Instant Pot Chicken/Turkey Broth

Instant Pot Chicken Broth is a great way to enjoy the last of your roast chicken or roast turkey.  Making broth in a pressure cooker is SO easy, anyone can do it!

It’s so easy to get all that healthy, savory goodness with homemade soup recipes like Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup. For this recipe, your instant pot is the real hero!

Turkey Broth in a glass container with an Instant Pot in the background.

How to Make Chicken Broth in the Instant Pot

You can use either a chicken or turkey carcass for this broth.

This recipe is quick and easy to prepare with minimal work your part. If you’re using small roasting chickens, you’ll need at least 2 carcasses. I simply freeze one until I have enough. If you’re using turkey, one should be enough.

Instant pot filled with ingredients for turkey broth

Just start by breaking up the carcass so that it fits into the Instant Pot

  1. Add all ingredients and seasonings to the instant pot and fill it to the fill line with water.
  2. Seal the lid and set the instant pot to high pressure for 90 minutes.
  3. Allow to naturally release (about another 30 minutes).

Strain the broth through cheesecloth and discard the bones, veggies, peppercorns, and herbs. Now you have a healthy, savory, homemade bone broth that can be used for so many great recipes!

Instant Pot Turkey Broth being made in the instant pot.

Can You Cook Bone Broth Too Long?

Bone broth made in the instant pot is nearly foolproof as long as you follow the directions for proper pressure cooking the soup. Follow the appliance directions and find the method that works best for you!

How Do You Freeze Bone Broth?

Freeze homemade bone broth by pouring it into any size freezer bags.

Be sure to freeze them flat so they defrost quicker and can be stood up (think like books) in the freezer, saving a ton of space! Don’t forget to label the bags with the date!

Soups to Make with Chicken Broth


Instant Pot Chicken Broth (or Turkey)

Homemade broth made in the Instant Pot

  • leftover chicken carcass (or turkey)
  • 1 large onion (quartered)
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs fresh herbs (including parsley, rosemary, thyme and/or sage)
  • water to fill line
  1. Break the carcass so it fits into the instant pot.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Fill to max line with water.
  3. Seal the Instant Pot and select high pressure for 90 minutes.
  4. Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure (about 30 minutes).
  5. Strain broth through a cheesecloth lined colander. Cool and skim any fat.

Add any leftover bits of gravy, juices, scrapings from the pan etc to the Instant Pot before cooking.
If you don’t have fresh herbs, add up to 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.
Leaving the skin on the onion doesn’t change the flavor but does add color to the broth.

Close up of instant pot turkey broth.
Close up of instant pot turkey broth.
Top photo - Close up of instant pot turkey broth. Bottom photo - Turkey Broth ingredients in an instant pot.

Easy and Delicious Turkey Brine

Turkey brine ensures maximum flavor and the most succulent juicy meat you’ve ever had! This recipe is tailor-made for the DIY-er in you. Packed with herbs, aromatics a hint of citrus this mélange infuses your turkey with complex flavors and succulent tenderness.

Once you learn how to brine a turkey, you’ll never want to prepare this special entrée any other way. Simply brine for 24 hours and roast your turkey per your favorite recipe. Once cooked, serve with a side of mashed potatoes, a green bean casserole, and a cranberry Waldorf salad.

Raw turkey being brined in a container.

What is Turkey Brine?

As the name suggests, turkey brine is a salt and sugar solution that can be as simple as salt, sugar and water or improved with other ingredients.

Why Brine a Turkey? Brining a turkey ensures maximum flavor and the most succulent juicy meat you’ve ever had. The secret is in the salt, which dissolves some of the proteins to produce succulent and tasty meat while allowing the other flavors to penetrate.

This easy turkey brine is a wonderful mixture that imparts zesty, savory flavors that will have everyone asking for seconds and wondering what magic you used to make turkey taste so delicious! Turkey brine does infuse the meat but it does not make the meat taste overly salty, just seasoned!

Overview of turkey brine ingredients.

Do You Need to Defrost Turkey First?

For brining to be successful, the turkey has to be thawed so it can absorb the liquid. However, depending on how big your bird is, this could take several days so be sure to allot enough time for defrosting and then brining.

A faster technique is the cold water thawing method as you brine.

  • Place the frozen turkey in a water-tight brining bag, XL zippered bag, or airtight container with the brining solution. (Take any necessary steps to seal or close up the bag tight enough so no water can get in or out.)
  • Submerge the bag in a basin of cold water, and change the water every half hour. Allow about 1 hour for every 4 – 5 pounds.
  • Once thawed, cook the brined turkey immediately.

Anytime you’re planning to brine frozen poultry, don’t use the microwave to defrost. Poultry must be cooked immediately after thawing this way, which won’t leave you anytime to brine.

