Chicken Barley Soup

Chicken barley soup made with your roast chicken leftovers. By the time you are done cleaning up after your roast chicken dinner, you will have prepped TOMORROWS dinner as well!

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Chicken barley soup made with all of your roast chicken leftovers; tasty and environmentally friendly! By the time you are done cleaning up after your roast chicken or spatchcock chicken dinner, you will have prepped TOMORROW’S dinner as well!

For more easy and delicious soup recipes, why not make this Instant Pot French Onion Soup? Or this Instant Pot White Chicken Chili instead? 

chicken barley soup in white bowl

Chicken Barley Soup

Chicken and barley might just be the oldest soup combination that exists; thick, warming, and delicious, this soup nourishes and fills you up and is one of the best winter warming recipes there is.

The trick with this recipe is to use the leftover meat from a roast chicken, as well as making your very own chicken stock from the carcass. Though it takes a good deal of extra time, the added flavor you get from making some homemade stock more than makes up for the time lost. Plus, all of the added time is just passive time! You just leave it simmering until it’s done and then enjoy.

ingredients for chicken barley soup

Chicken Barley Soup Ingredients

Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.

• Bones from a roast chicken

• Onion

• Carrot

• Garlic

• Celery

• Bay leaves

• Water

• Chopped carrots and celery

• Peeled and chopped russet potatoes

• Leftover chicken, chopped

• Powdered vegetable or chicken stock

• Barley

chicken barley soup ingredients in slow cooker

How To Make Chicken Barley Soup

• Chop all of your remaining chicken, making sure to peel the meat off of the bones

• Take the chicken bones, and combine with the onion, carrot, garlic, celery, bay leaves, and water, cooking on low overnight or around 8 hours

• Once cooked, strain the solids out, and then leave your homemade stock in the pot

• Chop up your vegetables and add them to the stock, as well as the barley and any extra stock powder flavoring you want to use

• Cook on low for 8 hours, mix in the chicken enough to heat up and then serve

two bowls of chicken barley soup

How To Easily Remove The Meat From The Bones

Removing chicken from bones is a bit of a grisly task that not a lot of people particularly enjoy, especially once it is has begun to cool down and the fat starts to solidify.

While the meat will usually come apart pretty easily, it can get… pretty messy no matter what you do.

The trick to easily taking the meat off of your roast chicken is to let it cool down until it is just cool enough to handle, but not completely room temperature.

As long as it is still decently warm, yet not so hot that it might burn you, the meat should then come right off when ripped.

The other great trick is to skip any specialized tools or cutlery; just use your hands! Your fingers are way better at getting into the meat and ripping it from the bones.

The only thing you need to keep in mind is to be wary of any errant cartilage on the bones as you take the meat off. Using your fingers, it should be pretty easy to locate the cartilage if you sort of feel around a bit. You can either leave that on the bones to help flavor the soup or remove it with the meat and then throw it away so that it doesn’t get put into the final soup at the end.

close up of a bowl of chicken barley soup

Do You Have To Make A Homemade Stock For This Recipe?

The real secret to this recipe is in making your own homemade stock from the bones of a roast chicken and some vegetables. There is just so much intense flavor you can get from making your very own chicken stock.

If you don’t feel like going through all of that effort, you could absolutely just use some leftover chicken meat, throw out the bones and use some pre-prepared chicken stock instead. However, you would definitely be missing out on a huge amount of really delicious and intense flavor, despite the convenience of those pre-made packages of chicken stock.

If you do make your own chicken stock, don’t feel bad about adding a little bit of powdered stock anyway as well, though. Even though you’ve got your own homemade stock, that little bit of powdered goodness can really amp up the flavors of your soup.

Looking for more delicious Soup recipes? Try these out:

Turkey Noodle Soup

Beer Cheese Soup

French Onion Soup




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Chicken barley soup made with your roast chicken leftovers. By the time you are done cleaning up after your roast chicken dinner, you will have prepped TOMORROWS dinner as well

Chicken barley soup

Chicken barley soup made with your roast chicken leftovers. By the time you are done cleaning up after your roast chicken dinner, you will have prepped TOMORROWS dinner as well!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
20 hours
Karlynn Johnston


Chicken Stock

  • bones of one roast chicken
  • 1/2 large onion sliced
  • 1 large carrot cut lengthwise
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup tops and bottoms of celery
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 8-10 cups of water

Soup Ingredients

  • 2 cups carrots chopped
  • 2 cups celery chopped
  • 2-3 cups russet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 3-4 cups leftover chicken chopped up
  • 3 teaspoons powdered vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry barley


  • Once you are done with your roast chicken dinner and are cleaning the kitchen anyway, it’s time to start the soup
  • Chop up all the remaining chicken, cleaning all the meat off the bones and place in fridge until morning.
  • Take the now clean chicken bones and combine them with the first 6 ingredients in your crock pot and cook on low overnight.
  • Chop up your vegetables and place in the fridge overnight.
  • In the morning, remove all the chicken bones and flavorings from the crock pot.
  • Place your vegetables, barley, and extra stock powder flavoring (if wanted, I really like a darn flavorful stock) into the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Mix in the chicken to heat up, then serve,

Nutrition Information

Calories: 154kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 216mg, Potassium: 459mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 9640IU, Vitamin C: 6.4mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 1.3mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Site Index Barley Chicken Chicken soup

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. esmerg says

    Can I use pearl barley, since this is what I have at hand, instead of dry barley? By the way, I’m not sure if there is any difference. Please advise. Thank you! Loving all your recipes. 🙂

  2. Marilyn says

    What is powdered chicken stock and where do you find it. Probably on Amazon but I haven’t checked. In California we use a product called “better than bouillon”and it’s quite good. You can usually find it at Costco as well as supermarkets. It comes in a jar and is like a thick jam that you dissolve in water. Many flavors

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      Knorr makes the powdered chicken stock. It’s right by all of the other ones in every grocery store!5 stars

    • Mr. Kitchen Magpie says

      You can use that as well. We use better than bouillon or the powdered for our stock when we don’t have bones to make it from.

  3. Cassie74 says

    I have this exact slow cooker and use it all the time!! Love your idea of stock!!!!!

    Gonna try it This Week!

  4. ACanadianFoodie says

    LOVE BARELY. Isn’t it written somewhere that is must be made with beef if in a soup? Oh, you young ‘uns just play with the tried and true, don’t ya?

    Bet it’s good, too!


  5. sylviamaxine says

    So pretty!  I am slowly getting new kitchen appliances and your new crockpot is the cat’s meow

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