Turkey Soup is an easy Thanksgiving leftovers recipe made with turkey, noodles, and veggies for a perfect laid back meal after a busy week.
Now that Thanksgiving is over and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the Roast Turkey you made, reinvent your leftovers with this savory, hearty Turkey Soup. Check out our Soup Recipes page for more easy, light meal inspirations.
Table of contents
About our Turkey Soup Recipe
Thanksgiving is wonderful for a lot of reasons, but one of the best reasons is the days of leftovers! To avoid turkey burnout, get some new recipes like this Turkey Soup that use up your leftovers and the spices you already have on hand from all your holiday cooking.
The great thing about this Homemade Turkey Soup recipe is that it’s fairly low key. If you don’t have chicken broth on hand, you can swap in vegetable or beef. Not feeling like using egg noodles? Use some rice or potatoes, brown rice, or quinoa any other starch you have on hand! You can play with the seasonings or throw it in a slow cooker, it truly is one of the most versatile soup recipes ever!
Turkey Soup Ingredients
- Turkey Carcass: Don’t throw out your leftover turkey carcass and instead use it to make broth for delicious savory soups! The bones hold a lot of flavor and the only work is simmering it in water or broth for at least 30 minutes, then straining the broth and it’s ready to go!
- Chicken Broth: The 8 cups of broth along with the turkey bones makes a semi-homemade broth that gives this soup its savory, cozy flavor. Chicken broth works great, but you can also use vegetable broth or other savory broth.
- Egg Noodles: Egg noodles are flat, wider pasta made of wheat flour and eggs. Because of the way they are made, they don’t break down or absorb water as quickly as regular pasta making them perfect for soup recipes.
- Vegetables: The vegetables in this Turkey Noodle Soup are a classic aromatic blend of yellow onion, 2 carrots and a couple celery stalks. You want to dice veggies into bite size pieces so they can be enjoyed with noodles and turkey. For extra flavor, you can saute the veggies in oil first in the stock pot, then transfer them to a bowl and make the recipe as usual.
- Seasonings: The seasoning in this soup recipe is a simple blend of bay leaf, salt, black pepper, rosemary, and thyme which all pair nicely with turkey and other poultry.
- Turkey Meat: You want to add the turkey meat in the end with the noodles so it cooks through but doesn’t overcook. You can use dark meat or light meat, or a blend of both, just make sure to discard the skin and any extra fat.
How to Make Turkey Soup
Time needed: 50 minutes.
- Prep the Broth
Place the turkey carcass in a large dutch oven or a soup pot with a heavy bottom. Fill the pot with broth, covering the turkey bones. Bring the broth to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
- Cook the Broth
Cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 30 minutes, adjust the heat as needed if it starts boiling again or stops simmering. Strain the bones out, leaving the broth and any meat pieces in the pot.
- Add the Soup Ingredients
Add the noodles, onion, celery carrots, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, and turkey meat to the broth. Stir well and season with salt and pepper.
- Finish and Serve
Bring the soup back to a simmer and cover again with the lid. Let simmer for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender. Serve warm with parsley and Dinner Rolls.
Broth-based soups like this leftover Turkey Noodle Soup are not only delicious and flavorful, but they are good for you too! Since there’s no cream and a good mix of veggies, it’s a healthy soup recipe perfect for the winter cold and flu season.
Cooking Turkey Soup Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Saute the Veggies
- Build some more flavor in your soup by sauteing the vegetables in 2 tablespoons of oil before you start the recipe. Saute them in your soup pot until they are softened and the onions are translucent, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl. Make the recipe as usual in the same pot.
- Use a Mesh Strainer
- The last thing you want is to crunch down on a turkey bone when you are enjoying this cozy soup. Use a mesh strainer, either with a handle to scoop or over a bowl to catch the broth. This will catch any stray bone fragments plus you can pick out any meat to add back into the soup.
What to Pair With Turkey Soup
Drinks: A light, crisp wine like Pinot Gris or robust spiced red like Syrah would both pair nicely with this healthy Turkey Noodle Soup. If you’re feeling under the weather, serve it with a Hot Toddy, a favorite warm drink during the colder months!
Salads and Sandwiches: Make the perfect lunch pairing by serving your Turkey Noodle Soup with a salad or sandwich, or make a trio with all three. A Winter Pear Salad and Grilled Cheese Sandwich are our top easy picks!
How to Store Turkey Soup
Store: You’ll need to store the soup after no more than 2 hours at room temperature. Let the soup cool completely before storing in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Reheat: It’s best to reheat leftover soup on the stove top. Slowly bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally then simmer for 5 minutes to heat it through.
Freeze: You can freeze Turkey Soup for up to 6 months in a sealed freezer safe container or bag. Cool the soup completely then transfer to a container. If using a bag, let it freeze flat on a baking tray until it’s solid so it takes up less room in your freezer.
Ideas to Serve Turkey Soup
Bread Bowls: If you already know you are going to make Turkey Soup with your Thanksgiving leftovers, grab some bread bowls from the bakery when you do your final Turkey day shopping. Carve out the center of the bowl, saving the inside as extra bread to dip in the delicious soup.
Garnish: A simple sprinkle of parsley is all this delicious soup needs, but you can add other garnishes as well. Some Cranberry Relish would add a tart bright flavor or some sour cream would add a cool tang.
Alternative Turkey Soup Cooking Techniques
Slow Cooker Turkey Soup
Make this post-Thanksgiving soup recipe even easier by throwing all the ingredients into your slow cooker on low first thing Friday morning before you head out for post Turkey Day activities. You’ll come home to a healthy crockpot recipe. The soup takes 6-8 hours on low heat and 3-4 hours on high heat to really come together and develop flavor. Stir the noodles in during the last 30 minutes of cooking and serve when they are soft.
Instant Pot Turkey Soup
If you forgot to throw your soup in the slow cooker, and you need to get dinner on the table fast, try this in the Instant Pot. Place all your ingredients into the Instant Pot and use the manual setting to set the cook time for 20 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes then quick release and serve.
FAQ for Turkey Soup
For a thicker soup you need to add a starch, like flour or cornstarch. Start with about a tablespoon mixed with water and add bit at a time as needed until you get the right consistency. Don’t add cornstarch or flour directly to your soup or it will clump up.
While a lot of flavor in this soup is built from the turkey bones, you can also make it with fresh turkey. You will need to cook the turkey meat before adding it. It’s also best to use a good quality stock concentrate like Better than Bouillon or bone broth to make up for the missing flavor.
- 1 turkey carcass , from 14-pound turkey
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 12 ounces medium egg noodles
- 1 yellow onion , chopped
- 4 stalks celery , thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots , thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 2 cups turkey meat , chopped
- Add the turkey carcass and broth to a large dutch oven.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bones from the pot, add in the egg noodles, onions, celery, carrots, bay leaf, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and chopped turkey meat.
- Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 12 minutes until noodles are cooked.
Turkey Soup Variations
Rice: Instead of using noodles in this recipe, you can make a Turkey and Rice Soup. Use white rice, brown rice or wild rice. You will need to adjust the cooking time and keep in mind it will be a much thicker soup because rice absorbs more liquid.
Low Carb: Make this soup Paleo or Keto by omitting the noodles and adding extra veggies like shredded cabbage, green beens, leeks, or bok choy to give it more substance without overwhelming the flavor.
Seasoning: If you want to add some extra flavor to the seasoning blend, you can add herbs and spices like ground sage. marjoram, allspice or nutmeg.
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