Homemade turkey bone broth is both easy and rewarding but can be flat or boring. Craving a rich, delicious broth to freeze for later, we put the leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass to the test to make this easy Instant Pot Turkey Stock recipe.
Turkey stock is one of those things that’s easy and inexpensive to pick up from the market. And there is nothing wrong with that. However, on the quest to produce a savory bone broth that had both depth and flavor, we tested four turkey carcasses to see if a homemade turkey stock recipe was worth the effort and time.
We cook for someone with a very limited ingredient diet to mitigate migraines, and grocery store broths have off-limits ingredients. This liquid gold is clean, healthy, and has extra flavor from the roasted bones!
All the different methods we tested used the same mix of fresh vegetables and aromatics.
The first test was a base turkey stock recipe with the bones simmered in a Dutch oven with veggies. The second was a pressure cooker turkey stock. The third involved roasting the leftover bones and veggies (a tip from our friend GrillingGrandma) and then making the turkey broth in a Dutch Oven, which significantly increases the flavor of the stock.
The final recipe test was a combination of roasting the turkey carcass and veggies in the oven and then cooking the stock in the Instant Pot.
What Is Instant Pot Turkey Stock?
This turkey stock is an easy way to use Thanksgiving leftovers and helps add flavor to your favorite recipes! This turkey stock uses a leftover turkey carcass combined with vegetables and fresh herbs and cooks at high pressure in the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot makes the cooking time much faster than the traditional stovetop method, but you can always do that if you don’t have an Instant Pot.
Turkey Stock Ingredients
- Leftover turkey carcass – picked mostly clean of meat.
- Avocado oil
- Garlic cloves – smashed.
- Onion, Carrots, Leeks, Celery – all roughly chopped.
- Bay leaves
- Girl Carnivore Chick Fest spice blend – the pop of citrus in this blend really adds a great layer to this recipe.
- Salt and pepper – sparingly! Reserve your desired full amount of salt and pepper for when you use the stock in recipes.
- Fresh herbs – a blend of rosemary, thyme, and sage.
How to Make Turkey Stock in the Instant Pot
The first step is making sure you have cleaned the turkey, removing as much of the large pieces of meat, fat, and any other bits as you can from the leftover turkey bones. Put any pieces of meat to use with these easy leftover turkey sandwiches.
Then, rub the turkey, garlic, and chopped veggies with oil. Pop onto a foil-lined baking sheet and roast in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes. This step adds a ton of depth to the recipe. For the most flavorful stock, don’t slip this step!
Once everything has roasted and is deep golden brown, carefully add the veggies, garlic, and turkey bones to the instant pot.
Add in the bay leaves, Girl Carnivore Chick Fest, fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage.
Next, fill the pot up with cold water up to the max fill line, secure the lid, and set it for pressure cooking for 45 minutes, accounting for the time it will take for the pressure to build up.
Then, carefully release the pressure in a quick release by manually releasing the steam according to your models’ instructions.
Allow the stock to cool for a few minutes.
Pro tip: make sure your pressure cooker is not under cabinets or hanging lights and has a clear space overhead so the releasing steam doesn’t cause any damage.
Place a colander over a stockpot and line it with a cheesecloth if you have any on hand. Or use a fine mesh strainer. Carefully strain the liquid through the strainer and discard all the bones, veggies, and bits left behind.
From there, allow the stock to settle for a while so that you can finish it by skimming the fat from the surface, dividing it into glass jars or other freezer-safe containers, and storing it until you’re ready to use. Or chill the stock in the fridge overnight while it settles, and the fat will form an easily removed layer on top for skimming.
All that’s left is dividing the instant pot turkey bone broth to use or freeze for later.
Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips
- For fresh herbs, create a bundle by tying them together with butcher’s twine. This makes removing them later easier. A
- A fine mesh strainer works great if a calendar and cheesecloth are not an option.
- Cook time does not include the time it takes for your pressure cooker to seal, as that will vary.
- Because this is a rich stock, you can stretch it with more water when using it in future recipes. If a recipe calls for 4 cups broth, try 2 cups stock and 2 cups broth for a more mild flavor.
How to use Instant Pot Turkey Stock?
Hands down, it was our favorite way to put the leftover holiday turkey to good use! It had the depth you only get from roasting the turkey leftovers but the instant pot method to have this delicious stock ready in a fraction of a time. A serious time shortcut for delicious homemade turkey stock!
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Instant Pot Turkey Stock
For the roasted turkey bones
- 1 Leftover turkey carcass
- 2 tbsp Avocado oil
- 1 bulb Garlic top 1/3 cut off and discarded
- 1 Onion roughly chopped
- 2 Carrots roughly chopped
- 2 Leeks rinced and roughly chopped
- 2 Celery stalks rinced and roughly chopped
For the instant pot turkey stock
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 tbsp Girl Carnivore Chick Fest spice blend
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh herbs a blend of rosemary, thyme, and sage
Roast the carcass
- Make sure the turkey carcass is cleaned of any unnecessary bits of meat, fat or other unnecessary items.1 Leftover turkey carcass
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Rub the carcass, garlic and chopped vegetables with oil.1 Leftover turkey carcass, 2 tbsp Avocado oil, 1 bulb Garlic, 1 Onion, 2 Carrots, 2 Leeks, 2 Celery stalks
- Arrange the bones, garlic and veggies on the baking sheet.
- Roast for 45 minutes.
- Carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Place the roasted bones, veggies and garlic in the instant pot.
- Add the bay leaves and Girl Carnivore Chick Fest.2 Bay leaves, 2 tbsp Girl Carnivore Chick Fest spice blend
- If using fresh herbs, add them now.Fresh herbs
- Seaon with a touch of salt and pepper if desiredSalt and pepper
- Add water enough to fill to the max fill line of your pressure cooker.Water
- Secure the lid and set to cook for 45 minutes.
- Once the pressure cooker is done, carefully do a quick release on the pressure according the manufacturers instructions for your model.
- Place a calendar over a stockpot and line with cheesecloth. Strain the stock through the calendar into the stock pot.
- Discard the bones and veggies.
Rest and Remove Fat
- Allow the pot to cool.
- Once cooled, place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight with a lid on. As the stock cools, a layer of fat will form at the top.
- Using a slotted spoon, skim the fat from the surface and discard.
Store or Serve
- At this point, you can immediately use the stock in soups and stews or divide in airtight containers or jars and freeze for future use.
Yes! The turkey stock can be stored for up to one week in mason jars or another airtight container in the refrigerator. If not using immediately, freeze the remaining broth by dividing it evenly in your chosen containers or even an ice cube tray. Freeze for up to 6 months.
When you’re ready to use, allow the turkey stock to thaw in the fridge or reheat in a pot over low heat.
Pro tip: you can save room in your freezer by using resealable zip-lock bags instead of jars or containers. Once the instant pot turkey broth has cooled, divide it into the bags, no more than half full.
Arrange the bags on a baking sheet and set them in the freezer. Once frozen, you can stack them on top of one another in thin sheets. We measure our’s out ahead of time so we know exactly how many cups are in each bag.