Easy Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe

This Easy Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe is made with leftover cooked turkey meat (from Thanksgiving) and some simple pantry staples including rice. Quick and easy to make, one pot soup, packed with herbs. The best way to use up your leftover holiday meat. Could be made with either roasted or smoked turkey meat.

Leftover turkey soup with rice in a bowl

Never throw away your leftover turkey meat, make this easy, comforting and delicious leftover turkey soup recipe instead. Made with warm winter spices, veggies and rice, this soup is nutritious, comforting and delicious. A family favorite, that I’ve been making for years, since we always have leftover turley meat after the holidays.

Ingredients needed for this leftover turkey soup recipe:

  • Turkey meat, left over from roasted or smoked turkey
  • Leftover bones and carcass, if you are planning to boil them for broth and use it in the soup
  • Store bought turkey broth if you are not making homemade. Chicken broth can be substituted.
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Celery – optional, don’t go crazy with it, because its taste could be overpowering in soups.
  • Noodles or rice. I like to make my leftover turkey soup with rice, because it is different from the typical soup with noodles. If you would like to use noodles, either egg noodles, pasta or thin European soup noodles can be used.
  • Seasoning – thyme (fresh or dried), salt, black pepper and rosemary (optional, use it with caution, because the flavor may get overpowering)

Turkey soup in a white ceramic bowl

How to make leftover turkey soup with rice?

  1. Get your leftovers ready. 
  2. Now you have two options. If you have the leftover turkey carcass and bones you can place them in a pot with water, throw in an onion, pinch of salt and black pepper, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Most meat should be removed from the bones, since it will get too dry and overcooked, if boiled with the bones. This will make it soft, unpleasant and unusable in the soup. Remove the carcass and bones and strain the broth. Option number two is to use store bought turkey broth.
  3. Cut the turkey meat into bite sized pieces.
  4. In a large pot, heat some vegetable oil or butter. Add the chopped onion, garlic, carrots and celery (optional)., Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  5. Add the rinsed rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  6. Pour the broth on top, add salt, black pepper and thyme. Add rosemary (optional).
  7. Cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in the loft over cooked turkey meat.
  9. Cook for another 10 minutes or more, until the rice is fully cooked.
  10. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Leftover turkey soup with rice in a bowl

What spices to use in turkey soup?

If you are making turkey soup with leftover turkey meat from Thanksgiving and you are boiling the carcass and bones (and even leftover turkey skin) to make homemade turkey broth, this broth will be nicely flavored with the spices used in the cooked turkey.

This means you can use some more of the same spices to enhance the flavors or even add a few more different spices.

For roasted Thanksgiving turkey and turkey soup, I usually use:

  • fresh rosemary (optional)
  • thyme (this seasoning is a must for me, when cooking turkey) 
  • garlic
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnishing

How long can you keep leftover turkey soup in the fridge for?

Leftover turkey meat can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Once you make turkey soup from leftover holiday meat, you can keep it on the fridge in the pot or in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. You can reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. I don’t recommend reheating the whole pot, if you are not planning to consume it at once and serve to other people.

For just one or two bowls of soup, transfer to a small pot the desired amount and reheat on medium on the stove top or microwave in individual bowls for 1-2 minutes on high, depending on the microwave.

Can you freeze this leftover turkey soup?

Yes, this turkey soup can easily be frozen. Since it is made with rice instead of noodles, this makes it even easier to freeze, because noodles often tend to get mushy in soups, while rice keeps its shape better.

Freeze in freezer bags or air tight containers for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge and reheat on the stove top or in the microwave.

More Soup Recipes:

Easy Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
This Easy Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe is made with leftover cooked turkey meat (from Thanksgiving) and some simple pantry staples including rice. Quick and easy to make, one pot soup, packed with herbs. The best way to use up your leftover holiday meat. Could be made with either roasted or smoked turkey meat.
Leftover turkey soup with rice in a bowl
5 from 3 votes
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Ingredients

  • 3 cups turkey meat — left over from roasted or smoked turkey
  • Leftover bones and carcass — if you are planning to boil them for broth and use it in the soup
  • 1.5 l store bought or homemade turkey broth
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 large onion — diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt — or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup thin egg noodles or rice
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme — fresh or dried, salt, black pepper and rosemary (optional, use it with caution, because the flavor may get overpowering)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the homemade turkey broth by simmering the carcass and bones with 6 quarts of water and a head of onion for 2 hours. Strain the broth. Alternatively use store bought turkey or chicken broth.
  2. Cut the turkey meat into bite sized pieces.
  3. In a large pot, heat some vegetable oil or butter. Add the chopped onion, garlic, carrots and celery (optional)., Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the rinsed rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  5. Pour the broth on top, add salt, black pepper and thyme. Add rosemary (optional).
  6. Cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in the loft over cooked turkey meat.
  8. Cook for another 10 minutes or more, until the rice is fully cooked.
  9. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: turkey soup