The Best Leftover Turkey Soup

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Leftover Turkey Soup in 2 bowls.

Just finished making the most scrumptious turkey for the holidays? Stuffed, like the turkey you devoured the day before? Tired of making turkey sandwiches, day after day? Don’t waste that carcass. I will show you how to make a delicious, light, and healthy turkey broth and soup that will become a Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition in your household, following the main feast.


Use the Same Dutch Oven, Drippings and All

If you cooked a Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey the day before, use the same Dutch oven or roasting pot you used to cook the turkey, which contains excess fat and turkey juices. This step is not required, but it provides an additional layer of flavor.

Essential Herbs and Spices

  • Bay Leaves
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Flathead Parsley
Ingredients for Leftover Turkey Soup.

Vegetables and Herbs that May be Added to Broth

Developing the turkey broth is an opportunity to empty the contents of your fridge. If you have leftover fresh herbs that you won’t use, toss them in. If you have vegetables that may go unconsumed, toss them in. Some excellent additions are as follows:

  • Fennel
  • Red pepper
  • Green pepper
  • Squash
  • Green onions
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Chives
  • Tarragon
  • Sage
Leftover Turkey Soup in Bowl.

Vegetables or Grains to Add to the Soup

I am offering a rather simplistic version of a turkey soup with a fully developed turkey broth. You may want to add additional elements to the soup. Whatever your heart desires, feel free to toss it in. Some noteworthy suggestions are as follows:

  • Canned corn
  • Cooked rice
  • Cooked noodles
  • Diced potatoes
  • Diced butternut squash cubes
Taking a spoonful of Leftover Turkey Soup in 2 bowls.
Best Leftover Turkey Soup
Left with loads of turkey after the holidays? Save that carcass for this delicious leftover turkey soup recipe, that will become your family’s newest tradition.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 118 kcal


Turkey Broth

  • 1 turkey carcass including all remaining bits such as gizzards and neck to provide additional flavor.
  • 3 stalks celery cut into 3 segments
  • 3 carrots cut into 3 segments
  • 1 onion skin on and cut in half
  • 4 Campari tomatoes cut in half (optional)
  • 1/2 cup flathead parsley roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 20 grinds ground pepper around the pot
  • water see instructions

Turkey Soup

  • 2 carrots coined
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups cooked turkey meat chopped


1. Cut the Vegetables and Transfer the Carcass to the Pot

  • Cut carrots, celery, onion, and tomatoes. Chop flathead parsley. Set aside.
  • Transfer the carcass from the refrigerator to a Dutch oven or a large roasting pot. Add vegetables to the pot.

2. Fill the Pot with Water and Bring to Boil

  • Fill the pot with water, nearly covering the entire carcass.
  • Place the Dutch oven or large roasting pot on the stovetop at high heat. Bring to boil.

3. Sprinkle in Spices and Herbs

  • Add fresh flathead parsley (and other desired herbs), bay leaves, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

4. Cover the Pot and Lower the Heat

  • Once the water begins to boil, cover the pot with its lid and lower the heat to low.

5. Let it Simmer Away…

  • Allow it to cook for 3 hours before removing the lid. After 3 hours, remove the lid to stir. Cover the pot with its lid for an additional hour. Remove lid for the last hour to reduce the liquid.

6. Strain the Liquid

  • After 4.5 to 5 hours, the broth should be fully developed. Use a slotted spoon or a large sieve to remove the solid contents, leaving only the broth. You will be left with 7 to 8 cups of broth. You may use the entire amount of broth to make a soup. Alternatively, you may freeze a portion of the broth for later.

7. Add Carrots and Other Desired Vegetables

  • Chop the leftover turkey, carrots (and other vegetables) for the soup. Set aside.
  • Add carrots (and other vegetables). Raise the heat on the stovetop to medium-high. Allow vegetables to cook for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are easy to fork through.

8. Add Frozen Peas and Chopped Turkey

  • Add frozen peas and chopped turkey to the soup.
  • Cook for an additional 2 minutes.

9. Let's Plate

  • Spoon soup into large bowls and garnish with fresh herbs including flathead parsley or fresh dill.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Serving: 6gCalories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 10gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 871mgPotassium: 551mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 9569IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 2mg
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About Savory Suitcase
Hello, I’m Kristina, Founder and Head Blogger of Savory Suitcase… the one-stop-shop for the international foodie. 

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4 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Wow, the flavor of this broth is amazing and the soup was so comforting after my big Easter dinner! Thank you🙂.

  2. 5 stars
    This turkey soup is one of the best and the broth is so complex, unlike others I’ve made, thanks for all the tips! Will definitely be making this soup again and again😁.

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Hello, I’m Kristina, Founder and Head Blogger of Savory Suitcase… the one-stop-shop for the international foodie.


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