Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup is a simple down-home type of comfort food that we love to enjoy year round, and it certainly is a wonderful use of your holiday oven roasted turkey (carcass and all)! 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!
This Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup is one of those recipes that I think everyone has their own version and method to, but I figured it was way overdue to be added here. I've included all of my tips and tricks for making the most flavorful turkey soup every time!
I like to start out with making my turkey stock, since it is the best use of my turkey carcass. This goes alot 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 stock pot as well.
If you follow our instructions for oven roasted turkey, you would have used chicken broth or stock in the roasting pan. This combined with the drippings was used for our classic turkey gravy. If after making your gravy, you have any drippings remaining, save them for making this broth based soup!
Can I Substitute Turkey Broth for Chicken Broth?
Yes, most definitely! We will include instructions below for making the turkey broth using your leftover turkey on the bone.
However, 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.
What is the Difference Between Stock and Broth?
Broth and stock are similar and can be used in recipes interchangeably.
Stock ( or bone broth ) is made using the bones and cartilage and cooking them to yield not only a richer flavor than broth, but also more collagen from long term cooking. Broth is made by cooking down more actual meat that has been removed from the bone, and is thinner than stock ( or bone broth ).
Stock and bone broth are the same, both have bones and cartilage cooked long term to yield a rich broth.
*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.
Can I Cook Pasta In My Soup?
Yes, you can definitely cook your pasta in your soup. However, if you plan on storing your soup you may want to consider one of these options. Cook your pasta separately, then drain and rinse in cold water to arrest the cooking process and helps to prevent your cooked pasta from soaking up the soup broth.
Then, option (a) add the cooked pasta to your soup directly, or option (b) toss the drained and rinsed pasta in olive oil and store in it's own air tight container in the refrigerator. With option (b) you simply add a portion of the noodles to your soup when reheating. Option (b) is preferred for storage.
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 ).
We recommend the pasta be cooked, rinsed, tossed in olive oil, and portioned directly into servings of the leftover turkey noodle soup ( see above ).
Can I Freeze Leftover Turkey Soup?
You most certainly can freeze your leftover turkey noodle soup! Although I definitely recommend that the noodles be withheld if you are going to be freezing your soup. You can freeze your soup in freezer bags, airtight containers, and individual serving size containers.
How Long Can I Store My Soup In The Freezer?
Your cooked turkey soup will last 4 - 6 months (for best quality) if stored correctly. It can last much longer, cooked turkey soup that is stored properly at 0ºF will last like, forever.
But seriously, I can't go 4 - 6 months without cooking up more turkey 🙂
If you’re looking for more leftover recipe ideas to use up your oven roasted turkey, check out my other tasty turkey leftover meals – flavorful leftover turkey curry, hearty leftover turkey tetrazzini and creamy leftover turkey a la king!
Leftover Turkey Meals
- Leftover Turkey Curry
- Leftover Turkey a la King
- Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini
- Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup (this page)
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
- 1 leftover turkey carcass (12-15 lb turkey)
- 2 turkey wings (with or without meat)
- 2 turkey legs (with or without meat)
- 1 medium white onion (rough chopped)
- 6 cloves garlic (whole, peeled)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or rosemary, or sage)
- 10-12 c water (more or less - enough to cover your carcass)
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1 Tbsp 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 Tbsp 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)
- 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.
- Add enough water to cover the carcass, about 10-12 cups of 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.
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
- Return your stockpot to the stove top, add olive oil and butter and bring them to medium high temperature.
- Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, bouillon cube and herbs (thyme, parsley, bay leaf) and saute for 2-3 minutes or until onion is translucent.
- 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.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf.
- Add pasta and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.
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!