Mom’s Homemade Turkey Stock [A Thanksgiving MUST]


Homemade turkey stock is an absolute must in my house at Thanksgiving time.

Every year since I can remember my mom’s had a big stockpot on the stove right after the meal. It’s the perfect way to get the most out of your Thanksgiving turkey (or turkey or chicken any other day of the year.) Making homemade stock utilizes your food to the fullest (no waste here!) and gives you a super delicious and nutritious base for your soups and sauces.

Plus, it gives you the satisfaction of making your soup absolutely from scratch with tons of nutrients that haven’t been compromised. Your stock will be full of collagen and calcium from the bones (who knew?!) and other nutrients from both the turkey and veggies – so eat up and feel good about it.

Homemade bone broths like chicken and turkey stock are super flexible and almost impossible to mess up. Just throw all of the ingredients in a big pot and let it simmer.

Tip: If you’re new to homemade stock, watch me make homemade bone broth for more tips and tricks on my cooking show Elizabeth Eats.

Easy Homemade Turkey Stock Recipe Tips

  • When you grocery shop for the feast, be sure to have an extra white or yellow onion, 3-5 celery stalks, 2-3 carrots and a few garlic cloves (or a small head of garlic) for your stock.
  • Save any onion, celery and carrot scraps as you prepare your meal to add to your stock. If you use green onions or shallots, add those scraps, too.
  • Reserve a few bay leaves and handfuls of fresh herbs to add to the pot. Thyme, rosemary, and parsley (use the stems!) are really nice in turkey stock. Dill is also great if you have any on hand. Use 1-2 handfuls of fresh herbs total, or 1-3 teaspoons total dried herbs if you don’t have fresh.
  • Use whole black peppercorns if you can as they yield a wonderful flavor and the little bits won’t go through the strainer. Pick some up in the bulk herb section for a really inexpensive price if you need to.
  • Have some apple cider vinegar on hand—it’s not traditional but the acid will help get even more collagen and minerals from the bones. Don’t skip it! Distilled white vinegar also works but has a strong flavor, so I use apple cider vinegar and can’t even taste it.
  • If you cook stuffing inside the bird, be sure to remove it all before making broth as the starch from the bread will make your stock gummy. You can rinse out the inside with water if needed to remove all stuffing.
  • You can also use 3-4 turkey or chicken legs in place of the carcass if you haven’t cooked a full bird.
  • You might have to cut your turkey carcass in half to fit it into the pot, just get as many bones in the pot as possible.
  • I prefer to make this in a slow-cooker overnight to allow for a long simmer. If you don’t have a slow-cooker, you can for sure do it in a large pot on the stove; let it simmer at least 5-6 hours if that’s the case. In a 6-quart pot, this recipe will yield about 4 quarts of stock. The yield will vary depending on the size of your pot.


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Happy Thanksgiving!



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  1. Kris Kilton says:

    If you add juice of a lemon or 2, it will draw out the marrow and make it an even healthier and heartier stock!

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