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Turkey Noodle Soup (from a Leftover Turkey Carcass)

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Turkey Noodle Soup is a hearty, flavorful recipe that always comes in handy at least a couple of times a year! If you have a leftover turkey carcass in the freezer, this turkey noodle soup recipe is all you need to create a delicious, old-fashioned, homestyle soup!

Turkey chunks, vegetables and noodles swimming in a rich, turkey broth is an economical meal that’s also incredibly tasty, especially if you serve it with a rustic, crusty loaf of bread!

Overhead view of turkey noodle soup with spoon. Bread and napkin in background

Turkey noodle soup is right up there with chicken noodle soup- a bowl of warm, comfort food that is just plain good for the soul! I love a good turkey noodle soup because it’s a year-round recipe and a great way to use leftover turkey!

what goes into the best turkey noodle soup

This recipe is a two-in-one: first, we share how to make a delicious turkey broth recipe from scratch; then we share how to turn that turkey broth into an ultra flavorful and rich turkey noodle soup!

The turkey broth recipe calls for:

  • turkey carcass
  • roasted turkey wings
  • roasted turkey drumsticks
  • onion
  • garlic
  • salt
  • poultry seasoning
  • peppercornss
  • fresh herbs (we use thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley)
  • water

And this is what you will need for the turkey noodle soup:

  • olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • celery ribs, sliced
  • large carrots, peeled and cubed
  • chopped garlic cloves
  • sliced mushrooms
  • homemade turkey broth and turkey meat (from the above turkey broth recipe)
  • bay leaves
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • dry noodles or pasta
Soup pot of turkey Noodle Soup

how to make turkey soup

Let’s make turkey noodle soup! We’ve summarized the full process here, but as always, make sure to scroll to the bottom of the page for all the details, ingredient amounts, and our recipe notes.

For the turkey broth:

  1. Break up the turkey carcass and add all the chicken pieces to a large soup pot with the onion and garlic. Tie the fresh herbs with a string and add to the pot.
  2. Pour in the water, covering the bones by at least an inch. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 4-5 hours. Do not allow the liquid to boil. Occasionally skim off any foam that accumulates on the surface.
  3. Scoop the bones from the broth and allow them to cool for a bit. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, cut large pieces into bite-sized pieces, and reserve. Toss the stripped bones. Strain the broth, discarding the solids, and set the broth aside until needed.

To make the Turkey Soup:

  1. In a large soup pot set over medium-high, add the oil and sauté the vegetables. When they’re slightly softened, add the garlic.
  2. Once the garlic is fragrant, stir in the reserved turkey broth and turkey meat. Add the bay leaves, salt, pepper, and bring the soup to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. In a large saucepan of salted water, cook the noodles to just tender, then drain the water. Add a bit of olive oil and toss the noodles, cover the pot until ready to use.
  4. Scoop servings of noodles into bowls, then add the turkey soup and enjoy!
bowl of turkey noodle soup and spoon

notes from our kitchen

Turkey noodle soup is a fairly easy recipe to make, and here are a few extra tips for success!

  • If you’re enjoying the soup immediately, you can add all the noodles to the pot. However, if there are leftovers, the noodles could become soggy the longer they sit in the broth. This is why we recommend keeping the noodles separate, adding a portion of hot noodles to each serving of soup.
  • You can keep leftover portions of soup and noodles in separate containers for up to one week in the refrigerator.
  • If you don’t have a leftover turkey carcass, you can purchase packages of turkey parts (thighs drumsticks, wings, etc.) at the meat/poultry counter of most grocery stores.
close up view of turkey noodle soup with bread dipped into soup

Roast up a whole turkey any time of the year for an incredible dinner that will give you leftovers for a couple of days. When you finish carving the bird, don’t throw out the turkey carcass. Save those scraps and bones for this healthy turkey noodle soup! This from-scratch, homemade soup recipe is definitely a keeper.

And don’t forget a slice of rustic sourdough bread, topped with a slathering of butter. Delish!

