Easy To Make Homemade Turkey Stock

November 30, 2023
Mason jars full of stock cooling on the counter.

You know the drill. Thanksgiving is over and you have a ton of leftover turkey including a leftover turkey carcass. This year instead of throwing it in the trash try making some liquid gold stock out of it.

Ingredients to make homemade turkey stock on a cutting board.

Homemade Turkey Stock is Superior

This homemade stock recipe is extremely easy, and you likely have most of the ingredients already in your fridge from your Thanksgiving dinner cooking festivities removing the need to go to the grocery store. Homemade delicious stock of any kind (turkey broth/stock, chicken broth/stock, beef stock, etc). is so much better than what you get from the store. Not only do you have control of the flavors but you also have control over how much salt you put in! We use this to make leftover turkey noodle soup, turkey gravy, and extra batches of stuffing since that is our favorite side!

Let’s chat about some of the tools you may need for this. First and foremost you need a large stock pot. Doing this in a slow cooker is also a great way to make this turkey stock. You can set it and forget it without using your stove, but just make sure that your slow cooker is big enough. 

Garlic, onion, and celery on a cutting board.

Chasing the best turkey stock flavor!

The key here is to get as much flavor from your leftover bones as possible! 

Start by taking your whole turkey carcass (including any turkey wings or legs you may have) and putting it in a large pot. Do not worry if there is any leftover turkey meat on the bones, it will only add to the depth of flavor of your stock. Next, add any of your leftover turkey parts (turkey neck, giblets) to your large stock pot. If you are having trouble fitting this in the pot or slow cooker you can just cut it down into smaller pieces with a sharp knife.

Ingredients for turkey stock on a cutting board shot from overhead.

Trust the process

Next, take your celery, cut off the dirty ends, and cut the stalks in half. Cut your whole onions down the middle and leave everything on them including the onion skins. Leaving the garlic head in take cut it down the middle horizontally. Add all of this into your stock pot or slow cooker. 

There is no need to cut your herbs. There is no reason to even bundle them because we will be using a fine mesh strainer to get out the solid later. The only thing that I encourage is to use fresh parsley, sage, and thyme. It is the best way to get the most flavor out of this homemade turkey stock recipe. Fresh bay leaves are not easy to find so the kind in the jar are a-ok. Just take them and toss them in with the turkey carcass and extra turkey bones and vegetables.ok

The key to getting all the flavor you can from these ingredients is to make sure it is all covered in cold water. While our particular carcass and vegetables only took 12 cups you may need more or less depending on your pot and ingredients. Set the pot on high heat and allow it to come up to a boil. We usually cover the pot to make that happen quicker.

Ingredients for stock in a stainless steel stock pot on the stove.

Simmer your stock a little and then simmer some more.

Once boiling turn the heat down to low so that it is barely a simmer. This will allow your stock to remain clear and not cloudy. Leave this covered and simmer on the stove for at least two hours but up to 4 making sure to stir occasionally. 

Once this is done simmering it is time to strain out the solids. You are more than welcome to wait for this to come to room temperature but I do not have the patience for that. I start by removing the larger pieces and discarding them. Next, very carefully and working in batches, use a large bowl and a fine mesh strainer pour your stock into the strainer with the bowl sitting underneath. Throw away any solids that are caught by the strainer. Salt and pepper your broth to taste and begin the process of storing it.

Ingredients for turkey stock on a cutting board

Time to Store

If you would like you can let the broth sit in your fridge overnight. The fat rises and you can skim it off the top before storing it. We don’t usually do this because we don’t find this recipe to produce a ton of fat since turkey is so lean. 

There are a few ways to store the stock after it has come to room temperature. One way is to fill an ice cube tray with the stock and freeze it. This will allow you to be able to take small servings whenever you need. Our preference is to store this in airtight container and usually mason jars. I found huge mason jars at a home goods store years ago and they are a great way to safely store a good amount of this broth.

This is seriously one of my favorite recipes for after Thanksgiving and I hope that they next time you have a leftover bird that you use it!

Mason jars full of stock cooling on the counter.

Tools we used to make our turkey stock

FAQ

Will this be enough to make turkey soup?

This will be more than enough. The bigger the bird the more stock that you are going to get out of this recipe.

Can I freeze this turkey stock?

Absolutely and we encourage you to! While it may have been too long to leave in the freezer( usually suggest 3 months) we used leftover stock from last years bird for our stuffing this year.

What can I make with my turkey stock?

You can use this for anything that requires a white meat stock or vegetable stock. We also love to use this for our stuffing, gravy, and to replace for white wine when we don’t have any on hand.

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Ingredients for turkey stock on a cutting board

Easy Homemade Turkey Stock


  • Author: A Couple Bites
  • Total Time: 10 minutes 2 hours
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Description

You know the drill. Thanksgiving is over and you have a ton of leftover turkey including a leftover turkey carcass. This year instead of throwing it in the trash try making some liquid gold stock out of it.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • Leftover turkey carcass
  • Left turkey organs
  • 2 sweet onions, cut in half
  • 2 heads of garlic, cut in half
  • 1 head of celery, ends removed and cut in half
  • 2 cups cleaned carrots
  • 1/2 punch of fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 12 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add your turkey carcass, organs, and extra bones to your stock pot. 
  2. Add all of your vegetables and herbs to the pot
  3. Cover all the ingredients with cold water.
  4. Turn your burner to high and cover the stock pot until it comes to a boil., about 20 minutes. 
  5. Once your water is boiling turn it down to a very low simmer and cover. Leave this to simmer anywhere from 2 hours to 4 hours making sure to stir occasionally. 
  6. Once you have reached the flavor level you prefer turn off the head and allow your stock to cool.
  7. Using a fine mesh strainer nestled in a large bowl, strain out any solids from your stock. 
  8. We transfer this to mason jars for freezing, but feel free to store however you would like! 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: American
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We’re Matt and Melissa, and this is our food blog, though it may not be the food blog you are expecting. We are here to take you on a culinary adventure through our kitchen, our passions, our stories, and our liquor cabinet. Residing in Monmouth County, NJ (the best county in NJ) we love to cook and create in our kitchen. But we know we’re not the real experts and the only thing more fun than tasting our own creations are tasting others’. When we’re not cooking for you, we’re around town sampling all that New Jersey’s culinary scene has to offer. Let take A Couple Bites!

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