Secrets to Making the Best Ever Turkey Bone Broth

Secrets to Making the Best Ever Turkey Bone Broth

It’s likely that you will have to decide what to do with the leftover turkey carcass bones from Thanksgiving in November. Don’t throw away those bones even if you are tired and groggy after the annual feast, and swear you will never cook again. If you are at someone’s home for Thanksgiving, be that person who asks to take the bones home (you will thank us later for it). The bones are full of nutrients and make a tasty broth for a quick meal, soups, and recipes.

If it’s any consolation, tens of thousands of years before turkey became the bird of choice for Thanksgiving, cooks worldwide have been making broth and soup for its heartiness and warmth. Archeologists say the first known soup pots and bowls date back 20,000 BC to the Xianrendong Cave in Jiangxi Province, China. Though we do not know what was in the pot, these early humans were on to something. Soup is a cornerstone of nourishment and comfort that is still appreciated today. We’ve collected a treasure of tips to help you make the best broth ever.

Secrets to Making the Best Ever Turkey Bone Broth

What are the Health Benefits of Bone Broth?

Bone broth is commonly recommended in functional and integrative medicine for gut health, immune support, and weight management. The benefits for gut health are particularly profound (learn more on the health benefits here). When the bones, vegetables, and herbs cook down into an aromatic and satisfying broth, while the amino acids and nutrients concentrate into all that goodness, including:

  • Collagen reduces gut inflammation, improves digestion, and helps regulate stomach acid production.
  • Gelatin helps promote a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach that serves as a barrier to protect the stomach from its digestive secretions (learn more about the importance of gut mucus here).
  • Glycine, an amino acid and primary component of collagen, reduces the risk of inflammation throughout the body, including the gastrointestinal tract. Like gelatin, glycine can also promote healing of the stomach lining.
  • Proline, an amino acid, promotes healthy intestinal and gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), essential components of immune defense.
  • Glutamine contributes to restoring the gut’s mucosal lining and closing the tight junctions in the intestines that may be associated with a leaky gut. It also reduces intestinal inflammation.

Tips for Turkey Bone Broth

Homemade bone broth is satisfying on its own in a mug and versatile enough for soups or recipes that call for broth. The difference between stock and bone broth is the cooking time and taste. Typically, a stock adds liquid or moistens recipes and has a lighter flavor. Because bone broth cooks longer, it is flavorful enough to stand alone. Here are some reminders for making bone broth, followed by a recipe.

  1. Clean off the meat from the bones.
  2. Collect all the fruit and vegetable peels and trimmings from carrots, onions, celery, apples, and lemons from your Thanksgiving dinner for broth-making.
  3. Remove any stuffing, herbs, or other aromatics from the turkey cavity.
  4. Use the heart, neck, wings, and gizzard if you like, but set aside the liver for another use.
  5. Cut the bones with kitchen shears to fit the bones in a large 6-quart pot, slow cooker, or pressure cooker (instant) pot.
  6. If you don’t plan to make the broth immediately, freeze the bones in an airtight container.
  7. Always start with cold water, as the finished broth will be clearer.
  8. Include fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, and turmeric for added flavor and anti-inflammatory benefits.
  9. Add an acid, like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, to the broth to help release all the nutrients from the bones.
  10. Punch up the umami flavor of the broth by adding miso paste after the broth has boiled.

Low Histamine Bone Broth

Be aware of histamines in bone broth. If you have issues with Mast Cells or histamines in foods, take precautions because bone broths of any type are notoriously high in histamines. The histamines build up over time as most bone broths cook for as long as 12-24 hours. If you follow a low histamine diet, reduce the cooking time with a pressure cooker for 30 to 60 minutes or on the stove for no more than two to three hours.

Turkey Bone Broth Recipe for Gut Health and Immune Support

The perfect basic turkey broth starts with classic ingredients – onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and bones. But as with any bone broth recipe, the only limitation is your culinary imagination. Do you love Asian soups? Add a knob of fresh ginger. Toss a leftover Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind for Italian soups to add a richness perfect for minestrone soup. Two small dried red chiles raise the heat, perfect for a tortilla soup broth. If you love sauces, pull out 2 cups of the finished broth and simmer it down until reduced by half. You’ll have a concentrated broth that is ideal for sauces and gravies.


  • 1 roasted turkey carcass from a 12-to-15-pound turkey (double the recipe and make two pots of broth if your turkey is larger than this). Clean off any meat, but use skin, cartilage, and other bits for the broth pot.
  • 2 medium-large onions, unpeeled, but in half
  • 3 carrots, washed and unpeeled, broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 celery stalks, washed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled and smashed
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 Tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 6 quarts cold water


  • Vegetable scraps from Thanksgiving dinner
  • Apple peels (loose 1 cup)
  • Lemon peels (2-3 half-inch wide pieces)


  1. Cut turkey bones into pieces and place them in a large stock pot (see instant pot instructions below).
  2. Place onions, carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt and vinegar in the pot.
  3. Cover with cold water.
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  5. Cook for 2-3 hours minimum or up to 24 hours while skimming off foam. Adjust the salt when the broth is ready.
  6. Strain with a small-hole colander or wire mesh strainer to collect the broth and separate it from the solids. If you prefer a clear broth, strain again through a sieve lined with a cheesecloth.
  7. Pour into 4-quart jars. Let cool, and place lids on the containers.
  8. Refrigerate the cooled broth and use it within one week. Freeze for up to six months.


  1. Follow the instructions above and place all the ingredients in the pot.
  2. Close the lid and cook at high heat for 30 minutes to 2 hours. If you are on a low histamine diet, see the note above and adjust cooking times accordingly.

Don’t let those valuable bones go to waste. Be the hero of the Thanksgiving feast! Want to create a hearty and comforting turkey bone broth for yourself? Follow our expert tips and the full recipe for gut health and immune support. Your taste buds and your health will thank you.

Get the detailed recipe and instructions at Restoration Healthcare – Your path to health and well-being. Contact us at (949) 535-2322 for any questions or guidance.