Turkey Stock (Turkey Bone Broth)
Our homemade Turkey Stock is the secret ingredient that gives an incredible depth of flavor to any recipe that calls for stock, and it’s perfect for making Turkey Noodle Soup. It is so simple to make and also packs incredible health benefits, so this Thanksgiving, don’t throw away that leftover turkey carcass!
In this turkey stock recipe, we give easy instructions for making bone broth in three ways: in the stock pot, slow cooker, and Instant Pot. Pick your favorite method, and let’s get cooking!
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Homemade Turkey Stock Recipe
Just like with our Chicken Stock, this will make any soup taste so much better than using store-bought stock. It’s also a healing liquid that can reduce inflammation and improve the health of your joints, skin, and hair. It’s liquid gold!
How to Use Turkey Stock
Turkey stock is a 1:1 substitute for chicken stock, so you’ll have endless uses for this turkey bone broth. Here are some of our favorite recipes:
- Turkey Gravy and Thanksgiving stuffing, of course
- Soups like Creamy Tomato Soup, Chicken Pot Pie Soup, and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Sauces or deglazing for a pan, like in our Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe or Garlic Herb Crusted Lamb Chops
- Rice, beans, or when braising veggies
- Risotto dishes, like our Classic Risotto, Creamy Chicken and Rice One-Pot Meal, and Chicken and Rice Soup
- Served warm for sipping in a mug – yes really, it’s that good!
What is the Difference Between Turkey Stock and Broth?
While we generally use the terms interchangeably, turkey stock is cooked with only bones for a longer time. It becomes jelly-like when cooled because of the collagen-packed bone marrow that is extracted during the longer cooking process. Don’t worry, it becomes liquid again when heated.
On the other hand, turkey broth is made with meat and bones and cooks in a shorter time. Also, it’s usually seasoned with salt, so be mindful of the salt content when using broth in a recipe.
Regardless of what method you choose, these are the ingredients that make the most delicious homemade turkey stock:
- Turkey carcass – use 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 lbs of the bones that fit into the pot after salvaging any leftover meat for Leftover Turkey in Gravy. Don’t worry if some meat remains.
- Apple cider vinegar – draws out the bone marrow during cooking
- Salt – use only a small amount to ensure your stock is most versatile
- Onion – peel and cut into halves, leave the skin on if you like a dark color to your stock
- Celery – clean and leave the leaves attached, cut into thirds
- Carrots – peel and cut into halves
- Garlic cloves – smash the cloves to release the flavor
- Bay Leaf – optional, but adds earthy flavor, if you don’t have any, you can substitute sage or omit it
- Filtered Water – use cold water for clearer stock
This turkey stock recipe begins with bones from a roasted turkey. If your turkey is still raw, first use this tutorial to see how to cut whole poultry, then roast the bones at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. You can make stock with raw bones, but roasting gives so much added flavor.
While making Thanksgiving dinner, put a container in your fridge for stock ingredients. As you cook other dishes for dinner, prep and add ingredients to the stock container. When the turkey carcass is picked over, you already have everything prepped for stock.
If you’re not making it right away, store the bones in a sealed container in the freezer until you’re ready to make the stock.
How to Make Turkey Stock
Here are three different ways to make bone broth. Each method is simple and makes a delicious stock. Our go-to method is the instant pot which only takes 2 hours.
Stovetop Turkey Stock (15 hours)
Choose this method if you have a large stockpot or want to double the recipe. It requires some babysitting to maintain a simmer and uses the most water since so much liquid evaporates. You can turn off the stove overnight and restart it in the morning if needed.
- Put the bones, water, cider vinegar, and salt into the stockpot. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Skim any foam off the top, then cover and simmer on low for 6 hours.
- Add the remaining ingredients into the pot and then simmer for another 9 hours. Be sure the stock is simmering, not boiling, so it stays clear and retains nutrients.
Slow Cooker Turkey Stock (15 hours)
This is the easiest method—set it and forget it. The turkey bone broth comes out a deeper color and flavor since it is cooked slowly and never stirred or hardboiled. You can use warm or hot water to jumpstart the cooking.
- Put the bones, water, cider vinegar, and salt into a 6 Qt. slow cooker set on low for 15 hours.
- After cooking for six hours, add the rest of the ingredients. Put the cover back on until the timer is done. You can cook it longer overnight if needed.
Instant Pot Turkey Stock (2 hours)
This is my favorite method, because the quicker cooking time retains the most nutrients, and well, it’s faster.
