How to Make Turkey Broth

My most prized Thanksgiving leftover isn’t the creamy mashed potatoes, savory stuffing, or even the last of the tasty pies. It’s the gristled and war torn-looking turkey carcass. It’s on the stove at the moment, bubbling away along with vegetables and seasonings. The result will be enough turkey broth to last us through a month of soups.

Turning your leftover turkey bones into a flavorful broth takes 10 minutes to do and will make your house smell like Thanksgiving all over again.

As for what to do with your precious broth? You might like this Instant Pot White Bean Soup or this Udon Noodle Soup with a Soft Egg.

Easy Turkey Broth

Don't toss those turkey bones. You can easily transform them into a delicious broth with 10 minutes of prep and a slow and gentle simmer on the stove. If you have a slow cooker, that makes a mean turkey broth too. Just cook it on low for at least 8 hours. 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Author Katie Morford


  • 1 cooked turkey carcass
  • 2 ribs celery, snapped in half
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Any optional add-ins: 2 cloves peeled garlic, 2 sliced leeks, 6 black peppercorns, a handful of parsley, 3 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt to taste


  1. Break the carcass apart, separating the bones enough so everything will fit into a large soup pot. Add celery, carrots, onion, bay leaves, and any optional add-ins you like. 

  2. Fill the pot with enough water so that it reaches a couple of inches above the turkey bones and vegetables. The amount will vary depending on the size of the carcass. 

  3. Set the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it boils, drop the heat until the liquid simmers. Simmer the broth for 3 to 4 hours or until the liquid is infused with flavor. Remove the bones with tongs and discard. Set a colander or sieve over a large bowl and pour the broth in, straining out the vegetables. Taste the broth and add as much salt as needed.  

  4. To eliminate the fat from the broth, refrigerate until chilled and spoon off the fat that congeals on top.

  5. Refrigerate or store in freezer-friendly bags or containers and freeze until ready to use.

How to Make Turkey Broth


11.25.2011 at3:50 PM #


This is our plan for tomorrow morning! Thanks for the tips.

11.29.2014 at7:31 AM #

EA-The Spicy RD

Yum! My dad makes big batches of turkey broth, then gives us some to freeze. We love making a super easy tortilla avocado soup by adding tortilla chips, chopped onion, cilantro, and avocado to the broth-so good! Thanks for sharing and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

11.29.2014 at7:31 AM #

Katie Morford

That is so very sweet of your dad to make you broth. My kind of gift. I’ve got a freezer full at the moment, so have many soups in my future. Turkey tortilla is a favorite over here, too.

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