20 Turkey Soup Recipes That Are Perfect for Using Up Thanksgiving Leftovers
Trying to use up turkey leftovers, but can’t stand to eat another sad turkey sandwich? Look no further than our favorite turkey soup recipes. From our Cream of Turkey & Wild Rice Soup to our Leftover Turkey Gumbo, here are our favorite turkey soup recipes that are easy to make with leftover turkey. For recipes that call for cooking turkey, just swap in your leftovers and you’re good to go!
Slow-Cooker Turkey & Kale Minestrone Soup
Instead of turkey sausage, you can use leftover Thanksgiving turkey to bulk up this Italian-inspired favorite. The turkey provides protein while baby kale and kidney beans add fiber to make this a well-rounded meal. Adjust the heat level in the dish by choosing either hot or mild Italian sausage. You can add red pepper, too, to make it extra hot. Serve this slow-cooker minestrone with crusty bread, if desired.
Cream of Turkey & Wild Rice Soup
This recipe is a healthier twist on a classic creamy turkey and wild rice soup that hails from Minnesota. It packs in veggies and uses sour cream for its velvety finish. To speed up the cooking process, instead of regular long-grain wild rice, this recipe calls for quick-cooking or instant wild rice. Serve with a crisp romaine salad and whole-grain bread.
Turkey, Pasta & Vegetable Soup
This simple, clean turkey soup is full of vegetables and shredded turkey meat—if you really want to stretch your leftovers, you can use Thanksgiving turkey bones to make turkey broth. If you don't have fusilli pasta on hand, feel free to use egg noodles. Don't forget to save your Parmesan rinds! Adding one to a soup like this adds a rich umami flavor.
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, a bay leaf 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
Try this easy, healthy turkey recipe to help you use your holiday extras. Wild rice adds a nutty flavor—plus extra protein and fiber—to this hearty soup. Instead of heavy cream, this recipe calls for milk and flour to give it its creamy texture. Try this easy, healthy turkey recipe to help you use your holiday extras. Thanksgiving turkey leftovers have never been so delicious.
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. If you really want to make the most of your leftover turkey, instead of using chicken stock you can use the turkey carcass to make turkey stock. After all the ingredients are added to the pot, we like to bring it to a boil and the reduce the heat 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 turkey 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. This recipe uses herbs from our Herb-Roasted Turkey, but you can stir in a dollop of pesto to get that herby-fresh flavor.
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
This turkey chili turns up the heat with spicy green chilis and chili powder that are tempered by the creamy cannellini beans for a large pot of soup that will last you a few days. If it's still too spicy, garnish with sour cream and shredded jack cheese.
Turkey Chipotle Chili
The flavorful chili has plenty of beans, vegetables and lean turkey breast to make it a healthful meal. To make it fast, this recipe calls for 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
If you want a really easy meal to use up your Thanksgiving turkey, it doesn't get much easier than this Quick Chili Bowl. It relies on canned tomatoes and kidney beans, an onion, pepper and spices—just throw it all in a big pot and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Not only is this chili 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 might be the easiest path to a healthy, satisfying dinner that uses up your leftover turkey. It requires minimal chopping and just a few ingredients make this a flavorful soup good enough for dinner and even better for lunch.
Creamy Turkey Soup
Loaded with lean turkey, potatoes, and mushrooms, this turkey soup is robust enough that it can be served as a one-pot meal. But it's the creaminess that sets this soup apart from the others—we use a combination of fat-free evaporated milk and cornstarch to give it the right consistency.
Turkey and Herb Dumpling Soup
This super simple soup uses turkey or chicken broth and carrots and celery as its base, but the homemade dumplings give it a hardy heft that makes it filling for a chilly fall day. Serve with crusty French bread and a spinach salad to make it a full meal.
Turkey and Rice Soup
If you want a hearty soup in a hurry, this is the recipe you're looking for. Leftover Thanksgiving turkey, plenty of veggies and fresh rosemary sprigs make this delicious, classic soup in only 30 minutes.