How to Make a Homemade Turkey Stock

How to Make a Homemade Turkey Stock

With Thanksgiving behind us…

…I’m sure your refrigerator is full of leftovers — just like mine!

And in an effort to have a “no waste Thanksgiving” homemade turkey stock is most definitely on the agenda.

Here’s how I’m doing it…

Homemade Turkey Stock

How to Make a Homemade Turkey Stock


  • leftover turkey bones, organs, and neck
  • 4-5 whole onions, quartered
  • 5-6 carrots, chopped
  • 1 bunch celery, chopped
  • water to cover
  • handful sage
  • handful thyme


1. In a large stock pot — or crock pot — add all of the ingredients and water to cover.

2. On low heat, simmer the pot for up to 24 hours.

3. Strain the broth through a fine mesh stieve.

4. Discard the bones and vegetables, reserve the liquid.

5. Freeze the broth, in usable proportions, for longer storage — up to 8 months – – or keep in the refrigerator — up to 7 days.

Do you make a stock with your leftover turkey? What other tips can you share with us for a “no waste Thanksgiving”?


  1. I learned how to make awesome broth while working in our local Vo-tech cafeteria. The only thing I do different is roasting the bones before cooking them. We used to cook our turkeys ahead of time and pick them, roast the bones until they’re golden brown. I put my whole roaster on the stove (across two burners) and cover with water and cook until the bones start breaking down. It makes awesome gravy! To serve the turkey, cover the meat with broth and reheat. I use my crockpot! I thank God that I had an opportunity to work in that kitchen. I learned so much!
    God Bless,

  2. I keep a big bag of bits of leftovers veggies in my freezers to make soup with — just dump them all in together. Thanksgiving green beans and corn went right in along with their cooking liquid. Soon I’ll have enough for a pot of soup.

  3. It’s important to add a little vinegar or wine also. The acidity releases minerals, that would otherwise stay tucked away in the bones, to make a healthier broth.

    • Hey there,
      Wonderful comments! I just heard another source say to add vinegar or acid to the broth. What’s a “little bit”? My husband and son don’t like the vinegar taste too much. I would be afraid to add “too much”. Please advise.
      I’m thankful for family and friends and all you creative people on the internet sharing ideas : )

  4. Another good thing to use for making broth is to cook the skins & peels from veggies. I keep a bag or two of peels from carrots, ends from celery & skins from onions & garlic and use that to flavour the broth. You’re straining the broth anyway, so it’s a good way to keep from cooking the veggies to death but you get the flavours.

    As for the vinegar, use 1-2 Tbsp. of vinegar for every pot of broth. That’s enough to pull the minerals out of the bones and if you have the time, let the water, carcass & vinegar sit for a 1/2 hour or so before cooking. And you’ll find, the broth doesn’t have any vinegar taste….that cooks off during the simmer time.

  5. Yes, I just started doing this in the last year….however, I pressure can mine and love having a jar of it ready to use instead of the store bought stuff!

  6. Thanks for the info. I did my turkey broth Thanksgiving evening. I forgot to add the vinagar as I do
    when making my beef stock. I absolutely love meat stalks and hope to try venison stock soon. I’m
    very curiuos…I see an add for Kissel Chev in Calumet!!! I live nearby in Laurium. Wondering if Andrea
    is nearby. Email me, if you wish.

  7. Onion skins really help with the colour of your broth. Just makes it more brown looking and hence more appetizing.

  8. I also use a splash of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to draw the nutrition out of the bones. Doesnt make it taste like vinegar at all. Also, after I strain the broth, I sit it in the back of the frig for a few hours or overnight and let it settle. The fat then accumulates at the top, making it very easy to skim off before packaging up for the freezer or canner.

    For freezing I find it helpful to freeze an ice cube tray full of broth so I have ice cube sized for those recipes that only need a little bit, then also I do pints for a quick cup of soup, and then quarts for larger recipes. Having multiple sizes on hand makes easier so I don’t waste as much when I only need a certain amount.

  9. I skipped the broth and just made soup! Input the bones with a generous amount of meat still on and added the leftover veggies from turkey day. I added an onion and garlic I had on hand and some collard greens from the freezer. After simmering for hours I fished out the bones and bagged up the soup in individual portions to be frozen and served over quinoa when thawed

  10. My family looked at me super strange when, after the turkey was done, I placed it in the crockpot and loaded it up, turned it on, and it started smelling really nice before they left. They asked, “What are you doing?” I said, “Making broth people, I’m not wasting all these good bones!”

  11. Lemon works as an acid, too. Turkey-lemon and chicken-lemon are my go-to bone broths! I use red wine vinegar for beef bone broths. On the rare occasion we have pork bones, I use apple cider vinegar. It’s not an exact science, but I use two whole lemons cut in half (squeeze juice into water and then toss in the lemon halves, too) or a generous splash of red wine vinegar (~ 1/4 cup) or a gentle splash of apple cider vinegar (~ 2T). Let the water, bones, and “acid” sit for about a half-hour before turning on the heat.

    We also freeze our produce ends and peels and toss those into the bone broth later on. I usually start a bone broth after dinner, let it sit while I do the dishes, then turn it on high until I get ready for bed, when I turn it down to low (crockpot) or off (stovetop). The next morning, I turn it back to high and add the frozen produce pieces. Once it is simmering, I turn it back to low. When starting dinner, turn off the bone broth. After the dishes are done, it is usually still hot but able to be strained and bottled. We use glass jars in various sizes and silicone muffin “pans” (perfect size for cooking rice for our family; half broth/half water). Only fill jars to just below the shoulder and use thick sturdy glass jars. Freeze. We leave one jar in the fridge for the coming week.

    Thaw by putting in the fridge overnight or by placing in cold water or by holding under cold running water, depending on time available. Bone broth is a base for many meals in our house. We season at this step. Soups, stews, beef stroganoff, pot pies, rice, etc. We make the broth concentrated to save space and then adjust to taste for each dish.

  12. Like Karin I add lemon juice (from one lemon) to draw minerals from the bone. In addition to an onion, carrots and celery, I also add a couple cloves of garlic and a slice of raw ginger root. The garlic and ginger add cold- fighting benefits to the broth.

  13. Peppercorns. A tablespoon or two will add a flavor that is not distinguishable, but after trying you will do when making any stock. Also, the peels and leaves of the celery add extra flavor/color. Mine is cooking right now and with some veggies cut up later and homemade egg noodles it will be gone before the night is over!

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