Leftover Turkey Soup

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings

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Easy Leftover Turkey Soup is warm and comforting. With tender turkey, loads of vegetables, and a great mix of savory seasonings, it’s the perfect way to feed the whole family during the busy holidays!

a grey bowl full of leftover turkey soup with spoon.

This homemade Turkey Soup recipe is the perfect answer to what feels like a mountain of leftover turkey meat after Thanksgiving!

It’s quick, easy, and perfect for the chilly time of year during the holidays.

This turkey soup recipe includes a variety of vegetables, making it as healthy as it is delicious.

It’s a broth-based soup, thickened with a roux for a filling and satisfying meal.

So if you roasted up a Dry Brine Turkey or took the easy way and cooked up this Crockpot Turkey, this is one of the best ways to use up those leftovers!

​If you need some other ways of using up leftover turkey, try my Creamy Turkey Shepherd’s PieOne Pot Turkey Tetrazzini RecipeTurkey Pot Pie, or this Baked Tortellini with Turkey and Vegetables!

Ingredients Needed:

ingredients for leftover turkey soup in glass bowls.
  • Oil: I like using canola oil, but olive oil or another kind of neutral-flavored oil will also work to sauté the vegetables.
  • Vegetables: I use a classic mirepoix of carrots, celery, and onion for a great flavor base.
  • Seasonings: salt, dried parsley, freshly minced garlic, dried thyme, paprika, and black pepper give an aromatic flavor to the soup.
  • Turkey Stock: make my homemade turkey stock for the best flavor (this is a great way to use that carcass!). You can use chicken stock, chicken broth, or vegetable broth instead if you prefer.
  • Potatoes: Yukon gold potatoes are my favorite for this soup, but Russet potatoes and Red potatoes would work well too.
  • Turkey: any kind of cooked turkey will work well, but this is the perfect recipe for using up all your leftover turkey from your Thanksgiving dinner! If you don’t have leftover turkey, you can easily use leftover Shredded Chicken instead.
  • Salted Butter: melted salted butter will be the base of your roux for a sauce to thicken the soup. Salted butter will enhance the flavor of the soup better than unsalted butter.
  • Flour: use all-purpose flour to make a roux with melted butter for thickening the soup.
  • Milk: any kind of milk will work well here to make your roux into a thick sauce. You can also use cream for a richer flavor.
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How to Make Delicious Turkey Soup

This recipe is easy and so hearty! Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.

  1. Sauté the vegetables: Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery just until beginning to soften.
  2. Add seasonings: Stir in the garlic, salt, parsley, thyme, pepper, and paprika and cook.
  1. Add stock: Add the stock and deglaze the pot.
  2. Stir in potatoes: Add the potatoes and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  1. Make thickened milk: Make the roux, add the milk and thicken in the microwave (it’s easy to do!)
  2. Add turkey and thicken the soup: When the potatoes are tender, stir in the cooked turkey and the thickened milk. Serve.

Turkey Soup FAQs

Can I make Turkey Soup in the Instant Pot?

Yes! Making soup in the instant pot is a great way to speed it up for a busy weeknight dinner!
1. Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot and stir (if you prefer, you can also saute the vegetables briefly before adding the liquids).
2. Put the lid on, select pressure cook or manual, high, and set the cooking time for 3 minutes.
3. It will take about 15 minutes to come under pressure and begin counting down.
4. Once the cooking time is over, let the pressure release naturally for 7-10 minutes, then gradually open the valve to release the remaining pressure, and serve.

Can I make this Turkey Soup in the Slow Cooker?

Slow-cooking this soup works well too; simply throw it all in and cook on low!
1. Place everything into a 4-6 quart slow cooker.
2. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours, or until the carrots are tender.

How do I store Turkey Soup?

Store this dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Allow it to cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.

Can I freeze Turkey Soup?

Although you can freeze this soup safely, I don’t normally recommend it because the potatoes can take on a funny texture after being frozen. If you leave out the potatoes, or swap them for rice, you can easily freeze it for later.

steel ladle scooping leftover turkey soup out of pot.

Turkey Vegetable Soup Variations

  • Mix up the seasonings. Feel free to adjust the spices and seasonings according to your liking. Add a bay leaf or some fresh herbs to infuse even more flavor into the dish.
  • Use rice instead of potatoes. Swap the potatoes for ½ -¾ cup white rice or a hearty wild rice blend to make a turkey rice soup. If you use instant rice, you only need to add it to the pot for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. If you’re using long-grain rice, you will likely want to add it at the beginning of the cooking time, and you may need to add additional liquid.
wooden ladle stirring leftover turkey soup in pot.

