How to Make Easy Homemade Turkey Stock

Making homemade turkey stock is relatively simple after your Thanksgiving Feast. Homemade turkey stock is so worth the effort!

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Homemade Turkey Stock Recipe

So, you’ve spent the last couple of weeks planning and preparing for Thanksgiving, and now it is almost time to enjoy your beautifully crafted Turkey Dinner. You’re probably a bit exhausted from it all. But, it isn’t over just yet.

Making homemade turkey stock is relatively simple after your Thanksgiving Feast, even if it does feel like one more thing to worry about. And I’m telling you, homemade broth is so worth the work. It tastes absolutely delicious and rich.

Plus, you have complete control over what’s in it — that means no MSG and lots of flavor — when you make it yourself.

If you haven’t already removed the leftover meat from your roasted turkey after the meal is over, do that first. Then, you can use the extra meat to make homemade turkey soup using your homemade turkey stock if you’d like.

Turkey Stock Ingredients

ingredients for turkey stock

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One of the reasons I love making homemade turkey broth is because it uses up so many of my Thanksgiving leftovers! Here’s what you’ll need to make turkey stock:

  • Turkey carcass
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Fresh herbs
  • Peppercorns
  • Bay leaves
  • Water

How to Make Turkey Stock

turkey stock in pot

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1. Add the turkey carcass to the pot along with the neck piece and any leftover skin or scraps of meat that are lingering on the bones. If necessary, you can disassemble the bones so to speak to fit the bones nicely in your pot. Use a meat mallet or kitchen shears to help break them apart.

2. Add plenty of aromatics such as onion, garlic, celery, and carrot to the pot. Vegetable scraps work great (i.e. the ends of carrots that you cut off and don’t consume, celery ends and leaves, even onion skins). As you are preparing your Thanksgiving Feast, save any of these scraps in a large gallon sized zip top bag in your refrigerator.

3. Add fresh herbs. Parsley, Sage and Thyme are my personal favorites to add to the pot with the turkey carcass. I use a few sprigs of each.

4. Fill the pot with water and bring the turkey carcass mixture to a boil, then simmer it all day long. If you need to add more water to account for evaporation, do so.Taste your delicious homemade turkey broth after a few hours and adjust flavors to your personal preference.

How to Store Turkey Stock

jars of turkey stock

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After you’ve simmered your pot of turkey bones, aromatics, herbs and water all day, you’ll want to strain the mixture. I set a fine mesh strainer over another large pot and slowly pour the turkey broth mixture over the strainer. The strainer will catch and debris that you don’t want in the final product. Discard that debris.

If the turkey broth seems fatty, I chill the strained broth in the refrigerator overnight and skim the fat solids off the top the next morning.

Then, divide the stock into individual portions that suit your family’s needs. Make sure you use freezer-safe containers and leave about a 1/2 inch of head space in the container to allow for expansion in the freezer. Then, store the stock in the freezer.

Homemade turkey stock will store for at least 6 months. Use your homemade turkey broth anytime you need broth for soup recipes. Check out these 35 Soup Recipes for Fall to see some of our favorites!

Can I Make Turkey Stock in a Slow Cooker?

Yes, if you have an extra large slow cooker or counter top roaster, you can make the turkey stock in that as well. Just allow it to cook on high for 2 hours, then on low for 6 hours (or more if you’d like).

Can I Make Turkey Stock in an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can make Homemade Turkey Stock in an Instant Pot. Just make sure that your pressure cooker is large enough and none of the ingredients or liquid reach higher than the “max fill” line for your Instant Pot. I would recommend the 8 quart sized Instant Pot.

You will likely have to break down the bones so they take up less space rather than placing a whole turkey carcass in your Instant Pot. Add all of the ingredients into the pressure cooker and cook on High Pressure for 90 minutes. Then, let pressure release naturally (no quick release).

Do not open the Instant Pot lid until the pressure has fully released. Take care to follow all official Instant Pot safety procedures and precautions to avoid steam burns or any other injuries.

turkey stock in a pot

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Can I Make Homemade Stock Using Chicken Instead?

