Easy Leftover Turkey Soup

Thanksgiving leftovers turkey soup

Depending on your family traditions, the day after Thanksgiving usually takes two shapes: a full day of Black Friday shopping or (what we do) a day of ultra-relaxation and absolutely no cooking!

Thanksgiving leftovers are delicious the first time, but less tempting for the third or fourth meal in a row. This homemade leftover turkey soup recipe is the perfect way to reinvent leftovers once they get boring.

Your body will thank you as well for a meal with bone broth and veggies after all the holiday overindulgence!

Turkey Soup From Scratch

The day after Thanksgiving I may have the energy to throw on a pot of homemade turkey stock, or I may not. Especially if you bought an organic pastured turkey, homemade bone broth (recipe here) may be worth the effort, but this recipe gives the option of using store-bought broth just in case!

From there, this recipe is a snap. Throw all the ingredients in a soup pot or Instant Pot, and let the goodness simmer.

What to Do With Leftover Turkey?

If you still have leftover turkey, put some in the freezer for an easy protein another night or try one of these yummy recipes:

  • Italian Turkey Burger Soup – No one will complain about another turkey dinner with this soup! Use your stand mixer grinder attachment, or just chop leftover turkey into very small pieces.
  • Paleo Turkey Tetrazzini – The classic dish reinvented with coconut milk in place of dairy and served on a bed of spaghetti squash noodles.
  • Vegetable Frittata with Turkey and Sweet Potatoes – Add diced turkey and sweet potatoes to this base frittata recipe. Throw in some leftover slivered brussels sprouts for good measure!
Thanksgiving leftovers turkey soup
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5 from 1 vote

Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe

An easy, light, and nourishing soup for an easy day-after-Thanksgiving meal
Course Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 cups
Calories 198kcal
Author Katie Wells


  • leftover meat from turkey
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 tsp each of basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium potatoes or sweet potatoes diced
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 cup French lentils
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


  • Dice the leftover turkey, carrots, celery, and onion.
  • In a large stock pot, melt the butter.
  • Saute the carrots, celery, and onion in the melted butter until they are beginning to soften and the onion is translucent.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer, covered for about 1 hour or until the potatoes and lentils are tender.


Note: This is a good amount of food, so you will need a larger pan. I used a 5-quart saute pan.

Instant Pot Option:

Since the turkey is already cooked, this is an easy Instant Pot soup:
  1. Saute carrots, celery, and onion for 3-4 minutes in Instant Pot on Saute setting.
  2. Add other ingredients.
  3. Seal pot and set for 4 minutes on Manual high pressure.
  4. Let IP sit on natural release for 5 minutes, then manually release the rest of the pressure and serve soup!


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.1g | Protein: 17.7g | Fat: 4.2g | Saturated Fat: 1.8g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 364mg | Fiber: 6.6g | Sugar: 2.9g

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

What are your favorite ways to re-purpose turkey and other holiday leftovers? I’d love to hear!

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