This post shows you how to make turkey stock on the stove, in a slow cooker or Instant Pot with step by step photos. This is the perfect way to use up every last bit of your turkey. Homemade stock made with vegetables and herbs has so much flavor and is packed full of nutrients!
One of the best ways to maximize leftover turkey and other scrap ingredients is to cook up a batch of stock using leftover bones. This stock recipe is made on the stovetop, but we have also shared directions for how to make turkey bone broth made in the Instant Pot. You can use this stock in so many healthy soup recipes for extra flavor!
Don't waste that turkey carcass after you've enjoyed your thanksgiving dinner! Instead, throw the bones in a stock pot with just a few simple ingredients and you'll have a tasty stock (way better than store bought) in just a couple of hours.
If you've ever wondered how to make turkey stock, it does not get any easier than this recipe. This turkey stock is the perfect base to use for soup, and it packs a ton of flavor and health benefits.
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Reasons you'll ♡ this recipe
- it is nutrient-dense, hydrating and helps battle off a cold
- you can store it away in your freezer to use later in soup or rice
- it requires minimal prep work - just toss all ingredients in a stock pot and simmer!
- Turkey carcass - you will need 1-2 lbs turkey bones for this recipe. They don't need to be cleaned off, you can include skin, cartilage, and scraps
- Veggies - celery, carrot onion and garlic add depth of flavor and added nutrients
- Scrap veggies - if you have saved any veggie scraps and herbs leftover from your turkey dinner or saved in the freezer, this is a great chance to use them!
- Sea salt - to season your stock; you can leave this out or add at the end to taste if you'd prefer
Step by step directions
1. Combine - in a large stock pot (8-12 quarts), add all ingredients including turkey bones, sea salt, celery, carrot, onion, leftover veggie scraps such as carrot peels, celery leaves, and leftover herbs from turkey dinner prep. Cover with water.
TIP- you can separate into two smaller pots if you don't have a large enough one.
2. Simmer - simmer for 2 hours- leave the lid ajar so it doesn't over-reduce. Add more water as needed to keep ingredients covered.
Slow cooker & Instant Pot
You can prepare turkey stock in a 6 quart slow cooker or 8 quart Instant Pot:
- slow cooker- cook on low for 8 hours
- Instant Pot- cook on high pressure for 30 minutes with a full natural pressure release (allow for up to 1 hour to naturally release)
3. Strain & portion - cool until safe to handle, then pour through a colander, collecting the turkey stock in a large bowl or a jar. Toss all veggie solids in the compost.
Absolutely! You can stash them in the fridge or freezer until you're ready to make it.
Yes! It's full of vitamins and minerals from the turkey, veggies and herbs. It's great to support your immune system, which is why stock or broth are traditionally offered when you're sick.
If you want collagen-rich bone broth, check out this Leftover Turkey Bone Broth (Instant Pot) recipe! In order to extract collagen from the joints and bones of the turkey, you must either simmer it for an incredibly long amount of time, or you can use a pressure cooker.
Turkey stock may be kept refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
How to use it up
- cooking liquid - works great as a cooking liquid for rice (see How to Cook Rice) or quinoa (see How to Cook Perfect, Fluffy Quinoa) to add extra flavor
- in soups - homemade turkey stock tastes better than store bought and makes the perfect base for this Leftover Turkey Soup or this Stuffed Pepper Soup
- freezer meals - turkey stock works well in any recipe that calls for chicken stock. Ex: these Instant Pot Chipotle Lime Chicken Breasts and this Instant Pot Honey Sesame Chicken
Fridge - store in an airtight 2 quart jar for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Freezer - freeze for up to 3 months.
Tips for freezing in jars
- only use canning jars (do not repurpose old food jars)
- if possible, avoid jars with shoulders (that taper in at the top)
- fill no more than ¾ full and leave lids ajar until fully frozen
- ensure that contents are completely cooled before placing in the freezer
More how to recipes
- 1-2 lbs turkey bones see note 1
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 celery rib chopped coarsely
- 1 carrot chopped coarsely
- 1 onion quartered
- 1 head garlic top sliced off
- scraps from turkey dinner prep carrot peels, celery leaves, etc.
- leftover herbs from turkey dinner prep
- 8 cups water or to cover all ingredients
- Combine - in a large stock pot (8-12 quarts), add all ingredients including turkey bones, sea salt, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, leftover veggie scraps such as carrot peels, celery leaves, and leftover herbs from turkey dinner prep. Cover with water.
- Simmer - simmer for 2 hours- I leave the lid ajar so it doesn't over-reduce. Add more water as needed to keep ingredients covered. see note 2 for slow cooker/instant pot directions
- Strain & portion - cool slightly, then pour through a colander, collecting the turkey stock in a large bowl or a jar. Toss all veggie solids in the compost.
- Portion out cooled turkey stock into freezer bags or mason jars.
- JARS - Leave ¼ of the jar for expansion and the lid ajar until frozen solid. BAGS- squeeze out as much air as possible and freeze flat.
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