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Is it OK to eat chicken broth as soup?

Quick Answer

Yes, it is perfectly fine to eat chicken broth as a soup. Chicken broth is flavorful and nutritious on its own and can make a satisfying soup meal. Many people enjoy sipping on chicken broth for a light snack or meal.

What is Chicken Broth?

Chicken broth is made by simmering chicken bones, meat, and vegetables in water to extract flavor, nutrients, and collagen. The resulting liquid is a rich, golden colored broth with a savory chicken flavor.

Chicken broth typically contains the following nutrients:

  • Protein – from chicken meat and collagen from bones and cartilage
  • Vitamins and minerals – such as vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium
  • Electrolytes – sodium and chloride
  • Trace amounts of fat, carbohydrates, and calories

The collagen from chicken bones and connective tissues gives the broth a gelatinous, mouth-coating texture when chilled. The type of vegetables, aromatics, and seasonings added to the broth also impacts its final flavor. Common additions include onion, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt.

Benefits of Chicken Broth

Drinking plain chicken broth offers several health benefits:

Rich in Protein and Other Nutrients

A standard 8 oz serving of chicken broth made from a whole chicken carcass contains around 3-5 grams of protein. It also provides B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, calcium, selenium, chondroitin sulfate, and other nutrients extracted from the chicken and vegetables. While not high in protein, chicken broth contributes useful amino acids like glycine and proline.

Anti-inflammatory Effects

The gelatin, collagen, and antioxidants like anthocyanins in chicken broth have anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Consuming broth may help reduce joint pain and inflammation.

Supports Gut Health and Digestion

The collagen from chicken bones and cartilage can benefit the gut lining and support a healthy mucosal layer in the intestines. The glycine in collagen also aids digestion. Chicken broth is gentle on the stomach and easy to digest.

Hydrating Electrolyte Drink

Chicken broth contains electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride. Drinking it can help replenish fluids and electrolytes if you are dehydrated from illness or exercise.

May Boost Immunity

Chicken broth contains amino acids like cysteine and arginine that support immune function. Regularly consuming chicken broth may help strengthen immunity and prevent illness.

Nutrition Facts of Chicken Broth

The nutrition facts for a 1 cup serving (240 ml) of homemade chicken broth are (1):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 48
Protein 5.8 g
Carbs 1.3 g
Sugar 0.9 g
Fiber 0.1 g
Fat 2.6 g
Saturated fat 0.9 g
Sodium 811 mg
Magnesium 8 mg
Calcium 10 mg
Potassium 69 mg
Phosphorus 20 mg

As you can see, chicken broth is low in calories, fat, carbs, and sugar. Its main macronutrient is protein, but it also provides important vitamins and minerals.

Tips for Making Chicken Broth Soup

Plain chicken broth on its own is great. But you can also turn it into a hearty soup by adding mix-ins. Here are some ideas:


Chop and saute veggies like carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, zucchini, peas, green beans, spinach, kale, or broccoli and add them to the broth.


Cook grains like rice, barley, quinoa, or pasta right in the broth to absorb flavor.


Add cooked chicken breast, canned beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, or eggs.

Herbs and Spices

Flavor the broth with garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, cumin, coriander, chili powder, paprika, and black pepper.

Noodles or Rice

For an Asian-inspired soup, add rice noodles, ramen noodles, udon noodles, soba noodles, or cooked rice.

Acid and Texture

Stir in lemon or lime juice, vinegar, chili crisp, miso paste, or soy sauce to add acid. You can also blend the soup partially to give it more body.

How to Store and Reheat Chicken Broth


Chicken broth can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For longer shelf life, freeze broth for 2-3 months. Store in airtight containers and leave 1 inch of headspace to allow for expansion.


If chilled, bring the broth back to a simmer on the stovetop or reheat individual portions in the microwave until hot. When reheating, don’t let the broth come to a full boil as this can cause it to be cloudy.

Precautions with Chicken Broth

Chicken broth made from bones is considered safe for most people to consume. However, here are a few precautions (2):

– Limit sodium intake if you have high blood pressure or heart problems. Choose low-sodium broth or reduce added salt.

– Avoid lead-contaminated broth. Use broth made from organic chickens not exposed to lead. Don’t cook broth in lead-glazed ceramic pots.

– Don’t give chicken broth to infants under 1 year old due to risk of botulism poisoning.

– Consult your doctor if you have food allergies or sensitivities. Chicken broth may contain trace amounts of common allergens.


Drinking chicken broth straight from a mug or bowl can make a satisfying hot soup. Chicken broth is nutritious and provides protein, vitamins, minerals, collagen, and electrolytes in each serving. Feel free to get creative and turn plain chicken broth into a hearty soup by adding vegetables, grains, protein, and seasonings. As long as you don’t overdo the sodium, sipping on chicken broth is an excellent way to stay hydrated and get beneficial nutrition.