Turkey brine prepared in a measuring cup.

How to Brine a Turkey

You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to turn your bird from ordinary to extraordinary with the best turkey brine you’ve ever tasted:

  1. Prepare the brining solution (see recipe below) and cool completely. (I add a bit of ice to cool it quicker).
  2. Place the turkey in a brining bag or container. Add brine and refrigerate up to 24 hours turning occasionally if needed.
  3. Discard the brine when done, and roast turkey till the juices run clear and a meat thermometer register 165°F.

Tips for Safe Brining

  • Ensure the brine is cool before adding to the turkey.
  • Store turkey in the fridge while brining (not at room temperature).
  • Ensure turkey is sealed or covered in the fridge as to not contaminate other foods.
  • Do not brine longer than 2 days (this recipe recommends up to 24 hours).
  • If rinsing the turkey, remove all items such as, dishes and dishcloths from around the sink area and cover the area around your sink with paper towels to avoid cross contamination according to the USDA.
  • Ensure the turkey meat (and center of the stuffing if you’re stuffing the turkey) reaches a safe 165°F.

How Long to Brine a Turkey

If you’re starting with a frozen turkey, then brine until thawed. Every brine recipe recommends a different time in the solution, depending on the amount of salt. If you leave it in too long, your poultry can get too salty.

Our best turkey brine calls for leaving the turkey in the brine for no more than 24 hours for a 12 to 15 pound bird. Follow these steps and it won’t be long before you’re enjoying the best turkey you’ve ever tasted!

Two images showing the turkey in a brining bag.

Delicious Turkey Recipes

Turkey Brine

Packed with herbs, aromatics, and a hint of citrus, this mélange infuses your turkey with complex flavors and succulent tenderness.

  • 12 cups water (divided)
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves garlic (halved)
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 whole bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  • 4 cups broth (chicken, turkey, or vegetable, or apple cider)
  • 1-2 oranges (sliced, optional)
  1. In a soup pot, on the stove over medium-high heat, add 4 cups water, kosher salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, garlic, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and sage.

  2. Bring to a gentle simmer while stirring to help dissolve the sugar and salt.
  3. When the sugar and salt are fully dissolved remove the pot from the heat.
  4. Pour in the remaining water (or add some ice to cool it faster). Add the cold broth and allow the mixture to fully cool.

  5. When the mixture is cooled add to a large food-grade container or zippered bag and brine turkey for up to 24 hours.

  6. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse with very cold water. Dab dry with paper towels and cook according to your favorite roast turkey recipe.

Makes enough for 12-15 pound turkey.

If using apple cider, ensure it’s not apple cider vinegar.

I use this roast turkey recipe.

Brine adapted from Canadian Living

Raw turkey being brined in a container.
Raw turkey being brined in a container.
Top photo - Raw turkey being brined in a container. Bottom photo - Overview of turkey brine ingredients.

Hot Borscht Soup – Perfect Balance of Sweet & Sour!

Borscht is a delicious steaming bowl of nourishing soup to brighten your mood. Beets give this soup an earthy sweetness (and a vibrant color), while a dash of lemon juice and fresh dill add a hint of freshness.

This borscht recipe is a deliciously hearty soup perfect any time of year. Like a classic chicken noodle soup, it is heartwarming and comforting.

A serving of borscht with a dollop of sour cream on top. Garnished with dill.

What is Borscht?

Borscht is a traditional soup hailing from Russia and Eastern Europe. It wouldn’t be borscht without beets and some kind of souring ingredient such as wine vinegar or lemon juice. It almost always has shredded cabbage too.

Beyond that, ingredients can vary widely with the addition of beans among many other ingredients (Russian borscht usually includes beef). I include carrots and potatoes and use vegetable stock (although chicken or beef stock will work).

Borscht ingredients in a stock pot.

To Prepare Beets

Borscht (aka borsch) has a deep ruby red color that is incredibly enticing. The color of beets will also stain your hands and/or white cutting boards so I always wear gloves when preparing beets.

While I never peel roasted beets before cooking, in this soup they do need to be peeled.

  • Cut off the beet tops and discard (or save to make sauteed beet greens)
  • Peel beets using a vegetable peeler.
  • Cut into 1″ cubes.

How to Make Borscht

Making borscht is a simple process, simply chop and simmer!

  1. Sauté the beets and other vegetables in oil.
  2. Add the vegetable broth and simmer
  3. Stir in lemon juice and zest and serve hot.

Swirl in a dollop of sour cream in each bowl. The fat in the cream helps balance the acidity of the soup and provides some richness and body. Serve borscht as an appetizer with dinner, or as a light meal with a side of corn muffins, soda bread, or cheese biscuits.

