A Deliciously Tasty Turkey Bean Soup Recipe

Soup is a favorite across cultures, and it’s a great way to warm up and fill up. Choosing the right soup can be hard when there are so many good recipes to try. Turkey bean soup is a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers, but it hits the spot throughout the year and offers a healthy and delicious meal option. Read on to get a taste of the best turkey bean soup.

What Makes This Turkey Bean Soup Recipe So Tasty?

This soup is so tasty because it combines veggies, protein, and a little bit of fat to build a well-balanced meal all in one bowl full. You’ll want to have this soup time and time again once you try it. It’s good for gourmands and picky eaters alike!

Turkey Bean Soup Recipe

If you need a tasty and filling soup, this soup is a great choice. This recipe will serve 6 people, but you can easily adjust the numbers to reflect your needs. This soup is perfect if you have leftover turkey (or any alternate meat).


  • 6 cups turkey broth (or chicken)
  • 3 cups of cooked turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans of Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • Fresh thyme for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and onions. Cook for 3 minutes or until the onions start to become translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Then add carrots and celery and cook for 3 minutes more.
  3. Add the broth, turkey, beans, seasonings, and bay leaves to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, and when it is boiling, cover and reduce the heat. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes. After simmering, taste the soup, and you can adjust the seasonings to your taste and add salt if desired. If you like a spicier soup, you will probably want to add more chili powder.
  4. Take out the bay leaves.
  5. Serve right away and garnish with thyme.
  6. Enjoy your soup!

Choosing the Best Ingredients

There are lots of ways you can ensure that you have the best quality ingredients available. Take the following steps to ensure your soup has the best quality ingredients.

  • Use fresh vegetables, when possible, but if those aren’t available, frozen vegetables are a great option and they retain both nutrition and crispness. Canned vegetables will work, but they can get a little mushy.
  • Freshly ground pepper is preferred because the pepper will be more vibrant and tastier.
  • Turkey broth is hard to find when it’s not Thanksgiving as many stores only sell it around the holidays; however, you can either make your turkey broth at home, or you can swap it for chicken broth. Chicken is another kind of poultry, so it has a lot of similar flavors as turkey. Other broths will work, but they won’t have the same poultry flavor.
  • This recipe uses canned beans as those are what most people tend to use because they are quick and easy, but I love to use dried beans instead and cook them ahead to use for this soup. This extra step can give you beans that taste fresher and don’t have that canned taste. Again, this isn’t necessary, but if you have extra time, it’s a great taste.
  • Mincing your garlic is easy, and I love it so much more than pre-minced garlic, but pre-minced garlic can work well too for those in a rush or who don’t like to mince garlic themselves.
  • Fresh thyme is used as a garnish, and I love to grow herbs like thyme myself, and in the late summer and early fall, thyme grown in my herb garden tastes the best in my soup! You can also grow thyme in your house all year round.

What Swaps Can I Make?

You can make a lot of swaps to align with whatever ingredients are available to you. For example, you can use pretty much any broth you have on hand, and it won’t make a huge difference if you use beef or vegetable broth instead of poultry broth. You can also add or subtract veggies based on what you like or what nutrients you need more of in your diet. Switching up the type of bean you use is also a fun option to switch the recipe up a little while retaining many of the good qualities. I love to use kidney beans or black beans in this recipe. Finally, for vegetarians in your life, switching the meat and broth out for vegetarian alternatives is a fantastic way to make this soup vegetarian friendly.

What’s the Best Way to Serve Turkey Bean Soup?

This soup can be served in lots of ways, and it certainly stands alone, but I love to serve this soup with a crusty loaf of bread, such as a baguette or a thin Italian loaf. The fresher the bread the better, so stop by your local bakery or bakery section of your favorite grocery store and pick up a fresh loaf to serve with this soup. If you’re looking for a good appetizer, this soup is also a great starter for a bigger meal, but you have to be careful not to eat too much because it can be quite filling!

How to Store Turkey Bean Soup

The USDA gives clear guidelines on how to store food safely. You’ll want to store your soup in airtight containers and be sure to put it away within two hours of it being out. After two hours of sitting out, food experiences more bacterial growth. This soup is best eaten within four days if you store it in the fridge or four months when stored in the freezer. It makes for great leftovers when you take the proper precautions to ensure high-quality taste and food safety.

Can I Freeze Turkey Bean Soup?

Yes, you can throw this soup in the freezer if you want to make it ahead or store leftovers for a longer time. This soup will last in the freezer for up to four months. The USDA says that food stored in the freezer will be safe indefinitely, but over time, foods will lose their flavor and moisture, which can impact the taste, even if you can technically still eat the food. You’ll want to use an airtight container to store your soup. Vacuum sealing your turkey bean soup is a way to promote freshness longer and it can save some space in your freezer.

Is Turkey Bean Soup Good for Your Health?

Harvard Medical School suggests that you should “Soup up your meals.” Not only is soup great for a cold day, but it can be highly satiating, and because it often uses veggies, proteins, and healthy fats, soups can efficiently deliver all the nutrients your body needs to fight disease and feel good. Soups are relatively low in calories, too, so for people looking to lose weight, soup can be a great choice. Even creamy soups, that taste decadent, are still packed with lots of water, which tends to fill you up. However, brothier soups, like the turkey and bean soup featured here, may be better for you if you’re focusing on nutrition.

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