Make the most of your Thanksgiving turkey by making homemade turkey stock with the leftover bones. Super easy, flavorful and can be used so many ways!
After you make the roasted turkey for your Thanksgiving menu, don’t toss out the carcass and giblets. You can use them to make homemade turkey stock which tastes glorious and will take your turkey soup up a notch or two. The flavor is rich, delicious and a great way to use up the leftovers.
Never let the leftover herbs, veggies and carcass from your holiday dinner go to waste. Use them to make this delicious homemade turkey stock. It’s super versatile and can be used in place of chicken stock or broth in soups, casseroles, slow cooker meals, side dishes and more. And by making it at home, you won’t have to worry about any added preservatives or salt. You can use it immediately or even freeze some for later.
Making turkey stock
- BOIL. Place the ingredients in a large pot, then add in water until the carcass is covered. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture is boiling.
- SIMMER. Once it begins to boil, lower heat to a simmer. Let the stock simmer until the liquid has reduced in half. This usually take around 3 hours. Then give it a taste and add in any seasonings as needed.
- STRAIN. Next you’ll want to strain the mixture to separate the turkey stock from the other ingredients. Set a fine mesh strainer over a large pot or bowl, then pour the stock into the strainer. Once all of the liquid has strained, you can discard the remaining bones and veggies in the strainer.
Freezing turkey stock
Allow to cool before storing. Leave about 1/2″ from the top to allow for expanding.
- Jars: Place into jars that are freezer friendly.
- Ziptop bags: Place stock into freezer ziptop bags and remove any excess air.
- Muffin tins: You can also place the liquid into muffin tins (which is about 1/2 cup) to easily add into soups.
It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to use, simply allow to thaw or run under warm water.
Other helpful tips
- To add more flavor, you can mix in fresh herbs, bay leaves or peppercorns.
- Feel free to let the stock simmer for more than 3 hours. The longer it cooks, the more flavor and nutrients it will have.
- You can also make turkey stock in the slow cooker on low for about 10 to 12 hours.
- When straining the mixture, press on the bones and veggies with the back of a wooden spoon to remove all of the liquid.
- Don’t be scared if the turkey stock gets a little gelatinous in the fridge. That means it’s full of collagen from the turkey bones, which is what you want! It will liquify as soon as you warm it back up.
More recipes to use it in:
- Turkey pot pie
- Chicken noodle soup
- Chicken broccoli rice casserole
- Corn chowder
- Instant pot chicken and dumplings
Homemade Turkey Stock
- 1 turkey carcass
- 1 onion (peeled and quartered)
- 4 stalks of celery
- 4 large carrots
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
Optional: fresh herbs, bay leaf, peppercorns, turkey neck, giblets, drippings
- Combine the turkey carcass, onion, celery, carrots and garlic in a large pot.
- Pour the water over the carcass and add enough water to cover it. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Then simmer for about 3 hours, or until the liquid has reduced in half. Taste and season with salt, pepper and herbs to taste.
- Set a fine mesh strainer over a large pot or bowl. Then pour the stock into the mesh strainer. You can also strain it through cheesecloth.
- Store in jars in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freezer for 3 months.