If you like to re-purpose your leftovers after Thanksgiving, this Leftover Turkey Soup is for you. It’s jam-packed with veggies, naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, and makes a lighter, yet filling, option after a hefty day or two of holiday eating.
How to Make Leftover Turkey Soup
Making leftover turkey soup is easy! You start with the basics for any good soup, like onion, carrot, and celery.
Then you’ll add in some seasonings, and even more veggies if you have them. I used cauliflower here to follow food combining principles (to help streamline your digestion), but you can use extra potatoes, green beans, or anything else you have on hand.
Simmer them all together with your leftover Thanksgiving turkey until the broth is flavorful and the vegetables are fork-tender.
(You could use leftover rotisserie chicken instead of the turkey, too.)
Make this Turkey Soup Creamy
I like to add a little dairy-free creaminess to this soup by stirring in some coconut milk, but that’s totally optional. It’s delicious even without it!
This soup reminds me of Thanksgiving stuffing in a bowl, only lighter. If you happen to have any of my Wild Rice & Mushroom Stuffing leftover, try stirring in a cup or two of that into this soup, too! My husband particularly likes the wild rice addition.
Leftover Turkey Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion , chopped
- 4 carrots , chopped
- 5 celery stalks , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 3/4 teaspoon ground sage
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 head cauliflower , cut into florets
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups leftover turkey , shredded or cut into small pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat, then saute the onion, carrots, and celery until they soften, about 8 minutes.
- Add in the garlic, sage, thyme, and red pepper flakes and stir for one more minute, until fragrant.
- Add in the cauliflower, water, shredded turkey, and salt. Stir, then bring the liquid to a boil. Once it's boiling, cover the pot and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until the cauliflower is fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid and stir in the coconut milk. Taste the soup and adjust any seasoning as needed. (This is the time to stir in leftover Wild Rice Stuffing if you have any-- it will heat up quickly in the hot soup!) Serve warm.
Per Serving: Calories: 191, Fat: 10g, Carbohydrates: 10g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 15g
- If you’d rather use vegetable or chicken broth instead of the water called for in this recipe, reduce the salt by at least half! It will be way too salty otherwise.
- You can use potatoes instead of cauliflower for a heartier soup, or add in anything else you like. (My husband particularly liked the dried cranberries in it from the addition of our stuffing!)
- I used canned coconut milk in this recipe, but you can use only the coconut cream (the thick part of the coconut milk in a can) or boxed coconut milk from the refrigerated section, if you’d like. Or skip it, and use a little more water, for a broth based soup.
Reader Feedback: How do YOU use leftover turkey? Feel free to share more recipes in the comments below!
Questions and Reviews
This is very useful, thank you sharing
I made this soup today with our leftover turkey. It was sooo delicious! My husband who doesn’t generally like soup loved it.
I’m so glad to hear that! Glad you both liked it!
Made this tonight. Delicious!
Amazing flavors in this soup!! Made this with our leftover smoked turkey, I used both dark and white meat. I added about 1/2 cup of our leftover vegan gravy along with soy milk instead of coconut milk because that’s what I had on hand.
I made this with a left over smoked turkey for my husband who couldn’t eat anything but soup due to a hangover from Thanksgiving party (lol) I didn’t use coconut milk or any broth but it turned out so flavorful and delicious. Thank you so much for this great recipe.
Love this recipe. I cooked down my turkey bones and make a broth first.used the liquid from that instead of the water. Also used potatoes. Added noodles. Total hit all around. Thank you!
We made this after Thanksgiving and the whole family, including 8 and 5 year old kids, loved it. Thanks!
A new family favorite!
How long do you think if I made this in the Instant Pot? 😀
I would definitely make this again. Flavorful, robust, easy and healthy. Great use of leftover chicken or Turkey. My spouse was honestly complimentary of it.
Exactly what I was looking for! Used Italian seasoning (only thing I had) and less water to make it more stew-like; this turned out very well!