For more ideas to use up your leftover turkey meat, try making a turkey tetrazzini or a cheesy turkey pasta bake. They are easy meals that will help refresh the leftovers. If you don’t want to roast a whole turkey, did you know you can cook a frozen turkey breast in the instant pot? It is a perfect way to get turkey on the table when you forget to thaw the bird out.

SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

Chipotle Pork Chop Sheet Pan Dinner: We can’t get enough of this Chipotle Pork Chop Sheet Pan Dinner! Juicy, tender pork chops, fingerling potatoes and sweet apple wedges all roast on one sheet pan. Dinner in 30 minutes? DONE!

Chicken in Mushroom Cream Sauce: An easy weeknight dinner. Meaty chicken thighs in a creamy mushroom sauce can be served with rice or mashed potatoes. Don’t forget to ladle that rich cream sauce over the whole plate!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp: Strawberry rhubarb fans, this is for you! Combine the sweetness of luscious ripe strawberries with the tartness of rhubarb and you have a delightful combination of flavors in this simple, old-fashioned dessert topped off with a crunchy, crisp crust.

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bowl of turkey noodle soup and spoon

Turkey Noodle Soup

Yield: 12 to 16 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes

An old-fashioned Turkey Noodle Soup filled with turkey chunks, vegetables and noodles in a rich, turkey broth made from a holiday turkey carcass. Serve with a rustic, crusty loaf of bread and this is an economical, full-meal soup!

Ingredients

Turkey Broth:

  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 2 roasted turkey wings
  • 2 roasted turkey drumsticks
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • Fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley
  • 6 quarts of cold water

The Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 celery ribs, sliced
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8-oz. sliced mushrooms
  • Turkey meat from above turkey broth
  • 5 or 6 quarts above prepared turkey broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces dry noodles or pasta

Instructions

For the Turkey Broth:

  1. Break up the turkey carcass and add them to a large soup pot with the wings, drumsticks, onion and garlic.  Tie the fresh herbs together with a string and add to the pot.
  2. Pour in the water, there should be enough cold water to cover the bones by at least 1-inch.
  3. Over high heat, bring the pot to a boil then immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer with a gentle bubbling for 4 or 5 hours.  Do not allow the liquid to boil.  Occasionally skim off and discard any foam that accumulates on the surface.
  4. Scoop the bones from the broth and when cool enough to handle strip the meat from them, cut large pieces into small, bite-size pieces and reserve.  Discard the stripped bones.  Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer and set aside until needed.  Discard the solids.

For the Turkey Soup:

  1. In a large Dutch oven or soup pot set over medium-high, add the oil and when it is hot add the onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms.  Cook until slightly softened, add the garlic and when it is fragrant stir in reserved turkey broth and turkey meat.   Add the bay leaves, salt/pepper, bring the soup to a boil then immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. 
  2. For the Noodles: In a large saucepan of salted water, cook the noodles to just tender then drain and add to the soup.  (See Notes)

Notes

  • If you do not have a leftover turkey carcass, packages of turkey parts, i.e. thighs, drumsticks, wings and breast can be purchased in the meat/poultry counter of regular grocery stores.
  • You can add all the noodles to the pot of soup and this is fine if all the soup is to be eaten at once.  In the event of leftovers, however, if the noodles are left in the pot of soup for too long they will become soft and soggy.  The solution is to keep the noodles separate, adding a portion of hot noodles to each serving of soup.  To do this, drain the cooked noodles then return them to their cooking pot and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Cover the pot and reserve until ready to serve the soup.  Then, scoop a portion of noodles into individual bowls and ladle hot soup over them.  Any unused portions of soup and noodles can be refrigerated in separate lidded containers for up to 1 week.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 1931mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 23g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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John / Kitchen Riffs

Wednesday 15th of July 2020

I love using turkey to make soup! Such a nice deep flavor. Now you have me craving cool fall weather so I can pull out my stock pot! :-) Terrific recipe -- thanks.

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 15th of July 2020

Thanks John :)

angiesrecipes

Monday 13th of July 2020

A perfect recipe to use up the leftover turkey. The noodle soup looks truly soul comforting and tasty, Pat.

Pat Nyswonger

Monday 13th of July 2020

Thank you, Angie....This is a good ole 'comfort' soup! ♥️

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