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Smothered Turkey Necks Recipe

This Southern Smothered Turkey Necks Recipe is a soul food classic. Roasted, oven-baked neck bones and rice drizzled in gravy is a staple Sunday dinner meal.

smothered turkey necks with gravy and rice on a plate

You can prepare turkey necks a few different ways using the stovetop or in a slow cooker or Crockpot. This method will show you how to bake them.

What Are Turkey Necks

The turkey neck is the part of the turkey that is made up of bones and meat. It’s often used to make soups, stews, broth, or roasted to enjoy as an amazing main dish for a meal. Turkey necks are small pieces of meat on the bottom part of the turkey’s neck.

When you grab them in the store, they usually come in packs of two or three. The necks don’t have any feathers. Oftentimes, when purchased the neck, is cut into pieces. Mine were not. I wait to cut them into pieces after they have been baked. Once baked, these are tender and delicious.

raw turkey necks, white onions, and spices in separate bowls

Where to Find Them

I find them readily available in local grocery stores. You can also check specialty markets, even some Asian grocery stores.

How to Make Smothered Turkey Necks

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add sliced onions to the bottom of a baking dish.
  3. Drizzle both sides of the necks olive oil and then sprinkle the spices onto both sides of the necks.
  4. Place the seasoned necks over the onions.
  5. Cover the dish with foil and bake.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and remove foil. Remove the turkey necks from the baking dish and set aside.
  7. Drizzle the gravy over the turkey.
  8. Bake.
collage photo of white onions and turkey necks in a baking dish
turkey necks wrapped in foil

How to Make the Gravy

You will need to keep the turkey drippings from the pan from when the turkey initially bakes with onions. This will add so much flavor to the gravy. You combine butter, olive oil, flour, smoked paprika, garlic powder, turkey drippings, broth, and heavy cream to make the best gravy. It’s super thick, rich, and comforting.

butter, broth, onions, heavy cream, spices, and flour in separate bowls
collage of 4 photos with melted butter, white onions, and flour
turkey neck gravy in a pan

Cook Time/How Long to Cook

The dish usually takes 2 1/2 – 3 hours to bake.

How to Tell When the Turkey is Done

You will need to use a meat thermometer. Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the neck. According to the USDA, Poultry must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.

baked turkey necks drizzled in gravy

Can You Use Turkey Legs or Turkey Wings?

Yes. Turkey legs and wings will follow a similar cook time and at the same temperature.

Can You Use Chicken Wings?

Absolutely. You can also use chicken drumsticks. Be sure to test if the chicken is done by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest parts of one of the pieces of chicken. Chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.

smothered turkey necks with gravy and rice on a plate

How to Store Them

Cooked turkey necks can be stored in the fridge tightly covered for 3-4 days.

Freezer Tips

You can freeze leftover necks tightly covered and sealed. For best taste, they will last up to 3 months. Defrost the turkey necks overnight in the fridge and reheat.

Pair With These Side Dish Recipes

Slow Cooker Homemade Baked Beans
Southern Corn Salad
Chitterlings Recipe
Patti LaBelle Potato Salad
Collard Greens with Ham Hocks

More Turkey Recipes

Smothered Turkey Wings
Fried Turkey Recipe
Smoked Turkey Breast
Air Fryer Turkey Breast Tenderloin
Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast
Ground Turkey Tacos

smothered turkey necks with gravy and rice on a plate
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5 from 1 vote

Smothered Turkey Necks Recipe

This Southern Smothered Turkey Necks Recipe is a soul food classic. Roasted, oven-baked neck bones and rice drizzled in gravy is a staple Sunday dinner meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 637kcal
Author Brandi Crawford

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sliced onions I used white onions.
  • 3-4 pounds raw turkey necks Not cooked, smoked turkey necks.
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil Use enough to coat each neck.
  • foil

Creole Seasoned Necks (Option 1)

  • 1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Standard Turkey Seasoned Necks (Option 2)

  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • foil

Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced onions I used white onions.
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups broth I used chicken broth.
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add the sliced onions to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Pat the turkey necks dry. Drizzle both sides of the necks olive oil and then sprinkle the spices onto both sides of the necks.
  • Rub the spices into the necks. Ensure the spices completely cover the necks. Add more spices if necessary.
  • Place the seasoned necks over the onions.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake for 2 hours. While baking if you notice the onions are starting to char, add a little broth to the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and remove foil. Remove the turkey necks from the baking dish and set aside.
  • Reserve the turkey drippings and onions that remain in the baking dish. The turkey drippings will be used in the gravy.
  • Heat a saucepan or skillet on medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil.
  • When melted, add in the onions and saute for 3-4 minutes until translucent and fragrant.
  • Add in the flour. Add it in stages and stir continuously to avoid clumping.
  • Add in the broth, heavy cream, turkey drippings from the pan, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Stir until the sauce thickens. Return the turkey to the pan with the gravy.
  • Bake for an additional 30 minutes (uncovered) or until the turkey is tender and reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees. You can test if the necks have finished cooking by using a meat thermometer.
  • If you like for your turkey to fall off the bone, add additional bake time and use your judgment.

Notes

  • I provided my 2 favorite ways to season these necks. Pick a method or you can also use your favorite store-bought chicken or poultry rub.
  • You can omit the heavy cream if you wish, it’s added for flavor. You can also substitute with half and half, milk, etc. The gravy won’t be as thick.
  • When you grab them in the store, they usually come in packs of two or three. The necks don’t have any feathers. Oftentimes, when purchased the neck, is cut into pieces. Mine were not. I wait to cut them into pieces after they have been baked. Once baked, these are tender and delicious.
  • To make turkey necks using an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, cook them for 50-60 minutes on high pressure.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 637kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 29g
Recipe Rating