Making homemade Turkey Stock is an easy way to extend delicious holiday leftovers. Use it for turkey soup or freeze it for later!
Post holiday leftovers are always a beloved way to extend the celebrating just a little bit longer.
A fabulous and EASY way to do this when turkey has been served is to make some homemade Turkey Stock.
It’s rich with flavor, easy to store or freeze and a perfect jumping off point for making homemade soups.
Though this post is focusing on turkey stock, many of the fundamentals are the same of making any type of stock.
Turkey Stock vs Turkey Broth
The terms ‘stock’ and ‘broth’ are often used interchangeable but they aren’t exactly the same thing.
What is Turkey Stock?
Turkey stock is a made simmering the turkey carcass or bones and water with the classic trio of vegetables: carrots, celery and onion.
It is simmered for multiple hours creating a rich, robust flavored liquid.
By definition, making stock always includes boiling bones. It does not have to include meat.
Typically, it is not seasoned so for soups would have additional ingredients added to season it.
What is Turkey Broth?
Turkey broth is made in a similar way to turkey stock but DOES include meat. Technically, broth is a liquid that has had meat simmered in it.
Preparing broth CAN contain bones but doesn’t have to. It DOES have to contain meat in the simmering.
Broth is often flavored with seasonings so could be sipped or used as a soup base.
What is ‘Mirepoix’?
If you’ve made stock or soup from scratch you may have run into the term ‘mirepoix’. Mirepoix is a French term pronounced ‘meer-pwaa’.
Mirepoix is a combination of chopped vegetables which are sautéed on lower heat in butter or oil. It is used as a flavor base for soup or stews.
The vegetables are NOT browned or cooked until caramelized or translucent in the case of onions.
The classic mirepoix trio is: carrots, celery and onion.
We are using this in the turkey stock recipe.
How to Use Turkey Stock
Turkey stock is great as a soup base. Add leftover turkey meat and vegetables, simmer and you are done!
But soup is only a start for how to use turkey stock.
- Use it when making turkey gravy.
- Add it when making sauces from scratch.
- Have you tried braising? It’s a delicious liquid to use.
- Add it to stews.
- Use it as a liquid for Instant Pot recipes for extra flavor.
Want to know a SECRET?: one of the easiest and most delicious side dish recipes I love to make is mashed sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot. It’s SO good due to using chicken broth. Turkey stock used in this way would also add so much flavor.
How to Store Turkey Stock
In the Refrigerator
In an airtight container for 3-4 days.
In the Freezer
In an airtight container or heavy freezer bags for up to 6 months.
PRO TIP: if freezing the homemade stock portion it into serving sizes before freezing (and mark the containers with the amount). It will take the guess work out how how much is in each container.
More Recipes to Try
- Slow Cooker Homemade Turkey Stock
- How to Make Peppery Ham Stock
- Jalapeno Turkey Noodle Soup
- Coconut Curry Turkey Soup with Rice
- Cider Braised Chicken Thighs with Apples and Onions
- Braised Cream Sherry Chicken Thighs with Cherries
- Holiday Turkey Hash: the Perfect Turkey Leftovers Recipe
Lemony Turkey Stock
Homemade turkey stock is a perfect post holiday recipe to transform the turkey bones into a delicious stock for a homemade soup base or many other things. This version kicks the flavor up a notch with fresh lemon and ginger.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted Butter
- 1 Large Onion rough chopped
- 3 stalks Celery with leaves rough chopped
- 2 large Carrots rough chopped
- 3 large Garlic Cloves rough chopped
- Turkey carcass or bones
- 2 teaspoons Black Pepper corns crushed
- 6 sprigs fresh Thyme
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 3/4-inch piece fresh Ginger root peeled and roughly cut into small pieces or sliced
- 20 cups water or to cover turkey bones plus 2 inches
- 1 small Lemon sliced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large stock pot (5-6 quart), melt the butter over medium heat.
Saute the onions, celery, celery leaves, carrots and garlic until onion begins to soften.
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a strong boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours until stock has reduced to 4-6 cups.
Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the soup multiple times to remove all the vegetables, seasonings and bones.
Refrigerate until use (up to 4 days) or freeze for future use. If desired, skim any fat after refrigeration before use.
Tip for extra flavor: when I have the time, after preparing the stock I cover it and allow it to sit overnight in the refrigerator before straining the ingredients to bolster the flavor further.
Total Cooking Time is an estimate. The time for the stock to reduce to the suggested volume may take longer or less time than notes.
Making Turkey Stock is easy and a delicious base for homemade soups, sauces, stews and more.