingredients completely.
I typically like to stretch it a bit further and fill the water up to the max line in my 6 quart Instant Pot.
The less water you add, the richer and more gelatinous your broth will end up since it’s simply more concentrated. I find filling my Instant Pot either to the 2/3 PC max line yields a pretty good broth. That usually means roughly 2-3 quarts of water.
For best results, be sure to use a quality filtered water source, not tap water.
To pressure cook this Instant Pot chicken broth recipe, simply close the lid and set it to “Sealing” (not “Venting”). Press the soup/broth button and set the time to 30 minutes. This is just long enough to cook the chicken.
Once you do that you can simply walk away and go about the other tasks on your to-do list.
The Instant Pot will require quite a bit of time to come up to pressure. During this time it will just say “On.” Finally it will reach the correct pressure. The timer will then start counting down from 30 minutes.
You will hear it beep a few times once the 30 minutes is over. Let the pressure naturally release when done.
What is "Natural Pressure Release"?
“Natural pressure release” means you simply do not touch it for awhile after the cooking time ends. The Instant Pot should automatically switch to “Keep Warm” mode. It takes around 20 minutes for the pressure to release on its own.
This is in contrast to a quick release method. Quick release means you open the valve immediately after the cooking time end. This lets out a rush of steam. Along with that steam a lot of the natural juices from the meat and broth get released too.
So you’ll typically want to use this quick release option more for steaming veggies and not for cooking meats and soups.
After you have let the pressure naturally release at least 15-20 minutes, open the lid and admire the end result.
Feel free to serve yourself a mug of this nourishing broth right away. Ladle some of the liquid straight from the Instant Pot into a coffee mug.
Once you’re ready to actually finish the process, let it cool off so it’s not too hot to handle.
Put a fine mesh strainer inside another large pot or big bowl . Just do NOT put the strainer itself straight in the sink. If you do, you’ll accidentally throw out that precious broth you just made!
This is the strainer I use for this. It also serves as an Instant Pot steamer basket for cooking vegetables:
Click here to buy this Instant Pot steamer basket on Amazon (affiliate link).
Then you can transfer the broth from that other pot/bowl into quart-sized glass mason jars. Top with lids and label each with the date you made it and what it is.
After it’s cool enough, store these mason jars in either the fridge or freezer. This homemade chicken broth will last about 7 days stored in the fridge.
Pull the chicken off the bones and use immediately as part of a chicken soup or other meal. Or store leftovers in the fridge or freezer to be used as a ready-to-go protein source at a later time.
Recap: Instant Pot Chicken Broth Recipe At A Glance
- 2.5 to 3 lbs of any bone-in cut of chicken (ideally organic/pasture-raised)
- 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (optional but recommended)
- 1 tsp Redmond’s Real Salt or other unrefined sea salt
- Optional aromatics (any combination of the following, whatever you have on hand). Examples: whole onion, garlic cloves, 1-2 inches of fresh ginger root or turmeric root, bay leaf, one or more whole carrots or celery stalks, black pepper (or leftover scraps of any of the above saved from previous meals)
- At least 2-3 quarts of filtered water
- Place fresh or frozen chicken to Instant Pot container without rinsing.
- Add apple cider vinegar and salt to the chicken.
- Toss in aromatics if you are using any.
- Add at least enough filtered water to cover the chicken completely. Up to the “2/3 PC Max” line on the Instant Pot to yield a slightly bigger batch that is less strong, less gelatinous.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and set it to Sealing.
- Press the soup/broth button and set the time for 30 minutes. Once you do that you can simply walk away and go about the other tasks on your to-do list.
- The Instant Pot will require quite a bit of time to come up to pressure. During this time it will just say “On.” Finally once it reaches the correct pressure, the timer will start counting down from 30 minutes. You will hear it beep a few times once the 30 minutes is over.
- Let the pressure naturally release when done. “Natural pressure release” means you simply do not touch it for awhile after the cooking time ends. It should automatically switch to “Keep Warm” mode and take around 20 minutes for the pressure to release on its own.