- Put all the ingredients into a 6 Qt. Instant Pot. Fill the pot with water (10-11 cups) until you hit the pot’s 2/3 Max Fill line.
- On the pot, select “Soup/Broth” and set the time for 120 minutes (2 hours). When finished, let it naturally depressurize for 30 minutes. Then, use an oven mitt to protect your hands from the steam and bubbles and release the pressure valve.
Strain and Store the Turkey Stock
- After cooking with whatever method you choose, pour the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into another pot. You can use tongs to remove the large pieces and throw any solids away. Let the stock come to room temperature before covering and putting the container in the refrigerator.
- After it’s chilled, or the next day, scrape the fat off of the jellied stock. Return the container to the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 3 months
To quickly cool the turkey stock before storage, place your container in a bowl of ice water and stir occasionally. Once the broth is at room temperature, you can refrigerate or freeze. Also, be sure to label your stock so you can keep track of freshness. We love this label maker.
Yes, but keep in mind it will have a different, more smoky flavor profile.
This recipe calls for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 lbs of bones. Be sure to include the wing tips, neck, and other parts with lots of connective tissue. You can also include the gizzard and heart, but leave the liver out because it can make the stock bitter.
I remove the fat not because the fat is unsafe to eat, but because I prefer to skim and remove it for texture and aesthetic reasons. Removing the fat allows you to use the stock in many different dishes without adding excess calories or a greasy mouthfeel. Fat also makes the stock cloudy. You can use the skimmed fat as you would oil in cooking recipes. Freeze in a freezer-safe container to use later.
Collagen will thicken it as it cools, but it will thin again when reheated.
Absolutely, the turkey neck holds a ton of flavor!
- To Refrigerate: Store in the fridge in a sealed container for 3-5 days
- Freezing: Portion into cup freezer-safe containers or bags. Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat: thaw in the fridge overnight
After a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, save the turkey carcass to make this homemade turkey stock recipe that will supercharge the nutrition and depth of flavor in your cooking.
More Turkey Stock Recipes
Now that you have turkey bone broth, here are a few more ways to use this homemade liquid gold.
- Corn Chowder Recipe
- The BEST Kung Pao Chicken
- Pulled Pork Recipe
- Lemon Chicken Recipe
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili Recipe
- Turkey or Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe
Turkey Stock (Turkey Bone Broth)
- 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 lbs of roasted turkey bones
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 celery stalks with leaves attached, cut into thirds
- 1 medium onion, peeled and halved
- 2 carrots, peeled and halved
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 bay leaf, optional
- Filtered water, 16 c. (stock pot), 12 c. (6 Qt. slow cooker), 10-11 c. (Instant Pot)
Stockpot Directions (15 Hours)
- In an 8 Qt. stockpot, add the roasted turkey bones, apple cider vinegar, salt, and 16 cups of filtered water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Skim to remove any foam and impurities that float to the top, then cover and simmer for 6 hours.
- Add celery, onion, carrots, garlic, and bay leaf, if using. Cover the pot and continue to simmer for 9 hours. To keep it from becoming foggy, be sure not to let the stock reach a hard boil. You can turn the heat off overnight and continue simmering the next day, if needed. Proceed to the Straining and Storing directions below.
Slow Cooker Directions (15 hours)
- In a 6 Qt. slow cooker, put the bones, cider vinegar, salt, and 12 cups of warm/hot water. Set the timer to 15 hours on low heat.
- When it has been cooking for 6 hours, stir in the celery, onions, carrots, garlic, and bay leaf. Cover and continue cooking for another 9 hours (15 hours total). You can let it cook longer overnight if needed. Proceed to the Straining and Storing directions below.
Instant Pot Directions (2 Hours)
- In a 6 Qt. Instant Pot, add all the ingredients (bones, cider vinegar, salt, celery, onion, carrots, garlic, and bay leaf). Then fill the pot to the 2/3 Max Fill line with water, about 10-11 cups. Select the “Soup/Broth” setting for a time of 2 hours or 120 minutes.
- When the cooking is finished, allow the pot to naturally depressurize for 30 minutes. Then, using an oven mitt to protect your hands, release the pressure using the valve. Proceed to the Straining and Storing directions below.
Straining and Storing the Turkey Stock
- Strain the stock: Using tongs, remove and discard the large bones and veggies. Then, pour the stock through a fine mesh strainer into another pot. Then throw the solids away. Cool the stock completely, cover it, and then refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the fat and store: The next day, open the container of stock and remove the fat that has accumulated on top. Store the stock in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or freeze for up to three months, leaving room for the stock to expand when frozen.