Serving Suggestions

This leftover Turkey Soup recipe is filling all on its own, but you can add some sides to make it a fuller meal if you like!

We love having homemade bread with all our meals. Try a buttery Brioche BunHomemade Crescent RollsNo Knead Artisan Bread, or these Homemade Breadsticks.

This meal would also work well with Air Fryer BroccoliGreen Beans with Bacon, or some Roasted Green Beans on the side for extra nutrition!

More Easy Soup Recipes to Try

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Leftover Turkey Soup

5 from 8 votes
Easy Leftover Turkey Soup is warm and comforting. With tender turkey, loads of vegetables, and a great mix of savory seasonings, it's the perfect way to feed the whole family during the busy holidays!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course, Soup
Servings 4 servings
Calories 452cal


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large carrots (peeled and diced)
  • 2 ribs celery (finely chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (finely diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 3 cups homemade turkey stock (you can substitute with chicken broth as well)
  • 1 ½ lbs Yukon gold potatoes (cut into 3/4" pieces)
  • 2 cups leftover cooked turkey (chopped)

Thickened Milk

  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk (any kind)


  • Add oil to a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion and cook on medium heat, stirring often, until onions are translucent and vegetables are slightly softened.
  • Stir in garlic, salt, parsley, thyme, pepper and paprika and cook 1 minute.
  • Add stock and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to ensure any browned bits are removed.
  • Stir in potatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make your roux and thicken your milk. In a large glass bowl or measuring cup, melt the butter in the microwave on high, 30-45 seconds at a time.
  • Stir in the flour until completely absorbed.
  • Whisk in the milk until smooth, using a scraper to get into the edges of the cup and ensure all of the flour has been whisked into the milk.
  • Microwave on high in 45 second intervals, whisking each time, until thickened. 4 times at 45 seconds was perfect for me. Be sure to keep an eye on it in the microwave as it will bubble up — you need to use a bowl or cup with lots of room left at the top.
  • When potatoes are tender, stir in the cooked turkey and the thickened milk. Heat through, adjust seasonings to taste and serve.


Prep ahead:
This is a great soup to make ahead as it just gets better with time and the potatoes don’t get mushy. You can make ahead and refrigerate up to 4 days, but I do not recommend freezing as the dairy and the potatoes can have a funny texture after freezing.
Ingredients and Substitutions:
Vegetables: carrots, celery and onion form the flavor base for many soup recipes and I don’t recommend leaving them out. You can, however, add lots of vegetables in! Mushrooms, kale, spinach, peppers, green beans, frozen peas or corn — whatever you need to use up.
Homemade Turkey Stock (recipe here): this will have the best flavor and is perfect after a holiday meal. If you do not have homemade stock, you can substitute with homemade chicken stock or chicken broth.
Make it gluten free: using a roux to thicken milk to thicken soup is one of my favorite ways, but you can also mix 2-3 tablespoons of corn starch with milk or cream and stir it into the soup at the end to thicken, making it gluten-free.
Potatoes v. Noodles: you can also make this a turkey noodle soup if you prefer, leaving out the potatoes but adding in 1-1.5 cups of uncooked pasta where you would add the potatoes.
  • Store: Store this dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Allow it to cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.
  • Freeze: This recipe freezes well, so your turkey leftovers can keep on giving all through the holidays! The potatoes may have a slightly different texture after thawing, but the soup will still taste delicious. Store leftover soup once it has completely cooled to room temperature in a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to a month.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 513grams | Calories: 452cal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 798mg | Potassium: 1137mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5737IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 3mg
Keywords creamy turkey soup

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Brenda says

    I made it and it is delicious! It’s comfort food for sure. The recipe is easy to follow and the results are excellent.

  2. Joyce W says

    Wow, this soup is so delicious! I wanted to use turkey that I had leftover from Thanksgiving and had put in the freezer. I was particularly pleased with the explanation for making the roux to thicken the soup. It was spot on!!! The seasonings also taste just right. Thank you, Ashley, I will be making this soup again!

  3. Nancy Paine says

    This soup is creamy, comforting, satisfying, and delicious! I will make this over and over again, with chicken, all year long, even though I first made it with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. I did make stock with the turkey bones and such, but that is a messy job, and I still needed to bump up the stock flavor with Better Than Bouillon, so I won’t go through the turkey mess next year. I love the method of thickening Ashley uses, it is brilliant! I have never seen that before, it is a game changer. I don’t keep milk around, so I mixed 1 cup of half and half with 1/2 cup of water. You can change it up however you wish, adding and subtracting veggies based on what’s in your frig. It would be a quick, and easy dinner using a rotisserie chicken. I also added some poultry seasoning. Everyone loved it, it’s a keeper!

5 from 8 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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