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How to Make Turkey Stock for Gravy or Soup

I am sharing this recipe for Turkey Stock to use for Gravy or Soup. Make it ahead of time to simplify Thanksgiving preparations.

When the temperatures outside begin to fall, and the air feels crisper, I know it’s time to gather the ingredients necessary to make this Turkey Stock. We use this flavorful Turkey Stock for Gravy on Thanksgiving Day, but then we also use it for soups after Thanksgiving.

In the perfect world, you would use turkey wings for this turkey broth, but as fate would have it, turkey wings are much harder to come by than turkey legs. At first, this situation confounded me…I mean, if you have a turkey with legs, surely that turkey has wings too! But I have since tried to find reluctant peace with the situation by reasoning that yes, while all turkeys with legs also have wings, it takes more wings to make stocks, broths, meals, etc… So, until turkeys sprout additional sets of wings, I fear we will always have the ‘more legs to wings’ scenario.

All that to say, look for turkey wings, but if you can’t find them, buy the legs!

My mom started making this turkey stock for our gravy about 15 years ago. Prior to that, we would use chicken stock or broth. I am forever thankful to mom for coming to the realization that the best Turkey Gravy really happens when you use a turkey stock! And I’m especially thankful because while I could go the rest of my life without ever eating turkey, turkey gravy is a whole different thing.

This Turkey Stock recipe is similar to this Chicken Broth Recipe. The Chicken Broth post also discusses how to use your Pressure Canner, which you could use to make this Turkey Stock shelf-stable.

I mean, how can you have stuffing and mashed potatoes without turkey gravy?

In fact, on Thanksgiving, we roast a turkey for most of the family and small roast beef for my son and me. I enjoy my roast beef alongside my stuffing and potatoes topped with turkey gravy!

And, once Thanksgiving has passed and you have made your turkey carcass soup, you can add this turkey stock to it to up the flavor or save it and make this low-fat Creamy Turkey Soup when you are trying to get back to your pre-holiday fighting weight!

A bowl of soup sitting on a table, with Creamy turkey soup
jars of turkey stock

Turkey Stock Recipe for Homemade Gravy

Homemade turkey stock is the basis for outstanding gravy, as well as soups.
4.79 from 28 votes
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Course Soups, Stocks, Broths + Chili
Cuisine American
Servings 3 quarts
Calories 444 kcal


  • 4-5 pounds turkey wings use legs if you can’t find wings
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6-8 sprigs of thyme
  • 15 cups water divided in half


  • Preheat oven to 450′
  • Place turkey wings in a roasting pan, brush with olive oil, and roast for 45 minutes until golden brown.
  • While wings are roasting, put 7-8 cups of water in your stockpot. You will add more water and reduce it down and it’s helpful to have a sense of where the level of water should be once reduced enough.
  • Remove the turkey wings and reduce temperature to 350°
  • Add wings to stockpot with water
  • Add chopped vegetables to the fat that was rendered while your wings were roasting, put in the oven, and roast for 15 minutes.
  • Then put the veggies into the stockpot with the wings. At this point, I measured from the top of my pot to the water level because that’s where I’m going to want the level to be when it’s adequately reduced.
  • Add 8 more cups of water, put it on the stove, and simmer for 5-6 hours very slowly until the stock has been reduced to 7-8 cups.
  • Once it cools a bit, strain it and pour it into your fat separator and let it sit for a couple of minutes so that the fat can rise to the top. 
  • I save the fat and freeze it for future use. If I have a turkey breast and Terry is hankering for some gravy, I can use the fat to make the roux for a quick gravy.
  • Pour your stock into freezer-safe jars, making sure to leave a good inch plus to allow for expansion, and freeze until the day before Thanksgiving. Take them from your freezer, put them in your fridge, and send up a little thanks when you taste that amazing gravy on Thanksgiving Day.


Homemade Turkey Gravy Recipe from Turkey Stock:

As far as making the turkey gravy, there are 2 methods I use.
  • One is to make a roux with equal amounts of flour and fat (about 4 TBSP each) and whisk it until it is a nice light brown and smells a little toasted. Then I’ll slowly whisk in 4 cups of my turkey stock and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • The second is to use the drippings from the turkey. I bring that to a simmer and slowly whisk in a slurry of 1/4 cup flour and 1 cup water/broth and about 3-4 cups of the stock. This seems to be a richer and more flavorful gravy.


Serving: 1gCalories: 444kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 52gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 153mgSodium: 138mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g
Keyword gravy, stock, turkey
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If you have started to prepare for Thanksgiving, make sure to nab the Printable Thanksgiving Planner Checklist available in this Thanksgiving Preparations Post.

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to return to this Turkey Stock for Gravy recipe in the future.

Three jars of Turkey Stock.
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