Absolutely! When roasting a whole chicken, or purchasing pre-roasted whole chickens, keep the leftover bones in a Ziploc freezer bag in the freezer. When you’ve collected 2-3, use them to make homemade chicken broth.

Tips for Making Turkey Stock

If you used a brine recipe (such as this Apple Cider Sage Turkey Brine), there will be plenty of residual salt leftover from the brining process and no need to add extra. If at the end of preparation your broth tastes saltier than you’d like, simply add more water.

When seasoning the turkey broth, remember that while you don’t want it to flavorless, you don’t want it to be too flavorful either. You want it to be neutral enough that it can be used in any number of soups and stews later on!

If you’ve saved up enough vegetable scraps, you might not need to buy fresh veggies to add to this homemade turkey stock. Use your best judgement!

jars of turkey stock on a white background

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More Turkey Recipes:

This Homemade Turkey Gravy is made using the pan drippings from your Thanksgiving turkey. It’s incredibly easy to make and can be frozen for later, if desired!

Don’t want to mess around with a wet turkey brine this year? Make this Garlic Herb Peppercorn Dry Brine Turkey instead. It’s so easy to make and is super flavorful.

This Rosemary Beer Smoked Turkey is another Thanksgiving favorite at our house. We love the smoky flavor our Traeger imparts!

Have leftover turkey meat you need to use up? Make this Green Chile Turkey Tetrazzini or Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwiches.

Do you make your own turkey stock after Thanksgiving?

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Easy Homemade Turkey Stock

Easy Homemade Turkey Stock

Yield: 1 gallon
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

Making homemade turkey stock is relatively simple after your Thanksgiving Feast, even if it does feel like one more thing to worry about.

Ingredients

  • Turkey Carcass
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 4 large Carrots
  • 4 Celery Ribs
  • 3 cloves Garlic, smashed
  • 1 sprig Sage
  • 4 sprigs Thyme
  • 3 sprigs Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Peppercorn
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 gallon Water, plus more to account for evaporation as it cooks

Instructions

  1. Add the turkey (or chicken) carcass to the pot along with the neck piece and any leftover skin or scraps of meat that are lingering on the bones.
  2. If necessary to fit the bones nicely in your pot, you can disassemble the bones so to speak.
  3. Use a meat mallet or kitchen shears to help break them apart.
  4. If you used a brine recipe (such as this Apple Cider Sage Turkey Brine), there will be plenty of residual salt leftover from the brining process and no need to add extra.
  5. If at the end of preparation your broth tastes saltier than you’d like, simply add more water.
  6. Add plenty of aromatics such as onion, garlic, celery, and carrot to the pot. Vegetable scraps work great. The ends of carrots that you cut off and don’t consume, celery ends and leaves, even onion skins. As you are preparing your Thanksgiving Feast, save any of these scraps in a large gallon sized zip top bag in your refrigerator.
  7. Add fresh herbs.I use a few sprigs of each.
  8. Fill the pot with water and bring the turkey carcass mixture to a boil, then simmer it all day long.
  9. If you need to add more water to account for evaporation, do so.
  10. Taste your delicious homemade turkey broth after a few hours and adjust flavors to your personal preference.
  11. If you have an extra large slow cooker or counter top roaster, you can make the turkey stock in that as well.
  12. Just allow it to cook on high for 1 1/2 hours, then on low for 6 hours (or more if you’d like).
  13. After you’ve simmered your pot of turkey bones, aromatics, herbs and water all day you’ll want to strain the mixture. I set a fine mesh strainer over another large pot and slowly pour the turkey broth mixture over the strainer.
  14. The strainer will catch and debris that you don’t want in the final product. Discard that debris.
  15. If the turkey broth seems fatty, I chill the strained broth in the refrigerator overnight and skim the fat solids off the top the next morning.

Notes

When roasting a whole chicken, or purchasing pre-roasted whole chickens, keep the leftover bones in a Ziploc freezer bag in the freezer. When you’ve collected 2-3, use them to make homemade chicken broth.

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