After preparing a big holiday meal, most of us crave a break from hours in the kitchen and from the rich food we may have over indulged in. The good news is that we may already have all the ingredients for an easy, delicious, and super healthy meal for the next day—bone broth, made from leftover turkey bones!
 
Similar to stock and regular broth, bone broth can be made with any kind of meat bones, but it is cooked a lot longer, sometimes up to 24 hours, depending on the type of bones used. The long simmering time is essential to get all the nutrients and flavors to seep out of the bones into the broth: minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus plus protein that contains almost 20 different amino acids.
 
Packed with so many nutrients, it’s no wonder bone broth has long been valued in many different cultures and has recently gained new popularity. Easy to make, it can be enjoyed as-is or can serve as a foundation for various post-holiday meals. So—before you toss your turkey bones into the compost, get more out of them with this bone broth recipe:

 
Turkey Bone Broth

1 turkey carcass from a roasted bird (Okay to have some meat and skin attached)
1 onion, quartered
2 carrots, roughly chopped*
2 celery ribs, roughly chopped*
6 cloves garlic, smashed
Fresh herbs like rosemary, parsley, etc. (optional)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
7 quarts water  
*Alternatively, you can use vegetable ends/scraps from other meal prep

Place the turkey carcass in a large stockpot. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and spices, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for at least 8 to 10 hours, or up to 24 hours.
 
Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large container. Compost the solids in your green bin. Once the broth is cooled, you can remove the fat from the surface with a spoon.

Tip: Absorb fat with paper towels or a cold metal serving spoon and place into your green bin. Do not pour grease down the drain as it will clog pipes.

Notes:

  • You can also use a slow cooker to make this recipe.
  • The broth keeps in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.
  • You may freeze the bones (and vegetable ends) to cook at a later time. This recipe can be modified to use what you have on hand, including bones from a rotisserie chicken, turkey legs, etc.

 
To find more tips and recipes to make the most of the food you already have, visit stopfoodwaste.org.