How to Make Turkey Stock

Ali Segersten Nov 26, 2011 21 comments
Homemade Turkey Stock

For many of you Thanksgiving revolved around a turkey, right? You can make good use of the leftover bones and skin and create a nourishing bone broth. Stock made from leftover vegetable scraps and the bones of animals is extremely economical. Think of how much that box of organic chicken broth costs at your local grocery store? And think of the added flavors and strange ingredients in those store-bought stocks.

A gigantic pot of homemade stock can be made for less than the cost of one store-bought carton of stock. Turkey stock is dark and richly flavored. It can be used to make soup (such as wild rice and veggie soup or turkey-noodle soup), turkey tetrazzini, turkey meatballs, in sauces, or simply heated with garlic and herbs to sip on if you have a cold. And it is remarkably easy to make! All you need to do is add veggies, water, and the leftover turkey bones and skin. Then cover and walk away from it. Come back a few hours later and strain into jars. That's it!


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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Do you seal the jars afterwards? I didn't see that. New to canning and wanting to try this with either turkey or chicken. Thanks.

Just did this yesterday and it was wonderful!

Thank you for all your hard work on this blog; I appreciate it so much! Your cookbook is on my Christmas list! (love the turkey stock recipe and toffee bar recipe!)

I love your recipes. I really appreciate all your hard work and dedication to living healthier. Having someone to help me navigate this road is tremendously helpful! (love the turkey stock recipe and toffee bat recipe!) Thank you!

It is a comforting feeling to have a freezer stocked with stock!

I threw my carcass in the freezer just so I could make this! I'll definitely do so very soon. My "recipe" (which really isn't a recipe, more of a toss-whatever-looks-good thing) is typically similar to yours, but I love your addition of mushrooms. I bet they add a lot of depth. Yum.

I just made the stock. I followed the recipe exactly except for omitting the parsley (non available), garlic (garlic allergy in the house), and the turkey (we're vegetarian!). Although the recipe is for a turkey broth, it also makes a fabulous veggie stock.

On the weekend I also made your chocolate birthday cake. Great success every time I make it.

Thank you for all of your recipes. Can't wait for your second cookbook to be released as I've already exhausted the recipes from the first book!

Brilliant idea Ali! We've been dabbling in making homemade chicken broth lately.

Pretty much exactly what I did too, but I also threw some pastured chicken feet in to and all of the stems from my Swiss chard from my garden (can not bear to throw them out) and then let it cook longer. Love this recipe! ;) My freezer in the garage is stocked with stock!! ;)

Just found your blog! I love homemade turkey broth. Instead of freezing the mason jars and taking up freezer space is to pressure can the jars after they are filled. I did a post detailing the method on my blog if you are interested.

Great post! The only regret I have for not having T-giving at home was not having the carcass with which to make stock. I might have to break down and make a post-T-giving Turkey just so I can make stock from the bones!

Ah yes, one of my only regrets for not having T-giving at my house was not having a carcass with which to make stock. I might have to buy a turkey post-T-giving just so that I can refresh my own stock of stock (ha! ha!). Thanks for the careful directions and especially about freezing in the jars!

Thanks for the tip about adding vinegar. I had never heard of that before.

I have my carcass saved to do this now. How long could you save the bones without freezing them? I am putting mine in the freezer tonight because I am recovering from the holiday. It will take me a week or more before I am up to it. I have also found that by putting my chicken carcasses in the crock pot I can allow the stock to simmer unattended, even overnight.

I didn't know that about the vinegar! Thanks :)

I'm a big fan of homemade broth, whether from meat or veggies. Like Shirley mentioned, often times I break up the carcass and freeze it if I don't want to deal with it at the time. I've never added apple cider vinegar to the mix, but I've thrown in just about everything else! Will add that next time around. Great post and perfect timing!

I threw all my bones and leftover turkey in the freezer because I wasn't up to making soup right away, but will definitely enjoy making your version of stock later, Ali. I've always loved using vinegar to get out that calcium. :-) Having stock ready to go in the freezer is one of the best things in the world in my opinion. I truly hate buying chicken stock or broth, even when I know it's safe.


Such a great idea. Since I have had so many food aversions, it is good to have a reminder of the healthy things I need to be getting in my diet right now. Thanks!


this looks delicious! I love soup and making great stock is a part that I tend to skip (since it involves planning ahead and all that) but freezing it and having some on hand sounds crazy smart!

Thanks for this post Ali!

I love this idea. I did it before Thanksgiving so I'd have stock for my stuffing and gravy. I love doing it now for great soup. Thank you!

A few times I had broken mason jars in my freezer, so thank you for sharing your post. I will try your method of leaving the top off while freezing. Thanks so much Ali! Wishing you a wonderful day filled with love.

PS I came to your blog on Thanksgiving Day to refresh myself how to make gravy. I usually don't measure either but I wanted to be sure it turn out. Thanks it worked very well.

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