Homemade Turkey Soup

I can show you how to make the best Homemade Turkey Soup recipe with your leftover turkey! Delicious soup from scratch is the best leftover recipe ever!

Homemade Turkey Soup is made from leftover turkey bones and vegetables

OK, so here’s another one of those stories about how I didn’t like something and now I do. Soup. Hated it.

The wife tried to get me on board with homemade soup for 10 years. It just wasn’t my thing, unless it was a thick chowder or broccoli cheese soup.

The turning point was long before I started Mantitlement, because soup was one of the first recipes I had in mind to make. Also it might have had something to do with this Beefy Tomato Soup recipe, which has become one of our favorites.

And I’m pretty sure one day she just made soup and said that’s what was for dinner. Eat it or don’t, it’s up to you.

I guess if it works on the kids…it works on adults too.

So I did. I ate the soup for dinner and is was the best thing I had ever tasted. This Homemade Turkey Soup recipe is now probably one of my most favorite dinners to eat.

Funny how stuff like that happens.

Every year we take turns going to the wife’s family or mine on Thanksgiving and every time we got to my mom’s house we take a big pot with us. She doesn’t make homemade turkey soup with her leftover turkey bones…so we grab them and take them home with us.

Crazy, right? Not that she doesn’t make homemade turkey soup, but crazy that we bring pots with us for leftover turkey bones.

We did cook a Thanksgiving turkey this year, big but basic, here it is –


Homemade Turkey Soup recipe uses your leftover turkey meat and bones

After everyone has devoured that delicious bird, let’s fast forward to the next day when you’re thinking about making this recipe from scratch…

Homemade Turkey Soup Ingredients

These are all the basic ingredients you’re going to need to make this turkey soup recipe…

Celery, carrots, onions, noodles, seasonings like kosher salt and black pepper, leftover turkey and the rest of the turkey carcass.

Homemade Turkey Soup is made with fresh vegetables, leftover turkey and noodles

As you’ll see in the recipe below, you can cook your noodles right in the soup or you can make them separately and add them in to each bowl.

How To Make Homemade Turkey Soup

First of all, you need to break down that bird. Start by removing the rest of the turkey meat from the turkey bones and setting it aside.

You might need to break down the carcass to to fit it into your pot, we have a pretty big soup pot so our 21 pound turkey fit but if yours doesn’t simply break the bones down to fit.

Throw in a couple of onions cut into large pieces, some celery and carrots. Add in a few bay leaves, salt and peppercorns and water.

The key to making the most flavorful turkey broth is that you want to cover the bones and vegetables with water just to the top of the ingredients.

Not too much over the top because then your broth will be weak.

As you can see we added a few seasonings in here too – lots of salt, peppercorns and a bay leaf or two.

Homemade Turkey Soup uses your leftover turkey, vegetables and herbs to make a turkey stock

Let the pot come to a boil and then reduce the heat down to medium heat, cover and simmer.

Depending on how big your turkey was will depend on how long you need to simmer the broth, but I’d say a good average is about 3 hours. Our bird was huge so I did 3 1/2.

Once the stock is done, strain it into another large pot, let it cool and stick it in the fridge. You’ll want it to chill for a few hours so you can strain off whatever fat rises to the top.

Strain as much fat off the top as you can, no one wants greasy broth!

If you don’t want to make soup with all of your turkey stock just take out what you need and save or freeze the rest. We usually make the whole thing because we eat a ton of soup in my house.

Finally, you can add in chopped carrots and celery, pieces of turkey leftover from your bird and adjust the seasonings to taste with salt and pepper. You can also cook whatever noodles your using right in the soup, you don’t have to boil them separately.

Seems like the vote is split on that, some like the pasta cooked separate so they don’t get all blown out in the broth when you’re eating the leftovers.

We almost always make this soup recipe with the noodles right in the broth, our leftovers don’t sit around too long to worry about blow out pasta!

If you weren’t a soup junkie before you certainly will be after making this recipe!

