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There's nothing more wholesome than using leftover turkey to make some soul warming turkey stock. This turkey stock is delightfully easy to make, perfect for using in all kinds of fall and winter recipes, and it freezes like a dream!
If you have a slow cooker or crockpot at home, also try this crockpot turkey stock!
Homemade turkey stock is rich in nutrients and flavor, and the difference in taste between making it from scratch and buying stock in the store is mind-boggling. The next time you have a roast turkey (maybe Thanksgiving, or another holiday), make sure to keep the turkey carcass and get just a little extra (yum) out of that bird.
Don't hesitate to make a whole bunch and freeze it for use throughout the fall and winter seasons. You can add turkey stock to soups, like this homemade turkey soup, or use it in any recipe that calls for chicken or vegetable broth!
As simple as it gets, you can make delicious turkey broth using just cooked turkey bones.
- 3-4 lb cooked turkey bones
Or, you can add these optional ingredients to add more flavor to your turkey stock:
- Onion: Cut 2 medium onions in half to add some more depth to your broth
- Celery stalks: Roughly chop 2 stalks to give a little bitterness to the stock. The celery will complement the carrot and onion, if adding.
- Carrots: Roughly chop 2 medium carrots for a little sweetness.
- Garlic: Cut a whole head of garlic in half and toss it in. You don't even need to peel it! This will give a nice zest to the broth.
- Herbs and spices: Salt and peppercorns, rosemary, sage leaves, thyme, and bay leaves all play nicely in the turkey stock.
How to make turkey stock
Time needed: 4 hours and 10 minutes
Making homemade turkey stock is simple and wholesome, not to mention how incredibly nutrient-dense the results are! Here are 5 easy steps to show you how to make turkey stock:
- Set up your stock
Grab a large pot and add the turkey bones + any other ingredients you may be using. Cover everything with cold water.
*This is important* Bring the stock to a simmer but not a boil. If it boils you will have cloudy stock. Once it's simmering, cover the pot and let it do its thing for 3-4 hours.
- Strain Once
Remove any big bones and then strain the stock through a colander into a large bowl.
- Strain twice
Strain a second time through a fine mesh strainer to get out any last bits.
- Use or store
You can use the stock immediately or you can let it cool in your fridge for 24 hours before putting it into jars for longer-term storage.
- ***Slow cooker method***
Put all the ingredients in your slow cooker and cover with water. Let it cook on low heat for up to 24 hours. This method is the most hands-off!
What to do with turkey stock
What to make with leftover turkey
Freezing and storage instructions
How long to simmer turkey stock?
If you're making turkey stock on the stove, you can gently simmer it for 3-4 hours. If you're using a slow cooker, it can be simmered for 10-24 hours. Make sure to check on it to see if any more water needs to be added over time.
Can I use raw turkey bones for turkey stock?
You can use raw bones, however, turkey stock is an excellent way to get a little extra out of an already cooked turkey.
How to remove the fat from homemade stock?
Chill the stock in your fridge until a layer of fat forms on top. At this point, you can scoop it off with a spoon and dispose of it, if wanted.
Is turkey stock the same as turkey broth?
Yes! Turkey stock and turkey broth are used interchangeably and mean the same thing.
- 3-4 lb cooked turkey bones
Optional Ingredients (see notes)
- 2 medium onions (quartered (you can leave the skin on))
- 2 medium celery stalks (roughly chopped)
- 2 medium carrots (roughly chopped)
- 1 head garlic (cut in half (no need to peel the cloves))
- ½ teaspoon peppercorns
- Optional: rosemary branch, a few sage leaves, a few sprigs of thyme
- Remove the meat from the turkey bones then break the bones into smaller chunks that will fit into your pot. Put the turkey bones and any or all of the optional ingredients into your pot and cover with 2-3 inches of cold water.2 medium onions, 2 medium celery stalks, 2 medium carrots, 1 head garlic, ½ teaspoon peppercorns, Optional: rosemary branch, a few sage leaves, a few sprigs of thyme, 3-4 lb cooked turkey bones
- Bring the pot to a simmer over medium-high heat – don't let it boil or you will have a cloudy stock. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer it gently for 3-4 hours.
- Remove the pot from the heat and use tongs to remove the large bones and vegetables. Then, strain the stock through a colander into a large bowl.
- Next, place a fine-mesh sieve over another bowl and strain the turkey stock once more to remove any small particles.
- Either use the stock right away or cool it in your fridge for 24 hours. If there is a layer of fat on top, scoop it off. Transfer the cooled stock to jars to store in your fridge for up to 3 days, or transfer it to freezer bags to freeze for up to 6 months.
Slow Cooker Instruction
- Place all the ingredients into your slow cooker and fill the pot with cold water. Turn your slow cooker to low for 10 hours. Note: you can slow cook the stock for up to 24 hours if needed, but you may want to add a little more water halfway through. Continue with step 3 above once you're finished cooking.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.