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Easy Turkey Soup is made from a leftover turkey carcass and is a great way to use up all that extra Thanksgiving turkey! Add noodles or rice before serving!

turkey soup with rice, celery and carrots and in a red dutch oven

This homemade turkey soup recipe is one of my favorite ways to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or Christmas. You can make your stock from the turkey carcass, and then make this soup from the stock.

Every year, we make homemade turkey stock by boiling the turkey carcass after Thanksgiving. This might sound complicated, but it’s actually very easy. And Leftover Turkey Soup is absolutely delicious!

And if you don’t have the leftover turkey carcass, that’s fine. Just follow the directions for making the soup and use turkey broth or chicken broth.

I updated this recipe after I got requests for a turkey soup recipe with rice or noodles. You can use either one in turkey soup — just add them at the end of cooking or serve noodles on the side.

How to Make Leftover Turkey Soup from a Carcass

Homemade stock isn’t complicated–you just remove as much meat as possible from the turkey and place the carcass in a large stock pot filled with lightly salted water.

After the water boils, let the turkey simmer for about a half an hour, and then skim off as much fat as possible. I refrigerate the stock, but you can freeze it if you won’t be using it right away. Once the stock is done, you can easily make your own turkey soup.

Since I got an electric pressure cooker, I make Instant Pot turkey stock. It’s not as messy as boiling the turkey carcass on the stove, and you can let it cook long enough to make awesome jellied bone broth!

How to Make Soup from Turkey Stock

Add a little oil or butter to a large Dutch oven or pot. Then, cook the onions, celery, carrots and garlic until slightly soft.

You’ll want to stir this frequently so that the onions and garlic don’t get too brown. You can add more oil or butter if needed.

saute onions, celery and carrots in dutch oven

Now, add your homemade turkey broth. If you have jellied bone broth, you might have to add a little water if you like a thinner broth. I usually do, but it’s up to you.

If you’re using a carton of chicken stock or turkey broth, pour the entire carton in the pot. Season the broth, and let it come to a boil.

If you want plain turkey soup or you’re adding cooked rice or noodles, turn it down to a simmer. You can add your cooked turkey at this point.

add homemade turkey stock to dutch oven

My family is divided when it comes to eating soup. Some like mostly broth, and some like it loaded with meat, vegetables and pasta or rice.

To make it easier on everyone, sometimes, I’ll be nice and serve cooked pasta on the side. Sometimes, I make turkey soup with rice or noodles.

add leftover cooked turkey to turkey soup in dutch oven

How to Make Turkey Soup with Rice

To make turkey soup with rice, just add a quarter cup of uncooked, rinsed rice after the broth comes to a boil. I use jasmine rice, but you can use your favorite here.

Allow the soup to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is done. Then, add the turkey.

turkey and rice soup in a red dutch oven

When to Add Noodles

If you want to add uncooked noodles or pasta directly to the soup, you can add it when your broth boils. Then cook until done, and stir in the cooked turkey last.


Can you Freeze Turkey Noodle Soup

You can freeze leftover turkey noodle soup, but the noodles tend to get mushy. If you’re making a big batch of turkey soup, I recommend serving cooked noodles on the side.

close up of turkey soup with rice in a dutch oven

More Leftover Turkey Recipes

Easy Turkey Soup Recipe

5 from 3 votes

Easy Turkey Soup

By: Dee
Easy Turkey Soup is made from a leftover turkey carcass and is a great way to use up all that extra Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey! Add rice or noodles before serving! !A simple, easy way to make turkey soup!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6



Turkey Stock

  • 1 large turkey carcass with most of the meat removed
  • enough water to cover carcass
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 celery stalks and leaves

Turkey Soup

  • 4 cups turkey stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 2 celery stalks sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • leaves from celery stalk optional
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning optional
  • ¼ cup jasmine rice optional
  • 3 cups cooked turkey chopped
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Turkey Stock

  • Remove as much meat from turkey carcass as possible, and refrigerate for later.
  • Place carcass in large stock pot and add celery
  • Fill pot with enough water to cover the carcass, add salt and pepper, cover and boil for about 30 minutes
  • Turn stove off, allow to cool slightly, remove carcass and discard
  • Skim fast from turkey stock, and use stock in soup, or split into smaller portions and refrigerate or freeze

Turkey Soup

  • In a large pot, saute onions, garlic, carrots and celery in butter or oil until soft.
    Remove extra fat from turkey stock, then, add the turkey stock, turkey and a few celery leaves for extra flavor.
    Add the remaining salt and pepper, cover and cook until hot. 
    Add more seasoning, if desired
  • Add the turkey stock to pot, and season with sea salt, pepper and herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and stir in cooked turkey
  • Optional, add 1/4 cup uncooked rice when soup boils, then reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked. Then, add turkey
  • Optional, add uncooked noodles when soup boils, and cook until pasta is done. Then, add turkey. Or, serve noodles on side, and add to cooked soup.


Total time may vary if making stock and soup separately.
Add more water to soup to thin out if desired, especially if using jellied bone broth.
You may want to taste soup before adding any seasoning, and add salt and pepper, to taste.


Calories: 167kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 1267mg, Potassium: 354mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 3592IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main, Soup
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!


Post was first published in December 2013 and updated in December 2019

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Recipe Rating


  1. James says:

    I had made the broth right after Thnaksgiving and froze it and now finally got to make this with the last of the leftovers! Yummy. Can’t wait to do it again with the Christmas bird!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      Thank you so much, James! Glad you liked the soup!

  2. Joanne says:

    If in making the turkey soup I want rice instead of noodles what point do I add the rice or could you use pot in pot to cook the rice.

    1. Dee says:

      You can add rice near the end of cooking and simmer it as long as it takes for the rice to cook.

  3. Jocelyne Comeau says:

    The reason why I am asking is I made a turkey and it produce 8 cups of jelly broth I remove the fat from the top and I would love to make your turkey soup in my instant pot but with out the noodles – if you were to do this soup in the instant pot how much time

    Thank you

  4. Jocelyne Comeau says:

    Thank you for your recipe – how many cups of broth do you put in your turkey soup – I will give it a try and cook the noodles on the side.

  5. Stacey Wright says:

    This looks like a very simple recipe! I don’t have the carcass anymore, but I have a ton of turkey. Could I use store turkey broth and cook that with the shredded turkey?

    1. Dee says:

      Yes. You can definitely do that if you don’t have the carcass. 🙂