A pot full of hot borscht.

How Long Does Borscht Last?

This recipe is easy to store in the refrigerator or in the freezer for an extended time! And as a bonus, it only tastes better as it sits!  So be sure to make enough for lots of leftovers.

  • In the Refrigerator – Borscht can last for up to four days. You’ll love how the flavors deepen and develop in storage.
  • In the Freezer – Borscht freezes well.  Store it in freezer containers for up to four months. No need to thaw before reheating in the microwave or stovetop on low heat.

Hot Borscht being ladled out of the stock pot.

What to Serve with Borscht

  • Topping it with a nice rich full fat sour cream is a must!
  • Fresh dill is a must for topping this recipe
  • Serve it with bread or rolls and butter for dunking.

Comforting Soup Recipes

Hot Borscht

Beets give this vegetable soup an earthy sweetness, while a dash of lemon juice and zest provide contrasting sour notes.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 red beets (1/2 inch diced (approx 1.5 lbs) )
  • 2 carrots (1/2 inch diced)
  • 1 large russet potato (peeled and 1/2 inch diced)
  • 1/2 small green cabbage (shaved)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons dill (fresh, minced)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 bay leaf
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • sour cream (optional, for serving)
  1. Add olive oil to a soup pot and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add in the beets, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. Stir to combine.

  2. Cook for 10 minutes to slightly soften the vegetables.
  3. Add in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  4. Pour in the vegetable broth and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the beets and carrots are tender.
  5. Stir in the fresh dill, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Taste and season with the desired amount of kosher salt and black pepper.

  6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.

A serving of borscht with a dollop of sour cream on top. Garnished with dill.
A serving of borscht with a dollop of sour cream on top. Garnished with dill.
Top photo - A pot full of hot borscht. Bottom photo - Borscht ingredients in a stock pot.

Cream of Cauliflower Soup (in 30 minutes)

Cream of Cauliflower Soup is a simple 30 minute soup perfect for lunch or a light dinner meal. We serve this creamy soup when company’s coming or just for a Saturday afternoon.

Add in a side of crusty bread for dipping or some 30 Minute Dinner Rolls and a fresh crisp Italian Salad.

Cauliflower is the perfect veggie, it’s versatile and mild in flavor making it perfect for Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes or even for creating a low-carb cauliflower fried rice. It makes a great base for this mild soup recipe and is perfect paired with cream and cheeses if you’d like!

This recipe is relatively healthy and the lack of flour or starches keeps this cream of cauliflower soup keto friendly and low carb!

How to Make Cream of Cauliflower Soup

There really isn’t a lot to creating the perfect cream of cauliflower soup recipe. Simply chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces, add seasonings and let it simmer until tender. Blend and add a bit of cream.

I sometimes add cheese to this soup, both sharp cheddar and parmesan cheese work well. Remember to add the cheese at the end, once the soup is ready to serve. Cooking cheese over a high temperature can cause it to separate or become grainy. It will melt in if the soup is hot once you remove the soup from the stove.

Cream of cauliflower soup with fresh cauliflower

Blending Cauliflower Soup

Just like Roasted Cauliflower Soup, this cream of cauliflower soup is blended to a smooth consistency. I use a hand blender to make it smooth (and save on washing dishes) but you can also transfer it to a regular blender. If using a regular blender, be sure that the lid isn’t on tight as the steam and cause the blender to burst open.

For more texture remove some of the cauliflower and chop it. Blend the soup to desired consistency and once blended, add the chopped cauliflower back into the soup.

Can You Freeze Cream of Cauliflower Soup

This soup does freeze well. We place it in single serve freezer bags and label. To serve, defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until warm.

Ladling Cream of cauliflower soup in a pot

More Creamy Soups You Need in Your Life

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

A silky smooth cauliflower soup for the perfect lunch or starter.

  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 cups fresh cauliflower
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese (grated, optional)
  1. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and celery until tender (do not brown).

  2. Add cauliflower, broth and seasonings. Simmer uncovered 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally until cauliflower is tender.

  3. Blend using a hand blender until smooth. Add heavy cream and simmer an additional 8-10 minutes or until thickened.

  4. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Stir in parmesan cheese if using.

Note: For a chunky texture, remove 1 cup of cauliflower before blending and coarsely chop.


Creamy Sausage & Cabbage Soup

Closeup of sausage and cabbage soup with potatoes in white pot

This easy Sausage & Cabbage Soup is the ultimate comfort food. A beautifully luscious soup with smoky sausage, fresh vegetables and of course sweet tender cabbage simmered in a flavorful creamy broth.

