Leftover Turkey Soup (Easy & Nourishing)


Thanksgiving leftovers turkey soup

Depending on your family traditions, the day after Thanksgiving usually takes two shapes: a full day of Black Friday shopping or (what we do) a day of ultra-relaxation and absolutely no cooking!

Thanksgiving leftovers are delicious the first time but less tempting for the third or fourth meal in a row. This homemade leftover turkey soup recipe is the perfect way to reinvent leftovers once they get boring.

Your body will thank you as well for a meal with bone broth and veggies after all the holiday overindulgence!

Turkey Soup From Scratch

The day after Thanksgiving I may have the energy to throw on a pot of homemade turkey stock, or I may not. Especially if you bought an organic pastured turkey, homemade bone broth (recipe here) may be worth the effort, but this recipe gives the option of using store-bought broth just in case!

From there, this recipe is a snap. Throw all the ingredients in a soup pot or Instant Pot, and let the goodness simmer.

What to Do With Leftover Turkey?

If you still have leftover turkey, put some in the freezer for an easy protein another night or try one of these yummy recipes:

  • Italian Turkey Burger Soup – No one will complain about another turkey dinner with this soup! Use your stand mixer grinder attachment, or just chop leftover turkey into very small pieces.
  • Paleo Turkey Tetrazzini – The classic dish reinvented with coconut milk in place of dairy and served on a bed of spaghetti squash noodles.
  • Vegetable Frittata with Turkey and Sweet Potatoes – Add diced turkey and sweet potatoes to this base frittata recipe. Throw in some leftover slivered brussels sprouts for good measure!

Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe




Yield 6-8 servings

An easy, light, and nourishing soup for an easy day-after-Thanksgiving meal


  • Leftover meat from turkey, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 tsp each of basil, thyme, and oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium potatoes (or sweet potatoes)
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 cup french lentils
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Saute the mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onion) in butter.
  2. Add everything else.
  3. Bring to a boil for a few minutes, then turn heat to low.
  4. Cover and simmer until veggies are tender, about an hour.


Note: This is a good amount of food, so you will need a larger pan. I used a 5-quart saute pan. 

Instant Pot Option:

Since the turkey is already cooked, this is an easy Instant Pot soup:

  1. Saute carrots, celery, and onion for 3-4 minutes in Instant Pot on Saute setting.
  2. Add other ingredients.
  3. Seal pot and set for 4 minutes on Manual high pressure.
  4. Let IP sit on natural release for 5 minutes, then manually release the rest of the pressure and serve soup!

Courses Lunch or Dinner

Cuisine American

What are your favorite ways to repurpose turkey and other holiday leftovers? I’d love to hear!

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