Leftover Turkey Soup Recipes

Turkey dumpling soup with carrots.
A great way to use leftover turkey it to make soup. There are many different soup recipes that are great for this purpose. Start with a tasty stock and create. Whether it is turkey noodle, turkey gumbo, or your own personal favorite, holiday turkey soup is a tradition in itself. This page contains recipes for leftover turkey soup.

9 Recipes

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 216 Posts
November 27, 2011
Every year I read articles in the newspaper and magazines, and see segments on TV about what to do with leftover turkey. I am always amazed to see that a lot of this advice is for people who are sick of those leftovers. Sick of them? I guess thrifty folks are more apt to be thankful instead. I always wonder why people don't just freeze some if they have so much they're tired of it.

In fact, I propose we make even more leftovers - by using the carcass itself. I guess a lot of people would think it sounds kind of nasty, but those turkey bones will make you some really good soup. It shouldn't be surprising - meat on the bone has more flavor, and making stock from beef bones is a standard. My mother made great stock from the turkey carcass every year.


First came the stock, rich and delicious, and then came the soup for dinner, made from the stock with the addition of more veggies and meat and some noodles or rice. She would also put stock in the freezer, to make a couple of batches of chicken soup for the cold days of January and February.


  • I large turkey carcass, after you've cut the meat off.
  • Onions, root end cut off but skin left on, cut in quarters if large, halves if medium or small
  • Celery, don't bother to chop it up, just break it in half
  • Carrots, cut the ends off, but don't peel. Chop them only if you need to to fit them into the pot
  • Water to cover
  • Optional:
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Any other savory vegetables you have on hand. Don't include potatoes, and probably not garlic. You are making stock, not soup. So the veggies should add good flavor that won't interfere with the flavor of any soup you might make with it later.
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  • Herbs of choice, optional.


Break the turkey carcass apart so that it will fit in whatever kettle you are using to cook your broth. Put it in the pot and cover it with water. Throw in your onions and celery (the onion skins help make the broth a nice color). Add some herbs if you like, but remember that you want your stock to be nice and versatile for using later. I add peppercorns and bay leaves, nothing else.

Put the lid on the pot and bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Now simmer it for at least a few hours. You want to get every last bit of flavor out of the bones and any of the turkey and stuffing that was left on them. The veggies, especially the carrots, will get very soft, and may even break up. These aren't for dining on, just for giving the stock flavor and nutrition. You will be taking them out of the stock.


The last step is to get every bone and all the bay leaves and soggy veggies out. You can do this by putting everything into cheesecloth and tying it off before you add the water. I think this uses to much cheesecloth, but that's just me. I let the stock cool, line a big colander with a double layer of cheesecloth, set the colander into a large bowl, and I separate it out that way, letting the colander drain thoroughly. The bones finally get to go into the trash. I pick through what is left to get any good bits of turkey out to put into soup that night. There is usually a surprising amount of good turkey left.

Divide the stock up into parts, enough to make soup for dinner, if you are doing that, and the rest to freeze. 1 and 2 cup containers are good. To use the stock, make your soup as you usually would, but use your own, homemade stock instead of water, cans, or bouillon cubes. It'll be a lot tastier and healthier than anything out of a can or a cube.


Source: My Mom, Vicy Mundorff

By Free2B from North Royalton, OH

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
January 24, 2007

I freeze leftover chopped turkey at Thanksgiving and make this soup a couple of months later. Chicken would be just as good. My kids love this simple soup.



In a large soup pot or dutch oven, saute garlic, onions, celery and carrots in oil until onions are translucent. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add turkey and rice and heat through before serving, 15 minutes or so.

Jess from Portland, OR

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November 25, 2004

Start that Turkey Soup after dinner. Strip all of the good meat off the bones and put the meat away in the refrigerator. Take all the leftover bones and skin and bits of meat that are too hard to pull off put them in a large pot with COLD water.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
November 28, 2016

Use every bit of your turkey with this flexible recipe that uses the carcass and the neck. You can also add any leftover gravy and vegetables. This Thanksgiving I had no gravy or leftover vegetables since my gang ate it all up!

Leftover Turkey Soup

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 5,887 Posts
November 6, 2009

Might be a little early for this one, but Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, along with it, lots of left-overs!

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June 2, 2005

This delicious soup is a perfect way to warm up on a chilly day. It is also a good way to use any leftover turkey after the holidays.

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November 26, 2004

Cook onion, carrot and celery in hot oil in large saucepan 3 to 5 minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken broth, water and dressing mix. Bring to boil. Add turkey and pasta; cover.

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December 5, 2004

The holiday bird always left me with plenty of leftover broth. I use the dixie drink cups, little kid size, to save it in smaller batches. I fill the cups, cover and sit them on a cookie sheet in the freezer till frozen. Then I rip away the cup and put them in a big ziplock bag. I now have half cup cones to add to potatoes or noodles, etc.

By Susan

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November 8, 2011

A great way to save money is after having a delicious turkey dinner to put the turkey bones in the stock pot and make soup. This is a page about using your turkey bones for soup.

Carving a Turkey

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