When the weather gets cooler, in my house it’s officially soup season.  There is just something about a delicious warm bowl of soup that warms your belly from the inside out and this creamy cabbage soup recipe is no exception.  If a hug were food, it would be this soup.

cabbage and sausage soup in white bowl

Cabbage and Sausage

Cabbage and sausage just seem to go hand in hand.  If you’ve read my blog before,  you likely  know that I love all things cabbage from Cabbage Roll Soup to Sausage and Cabbage cooked on the grill! Cabbage is inexpensive, a little bit goes a long way and once cooked, it’s tender with a delicious sweet flavor.

This is just one of my many favorite cabbage recipesfavorite cabbage recipes. If you don’t cook with cabbage often, you can find lots of great info in The Ultimate Guide to Cabbage!

A pot of easy Sausage & Cabbage Soup with potatoes

Irresistibly Creamy

This easy soup starts with sausage, I use kielbasa but you can also use a garlic sausage or pretty much any smoked (fully cooked) sausage that you’d like.  I make this cabbage soup with potatoes to give it a nice creamy texture (and to keep my belly full all day long).  Fresh carrots and cabbage add both fresh and sweet flavors to this soup and of course cream makes it buttery irresistible.

While this is a creamy soup, keep in mind it is not a thick soup like a chowder. The creamy portion of this soup comes from making a roux.  While roux may sound like a fancy or difficult cooking term, it’s really easy.  A roux is the base for most white sauces (and even Sausage Gravy) and starts by cooking butter and flour (to get rid of that raw flour flavor) and then adding in milk or cream and cooking until thick and bubbly.  The roux is then added to the soup in this recipe giving it a delicious buttery cream flavor.

Spoonful of Sausage & Cabbage Soup in white pot

More Cabbage Soups

How to Thicken Your Sausage and Cabbage Soup

If you’d like your soup to be thicker, you can certainly increase the butter/flour mixture to about 3/4 cup each while leaving the milk the same.  I also give my potatoes just a slight little mash with a potato masher to help thicken the broth somewhat.

We add a little bit of fresh dill to this soup at the very end for a pop of freshness.  If you don’t have fresh dill you can substitute dry dill and add it along with roux to allow it to rehydrate.

Can you Freeze Creamy Cabbage Soup?

Unfortunately, most soup recipes that contain dairy don’t freeze well (non-dairy is usually ok). The soup can separate and the texture can become grainy.  I would suggest freezing a portion before adding the dairy in this recipe.

Sausage & Cabbage Soup

This creamy Cabbage Soup contains smoky sausage, fresh vegetables and of course sweet tender cabbage simmered in a flavorful creamy broth.

  • 1 lb smoked sausage (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup onion (chopped)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 lb potatoes (diced (about 2-3 medium))
  • 2 carrots (sliced)
  • 3-4 cups cabbage (chopped)
  • 1 stalk celery (sliced)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  1. Cook sausage, onion and butter until onion is tender. Add celery, carrot, potato, cabbage, broth and salt & pepper to taste.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in flour and cook over medium heat about 2 min. Add milk and cream and stir until smooth. Continue whisking until thick and bubbly.
  4. Once vegetables are tender, add cream mixture into the soup. Allow to simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in dill and parsley.

More Creamy Soups to Try

Warm your belly from the inside out with a bowl of easy Sausage & Cabbage Soup! A beautifully luscious soup with smoky sausage, fresh vegetables and of course sweet tender cabbage simmered in a flavorful creamy broth. #spendwithpennies #cabbage #sausage #creamsoup #vegetablesoup #easyrecipe #soup #souprecipe
Warm your belly from the inside out with a bowl of easy Sausage & Cabbage Soup! A beautifully luscious soup with smoky sausage, fresh vegetables and of course sweet tender cabbage simmered in a flavorful creamy broth. #spendwithpennies #cabbage #sausage #creamsoup #vegetablesoup #easyrecipe #soup #souprecipe
Warm your belly from the inside out with a bowl of easy Sausage & Cabbage Soup! A beautifully luscious soup with smoky sausage, fresh vegetables and of course sweet tender cabbage simmered in a flavorful creamy broth. #spendwithpennies #cabbage #sausage #creamsoup #vegetablesoup #easyrecipe #soup #souprecipe

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Homemade Enchilada Sauce is a must-have staple that will enhance any Tex-Mex or south-of-the-border dish. The great thing about my homemade enchilada sauce recipe is that can control the ingredients to keep out the preservatives or MSG that are in some store-bought versions.

We love adding this homemade enchilada sauce to Beef Enchilada Dip, or enchilada soup. Homemade is always better!

A jar of homemade enchilada sauce with cilantro and tomatoes

What is Enchilada Sauce?

