Leftover turkey noodle soup is a simple down-home type of comfort food you can make with leftover turkey from the holidays! I've even featured how to turn your leftover turkey carcass into a rich and flavorful homemade turkey stock! It's the perfect cold weather soup, but we like to enjoy it year round!
Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe
Leftover turkey noodle soup is a classic after-holidays recipe (though I tend to enjoy it throughout the year)! It's the best way to use up any leftover turkey meat or pan drippings!
This savory broth-based soup is absolutely perfect for cold weather. I've included all of my tips and tricks below for making the most flavorful turkey soup every time!
- Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe
- 🥘 Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup Ingredients
- 🍴 Equipment Needed To Make Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
- 🔪 How To Make Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
- 💭 Tips & Notes
- 🥡 Storing
- ❓ Can I Use Turkey Drippings For Soup?
- ❓ Can I Substitute Turkey Broth for Chicken Broth?
- ❓ How Do I Add Pasta To My Soup?
- 🦃 More Leftover Turkey Recipes
- 📖 Recipe Card
- 💬 Reviews
🥘 Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup Ingredients
This recipe includes a made-from-scratch turkey stock that is similar to broth, but arguably better. Take a look at my page on the difference between stock vs broth for more info!
- Turkey Carcass - 1 leftover turkey carcass (12-15 pound turkey, including bones from wings legs, etc.)
- White Onion - 1 medium onion roughly chopped.
- Garlic - 6 cloves of whole, peeled garlic.
- Bay Leaves - 2 bay leaves.
- Fresh Thyme - 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or rosemary, or sage).
- Water - 10 to 12 cups of water more or less. Enough to cover your carcass.
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
- Butter - 1 tablespoon of salted butter.
- White Onion - 1 medium diced onion.
- Garlic - 2 cloves, or 2 teaspoons, of finely minced garlic.
- Carrots - 3 carrots washed and chopped. No need to peel them unless you prefer to.
- Celery - 4 ribs of celery, washed and chopped.
- Knorr Chicken Bouillon Cube - 1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon chicken base.
- Fresh Parsley - ¼ cup of finely chopped parsley.
- Fresh Thyme - 1 tablespoon of finely chopped thyme.
- Bay Leaf - 1 bay leaf (remove before serving).
- Turkey Stock - 10 cups of turkey stock (or chicken broth/stock).
- Leftover Turkey Meat - 4 cups of turkey meat, chopped or shredded.
- Salt & Pepper - To taste (we prefer course ground pepper in this soup).
- Egg Noodles - 5 cups of uncooked egg noodles.
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
🍴 Equipment Needed To Make Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
You are going to need a few tools for your homemade turkey stock and flavorful turkey noodle soup. First and foremost, you will need a large stockpot with a lid!
Next, gather up your measuring spoons and measuring cups to prepare your ingredients before you get started! You may use tongs to remove large bones, but you will also need a strainer/colander to remove any remaining bits of meat, onion, garlic, and herbs from your stock.
🔪 How To Make Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
If you plan for leftovers ahead of time, you can reserve the pan drippings from your roasted turkey for this delicious soup. This recipe makes a whopping 10 servings, so if you have family staying after the holidays this should be plenty to feed everyone!
How To Make Turkey Stock
- Add the ingredients. First, in a large stockpot, place the leftover turkey carcass, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Then, add 10-12 cups of water (enough to cover the carcass).
- Simmer. Cover and bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 90 minutes to two hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.
- Strain. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the bones, then strain the broth to remove remaining meat, onion, garlic, and herbs.
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
- Add oil and butter. Return your stockpot to the stove top, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter butter and heat them over medium-high heat.
- Saute. Add 1 diced onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 3 chopped carrots, 3 chopped ribs of celery, 1 bouillon cube and herbs (¼ cup thyme, 1 tablespoon parsley, and 1 bay leaf) and saute for 2-3 minutes or until onion is translucent.
- Simmer. Pour 10-12 cups of turkey stock and 4 cups of chopped leftover turkey meat into the stockpot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10-12 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Taste and season. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove the bay leaf.
- Add pasta. Add 5 cups of uncooked egg noodles and simmer for 5 more minutes. Once the noodles are ready, remove your soup from heat and serve.
