Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

This easy Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice is a simple, delicious dinner that takes advantage of your holiday extras! With carrots, celery, onion and herbs, each bite is full of healthy, flavorful ingredients. Don’t have turkey on hand? Use chicken instead! Serve a cozy bowl of turkey soup with a basket of sweet potato biscuits, a loaf of crusty Dutch oven bread, or a skillet full of cornbread.

Overhead shot of hands eating a bowl of turkey and rice soup

How to Make Turkey Soup | 1-Minute Video

Easy Turkey Soup

I originally created this leftover turkey soup recipe as a simple way to use up extra chicken or turkey from previous meals. While extra chicken (or store-bought rotisserie chicken) works great as a substitute in this soup, I wanted to share the recipe with you today because it’s perfectly well suited for a post-Thanksgiving meal. After a busy holiday full of rich food and hours spent in the kitchen, this turkey soup is a lighter option to take advantage of leftover meat while only requiring 15 minutes of prep!

Adding carrots celery and onion to a Dutch oven

The hearty and satisfying wild rice, broth, and vegetables make the easy turkey soup a filling option for cold nights. Serve a bowl with a simple green salad or some flaky buttermilk biscuits for a light lunch or comforting family dinner. You can even mix up the vegetables or rice to use the ingredients that your family prefers — white rice or brown rice will also work!

Adding wild rice to a Dutch oven

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a homemade leftover turkey soup recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Olive oil: to sauté the vegetables.
  • Onion, carrots, celery and garlic: savory vegetables the flavor the soup and add great nutrients.
  • Fresh thyme and fresh parsley: herbs that add a bright, fresh touch to the soup.
  • Bay leaf: makes the soup taste like it’s been simmering all day long!
  • Broth: use homemade turkey stock from your leftover turkey carcass, homemade chicken broth, or store-bought chicken broth — whatever you have available.
  • Wild rice blend: a classic companion to the turkey, wild rice gives the soup great flavor and texture. If you prefer, you can use white rice or brown rice — you will just need to adjust the simmering time to account for the different types of rice.
  • Water: extra liquid for cooking the rice.
  • Leftover turkey: use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, or substitute with leftover roasted chicken or even a store-bought rotisserie chicken. The more flavorful your meat, the more flavorful your soup!
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: the total amount of salt necessary will depend on your broth, as well as personal preference. Taste and season as you go!
Adding leftover diced turkey to a blue Dutch oven

How to Make Turkey Soup with Rice

Here’s the secret: it’s really easy! I find that I enjoy a meal if I don’t stress over it, so I love a quick supper that only requires a few minutes of hands on time — but still tastes like it simmered all day!

  1. Sauté the vegetables and garlic in olive oil.
  2. Add thyme, bay leaf, broth, wild rice and water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer, covered, for about 35 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
  4. Stir in the leftover turkey and simmer just until heated through.
  5. Remove the bay leaf.
  6. Add fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Ladle into bowls and serve!
Ladle serving leftover turkey soup with wild rice from a blue dutch oven

What to Serve with Leftover Turkey Soup

This old fashioned turkey soup is perfect alongside a loaf of crusty baguette or no-knead breadsoft dinner rolls or crescent rollscornbreadcorn muffinspumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins. Biscuits are also a great option! Try these classic Southern buttermilk biscuits, these easy drop biscuits, or these quick 3-ingredient biscuits. If you like some spicy “kick,” pair the soup with a loaf of Jalapeño Cheddar Bread or a skillet of Mexican cornbread.

Square shot of two bowls of turkey soup on a table

How to Store Turkey Wild Rice Soup

Allow leftover soup to cool to room temperature. Pack in airtight containers and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Reheat the soup over a low flame on the stovetop just until warmed through. Alternatively, you can warm individual bowls of soup in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Freeze the soup in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating and serving.

