This recipe for Turkey Vegetable Soup is the perfect way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey. This updated version of the classic Turkey Soup is loaded with vegetables, noodles, and plenty of flavor thanks to fresh thyme and parmesan!
Creating This Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe
Thanksgiving comes to a close and the inevitable happens. Turkey leftovers. Side dish leftovers. And not so much dessert leftovers.
In our house, the turkey leftovers usually outlast all the other types of leftovers and we are left wondering — what are we going to do with all this turkey?
In the end, we always make do and the overwhelming amount of leftover turkey isn’t really such a big deal after all. The easiest solution is to make a big pot of homemade turkey vegetable soup.
I’m sharing an updated version of the classic turkey noodle soup for this year’s Thanksgiving leftovers.
With this turkey soup recipe, think lots of vegetables — onion, carrot, celery, red bell peppers, and green beans — fresh herbs, curly rotini noodles, Parmesan, and of course, turkey.
read more: What to Do with Leftover Turkey
Ingredients for Turkey Vegetable Soup
Making turkey soup with leftover turkey is a quick and easy process, and you can throw lots of leftover veggies into the pot if needed.
Here’s what goes into this homemade turkey noodle soup:
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Red bell peppers
- Fire roasted tomatoes
- Turkey stock
- Leftover turkey
- Fresh thyme and parsley
- Bay leaf
- Haricot vert (or green beans)
- Cooked pasta
- Parmesan cheese
For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.
How to Make Turkey Vegetable Soup
Leftover turkey soup is incredibly easy to make. Here’s a brief overview of the cooking process:
- Add the oil to a large dutch oven or stock pot. Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes.
- Add the carrot, celery and garlic and continue to saute until the onion and celery are tender and the mixture is fragrant.
- Add the bell pepper and saute for 2 more minutes.
- Next, add the diced tomatoes and their juices, turkey stock, shredded turkey, thyme, and bay leaf.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the green beans and simmer until they reach your desired tenderness.
- Stir in the cooked pasta and parsley. Remove the thyme springs and bay leaf.
- Serve topped with a sprinkling of fresh parmesan cheese.
The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the free printable card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.
How to Store Leftover Turkey Soup
This homemade turkey vegetable soup recipe serves 8 to 10 generously. Leftovers will keep up to five days in the fridge.
I don’t recommend freezing this soup since it contains pasta (which can become grainy once frozen).
Can This Recipe Be Made Gluten-Free?
Yes, very easily! Simply use gluten-free pasta in place of regular rotini.
Tips for the Best Turkey Soup
- When you take the time to make a batch of homemade turkey stock with your leftover turkey carcass, this recipe for turkey soup is really over the top good.
- I stirred some cooked pasta into the turkey vegetable soup to bulk it up even more, but you may omit the pasta altogether if desired.
- For even more flavor, I recommend making a smoked turkey (if you have a pellet grill). Leftover smoked turkey makes for the most incredible smoked turkey soup!
More Leftover Turkey Recipes:
Turkey is an easy substitute for chicken in many recipes. Here are a few of my favorite picks for using up leftover turkey after Thanksgiving.
We love these Leftover Turkey Sandwiches that are piled high with turkey, cranberry sauce, and cheese!
Sweet and Spicy Turkey Curry Soup is the perfect way to use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
Green Chile Turkey Tetrazzini takes this traditional Thanksgiving turkey leftover recipe to the next level. This turkey casserole is loaded with flavor thanks to the addition of green chiles, poblano peppers, and spicy pepper jack cheese.
Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust is comfort food and it’s finest! Creamy chicken (or turkey) filling is topped with tender buttermilk biscuits.
These Turkey Sandwiches with Jarlsberg are another family favorite! Use your favorite spread and pile yours high with veggies.
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- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups sliced carrot rounds
- 2 ribs of celery
- 4 - 5 cloves minced garlic
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 2 cans organic fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 8 cups Homemade Turkey Stock
- 1 pound (16 ounces) leftover shredded turkey, white and/or dark meat
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 - 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 ounces haricot verts or green beans, cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
- 3 cups cooked rotini pasta
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper, to taste
- fresh parmesan cheese for serving
- Add the oil to a large dutch oven or stock pot. Heat over medium heat until the oil is shimmering.
- Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add the carrot, celery and garlic and continue to saute until the onion and celery are tender and the mixture is fragrant. Add the bell pepper and saute for 2 more minutes.
- Next, add the diced tomatoes and their juices, turkey stock, shredded turkey, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low or low and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes.
- Add the green beans and simmer until they reach your desired tenderness, about 5 minutes longer.
- Stir in the cooked pasta and parsley. Remove the thyme springs and bay leaf. Simmer just until the pasta is heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with a sprinkling of fresh parmesan cheese.
TIPS FOR FREEZING LEFTOVER TURKEY:
If you are unable to consume your leftover turkey within 3-4 days, you will need to freeze it for a later use so it does not go to waste.
Package it within a timely matter
You have approximately two hours to serve and refrigerate or freeze the leftover turkey after your Thanksgiving meal before multiplying bacteria becomes a concern.
Package the turkey in proportions that make sense for recipes your family eats.
For example, if you want to make this turkey soup recipe throughout the winter, you’ll want to have a few packages of 16 ounces of shredded turkey.
I like quart sized freezer quality Ziploc bags for packaging my leftover turkey.
Remove all of the air from your bags – that’s what causes freezer burn and no one wants that.
Label the packages with the date.
Include the amount of meat contained in the bag for easy recipe reference.
Frozen leftover turkey will store for 2 – 4 months in the freezer.
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Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 413Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 139mgSodium 230mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 4gSugar 4gProtein 41g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.