Enchiladas are a soft corn tortillas rolled around shredded or ground meat or chicken, then smothered in enchilada sauce and baked in the oven. Enchilada sauce is zesty and flavorful. Hence, it forms the basis of many other Mexican dishes too. You can spoon it over tacos, or use it to enhance the filling in burritos or chimichangas.

What’s in Enchilada Sauce?

Authentic enchilada sauce is basically chili powder simmered in a broth with garlic, onion, tomato paste/sauce and thickened with flour. I start by browning the flour with some oil until it’s fragrant, this step only takes a few minutes but adds a lot of flavor!

While this is a red enchilada sauce, there are other variations (like the green enchilada sauce I add to my creamy chicken enchiladas).

Green enchilada sauce is a little less spicy than red enchilada sauce. Instead of tomato paste and red chili powder, green enchilada sauce recipes use roasted and peeled poblano peppers, cumin, and oregano. You can roast the poblanos as you would make any roasted peppers.

More Recipes You’ll Love

A pot of enchilada sauce ready for making homemade enchiladas

How to Make Enchilada Sauce

Making enchilada sauce is simple, and literally takes only minutes and requires almost no prep work! You’ll make a sort of a roux with the tomato sauce and broth.

  1. Place oil and flour in a pan and cook until light brown and fragrant.
  2. Stir all the spices and seasoning ingredients and cook for one minute more.
  3. Add the liquids in slowly, stirring as you add to prevent lumps. (It will be thick at first, keep on stirring after each addition until smooth).
  4. Simmer for a few minutes more, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour this sauce over a pan of baked enchiladas for an authentic Mexican meal that your family will love.

Note: This enchilada sauce recipe has been updated (2019) for improved flavor and consistency.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

This homemade enchilada sauce is perfect on chicken enchiladas or any other recipe you have in mind! 

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cans tomato sauce (15 ounces each)
  • 3 cups broth
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook 2-3 minutes while stirring until fragrant and nutty smelling.

  2. Stir in chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and oregano. Cook 1 minute more.

  3. Add tomato sauce and broth a little at a time, stirring between each addition until smooth. 

  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and let simmer 2-3 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information is based on 1 tablespoon of enchilada sauce.

This homemade enchilada sauce is an easy homemade sauce that's perfect on chicken enchiladas, tacos, burritos, or any other dish you can think of! #spendwithpennies #enchiladas #enchilada #enchiladasauce #tacosauce #mexicansauce
This homemade enchilada sauce is an easy homemade sauce that's perfect on chicken enchiladas, tacos, burritos, or any other dish you can think of! #spendwithpennies #enchiladas #enchilada #enchiladasauce #tacosauce #mexicansauce

Chicken Soup for the Soul (and for dinner)

Chicken Barley Soup is deliciously simple. Tender chunks of chicken, barley and vegetables in a flavorful broth! Serve this belly-warming soup recipe with 30 Minute Dinner Rolls and a side salad for a perfect meal any time of year!

Bowls of chicken barley soup with fresh herbs on top. Homemade Chicken Barley Soup! This perfect cool weather recipe will warm you from the inside out! Loads of veggies, barley and chicken, you're going to want to make this over and over!

Easy Barley Soup

Chicken Barley Soup is the dish my grandma used to make. While we most frequently have Beef Barley Soup, this I do love the flavor of a rich chicken barley soup recipe as well! Carrots, celery, chicken, tomatoes, and of course barley are all simmered in chicken broth to create this comfort food classic.

I love making soup almost as much as I love eating (or slurping) it. Chicken noodle soup, split pea soup… you name it, I am there. This chicken barley soup recipe is no exception. It is so mouthwatering, and actually good for you! What’s better than guilt-free comfort food? Nothing.

Freezing & Reheating

This easy soup recipe freezes perfectly and reheats super quickly, making it perfect for lunches or an impromptu dinner! When we make this soup, you should make sure your chicken is cooked before adding it in. It’s a great opportunity to use up leftover chicken, or to quickly make some poached chicken or rotisserie chicken in this recipe.. Easy and flavorful!

When you make chicken barley soup, make sure you don’t add the fresh herbs right away. If you add them in the beginning, they will overcook. so stirring them in right at the end of cooking is the best option.

Chicken barley soup with veggies ready to serve!

How To Cook Barley In Soup

Unless it is simmered for awhile, barley is crunchy. No one likes crunchy in their soup! This recipe uses pearl barley, which is the most common type of barley. It is a small grain, with a chewy texture and slightly nutty flavor.

