10 Turkey Neck Recipes To Use For a No-Waste Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is always the time for the turkey to shine, and people tend to pick out a particular part of the bird they like best -- dark meat, light meat, the turkey breast, a turkey leg, etc. But what about turkey necks that end up in the package from the grocery store? This often-overlooked part of the holiday dish is rife with possibilities. Turkey necks can be made into a soup recipe, roasted in the oven, thrown into your gravy, and so much more! It can even be added to gumbo!'

Are Turkey Necks Edible?

Yes! Usually included in the turkey cavity along with the giblets and liver, turkey necks are 100% edible and delicious once cooked. Some people smoke turkey necks to enjoy on Thanksgiving instead of purchasing an entire bird. Others braise the meat (almost like you do with oxtail) either in a dutch oven or crockpot. A percentage of people also use seasoned turkey neck bones to add body to their stocks and gravy.

So don't throw out that turkey neck. Instead, utilize its flavor in one of these many dishes.

1. Classic Turkey Neck Recipe

turkey necks
Momsdish

Momsdish offers up a classic recipe for searing a turkey neck and then roasting it in the oven. With this turkey neck recipe, you brown the turkey neck in a skillet before putting it into a cast-iron skillet with carrots and onions to be baked to fall-off-the-bone perfection. The author recommends serving it with mashed potatoes or white rice.

See the recipe.

2. Southern Smothered Smoked Turkey Necks

turkey necks
iheartrecipes

Let's head down south with this soul food recipe. This recipe involves four pounds of turkey necks being cooked in a pressure cooker, with this particular recipe guide using an instant pot. It's cooked with black pepper, onions, 5 cloves garlic, dried thyme, salt, and more. The recipe calls for drizzling 2 tbsp of vegetable oil into a pan and placing it over medium heat (you could probably do medium-high heat if you're in a hurry) and cooking some of the ingredients there before throwing it into the pressure cooker with the turkey necks.

See the recipe here.

3. Smothered Turkey Necks in Onion Gravy

This delicious recipe comes from a company based out of Louisiana, so if you're looking for a gumbo-inspired recipe for your turkey necks, this one is a good bet. It includes bacon drippings, onions, celery, beef or chicken stock, salt, and black pepper to taste.

See it here.

4. Turkey Neck Soup

turkey necks
JustAPinch Recipes

If you want to try to cook turkey neck into a soup, try this recipe. It's got peppercorns, bay leaves, mushrooms, and both brown and wild rice. Delicious!

5. Braised Turkey Necks

turkey necks
Cooking with Bliss

Looking for something Cajun-inspired? This recipe for braised turkey necks calls for seasoning with a Cajun spice blend and other interesting ingredients like grape-seed oil. It promises a meal that is "fall off the bone fork tender" and recommends serving with creamy mashed potatoes.

6. Instant Pot Roasted Turkey Necks

turkey necks
GrabandGo Recipes

Another slow cooker recipe, this comfort food dish has paprika, a bay leaf, black pepper, olive oil, red pepper paste or tomato paste, and lots more ingredients for the perfect Thanksgiving leftover dish or Sunday dinner specialty. It could be served with white rice, vegetables, collard greens, or any number of other side dishes.

See the recipe.

7. Cornbread Dressing

iheartrecipes

Instead of making the turkey necks the main attraction, this recipe instead uses them for a cornbread dressing along with turkey giblets. First, you cook up the cornbread, then you prepare the turkey necks and gizzards by seasoning the necks with everything from garlic powder to smoked paprika to sage and cooking them in a baking dish. The cornbread and turkey meat are folded together and baked for a stunning side dish.

8. Jamaican Brown Stew Turkey Neck Recipe

turkey necks
Jamaican Medium

This Jamaican brown stew turkey neck recipe can be enjoyed at lunch or dinner time, or thrown together for a less-than-traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Check out the recipe here.

9. Turkey Gravy and Sweet Potato Mash

CUESA/John Fink, The Whole Beast

This dish includes one turkey neck in the stock, so if you've got one leftover from Thanksgiving it's a perfect recipe choice. It also includes turkey backs and turkey wings in the main part of the recipe, which you can see here.

10. Roasted Pork and Turkey Neck Stock

The Cast Iron Chef

This recipe combines both pork necks and turkey necks for a truly rich stock recipe. It also includes yellow onions, garlic bulbs, and whatever vegetable scraps you'd like. See the recipe here.