Homemade Turkey Soup recipe is our favorite way to use leftover turkey

Looking For More Soup Recipes?

Beefy Tomato Soup

Beef Burgundy Mushroom Soup

Cacio e Pepe Chowder

Turkey Leg Split Pea Soup



Homemade Turkey Soup

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: soup
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American


Turn your leftover turkey into a meal that lasts for days! We love making this soup with our leftover turkey from Thanksgiving!


For the stock

  • 1 leftover turkey carcass, picked clean of meat and large pieces of skin and fat
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
  • 2 large onions, peeled and cut in fourths
  • 5 celery stalks, including the leafy tops, cut into large pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons – 4 Tablespoons of salt
  • 1 T. peppercorns
  • water

For the soup

  • 1 batch of turkey stock
  • 4-5 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cups leftover turkey meat
  • 1 bag (12 oz) egg noodles
  • fresh thyme for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add the turkey carcass to a large stock pot.
  2. Add in the onions, bay leaves, carrots, celery, salt and peppercorns.
  3. Fill the pot with enough water to just cover the turkey, too much water will result in a weak stock.
  4. Set the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a good simmer and let cook for 2-3 hours.
  6. Drain the stock into another smaller stock pot and let cool.
  7. Once cooled for about an hour on the counter, put in the refrigerator to chill for 3-4 hours or overnight until you can see the fat start to separate to the top.
  8. Skim the fat off the top as much as you can and place your pot back on the stove.
  9. Add in the diced carrots, celery and salt and pepper to taste and cook 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  10. Add the pasta and turkey pieces and cook until the pasta is done, another 10 minutes.
  11. Test for seasonings again and serve.


Everyone cooks and seasons their turkey differently so the salt and pepper are to taste depending on how salty the stock is when it’s done.

The key to this recipe is that whatever size chicken or turkey you use, just add enough water to cover the top of the bones and the vegetables. So a larger turkey or chicken will yield more soup than a smaller one.

Keywords: turkey soup, homemade turkey soup, leftover turkey bones, the best turkey soup recipe, leftover recipe

This easy soup recipe is one of my favorite ways to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey! You can even use the turkey carcass to make soup stock from scratch! #turkey #leftoverturkey #thanksgiving #soup

18 Responses

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  3. Colleen

    Hi Dan,

    When I made this soup I had to add water to my stock. Do you add water to yours? Otherwise it is super concentrated and salty…and I don’t have enough once I add the pasta and veggies.

    1. Do you mean add more water to the stock once it’s finished? No, I don’t. If you add water to fill just to the top of your turkey and follow the cooking instructions it should come out just right. Did you cook the stock longer than 3 hours?

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  5. Great recipe. The only changes I made was I sautéed my turkey neck in olive oil, then added in my vegetables and sautéed them as well. Used my leftover chicken broth and carcass topping off with water. Second time I made this recipe, it’s wonderful. Thank you for the recipe.

  6. Harry Wall

    Goodo recipe Dan. I do not discard any skin or fat. I take all of the picked over carcass pieces along with the rough cut carrots, celery and onion and cook them for about a half hour in my stock pot. This creates fond . I add 16 cups of cold water and never bring to a rolling boil. Simmering slow keeps broth clear and chance for flavors to meld.

    1. It’s really not, this recipe calls for about 18 cups of water to cover the whole carcass so 1/4 cup is not a lot. You can adjust it to your liking though.

      1. Mat

        Dan, thank’s so much for the reply. I will make the necessary adjustments since we are watching our salt intake closely these days for health reasons…Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

  7. Pam

    Hi Dan
    Nicely written article, beautiful photos and wonderful classic recipe. Those noodles do look substantial. I might try making my own just for this soup.
    Last Christmas, my daughter had the holiday feast at her place. Well.. they made ham so I’ve been craving turkey soup for months! There’s a small frozen bird in my freezer that is about to become a VERY hearty soup.
    To your good health,
    p.s. that is too much salt ????

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