At the very minimum, pearl barley takes about 25 minutes of simmering on the stovetop. Barley is very hard to overcook, so don’t worry about simmering your soup for longer! We simmer this chicken barley soup for about an hour which I find is the perfect time to combine and intensify all the flavors! I think soup is the perfect fall food!  It’s easy to make, naturally pretty healthy and it just warms you from the inside out!

Chicken barley is one of our favorites, this one is jam-packed with all kinds of goodies.  The fresh herbs in this soup are optional but the fresh dill really adds something special to this dish so if it’s available I’d strongly recommend it!

As with most soup recipes, leftovers are completely delicious so this is the perfect soup to make on the weekend and pack for lunches all week!

Other Delicious Cold Weather Soups:

Chicken Barley Soup

Chicken Barley Soup is easy to make, naturally pretty healthy and it just warms you from the inside out!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth (or homemade)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 3 stalks chopped celery (sliced)
  • 14.5 oz low sodium diced tomatoes (canned, lightly drained)
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Fresh Herbs (OPTIONAL)

  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion & garlic and cook until slightly softened. Add remaining ingredients except fresh herbs.
  2. Bring to a boil and let simmer uncovered for 1 hour or until barley is tender.
  3. Discard bay leaves and stir in fresh herbs.

More Recipes You’ll Love

*  20 Minute Broccoli Cheese Soup * Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup * Crock Pot Ham & Potato Soup *

Homemade Chicken Barley Soup! This perfect cool weather soup will warm you from the inside out! Loads of veggies, barley and chicken, you're going to want to make this over and over!

Ham and Bean Soup – Easy Crock Pot Recipe

Ham and Bean Soup is one of our all time favorite foods to come home to on a chilly day. This “no-soaking required” Ham and Bean soup takes just minutes to prepare and cooks effortlessly in your Crock Pot all day long!

This easy recipe is hearty and delicious, the perfect way to use up any leftover ham and a great way to feed a crowd!

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup is the perfect hearty meal to come home to on a chilly day. This "no-soaking required" and just minutes to prepare, this recipe cooks effortlessly in your Crock Pot all day long! Dinner is ready when you are!

I am so excited to have partnered with Hurst’s HamBeens® 15 BEAN SOUP® to bring you this belly warming recipe.  

Ham and Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean soup is the perfect family meal because everyone always loves it; this hearty soup is like a hug in a bowl!

Ham and Bean Soup is just one of those comfort foods that warms you from the inside out. It’s deliciously healthy and loaded with flavor… and using a slow cooker makes it a total cinch. You’ll need just a few minutes of prep time and best of all the beans do not require soaking!

This simple soup requires very few ingredients, starting with Hurst’s® HamBeens® 15 Bean Soup®, onions and ham. The slow cooker does all of the work creating the most delicious easy bean soup.

How to Make Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and bean soup is the ultimate comfort food and even more so when you have a beautiful mixture of beans! Hurst’s® HamBeens® 15 Bean Soup® is not only my favorite mixture, I know many of you love it too!

Hurst’s HamBeens are definitely my go to for quality and flavor and are easily found in the dry bean section of almost any grocery store (or you can order them online). Along with the beans, a seasoning packet is included in each package of 15 Bean Soup making it simple and perfectly seasoned every time!

To Cook Beans

  • Rinse beans well and check for any debris.
  • No soaking required when using a slow cooker.
  • If you have already soaked your beans, you can reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1 cup.
  • Add acidic ingredients (such as canned tomatoes or lemon juice) after the beans have softened (these ingredients can sometimes interfere with rehydration).

Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup is the perfect meal to come home to and easy to make. No soaking is required, just place your ingredients in the slow cooker and this recipe is effortless! Dinner is ready when you are!


Hurst’s 15 Bean Soup comes with a vegetable based seasoning packet that really takes this recipe to the next level. It has great flavor, the perfect amount of seasoning and a hint of smokiness. Adding the seasoning towards the end of cooking gives this soup an amazing flavor boost.

A squeeze of fresh lemon is an easy way to enhance the flavor of the broth.  While I use plain tomatoes, you can also used canned tomatoes with chilis to add a little bit of spice or heat to this ham and bean soup!

Ham for Bean Soup

If you happen to have a leftover ham bone from your holiday baked ham, THIS is the recipe you’re going to want to make with it.

If you don’t have a ham bone, ask your local butcher or deli for either ham bones (they are usually really inexpensive) or ham hocks. Our deli down the road sells ham hocks for just a few dollars each. If you don’t have either, leftover chopped ham works beautifully in this recipe too.


Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup is the perfect meal to come home to and easy to make. No soaking is required, just place your ingredients in the slow cooker and this recipe is effortless! Dinner is ready when you are!

This soup comes out very thick and hearty, just the way we love it! If you prefer a thinner consistency, add one extra cup of broth or water to your slow cooker.  We love this Ham and Bean soup served right out of the Crock Pot with a big piece of moist cornbread but it’s delicious served over rice too!