- Open the lid after at least 15-20 minutes of natural pressure release. Feel free to serve yourself a mug of this nourishing broth right away…ladle some of the liquid straight from the Instant Pot into a coffee mug.
- Pull the chicken off the bone. Use immediately as part of a chicken soup or other meal. Or store leftovers in the fridge or freezer to be used as a ready-to-go protein source at a later time.
- Once you’re ready to actually finish the process, let the broth cool off a bit so it’s not too hot to handle. Use a fine mesh strainer to transfer the broth to another large pot or big bowl. Then you can transfer the broth from that other pot/bowl into quart-sized glass mason jars.
- Top the mason jars with lids and label each with the date you made it and what it is. After it’s cool enough, store these mason jars in either the fridge or freezer.
This homemade chicken broth will last about 7 days stored in the fridge.
How to use the broth from this Instant Pot Chicken Broth Recipe
Option 1: Mug of broth
For best results, aim for one serving per day, either on its own or as a base for a soup.
I often like to drink a serving of broth in a coffee mug first thing in the morning as a replacement for coffee and a light breakfast that can tie me over until I’m ready for a full heartier breakfast.
It’s possible to get super fancy with what you add to your mug of broth. A dash of real salt and maybe a squeeze of lemon or lime juice is a great start.
A mug or thermos of this broth can also make a great snack between meals to help quell sugar cravings. This can be super helpful while you’re working to transition your metabolism and break that cycle.
Option 2: Base for a gut-nourishing soup
You can also use this broth as a base to make a nice soup. This soup will have additional gut-nourishing properties to improve your health, far beyond what any store bought boxed broth could ever boast.
An easy way to convert this into a single serving meal: Toss appropriate portions of chicken and carrots into a bowl then top it with 4-8 oz of homemade broth. Instant chicken soup!
This works especially well when everything is freshly made and still hot out of the Instant Pot. Toss what you want to eat right into a bowl before you even store everything in the fridge.
Of course, you can also use this broth as a base to cook other soups using recipes that call for ground meat, stew meat, and various veggies.
Option 3: Traditional cooking liquid
You can even use the broth as a base to cook properly prepared grains or legumes. This can help make the grains/legumes more digestible.
Learn the step-by-step process I recommend for properly preparing legumes to make them less problematic for digestion in my free guide.
How to Make This Easier
I hope this helps you see how easy it can be to provide yourself with homemade, gut-nourishing, traditional chicken broth. It’s basically as simple as cooking yourself a meal in the Instant Pot.
Don’t have an Instant Pot yet? Click here to get the same model I have on Amazon (affiliate link).
Alternatively, you can follow a similar process using a pot on the stove. Or use a slow cooker if you don’t have issues with histamines/mast cell activation. A gentle, short simmer on the stove is your best bet if you know you have histamine issues.
If you’re overwhelmed by all the steps, focus on the basics. Simmer chicken in water with a little bit of sea salt. Toss in carrots or other aromatic veggies if you have them on hand.
Secret Time-Saving Tip If You're In A Pinch (Shhh!)
You honestly don’t even need to strain it if that’s going to be the step that holds you back from making this all work. It’s best practice to strain it. But truth be told, I have made this broth using the simpler stovetop method more times than I care to admit…
Yes, even while travelling around Europe staying in hostels. I simply skipped the straining step. That was the only way I could get this nourishing broth in my body with what I had on hand. Totally worth it.
After reading all this, do you still feel like making your own broth at this time is not your cup of tea? Click here to learn about a few convenience options you can check out. These allow you to get the benefits of this traditional broth without needing to cook it yourself.
Just getting started following a real food diet?
I recommend you also check out these resources to support you in your journey:
Video Tutorial demonstrating the above Instant Pot chicken broth recipe process LIVE – If you are already a member of the free community, simply click this link to watch. Not yet a member? Click here to join the community first. Then you can return to watch this at a later time.