Why you'll love this recipe
Turkey stock is a delicious bone broth made by simmering leftover turkey carcass in water, often with vegetables and herbs or seasonings. I'm sharing the methods for Instant Pot or stove and the recipe is so easy, even beginners crush it!
This silky bone broth is also called liquid gold – and the retail price reflects it. So, if you like to save money, don't throw away those leftover turkey bones. Instead, make this easy turkey stock recipe to turn bones into a nutrient-dense cooking broth.
- turkey carcass - This refers to the bones left over after turkey meat is stripped. It can be a turkey leg, breast bone, or whole cavity. It can also include soft tissue such as skin and gristle.
- onion, carrots, and celery - These aromatics create the flavor trifecta also known as mirepoix.
- garlic cloves - This is optional and there's no need to peel garlic for this recipe. But do crush the cloves to release juices.
- thyme, rosemary, and sage - Preferably fresh, but dried herbs will work too.
- whole black peppercorns - Optional, but recommended for flavor depth.
How to make turkey stock
It's so easy to make turkey stock using your stove or pressure cooker. You'll find the printable recipe below for both methods. I use the bones from my turkey breast recipe or air fryer turkey breast.
Step 1. Remove all meat from turkey carcass. Place ingredients in a 4-quart pot or 6-quart Instant Pot. Add water to cover ingredients by a few inches, or more as needed.
Step 2. Stove method: Bring everything just to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on the lowest heat setting for 3-4 hours, skimming fat as needed. Instant Pot method: Close and lock lid. Pressure cook on LOW setting for 60 minutes. Use natural pressure release (NPR) to release steam. This takes about 30 minutes.
Here is what the turkey stock looks like once it has cooked using either method.
Step 3. Strain cooked turkey broth through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-safe container such as the 4-quart Cambro. Discard strained ingredients. Allow stock to cool completely. Transfer to airtight storage containers.
Refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 90 days, or longer if vacuum sealed.
How to use turkey stock
Use this delicious turkey stock as you would any broth for gravy, stews, cooking beans from scratch, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and even risotto. This stock is naturally popular around the biggest turkey holiday of the year. It adds a wonderful turkey flavor to classic creamy mushroom soup for green bean casserole!
Storing and freezing
Allow turkey stock to cool completely and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 90 days (or longer if vacuum sealed). Here are some storage options:
- 16 ounce canning jars with plastic canning jar lids (leave 2 inches of headspace to allow for expansion)
- deli containers - Non-glass option for freezing portioned containers
- freezer bags are easy to fill when using a freezer bag stand
- food sealer with vacuum containers
- ice cube trays (you would need quite a few for this recipe)
Note: I use canning jars for the refrigerator and freezer-safe containers or zip-top bags to save space. Ice cube trays are another way to freeze turkey stock in cube form.
This turkey stock recipe includes vegetables and aromatics, but cooked turkey bones are all you need to make this delicious broth.
Use minimal prep for the produce because it's all getting strained at the end. No need to peel onions or garlic. Use whole onions, carrots, and celery if they'll fit, or coarsely chop them to fit. Don't bother peeling garlic cloves, just give them a smash and add to the stock pot.
Frequently asked questions
Turkey stock is made with turkey bones but can also include vegetables such as onion, carrot, and celery, along with fresh herbs.
Yes. Turkey stock is bone broth because it is made with bones. However, turkey broth is made with turkey meat and not bones. Stock and broth are often made with vegetables and aromatics.
Our favorite holiday recipes
- Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
- Cranberry Orange Sauce
- Apple Sausage Stuffing
- Garlicky Roasted Mushrooms
- Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Easy Turkey Stock Recipe
- ½ pound Turkey Bones
- 1 medium Onion, unpeeled and halved
- 1 large Carrot, coarsely chopped
- 2 ribs Celery, coarsely chopped
- 5 cloves Garlic, smashed
- 3-4 sprigs Fresh Thyme, or ½ tsp dried
- 1 sprig Fresh Rosemary, or ¼ tsp dried
- 5-7 Fresh Sage Leaves, or ½ tsp dried
- ½ teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns
- 12 cups Cold Water
Instant Pot instructions (see recipe footnote for stove instructions)
- Place all ingredients in the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Note: use kitchen shears to cut the bones to fit.
- Set pressure release valve to “Sealing”.
- Select "Manual" or "Pressure Cook” and adjust to LOW pressure for 60 minutes.
- When cook cycle is done, allow the pot to sit undisturbed for 30 minutes for a natural pressure release (NPR). Turn pressure release valve to “Venting” to release any remaining steam.
- Allow stock to cool enough to safely strain into a large bowl or heat-safe container.
- Refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 90 days (or longer if vacuum sealed).
Traci's Recipe Notes
- Place all ingredients in a 4 quart pot.
- Bring everything to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 3-4 hours, skimming fat as needed.
- Cool down enough to handle safely to strain turkey stock into containers and discard strained ingredients.
Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.