What to Do with Turkey Giblets

Learn, Primers, Thanksgiving

Giblets are those extra parts of the turkey you don’t roast on Thanksgiving: the heart, neck, gizzards and liver. Although most people don’t usually eat them on their own, there are some great ways to use them to add maximum flavor to your holiday dishes.


Safety Tip

If you do forget to remove the giblets before roasting your turkey, all may not be lost. Giblets wrapped in paper can cook safely inside the cavity. If the giblets are wrapped in plastic, however, the plastic may melt inside the turkey and release harmful chemicals. In this case, discard the giblets and the turkey if the plastic has started to melt.

First, whether you’re using the giblets or not, remember to take them out of the turkey. They are usually packaged in a paper or plastic bag placed inside the cavity of the bird, so you definitely don’t want to cook your turkey with the bag still in there.


Turkey giblets are most commonly used to make a giblet gravy. The parts (besides the liver, which becomes bitter when boiled) are simmered with herbs and vegetables to make a flavorful giblet stock. Then, the turkey pan drippings, stock, flour and cream combine to form a thick gravy, and the chopped giblets are stirred back in at the end. The final step can be optional if you want the flavor of the giblets but don’t actually want to eat them.


Although the liver isn’t used in the turkey stock, it can still be incorporated into the gravy if you roast it instead of simmering. Alternatively, some people mix it into their stuffing for a deep, savory taste.


How do you use your turkey giblets?

23 comments about “What to Do with Turkey Giblets

  1. Cyndy

    Boil them with some stock and make an extra special Thanksgiving for the dogs 😉

  2. Vickis

    I cook the giblets and use the cooking broth to make dressing, then I cut up everything except the liver and put in the dressing.

  3. Julia

    I use them in the stuffing, except for the neck. If I make extra stuffing I put the neck whole in with the stuffing, where the juices can flavor the stuffing. I keep the neck for Turkey soup, a few days later.
    The dogs get a whole meal of thanksgiving each. the one time of year we allow them people food. They eat as well as the family. White meat and gravy.

  4. Rosalyn Traylor

    I cook the giblets and the neck, using the broth for the dressing and for the gravy. I add all to the dressing. Delicious.

  5. Jean Taua

    My brother and I use to sneak the liver out of the giblet stock just when it finished cooking. We both love liver and it was always a fun race. I usually put the giblets on to simmer, with a small amount of celery, onion, sage, black pepper corns, and chicken stock. I keep water in the pan so it won’t boil dry. When the turkey comes out, I strip the neck meat, and dice the giblets. When I make my turkey gravy from the pan drippings using the chicken stock I cooked the giblets in, I add the diced meat, making a hearty and delicious giblet gravy.

    1. Angie

      Thank you for the play by play! This is my first time using the giblets so I appreciate it very much!

  6. Gregory von Hausch

    Ok cool, so I’m just going to trash them…this is the first site that actually told me the options…thanks!

  7. Linda

    I’m going to give the to Hope, Faith, and Blackie~~~ my cats. I wonder if they will eat them.

  8. Paul Zent

    My father loves the gizzard, neck and heart. At Thanksgiving, as a special treat for him, I wash them and place in aluminum foil, lightly coat with butter or oil, salt and pepper. I wrap them up and place in the roaster and cook with the rest of the bird. He looks forward to this treat every year. It makes me feel good that he enjoys the gizzard so much.

    1. Karyn

      Wow i thought my father and i are the only ones who liked them lol How long do you cook them for?

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  10. Cyn

    I’ve always boiled the neck and giblets in a pot for stock. Afterwards, I toss the neck and finely chop up the rest of the giblets. I used to eat the heart when I was a kid. It was a treat for me. After they’re chopped, I use them for my stuffing. I honestly never knew what else to do with them.

  11. The Piranha

    Turkey Giblet Pot Pie, made with gravy from Turkey drippings. Use the stuffing as a filler for pie and add potatoes.

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  13. carnivore

    I just throw them in with the turkey in a bit of foil seasoned with a bit of butter and pepper and eat them. I’m not a huge fan of liver or gizzard, but you won’t find a better bite than a nicely seasoned turkey heart. Plus, as an added bonus, you get to freak out all of the little kids at Thanksgiving dinner. 🙂

  14. Jeff Linkous

    My mother calls liver, gizzard, neck and heart the hard bargains of the bird. These are my favorite parts. I guess I like the parts most people throw out. I jump at the chance to do the carving. Get all the parts everyone wants and I turn the thing over and the best or at least my favorite meat is in the back.
    A friend and I raised our turkeys this year. We butchered one for each Of our families. I have now 6 sets of these hard bargains. I’ve read all the comments and I’ve made a decision to take you folks spices and make a Pate. That is a funny word but MY mom says it’s what we call liver cheese. I have everything in my crock pot now. My intent is to grind this and make a spread to serve on crackers as an appetizer. I’m re tired now and enjoy meat dishes. Let you know


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