Leftover turkey soup is a Thanksgiving tradition! Customize this recipe with your favorite ingredients and make a big batch to freeze for an easy weeknight dinner.
If you have turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving, there’s no need to choose between leftover turkey casserole and turkey soup—you can make both! You only need 3 cups of meat for this recipe, plus the turkey carcass for making the stock. Aside from Black Friday sales, I think making this leftover turkey soup recipe is my favorite post-Thanksgiving tradition!
Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe
You could consider this a turkey noodle soup recipe—it’s just like chicken noodle soup, but made with turkey instead! It also uses a lot of ingredients you probably have on hand from Thanksgiving. If you made my crockpot turkey recipe or if you made your stuffing from scratch, you probably have leftover onions, carrots, and celery. I bet you already have poultry seasoning on hand from the turkey, so pick up a bag of noodles when you buy all your Thanksgiving ingredients and you’re good to go!
If you happen to have a lot of leftover turkey, you can double or even triple this recipe. It freezes beautifully and my kids love having it for dinner and weekend lunches all winter long. Despite what they say about chicken soup, I think leftover turkey soup is the best remedy for a cold, so I recommend heating up a bowlful whenever you’re feeling under the weather!
- Olive oil
- Onion – White or yellow will work.
- Bay leaf
- Poultry seasoning
- Turkey – Cut your leftover turkey into bite-sized pieces that fit onto a spoon!
- Turkey stock – You can use homemade or store-bought.
- Egg noodles
- Fresh parsley
- Egg noodles – You can use another type of noodle if you prefer, or leave the noodles out for a lower carb count.
- Parsley – Minced fresh thyme, sage, or rosemary are delicious in this soup, too.
How to Make Leftover Turkey Soup
1. Cook the Vegetables
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot; add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the carrots and celery, then cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
2. Season and Add Turkey
Add the seasonings and bay leaf and cook for a minute, then add the turkey and stock. Cover the pot and bring to a boil; boil for 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Add the Noodles
Increase the heat to return the soup to a boil. Stir in the noodles and cook according to the package instructions.
Remove from heat and stir in the parsley. Serve immediately and refrigerate or freeze any leftovers.
Hint: If you plan on freezing your leftover turkey soup, cook until the noodles are al dente. This will keep them from getting mushy when you reheat the soup.
Variations – More Leftover Turkey Soup Ideas!
- Turkey Rice Soup – Substitute the noodles for cooked rice.
- Ground Turkey Soup – Omit the leftover turkey and cook ground turkey with the onion until it’s browned.
- Turkey Wild Rice Soup – Substitute the noodles for cooked wild rice.
- Turkey Vegetable Soup – Add green beans, corn, diced potatoes, or any other vegetables when you add the turkey and stock.
- Turkey Soup in a Crock Pot – Sauté the onion, celery, and carrot in a skillet with the olive oil, then add all of the ingredients to your crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours.
What can I add to bland turkey soup?
Salt helps! When you’re using homemade stock, it’s not seasoned like the kind you buy at the store, so you need to add salt to taste—and it can sometimes seem like a lot of salt that you’re adding, but it’s just because you’re starting with no salt at all! Fresh herbs add flavor too, and sometimes a squeeze of lemon juice will perk up the taste.
How many days after cooking turkey can you make soup?
Turkey will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days after it’s been cooked, so you should make your leftover turkey soup within this timeframe.
How long will turkey soup last in the refrigerator?
Turkey soup will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Pop it in the freezer if you want to keep it longer than that.
This leftover turkey soup recipe might develop a layer of fat on the top when refrigerated. You can skim it off, but it’s full of collagen and minerals and once you warm up the soup, it will mix back in with the rest of the stock, so I recommend leaving it!
More Easy Leftover Turkey Recipes
- Easy Turkey Tetrazzini
- Turkey Casserole
- Homemade Chicken Pot Pie (Substitute Turkey)
- Slow Cooker Turkey and Stuffing Casserole
- Crockpot Turkey Breast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 large carrots peeled and diced
- 3 stalks celery cleaned and diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups turkey diced
- 8 cups turkey stock homemade or store bought
- 1 bag 12 oz egg noodles
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped, optional
- Cut onions, carrots and celery.
- Add oil to dutch oven or large soup pan and heat.
- Add onions and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add carrots and celery and continue cooking 2-3 minutes.
- Add seasonings and bay leaf and cook about 1 minute.
- Stir in the turkey and stock.
- Cover and bring to boil, boil 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Increase heat and bring back to boil.
- Add noodles and cook according to package directions.
- While noodles are cooking, chop parsley, if adding.
- Serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in refrigerator.