15 Turkey Soup Recipes That Are Perfect for Using Up Thanksgiving Leftovers
Cream of Turkey & Wild Rice Soup
Got leftover cooked chicken or turkey? Cook up a pot of soup! This recipe is a healthier twist on a classic creamy turkey and wild rice soup that hails from Minnesota. Serve with a crisp romaine salad and whole-grain bread.
Leftover Turkey Stew
This hearty and healthy turkey stew recipe is just about the best use of Thanksgiving leftovers we can think of. And we don't just mean the turkey. The stew is packed with leftover roasted vegetables—use whatever vegetables you have on hand, such as Brussels sprouts, parsnips, sweet potatoes and green beans. And leftover gravy is used to add depth of flavor and body. Possibly the best part of this stew recipe? It comes together really quickly—because don't we all need a 20-minute dinner after the craziness of Thanksgiving? Add some leftover bread or rolls and dinner is done. This recipe is equally delicious with leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken, and we've included instructions for making a quick gravy in case you don't have leftovers, so you can serve this Thanksgiving-in-a-pot year-round.
Leftover Turkey Gumbo
This dish puts other healthy leftover turkey recipes to shame. Chef Hugh Acheson puts his unique spin on gumbo by mixing untraditional spices like allspice and coriander with must-have thyme and filé powder. Also called gumbo filé, filé powder is the finely ground leaves of the sassafras tree; look for it in well-stocked supermarkets or online. Serve the gumbo over rice and don't forget to pass the hot sauce.
Turkey & Wild Rice Soup with Vegetables
Thanksgiving turkey leftovers have never been so delicious. Wild rice adds a nutty flavor—plus extra protein and fiber—to this creamy, hearty soup. Try this easy, healthy turkey recipe to help you use your holiday extras.
White Turkey Chili
This healthy white turkey chili recipe is gorgeous, with flecks of green from zucchini, oregano and green chiles. We use one pound of ground turkey, but it’d be just as delicious with meat picked off the bone. After all the ingredients are added to the pot, we like to slowly simmer our chili for close to an hour to develop the best flavor, but if you're in a hurry, reduce the liquid by half and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
Turkey & Squash Soup
This Southwestern-inspired turkey-and-squash soup gets a little kick from crushed red pepper and some zing from fresh lime juice. You can use leftover turkey or chicken (instead of the cutlets); dice it and add a few minutes before serving. Serve with cornbread.
Turkey & Brown Rice Chili
This hearty turkey chili recipe takes just 35 minutes to prep. While it's cooking, you'll have time to throw together a green salad and warm up some crusty bread to complete the meal. This recipe calls for ground turkey, but chopped-up meat would be equally delicious.
Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash
The sweetness of the butternut squash tames the kick from cayenne in this healthy turkey chili, making this easy Crockpot chili just right for kids and adults alike, whether for weeknight dinners or tailgating parties. For those who prefer a spicier chili, just pass hot sauce at the table. This chili also freezes well, so save leftovers for hearty and healthy dinners and lunches for weeks to come. If you’re using up leftover Thanksgiving turkey, skip sauteing and add bite-size turkey pieces into your slow cooker a few minutes before you’re ready to serve.
Turkey & Bean Soup
Be creative with your holiday leftovers—there's more to after-Thanksgiving eating than cold turkey sandwiches. This simple turkey soup is loaded with cannellini beans, which add protein and fiber without adding calories.
Mexican-Style Turkey Soup
Red sweet pepper, winter squash and cilantro brighten up this spicy soup, making this Mexican-inspired one-dish meal the perfect family dinner. Accompany with a fresh fruit salad and warm crusty bread.
Spicy White Chili
Top this spicy chili with hot sauce if you love the heat.
Turkey Chipotle Chili
The flavorful chili has plenty of vegetables and lean turkey breast, and uses canned black beans so it's ready in less than an hour. Serve topped with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream for a rich taste.
Quick Chili Bowl
This quick-and-easy chili recipe is not only delicious, but it also packs in 25 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber per serving.
Yucatan-Style Turkey & Vegetable Soup
Leftover turkey is not just for sandwiches! This hearty soup recipe is full of shredded turkey and vegetables and the tasty toppings—cilantro, avocado and queso fresco—are what may just have you coming back for that second dish. Queso fresco is a mild Mexican cheese with a crumbly texture, similar to that of feta or farmer's cheese. Look for it at Hispanic food markets or larger grocery stores.
Turkey Tortellini Soup
This diabetes-friendly, slow-cooker soup is easy to make, contains minimal ingredients and is packed with flavor.