Slow Cooker Turkey Stock |

Slow Cooker Turkey Stock

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Author Karen Gibson


  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 5 or 6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 5 or 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 leek washed well
  • 1 large yellow or white onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 bell pepper seeds removed
  • 1 portobello mushroom cap gills scraped out
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Bones cartilage, and skin from your Thanksgiving turkey (remove the larger chunks of meat and reserve, along with leftover meat slices, but don't worry about picking the bones clean).
  • kosher salt


  • Set up your slow cooker (minimum 4 quart capacity): add 2 cups of water to the bowl and turn to high. Add the sprigs of herbs, bay leaves, ginger, peppercorns, and celery seed.

Optional: roast the vegetables for extra flavor:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roughly chop the parsnip, leek, onion, celery, pepper, mushroom, and garlic into large chunks. Toss with olive oil and spread evenly on a lined and rimmed baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 20 minutes.
  • Scrape the veggies and any juices (or add uncooked veggies, if you skipped the roast) into the slow cooker. Nestle the turkey parts on top. Add up to 8 more cups of water (whatever safely fits in your slow cooker) and the apple cider vinegar*.
  • Cover, and cook on high for 2 hours, then reduce to low, and cook for 6 hours more. Add salt near the end of cooking, if desired (I usually add just one teaspoon).
  • Remove the turkey bones** and scoop out the large pieces of vegetables. Strain the remaining broth through a fine sieve. Refrigerate and use within 3 days, or freeze for longer storage.


*Apple cider vinegar helps leach the maximum amount of minerals from the bones into the broth. Plus, the hit of acid in the broth tastes great.
**For spectacular, amped up turkey flavor and nourishing bone broth effects, continue cooking the bones in some of the strained broth:  return the bones to the bowl of the slow cooker, along with 3 to 4 cups of broth, topping off with 2 cups of additional water and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to cover the bones. Cover and cook on low for as long as you can take it - another 16 to 48 hours - adding small amounts of water if the level recedes too low. Strain the bone broth through a fine sieve, and add to the refrigerated turkey stock, or freeze it separately, and combine it with the stock the next time you make soup. So flavorful, you'll use way less salt than usual.