A Deliciously Tasty Turkey Rice Soup Recipe

A hearty, delicious, and well-rounded meal is exactly what you get when you make turkey rice soup. This soup is usually made around the holidays as a lighter meal and uses up turkey and other ingredients that may be leftover from the big meal. Since many homes like to freeze the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, you can make this meal anytime and enjoy the full flavor and health benefits.

Gather Your Ingredients

If you are ready to make your turkey rice soup to offset all the heavy dishes and meals you may have had in the last few days, then grab your ingredients and let’s begin.

  • One pound of leftover turkey
  • One small yellow onion, diced
  • Two medium carrots, chopped
  • One large celery stalk, chopped
  • One cup of leftover corn
  • Four cups of homemade turkey broth
  • Two garlic cloves
  • One cup of white rice
  • Lemon wedges
  • A quarter stick of butter
  • Two bay leaves

Most of these items are likely already in your pantry and you probably have some left over from cooking your large Thanksgiving or another holiday dinner recently. You may only need to grab one or two items at the shopping market, if any, from this list. If you do not want to run to the store, you can omit the spices and herbs you may not have or you can make some ingredient substitutions based on what you have or prefer when you are making your own turkey rice soup recipe.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you do not have some of the items on hand or want to sub out these ingredients, you are able to do so. One of the biggest substitutions is the turkey broth. If you are able to locate the store-bought version in your market, then you can use it instead of fresh. You can also use chicken broth in its place if you do not have any version of turkey broth at all. It has a similar flavor and will complement the turkey.

You can opt for different veggies in your soup if you want something with lower carbs, like cabbage, or something heartier, like red potatoes. Before you add any veggies, make sure they are chopped up and all about the same size so that they will cook down to the appropriate consistency.

Make Your Turkey Broth

If you want to make turkey broth, you can do so easily at home. Using your leftover turkey bones, giblets, and other parts of the carcass, add about six cups of water to your stove top, and throw in the leftover cuttings from the vegetables you used for your big dinner. You must also add fresh peppercorns, about four or five, and some roughly chopped parsley.

Bring your turkey broth to a boil, turn the heat low, and cover your stock. Let the stock cook down for about three hours before turning it off entirely and letting it cool. You can freeze your stock throughout the year for up to six months in a freezer-safe bag. You can also set about six cups aside for the turkey rice soup you are preparing.

Build Your Soup

Now that you have gathered your ingredients, it is time to start building the soup.

1. Prepare Veggies and Soup Pot

Grab your large soup pot and add the butter and garlic to low heat. Go ahead and wash your veggies to get out any dirt and potential chemicals that may be on them from the farm or market. While this becomes fragrant, start chopping your veggies into evenly diced pieces. As you wash and cut your veggies, add them to your soup pot and turn the heat to medium.

2. Cook Your Rice

Add your uncooked rice, bay leaves, and two cups of turkey broth to the same pot. Let the rice boil for at least a minute, then turn it to a low heat. The rice and veggies will cook for about 12 minutes until the rice is tender.

3. Add In Turkey

Once the rice is cooked down, add the rest of your broth and the leftover turkey chunks you have. Since the turkey is already cooked, you do not want to dry it out by cooking it too long in the soup. Add in the rest of your ingredients, including the lemon wedges, to add a splash of acidic taste flavor to your soup.

4. Serve and Store

Once your soup is ready, remove the bay leaves and then begin ladling the soup into the bowls for your guests to enjoy. Any leftovers you have must be cooled down completely. If you plan to eat the rest in the next couple of days, you can refrigerate it for up to three days. If you want to have it later on, you can freeze the leftovers for up to six months in your freezer.

Benefits of Turkey Rice Soup

Turkey rice soup is a great recipe to have on hand and make during the holidays.


The health benefits of turkey rice soup are great for family members when you are sick or just feeling under the weather. The added veggies, garlic, and lemon zest ensure that essential vitamins and nutrients are packed into this soup. It is a great alternative to chicken noodle soup, a classic for sickness and getting well.

Avoids Waste

One of the biggest concerns that cooks have during Thanksgiving is the amount of waste that happens with vegetables and turkey days after the big feast. The turkey soup recipe is a great way to capture that waste and ensure that you use each part of the turkey.

Because this soup can be stored in the freezer, you can enjoy these leftovers long after you have cooked them in future meals, reducing costs for your family. You can maximize the reuse of these items by going as far as making your own turkey stock to use in this soup and other recipes throughout the year.

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