Recipe for Classic Turkey Necks.

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Some may think I'm insane for utilizing turkey necks in my cooking, but I assure you that this recipe will change your perception. Being raised in Ukraine, I was brought up with the belief that every part of an animal is fit for the dinner table. When prepared correctly, turkey necks make for an excellent comfort food, falling off the bone with ease!

This dish is perfect for wintry weather - the turkey necks seared then roasted in the oven to perfection. It is a crime that such a wonderfully underrated aspect of the bird is underutilized in cooking. You can serve the necks with mashed potatoes or white rice, or relish them steaming hot straight out of the oven.

If the prospect of preparing turkey necks seems daunting, fret not! It's as easy as roasting any other meat. Start by searing the turkey necks on a hot skillet before moving them to a cast iron skillet with carrots and onions, then bake them for approximately one and a half hours. The outcome is an incredibly tender, fall-off-the-bone meat.

The key to ensuring that the turkey necks maintain their tenderness is to add a cup of hot water to the cast iron skillet (or any safe oven skillet) and create a gentle boil in the oven to prevent the turkey necks from turning rubbery and burning. The added liquid also makes for a delightful gravy!

Now that you've grown to love turkey necks (haven't you?), try preparing them in new ways. Below are a few of my favorite methods:

  • Smoked Turkey Necks: Butchers usually have pre-smoked turkey necks that are packed with flavor and perfect accompaniments to stews and chilis.

Turkey Necks in a Smoker: Do you have a smoker handy? Smoke your own turkey necks! Set your smoker to 180F and let them cook for 2-4 hours until they fall off the bone. Smoked necks are a unique spin on traditional smoked chicken wings.

Turkey Neck Soup: My boys love this soup, which is as comforting as chicken noodle soup and perfect for when someone is under the weather.

Turkey Necks Gravy: The dark, delicious flavor of turkey neck meat makes for the perfect base for gravy. Use it to top many dishes!

Turkey Necks in a small cast iron plate

Note: You can find turkey necks in most large grocery stores, though not every store carries them.


You may opt to cut the turkey necks into smaller portions. Cut the onion into half rings and clean carrots before chopping them into large pieces. In a hot, oiled skillet, cook the turkey necks until browned on all sides, then remove from the skillet and set aside. Cook the onions in the same skillet until lightly browned. Season the meat and vegetables with salt and add a cup of hot water before covering with the lid to bake in the oven at 350F for 1.5 hours or until the meat begins to separate from the bone. You may serve the turkey necks with potatoes, rice, or by themselves while they're still hot.

Turkey Necks Recipe (The Classic Way)

Calories 398 Calories from Fat 162 * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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