Leftover Turkey Soup

If you’d like to re-purpose your leftover cooked turkey after Thanksgiving, this 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.

leftover turkey soup in a bowl

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, even more veggies (hello, cauliflower!), and simmer them all together with your leftover Thanksgiving turkey until the broth is flavorful and the cauliflower is fork-tender.

(You could use leftover rotisserie chicken instead of the turkey, too.)

sliced turkey and vegetables

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.

turkey soup with coconut milk

As written, this soup is properly combined for easier digestion (which we might especially appreciate after a holiday like Thanksgiving!), but feel free to add in any other extras you love.

leftover turkey soup in a pot

5 from 2 votes
leftover turkey soup in a bowl
Leftover Turkey Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

This Leftover Turkey Soup recipe is a healthy way to use your Thanksgiving leftovers! It's packed with flavorful veggies, and is dairy-free for easier digestion.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: soup, thanksgiving, turkey
Servings: 6
Calories: 191 kcal
Author: Megan Gilmore
  • 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
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat, then saute the onion, carrots, and celery until they soften, about 8 minutes.

  2. Add in the garlic, sage, thyme, and red pepper flakes and stir for one more minute, until fragrant.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

Recipe Notes:

  • 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 for more of a broth based soup.

Reader Feedback: How do YOU use leftover turkey? Feel free to share more recipes in the comments below!

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This is very useful, thank you sharing

Joanne Hewlett

I made this soup today with our leftover turkey. It was sooo delicious! My husband who doesn’t generally like soup loved it.

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