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Easy Turkey Broth (Stovetop/Slow Cooker/Instant Pot)

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Making Turkey Broth is a breeze to pull together on the stovetop, Instant Pot or slow cooker. Your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, along with a few vegetables and spices, combine to make a rich and flavorful turkey bone broth. 

Turkey stock and broth is loaded with nourishing minerals, protein, and collagen, making it a great sipping broth, and addition to homemade soup recipes. This is a great way to use up leftover Smoked Turkey, Instant Pot Turkey, Smoked Turkey Wings or Smoked Turkey Breast.

cream dutch oven filled with bones and vegetables.

Seasonings For Turkey Broth

In addition to the turkey carcass and your favorite vegetables, the turkey broth seasonings and herbs you’ll need are: parsley, sage, garlic, bay leaves and black peppercorn.

Uses

The sky is endless. You can use this turkey stock in place of any recipe that calls out for chicken broth or stock. In addition to soup recipes, here are our favorite ways to use turkey broth.

  • Sipping Broth – warm it up and drink in the liquid gold.
  • Sauces and Gravy – Most gravy recipes and many sauce recipes, call for stock or broth, including our prime rib au jus, prime rib gravy and other prime rib sauce.
  • Rice – Add extra nutrition to rice and grains by using stock instead of water.

Stock vs. Broth

What’s the difference between stock and broth? It boils down to the ingredients.  

Stock – made from the bones, typically roasted, with minimal seasonings including salt and pepper.

Broth – made from the meat, typically raw, with a heavier hand in seasonings.

Both have tons of aromatic vegetables to introduce a bit of flavor and nutrition.

Pot full of water, animal bones and veggies.

Where To Buy Bones For Broth

There are two places we find luck buying bones, if we don’t have any leftovers to work with: local butcher and grocery store. More than likely you’ll have to ask for them vs. finding them out to quickly grab. When shopping, keep in mind it’s best to try and grab a variety of bones to use.

How To Make Turkey Broth

The steps to make turkey broth are easy to follow, so a few comments as you move through the recipe:

Bones – Add the bones first to ensure the water covers them completely. You may need to break down the bones for them to fit nicely in the pot. 

Vegetables – Use a plethora of aromatics. We always include onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Other great additions: leeks, green onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc. Stay away from starchy vegetables and bitter Brussels sprouts. 

Picture of all the ingredients used to make bone broth on a black cutting board. Ingredients include onions, carrots, celery, pepper, rosemary, thyme, parsley and garlic.

Herbs – Add your favorite fresh herbs, such as parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary. Rosemary and sage can be overwhelming so use a light hand when adding.

Water – Make sure to completely cover the bones. Any bones not covered with water aren’t adding anything to the stock. Depending on how long you let it simmer, you may need to add a bit more due to condensation. 

Measuring cup of water being added to a pot of vegetables.

Simmer – Let the turkey broth simmer for two hours and then taste. Add any extra herbs or spices, to taste. Keep simmering until you’re satisfied with the results. You can simmer that bad boy all day long if you like.

Strain – Strain out all the debris once you’re done cooking. You can re-use the bones for another round, albeit it won’t be as flavorful, but the vegetables will need to be discarded. 

Crock Pot Bone Broth

To make crock pot bone broth, just add all the ingredients to the crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Low and slow is the key. You may have to break down the bones to fit, depending on the size of the bones and crock pot.

An instant pot filled with ingredients to make homemade bone broth. Pictured ingredients include beef bones, parsley, onion, garlic and carrots.

Instant Pot Broth

We’ve been making Instant Pot Bone Broth for years, with beef and chicken. Now it’s time for the turkey to get some attention. Other than the ingredients, the process to make pressure cooker bone broth stays the same from protein to protein.

Low Sodium Bone Broth

All the ingredients called out in this turkey broth recipe are naturally low in sodium. If you’re looking to make your turkey bone broth low sodium, no edits to the recipe are required. Keep in mind, however, if you used leftover turkey with a salt heavy rub, it won’t be low sodium.

Vegetables used to make turkey stock.

Organic Bone Broth

Making organic bone broth requires no other edits than starting with an organic turkey, using organic seasonings and organic vegetables. When making vegetable stock we always utilize organic vegetables.