Two bowls of turkey and rice soup on a dinner table

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of leftover turkey, use leftover chicken or a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
  • Replace the wild rice with another type of rice — such as long grain white rice or brown rice. You will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly; white rice tends to cook faster than wild rice, while brown rice will require more time.
  • Use homemade turkey stock from a leftover turkey carcass, homemade chicken broth, or a high-quality store-bought chicken broth.
  • Instead of cutting up fresh vegetables, add frozen mixed vegetables (such as corn, peas, and carrots) towards the end of cooking. You can pick your family’s favorites!
  • Mix up the herbs and use your favorites. In addition to the parsley and thyme, good options include rosemary, sage, oregano and chives.
Side shot of two bowls of leftover turkey soup on a dinner table with bread in the background

Tips for the Best Turkey Soup Recipe

  • The more flavorful your meat, the more flavorful your soup! We love to use leftover smoked turkey breast in this recipe, but a maple-glazed roasted turkey breast or an apple cider brined whole roasted turkey are also great. As an alternative, try the meat from this rosemary oven roasted chicken.
  • Make the soup within 5-6 days of cooking a turkey. After that point, the leftover turkey meat should be frozen or discarded.
  • Taste and season as you go. The total amount of salt necessary will vary depending on the saltiness of your broth, and on personal preference. Add extra salt for more flavor, and feel free to increase the other herbs and seasonings as well. Extra sage, thyme, rosemary or parsley all add great flavor to the pot.
  • A fresh parsley garnish gives each bowl a pop of color and a bright touch.
Overhead shot of leftover turkey soup in white bowls on a table with bread

More Leftover Turkey Recipes to Try

Overhead shot of hands eating a bowl of turkey and rice soup

Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice

5 from 12 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Calories 174 kcal
This easy Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice is a simple, delicious dinner that takes advantage of your holiday extras! Don't have turkey on hand? Use chicken instead!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups homemade turkey stock, homemade chicken broth, or store-bought chicken broth
  • cup wild rice blend
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2-3 cups (about 8-11 ounces) cooked, shredded leftover turkey (or substitute with cooked, shredded chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the thyme, bay leaf, broth, rice and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer (covered) for about 35 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  • Stir in cooked turkey and simmer just until heated through. Remove bay leaf.
  • Add fresh parsley; taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Serve immediately, or allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Video

Notes

  • The more flavorful your meat, the more flavorful your soup! We love to use leftover smoked turkey breast in this recipe, but a maple-glazed roasted turkey breast or an apple cider brined whole roasted turkey are also great. As an alternative, try the meat from this rosemary oven roasted chicken.
  • Make the soup within 5-6 days of cooking a turkey. After that point, the leftover turkey meat should be frozen or discarded.
  • Taste and season as you go. The total amount of salt necessary will vary depending on the saltiness of your broth, and on personal preference. Add extra salt for more flavor, and feel free to increase the other herbs and seasonings as well. Extra sage, thyme, rosemary or parsley all add great flavor to the pot.
  • Instead of leftover turkey, use leftover chicken or a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
  • Replace the wild rice with another type of rice — such as long grain white rice or brown rice. You will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly; white rice tends to cook faster than wild rice, while brown rice will require more time.
  • Use homemade turkey stock from a leftover turkey carcass, homemade chicken broth, or a high-quality store-bought chicken broth.
  • Instead of cutting up fresh vegetables, add frozen mixed vegetables (such as corn, peas, and carrots) towards the end of cooking. You can pick your family’s favorites!
  • Mix up the herbs and use your favorites. In addition to the parsley and thyme, good options include rosemary, sage, oregano and chives.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 174kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 16gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 90mgPotassium: 378mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 5199IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: leftover turkey soup, turkey and rice soup, turkey soup recipe, Wild rice soup
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in November, 2016. It was updated in November, 2021.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this soup for dinner tonight using store bought broth as I do not take the time to make my own. I used your suggestion of incorporating frozen vegetables at the end of cooking and jazzed up the soup with a variety of spices, it was delicious. As you explained to another reviewer, it is similar to a chicken noodle type soup. It is left to the interpretation of the cook to add the spices they wish to achieve the desired taste they seek. My husband & I enjoyed it tremendously. Thank you for sharing

  2. Thank You
    I’m Happy to find this Site @ Christmas I will be 79 and as I get older I REALLY MISS my Mom’s older recipes which were all stored in her Head.. Even harder is some of the foods are getting hard to find.
    Thank You For Chance at for some great old Recipes
    Quick note… Oxtail Stew to my Grandson is CowTail Stew Nana. So We now have a new Name
    Nana Joan