Can You Freeze Ham and Bean Soup

Yes, not only is it easy, but this ham and bean soup recipe makes a huge batch and it freezes beautifully. That means cook once, have two dinners and lunches all week… count me in!

We freeze this in individual portions so we can easily grab one for lunches and the smaller portions defrost quicker.

More Slow Cooker Recipes You’ll Love

Crock Pot Ham & Bean Soup

Ham and Bean Soup is one of our all time favorite foods to come home to on a chilly day. This “no-soaking required” Ham and Bean soup takes just minutes to prepare and cooks effortlessly in your Crock Pot all day long! Dinner is ready when you are!

  • 1 package Hurst’s® HamBeens® 15 Bean Soup®
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth (can sub water, beef, or vegetable broth for added flavor)
  • 1 leftover ham bone with meat (or ham hocks, diced ham or 1 lb. cooked sausage)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • Optional: Hot sauce or crushed red pepper to taste
  1. Rinse beans and drain. Sort any unwanted debris and set seasoning packet aside.
  2. Place beans, onions, ham bone (or diced ham), broth/water, garlic and chili powder in a 6qt slow cooker.

  3. Cook on high 5 hours (or low for 7-8) or until beans are tender.
  4. Once tender, remove the hambone (if used) and chop any meat left on the bone and add it back to the pot.
  5. Stir in diced tomatoes, Ham Flavor packet, and lemon juice.
  6. Cook for additional 30 minutes.

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Crock Pot Ham

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder

This easy Slow Cooker Corn Chowder simmers all day in the crockpot, and is ready to serve when you are ready to eat. Fresh vegetables, chunks of tender potato, and smoky bacon give so much flavor while the creamy corn base adds a touch of sweetness. The perfect cool weather soup!

I am excited to have partnered with Hurst’s HamBeens® 15 BEAN SOUP® to bring you this belly warming recipe.  While I was compensated for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  Working with great brands I love allows me to keep bringing you the great recipes you love!

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup is the perfect hearty meal to come home to on a chilly day. This
Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup is the perfect meal to come home to and easy to make. No soaking is required, just place your ingredients in the slow cooker and this recipe cooks effortlessly in your Crock Pot all day long! Dinner is ready when you are!
Crock Pot Ham and Bean soup is the perfect hearty meal to come home to on a chilly day. This
Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup is the perfect meal to come home to and easy to make. No soaking is required, just place your ingredients in the slow cooker and this recipe is effortless! Dinner is ready when you are!

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers! These deliciously easy stuffed peppers are the perfect meal to come home to!
Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers! These are deliciously easy to make!

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers are not only delicious but so easy to put together! Come home to dinner waiting for you with these easy Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers!

We serve these easy slow cooker peppers with a side salad and of course some crusty bread or Buttermilk Biscuits to sop up any leftover sauces!

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers! Easy stuffed peppers made in a slow cooker

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers

I love using my slow cooker, especially in the fall and winter months to have dinner ready to come home to. I sometimes get tired of the same ol’ ho-hum going into the slow cooker and these easy stuffed bell peppers are a change from the usual.

Make Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers Fit Your Tastes

My whole family loves these slow cooker stuffed peppers. You can make substitutions to make this your own!

  • Replace the ground beef for ground turkey or substitute half sausage.
  • If you have other veggies in the fridge you’d like to use up, just chop them up with the meat and add them in!
  • Any type of rice works well with this recipe too, I’ve used white, brown and even Cauliflower Rice!
  • Change the seasonings to change the meal and make these into delicious Mexican Stuffed Peppers.

It is important to make sure your rice is slightly undercooked before it goes into the slow cooker so it doesn’t turn mushy.

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers placed inside a slow cooker

Crock Pot Stuffed peppers are great because you can leave them cooking while you’re out of the house and unlike my usual Stuffed Peppers the peppers don’t need to be pre-cooked.

To Make Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers Ahead of Time

Prepare as directed until step 4. When you’re ready to cook them, place in the slow cooker, top with broth and tomatoes and set the slow cooker to high for 3 hours.

More Slow Cooker Meals

Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

Tender Bell Peppers filled with a beef, rice and tomato filling and cooked to perfection in the slow cooker.

  • 2/3 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (canned, undrained)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 6 bell peppers (red, green, yellow or orange)
  1. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in rice, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 15-18 minutes or just until water is evaporated. (Rice should be slightly underdone).
  2. Brown beef, onion and garlic over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  3. Stir in 2/3 of the can of tomatoes, seasoning, chili flakes, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce until mixed. Add cooked rice and remove from heat.