Expert Tips

  • To maximize nutrients, collagen and gelatin you want a bit of the meat still attached to the bones. This is what gives it the highly desirable gel factor.
  • To minimize the fat, chill the broth and skim the fat solids off the top before heating.
  • Keep the skin on the vegetables! The skin provides additional vitamins and minerals, as well as color, so keeping them on is best. Feel free to remove if you prefer.
  • The amount of water you need to add will vary on the size of the container in which you’re using as well as the amount/type of bones you’re adding. 
  • Research shows adding apple cider vinegar helps extract minerals from the bones. If you don’t care for the taste or vinegar, or don’t have it on hand, just skip it. You won’t be able to detect the flavor in the final product.
  • Use a Substitute for beef broth or chicken broth substitute if you’re in a pinch for bone broth.
  • Turkey broth can be stored in an air tight jar, in the fridge, for up to 4 days.
  • Turkey broth freezes very well. All you need to do is store it in a freezer-safe container, leaving about 2″ on the top for the water to expand. If stored properly it will keep for up to 6 months.
  • Not cooking a whole turkey? No worries. Just buy inexpensive turkey cuts at the grocery store and use. Note – you must discard the liver as it will ruin the flavor of the broth. The heart and gizzard are okay.

3 mason jars full of turkey broth.

Turkey Broth (Stovetop/Slow Cooker/Instant Pot)

Making Turkey Broth is a breeze to pull together on the stovetop, Instant Pot or slow cooker. Your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, along with a few vegetables and spices, combine to make a rich and flavorful turkey bone broth. 

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time2 hrs

20 mins

Total Time2 hrs 35 mins

Course: Drinks, Soup

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Bone Broth, Healthy Recipes, Instant Pot, Slow Cooker Recipes, Turkey Recipe

Servings: 4 quarts

Calories: 48kcal

Cost: $5

  • 1 Turkey Carcass (*Note 1)
  • 2 Carrots, Cut Into Chunks
  • 2 Celery Stalks, Cut Into Chunks
  • 2 Yellow Onions (Quartered- Skin Still Attached) (*Note 2)
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, Unpeeled and Smashed
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Spring Sage
  • 1 tsp Black Peppercorn
  • 2 Dried Bay Leaves
  • Water, To Cover (*Note 3)

OPTIONAL:

  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (*Note 4)

STOVETOP

  • Add all of the ingredients to a large stock pot and cover completely with water.

  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 2 hours before tasting and adjusting seasoning. From time to time, use a large spoon to skim off any foam or fat from the surface of the stock.

  • Place a large strainer over a large pot in the sink. Strain and discard the leftover solids. Let cool before transferring to an air tight container in the refrigerator.

INSTANT POT

  • Add all of the ingredients to the instant pot and cover completely with water. Make sure to keep it below the “max fill” line.

  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the valve to the sealed position. Click the High Pressure button and set for 90 minutes. You can either quick release (QR) or naturally pressure release (NPR) after the initial cooking time is up.

  • Place a large strainer over a large pot in the sink. Strain and discard the leftover solids. Let cool before transferring to an air tight container in the refrigerator.

  • OPTIONAL: When ready to use, just skim the condensed fat off the top of the broth.

SLOW COOKER

  • Add all of the ingredients to a large slow cooker and cover completely with water.

  • Turn the heat to low and simmer for 8-10 hours. From time to time, use a large spoon to skim off any foam or fat from the surface of the stock.

  • Place a large strainer over a large pot in the sink. Strain and discard the leftover solids. Let cool before transferring to an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Picture of Cuisinart Fine Mesh Strainer 3 pack
Note 1- Use the bones from an already roasted chicken. To maximize nutrients, collagen and gelatin you want a bit of the meat still attached as that’s what provides collagen and gelatin.
Note 2- The skin provides additional vitamins and minerals, as well as color, so keeping them on is best. Feel free to remove the skin if you prefer.
Note 3- The amount of water you need to add will vary based on the size of the cooking vessel and the amount/type of bones you’re adding. 
Note 4- Research shows adding ACV helps extract minerals from the bones. If you don’t care for the taste or vinegar, or don’t have it on hand, just skip it. You can’t taste the vinegar in the final product.
Nutritional information DOES NOT include any numbers from the turkey carcass as it will wildly vary from batch to batch. The shown values include everything, except the turkey.

Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 0.2mg | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5281IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg



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