How to Make Homemade Turkey Stock: A Comprehensive Guide

Discover how simple it is to make Turkey Stock using the bones from your Thanksgiving turkey! All you’ll need is a carcass that has been carefully chosen, along with some vegetables and herbs that you’ve probably already cooked. Originally published on November 21, 2012, you will adore this flavorful turkey stock in your next soup!

The people in the apartment above us vacuum about once a week. (It’s pretty loud because the insulation in our apartment building is practically nil. Whenever I ask myself, “Are they vacuuming again?” I quickly follow up with, “Yes, Karen, most people vacuum more than once every three months, just like you.”

Anyway. Now that you’re feeling so good about yourself compared to me. We have news! We just found out we are having a baby BOY!! I’m still in complete shock. I was convinced it was a girl. (I think I just told myself that because I didn’t want to have to repaint Charlotte’s room. Moreover, I mistakenly believed Charlotte to be a boy, so perhaps my mother’s intuition is simply stuck in an Opposite-Day state. We are so excited to have a little boy!.

For now I’m focusing on doing some toddler training before the baby gets here. Who came up with the idea to let our toddlers sleep on tiny trampolines? Charlotte’s favorite activity is to jump in her crib, which makes it a less intimidating place to use as a time-out area. You would not believe the height she gets. Her mattress’s springs creaking gives me a clue that she’s awakened from her nap, not when she cries. One of these days she is going to go sailing over the edge. I should start lining the floor with pillows.

Have you guys decorated for Christmas yet? I broke down over the weekend. There is nothing better than a lit Christmas tree, yes, even the week before Thanksgiving!!.

But don’t worry Thanksgiving, I am still SUPER excited about you. After cooking my first turkey last week, I decided to make some turkey stock because I wanted to use every last bit of that bird. It was super easy. Throw everything in a pot and forget about it for a few hours. And man is it good! This stock makes the BEST soup. My favorite is to use the stock to make this Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup. Here’s what you’re going to need, hopefully you have most of this stuff leftover from your Thanksgiving shopping!.

Homemade turkey stock is a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can elevate your soups, stews, and sauces to a whole new level. It’s surprisingly easy to make, and using leftover turkey bones from your Thanksgiving feast is a great way to reduce food waste and get the most out of your bird.

This guide will walk you through the process of making turkey stock, from gathering ingredients to storing the finished product We’ll also explore some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your stock, as well as answer some frequently asked questions


  • Turkey bones: The backbone, wings, and drumsticks are all great for making stock. You can also use the neck and giblets, if desired.
  • Vegetables: Onion, carrots, and celery are the classic additions to turkey stock, but you can also experiment with other vegetables like parsnips, leeks, or fennel.
  • Herbs: Fresh or dried thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley are all excellent choices for adding flavor to your stock.
  • Water: Use enough water to cover the turkey bones and vegetables by a few inches.
  • Salt and pepper: To taste.


  1. Prepare the turkey bones: Rinse the turkey bones under cold water to remove any excess fat or debris. If using the neck and giblets, be sure to remove the giblets from the neck cavity and discard the liver.
  2. Roast the bones (optional): For a richer flavor, roast the turkey bones in a preheated oven at 450°F for 30-40 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
  3. Brown the vegetables: In a large stockpot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are softened and lightly browned.
  4. Add the turkey bones, water, and herbs: Place the roasted turkey bones (if using) in the stockpot with the vegetables. Add enough water to cover the bones and vegetables by a few inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2-4 hours, skimming off any foam that accumulates on the surface.
  5. Strain the stock: Once the stock has finished simmering, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a clean container. Discard the solids.
  6. Season to taste: Season the stock with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Cool and store: Allow the stock to cool completely before storing it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Tips and Tricks

  • For an even richer flavor, add a splash of white wine or sherry to the stockpot before adding the water.
  • If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, you can use dried herbs instead. Just be sure to use about 1/3 the amount of dried herbs as you would fresh herbs.
  • To make sure your stock is clear, strain it through a cheesecloth-lined strainer after it has finished simmering.
  • You can use turkey stock in any recipe that calls for chicken broth. It’s also a great base for soups, stews, and sauces.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use leftover turkey meat to make stock?

Yes, you can use leftover turkey meat to make stock. Just add it to the stockpot along with the bones and vegetables.

  • How long does turkey stock last?

Turkey stock will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months,

  • Can I overcook turkey stock?

Yes, it is possible to overcook turkey stock. If you simmer it for too long, it can become bitter and lose its flavor.

  • What is the difference between turkey stock and turkey broth?

Turkey stock is made by simmering turkey bones, vegetables, and herbs in water. Turkey broth is made by simmering turkey meat in water. Stock is generally richer in flavor than broth.

Making homemade turkey stock is a simple and rewarding process that can add a delicious and versatile ingredient to your kitchen repertoire. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily create a flavorful stock that will elevate your soups, stews, and sauces to a whole new level. So, next time you have leftover turkey bones, don’t throw them away! Instead, use them to make a batch of delicious homemade turkey stock.

Can you overcook turkey stock?

Yes, the culprit is high heat. If you simmer for a very long time—up to four or five hours—as long as you simmer gently rather than bringing the mixture to a rapid boil. High heat deadens the flavors of all those wonderful herbs. Furthermore, it destroys the desired smooth texture and adds extra calories because it effectively pulverizes (emulsifies) solids and fat into tiny bubbles that you can’t extract from your stock (fat that doesn’t even taste good is not invited to my party). Just keep your heat low and slow and you’ll be good to go.

What is the difference between Turkey Broth and Turkey Stock?

They’re the same thing, right?? Almost. Stock is:

  • always cooked from bones
  • Because of the bone marrow, it frequently gels when it cools (today’s recipe will gel)
  • is typically served unseasoned (today’s recipe contains no salt).
  • cooks for longer (usually 3-6 hours depending on the recipe)


  • can be made from meat without bones
  • is seasoned with salt
  • is usually cooked in less than 2 hours

How To Make Turkey Stock – Turkey Broth Recipe

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