  4. Cut the tops off of your peppers and place in your slow cooker. Fill each 1/2 way with the rice mixture add 1/4 cup cheese and top with the rice mixture (it’s ok if they overflow a little bit).
  5. Spoon remaining tomatoes and broth over top of peppers and cook on high about 3 hours or until soft. 5 minutes before serving, place remaining cheese on top of peppers and close the lid until cheese melts.

Make sure your rice is slightly undercooked to make sure it doesn’t get mushy.


Easy Crock Pot Ham and Potato Soup

Ham and Potato Soup is a cool weather staple around here and it’s easy to make in the crock pot and perfect for any leftover baked ham! A simple and delicious soup loaded with potatoes, sweet carrots and tender ham cooks in the slow cooker all day so dinner is ready when you are.

This easy slow cooker ham and potato soup is perfect served alongside our favorite 30 Minute Dinner Rolls with a fresh Kale Salad!

Crockpot ham and potato soup in a big bowl topped with fresh herbs.

Slow Cooker Potato Soup

Few things are as comforting as a delicious and creamy soup on a cold winter day!  Even better is coming home to dinner after a busy day of work or errands!

I truly love potato soup, it’s so comforting!  One of my very best friends made this delicious Ham and Potato soup for me for lunch one day!  It was a chilly day and this warmed me from the inside out! (Thanks Dee, you’re the best)!

Since then, I’ve made this soup so many times.  It’s always delicious and never lasts long around here!  This is one of those soups that is fabulous the first day just as amazing leftover… (and any time I can cook once, eat twice is a good thing around here)!

Technically you could consider this delicious soup a potato chowder as it is a thick creamy soup that is generally chunky.  Regardless of what you call it, it’s absolutely delicious! While chowders often contain fish (like seafood chowder), they can contain a variety of vegetables or meat and still be considered a chowder (like Slow Cooker Corn Chowder)!

A Crock Pot full of delicious ingredients for ham and potato soup.

How To Thicken Potato Soup

One thing I particularly love about this soup is that it uses potatoes to thicken it without adding in a lot of heavy cream and butter.  While the flavor and texture are rich and creamy, it’s not loaded up with fat and calories!

If you are trying to curb your dairy or fat intake, you can thicken this ham potato soup recipe (or other potato soup recipes) with mashed up potatoes and carrots right before it is served. This will make it slightly creamy but with just enough rustic chunkiness and not too rich. Simply scoop out a couple cups of potatoes and carrots and gently mash, then return to the Crock Pot. Adjust for flavor with salt and pepper and let everyone dig in!

If you’d like it even thicker, you can also add in a few potato flakes to reach desired thickness. If you’d prefer, you can also create a cornstarch slurry (equal parts cornstarch and water), stir it in and let it simmer in the crock pot 15 minutes on high.

A bowl of slow cooker creamy ham and potato soup full of ham, carrots, and herbs.

I most often use leftovers from my fave Crock Pot Ham or  a ham bone to make this soup but if you don’t have leftovers, it works perfectly with diced ham steaks from the grocery store too! If you’d like to make this into a cheesy ham and potato soup, stir in a handful of cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese just before serving.  Remember that dairy can curdle at high temperatures so when you don’t want to cook it too long in the slow cooker. Once you add the milk and sour cream (and cheeses if you add any), you just want to make sure everything is heated through.

Can You Freeze Potato Soup with Ham?

Most creamy soups and chowders can be easily frozen, including this ham and potato soup recipe. All you have to do is put leftover soup in the fridge overnight to make sure it is completely cooled. Then, pour into a plastic freezer bag and lay flat on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once they are frozen solid, simply stack them up and you have a grab-and-go meal for another busy day!

More Slow Cooker Soups You’ll Love

Easy Ham and Potato Soup in the Crock Pot

Ham and Potato soup is a simple and delicious soup loaded with potatoes, sweet carrots and tender ham. It cooks in the slow cooker all day so dinner is ready when you are!

Follow Spend With Pennies on Pinterest for more great recipes!

  • 7 cups potatoes (, diced)
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 large carrot (, chopped)
  • 2-3 cups ham (, diced)
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • pepper to taste
  • 5 cups Ready to Serve Chicken Broth ((I use low sodium))
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Add diced potatoes, onion, carrot, ham, thyme, parsley, pepper & broth to a crock pot.
  2. Cook on low 7 hours, or high 3 hours.
  3. Remove 2-3 cups of the potatoes/carrots and mash, then return the mashed mixture to the crock pot.
  4. Add milk and sour cream. Stir and cook an additional 15 minutes. Add pepper to taste. Makes twelve 1-cup servings.

Ham and Potato Soup made in the slow cooker