Homemade Bone Broth Recipe

Broth made with cartilage-rich bones and bits (such as knuckle bones and chicken feet) should be rich in collagen and benefit gut health.

From "The Healthy Bones Nutrition Plan and Cookbook "
September/October 2018

  • Made from whole bones and therefore cartilage, bone broth is rich in collagen and the nutrients your body needs to create its own.
    Photo by Darren Muir / Stocksy United

Yield: 1 gallon

Bone broth provides ideal ratios of amino acids and other nutrients your body uses to build collagen. You can use any bones, such as poultry or beef. Whenever possible, choose parts from grass-fed or pasture-raised animals for making broth.


  • 2 to 3 pounds bones
  • 1 chicken, calf, or pig’s foot
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 quarts cold filtered water
  • About 10 stalks parsley

Optional Ingredients for Added Gelatin:

  • 4 to 6 meaty oxtail bones
  • Additional 2 to 3 chicken feet
  • Additional calf’s foot
  • Additional pig’s foot

Optional Flavorings:

  • 1 to 3 onions
  • 2 to 3 carrots
  • 2 to 3 celery stalks
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground sea salt, preferably pink Himalayan



  1. Put bones, feet (sliced, if large), vinegar, water, and any optional flavorings (whole or roughly chopped) in a stainless steel pot or slow cooker. Hold parsley until Step 3. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Bring to a boil. Skim any scum off the surface of the water. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer. For poultry, simmer at least 8 hours; for beef and pork, at least 12. The optimum for beef is 24 hours.
  3. During the last hour of simmer, add parsley.
  4. Strain while hot so the fat doesn’t clot the colander. If using beef bones, examine them for retained marrow, scrape it out with a slender knife, and leave it in the soup.
  5. Let the broth cool in a shallow pan. Refrigerate the cooled broth until it’s cold. You may then remove congealed fat that rises to the top.
  6. Refrigerate only the amount of broth you’ll consume within 3 to 4 days. Immediately freeze the rest.

TIPS: If you’re using beef bones, add flavor by roasting them in the oven (about 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit) before adding them to the broth water.

Cold broth will be gelatinous. If the soup is thin, increase the bones-to-water ratio next time.

For more about the health benefits of cartilage, see:

Recipe courtesy of The Healthy Bones Nutrition Plan and Cookbook by Dr. Laura Kelly & Helen Bryman Kelly © 2016, www.ChelseaGreen.com.

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