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Leftover Turkey: How to Make Broth

Leftover turkey recipes

Once you’ve enjoyed your Thanksgiving turkey, it’s time to use the leftovers and enjoy it again. Roasting the turkey carcass (or any bones for that matter) makes all the difference in taste when it comes to making broth. Often times I don’t roast my chicken bones, even though I know it would taste better but I’m lazy like that! Before I make turkey broth, I always roast the turkey bones, first. Roasting leftover turkey bones before you make broth will make the taste so much better, you may find yourself considering serving turkey again sooner, rather than later.

This is more of a method and less of a recipe. After enjoying the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner and then enjoying it again the next day, slice all of the turkey meat off the bones and set aside.

Leftover Turkey: How to Make Broth
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: American
Author: Sara Tetreault
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10-12
Once Thanksgiving is over, don’t toss out the bones – roast them and make broth! Then you can make soup and use the tasty broth you made.
  • Turkey carcass
  • Leftover vegetable tops of carrots or celery and onions
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Take all the bones and carcass from your Thanksgiving feast and place them on a large baking sheet. I also toss onto the baking sheet any onion, carrot or celery tops that are lying around.
  3. Sprinkle bones with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes for additional flavoring.
  4. Place baking sheet in a pre-heated 425 degree oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
  5. After 25 or so minutes, turn the oven to broil and roast for about 5 minutes.
  6. After broiling for about 5 minutes, let bones and vegetables cool.
  7. Place all bones and vegetables in a large stock pot.
  8. Fill the stock pot with water to cover the bones and vegetables.
  9. Bring to a boil and then lower temperature and simmer for about 2 hours.
  10. Once broth has cooled, strain it and remove all bones and vegetable scraps and discard.
We can place bones and vegetable scraps in our city’s yard debris composting program.[br]Pour broth into jars and freeze for later use. Make sure to leave plenty of head space at the top of your jars because the broth will expand as it freezes.

If you’re tired of turkey, freeze it for later use in sandwiches or mix with your beans for a turkey, bean and cheese burrito.

Leftover turkey broth

After roasting the bones and veg in the oven, place everything in a large pot.

Use turkey leftovers

After the roasted bones and vegetables are in the pot, cover them with water.

Turkey (1)

Don’t forget to label your jars. I always think I can remember what’s in a jar or container once it goes into the freezer, but I never can.

How to make turkey broth

What to do with your tasty broth? Make turkey noodle soup (follow a recipe for chicken noodle soup and substitute turkey for chicken) or make a bean soup and add your turkey broth instead of water. When making brown rice or quinoa, use turkey broth instead of water. By using broth in your cooking, it adds so much flavor to the food without adding lots of salt or other flavorings.

What do you like to make with your turkey leftovers?

Go Gingham related links:

How to roast red peppers or food you’re supposed to burn
How to roast tomatoes freshly picked from the garden – so good!
New to cooking at home? Fear not!
How we keep food waste to a minimum
Confessions of a leftover food lover – that would be me!
Take the night off and let your kids cook dinner every week
How our freezer gets used – ways to organize and optimize

7 thoughts on “Leftover Turkey: How to Make Broth

  1. thanks for sharing your method – I am not hosting thanksgiving this year but I bought a turkey anyway to have in the coming weeks and I will definitely be using this to roast up some great broth. I know it’s a seemingly simple idea but I was just planning on tossing the cooked bones into the stock pot – no roasting beforehand. now I know!! thanks for taking the time to blog about this.


    1. Stephanie, I hope your turkey turned out well. You can always toss bones into the stock pot but roasting really brings out the flavor.
      I just tossed a home bone and some pork chop bones in together into our freezer. I stock pile them until I’m ready to make broth. They may or may not get roasted – depending on how lazy I am!
      Thanks, Stephanie.


  2. Roasting makes a lot of sense – will try it! Last year, I took all the meat off the carcass directly after dinner and made the broth while we were lazing around in the afternoon. Got it done!


  3. I recently tried this method with chicken bones. The roasting made for a brown, flavorful broth. When the bones were bare, I removed them along with bits of gristle. Because I had added diced celery, carrot, red pepper, and onion, a tasty soup resulted that included bits of chicken. Stirring in two teaspoons of uncooked rice absorbed the extra liquid. I also included some chicken skin with the bones because it was seasoned and very tasty.


    1. Sue, I use it all including every last bit and roast it all. I didn’t even cook the neck that came with something (chicken? turkey?) and had tossed it into the freezer and just roasted that along with my leftover turkey carcass (bones, skin, etc.). I don’t want to waste anything and figure the more the merrier!! Have you tried roasting before making broth?


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