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Best Leftover Turkey Soup

This leftover turkey soup is the best way to make the most of Thanksgiving leftovers. Made with a rich broth, tender turkey, fresh vegetables and noodles, it’s comforting and super easy to make!

Other ways we enjoy leftover turkey recipes, are making this turkey pot pie, turkey tetrazzini and turkey cranberry sliders!

Turkey soup in a white bowl.
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Easy Leftover Turkey Soup

If you need a recipe to use up all that leftover roasted turkey or smoked turkey after Thanksgiving, definitely give this easy turkey soup a try!

If you love chicken noodle soup, you will love this leftover turkey soup, too. We love to add the noodles, but you can easily omit them or use rice, similar to this chicken and rice soup!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy to make. Everything cooks in just one pot, making clean up super easy and quick. Done is less than 1 hour.
  • Best use of leftovers. This turkey soup recipe is great to use leftover turkey meat from Thanksgiving. Use leftover vegetables from dishes such as crockpot stuffing, too.
  • Comfort food. Like chicken pot pie soup, the savory flavor and hearty texture make this leftover turkey soup the ultimate comfort meal!

Recipe Ingredients

Made with a simple mix of veggies, noodles, seasonings and leftover turkey, this soup recipe is both hearty and comforting!

Turkey soup ingredients on a marble counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Turkey: Use leftover turkey that’s been cooked and shredded. Using both white and dark meat adds the best flavor.
  • Veggies: Chopped celery, onions and carrots (mirepoix) are sauteed in butter to add the perfect aroma to the turkey soup.
  • Noodles: Uncooked elbow noodles are my favorite to use, but egg noodles are great, too.
  • Broth: You can use chicken broth or make your own homemade turkey stock which will make it even more rich and flavorful.
  • Herbs and spices: A simple mix of fresh thyme or dried thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper is all that’s needed to flavor this leftover turkey soup.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Veggies: Spinach, kale, peas, green beans, potatoes and corn.
  • Protein: No leftover Thanksgiving turkey, no worries! Try shredded chicken or oven roasted chicken.
  • Seasonings: Other spices that would taste delicious are parsley, sage, marjoram, rosemary, a bay leaf and poultry seasoning.
  • Grains: Instead of noodles, add cooked white rice, brown rice or a wild rice blend.
  • Creamy: Make a roux to add to this easy turkey soup recipe or just whisk some flour with some half and half and stir it in near the end. You could also add in 1/2 cup heavy cream.

How to Make Turkey Soup

This recipe for leftover turkey soup takes just 15 minutes to prep and is ready to devour in just about 45 minutes.

Showing how to make turkey soup in a 4 step collage.
  1. Cook the veggies. In a large pot over medium-heat, add in carrots, onion, celery and butter. Cook until onions are soft, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add in liquids. Next add chicken broth (or turkey stock) and water to the pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Mix in noodles and meat. Then stir in the noodles, cooked turkey, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Cook for additional 10 to 12 minutes (until noodles are cooked through).
  4. Serve. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with a leftover homemade dinner roll from your Thanksgiving meal! Add a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten flavors if desired.

5 star review

This recipe was the inspiration needed to figure out a way to make a veggie-filled turkey soup for my family. Thank you for this recipe and the chance to change leftovers into something comforting on a cold day. :-)

– Dina
Turkey soup in a white pot.

Recipe FAQs

How long after cooking turkey can you make soup?

Cooked turkey will keep in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days, so I’d recommend making this soup about 1-2 days after your Thanksgiving meal. That way if you have any leftover soup, the turkey will still be fresh for a few more days.

What to serve with turkey soup?

We love serving ours with a piece of crusty French bread or sweet cornbread. Leftover reheated Lion House rolls from Thanksgiving also taste delicious on the side.

Besides a turkey sandwich and soups, what are some other leftover turkey recipes?

Any casserole that calls for chicken you can substitute leftover turkey! It also tastes delicious in a breakfast casserole or substitute the protein in this ham and cheese quiche.

How long does it lasts in the fridge?

Store soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days. Reheat on the stove oven medium-heat, until the soup is warm throughout. You may need to add in a little more broth or stock if the soup has thickened.

Can it be frozen?

If you’re planning to freeze the turkey soup recipe, I’d recommend leaving out the noodles when cooking. They tend to get mushy when frozen and reheated. Cool soup completely then store in an airtight container in the freeze for a few months.

Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then warm on stove. Add freshly cooked noodles to soup before serving.

Ladle full of leftover turkey soup.

More ways to repurpose your Thanksgiving leftovers include cranberry meatballs with cranberry sauce or transform roasted butternut squash to a fall salad or butternut squash soup!

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Turkey soup in a white bowl.

Turkey Soup Recipe

4.97 from 76 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Leftover turkey soup made with a rich broth, tender chunks of turkey, fresh vegetables and noodles is the best way to use Thanksgiving leftovers!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6



  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1-2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 43.5 ounces chicken broth (or turkey stock)
  • 1 cup elbow noodles , uncooked
  • 2 ½ cups turkey , cooked and shredded
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme , or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • ¼ – ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt , plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper , plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder


  • In a large pot over medium-heat, melt butter. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until onions are softened. Add the water and broth to the pot. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes. 
  • Add the noodles, turkey, thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Return a boil, and cook for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked. Ladle into bowls and serve warm.


Variations: You can also use leftover oven roasted chicken for this recipe too. Tastes just as yummy!
Storage: This soup will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days. 
Freeze: Make the recipe without the noodles and store in an airtight container in the freezer. When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator over night. Cook the noodles in a separate pot while you warm the soup. Once noodles are cooked, add to soup and enjoy. 


Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 959mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 7300IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American

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