Thanksgiving is just around the corner and with it the celebration of family and feasting. Once the dishes are washed and the remnants of the celebration are put away, what about the leftovers? Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup is just the answer that will give you turkey new life while warming up loved ones in a warm and cozy hug.
There is nothing like warming up with a bowl of comforting soup in the cooler months, such as French Onion Soup with Cabbage. This soup takes the leftovers you probably already have from your festive holiday celebration and reinvents them into a hearty and nourishing soup the entire family will love.
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup starts with the star of Thanksgiving dinner, the leftover carcass. Using that as the base to create a rich and layered broth not only makes this dish budget friendly, but also makes it easy to shop for. You can even use your leftover vegetables such as celery and carrots that might have been part of your crudité plate.
- Turkey Carcass – Used both to create the rich and deep broth, and also for the turkey in this soup, the turkey carcass pulls double duty.
- Water – Helps draw out all of the flavors from the carcass and also used to stretch out the flavors in the soup.
- Butter – Adds richness to the soup while also helping to sauté the veggies.
- Onion – Adds a layer of aromatic savory flavor.
- Celery – Celery adds a note of bright, fresh flavor.
- Baby Bella Mushrooms – Earthy and meaty, they add instant umami to every bite.
- Green Beans – Not just for your casserole! Green beans add texture and freshness to this soup.
- Noodles – Use your favorite variety. Curly wide and broad egg noodles are the classic choice for this dish.
- Turkey Broth – Using the homemade turkey broth from the carcass doubles down on the flavors. It also packs the rich nutrients of collagen, protein, and vitamins and allows you total control of the salt.
- Salt and Pepper – Always season to taste.
- Turmeric – Adds a gorgeous golden color to your soup while giving it an earthy flavor. Also, a powerhouse of nutrients perfect for this time of year.
- Lemon – Wakes up all of the flavors and adds instant brightness. Don’t forget extra for serving!
- Parsley – Used as garnish, adds a pop of grassy freshness and color.
- Bouquet Garni – Use your favorite combination of fresh herbs, including those you might have left over from Thanksgiving. Parsley, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves are a classic combination. Simply tie them together with kitchen twine to make them easy to remove before serving.
How to Make Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
This comforting soup comes together in two simple steps. The first part of creating your turkey broth can be done ahead of time. Then simply store it until you’re ready to make your soup.
Time needed: 8 hours and 45 minutes
Give your holiday turkey new life with this easy and comforting hearty soup.
- Turkey Stock
Add your turkey carcass to a large stock pot and cover with water. Add your favorite aromatics such as onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and/or bay leaves. Season to taste and allow it to simmer on low for 6-8 hours. There’s no need to peel the veggies and you can leave them in large chunks. They’re just adding depth of flavor and will be discarded.
Remove the carcass from the broth and shred all of the remaining turkey. Set it aside to add to the soup later. Strain your broth and discard all of the vegetables.
Melt your butter in a large stock pot. Add your onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and green beans. Sauté them until the onions are translucent and the veggies are tender. Season with salt, pepper, and turmeric. Add the bouquet garni.
Add the shredded turkey, noodles, broth, and water. Stir to combine. Cover with a lid and allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes or until the noodles are tender.
- Finishing Touch
Remove the bouquet garni from the soup and discard. Squeeze in fresh lemon. To serve, top with fresh parsley and serve with additional lemon.
The vegetables in this recipe such as the green beans can be swapped out for any vegetables you might have left over from Thanksgiving. Feel free to wilt in kale or spinach at the end or add veggies like zucchini. Softer vegetables cook faster so add them towards the end.
This same recipe can be made with your leftover roast chicken. Simply swap out the turkey carcass for a chicken carcass in this soup and follow with the remaining steps.
There is something magical about soup that makes it even better the next day. Simply allow it to cool and then keep it stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for 3-4 days. In addition, this also freezes well. You can freeze the strained turkey stock for later use, or the soup itself. If freezing the soup cook the noodles separately. Allow it to defrost overnight in the refrigerator and then cook a new batch of noodles when ready to serve.
Top Tip for Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
The turkey stock for this turkey noodle soup can be made ahead of time, and it can be made in either the crockpot or the Instapot. Simply add your ingredients, set it, and forget it!
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
- 1 large stockpot
- 1 strainer or colander
- kitchen twine
- 1 turkey carcass
Turkey Noodle Soup
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 cup Baby Bella mushrooms, diced
- 1 cup green beans, chopped
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- bouquet garni
- 1 cup turkey, shredded
- 4 cups turkey broth
- 2 cups water
- juice of a lemon, plus extra lemon for serving
- fresh parsley for serving
- Add your turkey carcass to a large stockpot and cover with water. Season and add your favorite aromatics.
- Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 6-8 hours. This can also be made in a crockpot or Instapot.
- Remove the turkey carcass and shred the meat. Set aside until ready to make your soup.
- Strain the broth and discard the veggies.
Turkey Noodle Soup
- Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat.
- Add the onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and green beans. Sauté the veggies until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are tender.
- Season with salt, pepper, and turmeric. Add your bouquet garni.
- Add your shredded turkey, noodles, water, and broth. Stir to combine.
- Cover the soup and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes or until the noodles are tender.
- Remove the bouquet garni and discard. Squeeze in the fresh lemon juice.
- To serve, top with chopped fresh parsley and serve with extra lemon. Enjoy!