💭 Tips & Notes
- Want to make your turkey soup before or after Thanksgiving and Christmas? Try using the turkey legs that can be bought separately and use them for your turkey stock and soup instead!
- Making turkey stock goes a lot easier if you are working with a turkey that is 15 pounds or less, however, larger turkeys can be broken down to fit into your stockpot as well.
- Stocks are best made with bones that have been stripped of the meat completely, it allows all of the wonderful nutrients from bone, marrow, and cartilage to cook best and enhance your stock.
- You can cook pasta in your soup, but if you plan on storing it you may want to cook the pasta separately. You can add the cooked pasta to your soup directly, or toss the drained and rinsed pasta in olive oil and refrigerate it in its own air-tight container to add to individual portions.
Once cooled, you can refrigerate your leftover turkey noodle soup in an airtight container. Enjoy or freeze within 4 days.
You can freeze leftover soup in freezer bags, airtight containers, or individual serving-size containers for 4-6 months. (I recommend withholding the noodles, though.) *It can last much longer, cooked turkey soup that is stored properly at 0ºF will last forever.
Reheating Turkey Noodle Soup
Reheat your soup on the stovetop over medium heat until steaming hot. No need to thaw it out before reheating.
❓ Can I Use Turkey Drippings For Soup?
Yes! The drippings are full of concentrated turkey flavor. It will add a whole new depth of flavor to soups and stews!
❓ Can I Substitute Turkey Broth for Chicken Broth?
Yes, most definitely! If you only have leftover turkey meat that you would like to use for a hearty bowl of turkey noodle soup, then definitely use what you have on hand. Chicken broth will work wonderfully.
❓ How Do I Add Pasta To My Soup?
If you are going to add your pasta directly to a soup, make sure that you add it at the very end of the cooking process. Typically in the last five minutes, or whatever your pasta packaging instructions say (minus 2 minutes).
I recommend that your pasta be cooked, rinsed, tossed in olive oil, and portioned directly into servings of the leftover turkey noodle soup (*see note).
🦃 More Leftover Turkey Recipes
- Leftover Turkey Curry
- Turkey & Rice Casserole
- Leftover Turkey a la King
- Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini
- Turkey Stroganoff
- Leftover Turkey Enchiladas
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📖 Recipe Card
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1 tablespoon butter (salted)
- 1 medium white onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 3 medium carrots (washed, chopped)
- 4 ribs celery (washed, chopped)
- 1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube
- ¼ c fresh parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (finely chopped)
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 c turkey stock (or chicken broth/stock)
- 4 c leftover turkey meat (chopped or shredded)
- salt & pepper (to taste, we prefer course ground pepper in this soup)
- 5 c egg noodles (uncooked)
Make The Turkey Stock
- In a large stockpot, place the leftover turkey carcass (broken down to fit, if using a large (15 lb+) turkey), wings, legs, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme.1 leftover turkey carcass, 1 medium white onion, 6 cloves garlic, 2 bay leaves, 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- Add enough water to cover the carcass, about 10-12 cups of water.10-12 c water
- Cover and bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 90 minutes to two hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the bones, then strain the broth to remove remaining meat, onion, garlic, and herbs.
Make The Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
- Return your stockpot to the stove top, add olive oil and butter and bring them to medium high temperature.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter
- Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, bouillon cube and herbs (thyme, parsley, bay leaf) and saute for 2-3 minutes or until onion is translucent.1 medium white onion, 2 cloves garlic, 3 medium carrots, 4 ribs celery, 1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube, ¼ c fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf
- Add turkey stock and chopped leftover turkey meat to the stockpot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 10-12 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.10 c turkey stock, 4 c leftover turkey meat
- Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf.salt & pepper
- Add pasta and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.5 c egg noodles
Cooking the pasta separately is my preferred method when making large batches of soup, as anyone who cooks with egg noodles will know that they expand exponentially once left in your soup. Plus, overcooking your pasta makes it slimy and soggy. We recommend the pasta be cooked, rinsed, tossed in olive oil, and portioned directly into servings of the leftover turkey noodle soup.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!