How to Make Delicious and Healthy Bone Broth

Having a turkey dinner for Christmas? Don’t waste the bones! Find out how to make a simple, yet flavorful broth using the leftover bones.

If your family is like mine, we have a big Christmas dinner with a beautiful roasted turkey at the center of the spread. While the meal is delicious, it’s also great knowing that there’s so much food that we will be eating turkey for a few days in the form or turkey sandwiches and turkey soup, so as not to waste a morsel of the delicious turkey! This includes making a flavorful broth from the turkey bones. If you usually throw away your bones, think twice, as turkey bone broth provides a lovely flavor to soups or can be added to other dishes that require broth. I used to always make my broths by simmering the bones on the stovetop, but I recently learned that a crockpot also works really well. It’s super easy and requires very little hands-on time to make. There are also some health benefits to making your own bone broth.

Bone broths are a key component of healthy traditional diets

Bone broths are used almost universally in traditional diets and are thought to promote health. As an old South American proverb goes, “Good broth resurrects the dead.”

Home-made broths don’t contain harmful additives

You control what goes into homemade broths and the flavor is derived from real foods. In contrast, store bought broths often contain MSG or other artificial flavors.

Cold fighting power

Bone broth, particularly chicken broth has been used for centuries to fight the common cold. Furthermore, recent scientific research provides evidence that chicken broth helps fight colds.

In an interesting study, a Nebraska researcher who had heard his wife talk about the benefits of chicken soup for colds, decided to put her family recipe (handed down from her Lithuanian grandmother), as well as commercially available chicken soups, to the test. The study found that chicken soup has anti-inflammatory activity (in vitro), by inhibiting migration of white blood cells. Migration of white blood cells into the upper respiratory tract is thought to contribute to cold symptoms such as stuffy noses. Chicken soup has also been found to help with nasal decongestion.

One practical tip is to freeze homemade broth and unthaw it when you have a cold, sipping it like you would hot tea.

Basic broth recipe

Here are the basic ingredients you’ll need to make a turkey broth.


–          Bones

–          Water to cover bones

–          2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

–          2 Bay leaves

–          1 Tbsp. of peppercorns

Directions: simmer in crockpot for 6 to 24 hours. Depending on my schedule, I’ll often throw the bones and other ingredients into the crockpot in the evening or morning and let it simmer until I’m ready to use the broth. Strain the broth and then flavor with salt to taste.

The basic recipe also works well for making chicken broth, by substituting chicken bones for turkey bones. I’ll often buy a roast chicken to use for a quick dinner one evening, then use the leftovers to make chicken soup the next day. I separate the meat from the bones, using the bones for the broth and saving the meat to add to the soup later on.

Optional add-ons

If I have extra vegetables on hand that need to be used up, I will add them to the crockpot to increase the flavor of the broth.

–          Carrots

–          Onions

–          Leeks

–          Garlic

–          Celery

–          Fresh rosemary or thyme

The broth may be used immediately to make soup or stored in the freezer until needed.