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Leftover Turkey & Wild Rice Soup transforms your turkey carcass into the most delicious, rich, tasty feel good soup.

Leftover Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

The best Leftover Turkey Soup is created by turning your leftover Thanksgiving turkey into a rich broth that is turned into an easy creamy soup with rice.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Additional time needed if making homemade turkey stock 12 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 45 mins
Servings 8 servings
Calories 344


Homemade Turkey Stock:

  • Turkey carcass (with as much or as little meat as you'd like and be sure to include any herbs that you cooked with the bird)
  • 1 onion (quartered)
  • 2 stalks celery (cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • 2 carrots (peeled, cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled and smashed)
  • 2 whole bay leaves


  • 8 cups turkey stock (Use the stock that you prepared along with any shredded meat (8 cups minimum, more if you like))
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 4-5 stalks celery (diced (you want the same onion:celery ratio))
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper


To make the broth:

  • Once you've cooked and eaten your turkey, pick off any meat you want to enjoy as leftovers, but be sure to leave at least a small amount on the bones. Place entire carcass including skin, bones, and any herbs stuffed in the cavity in the largest slow cooker or Instant Pot you have. If it doesn't fit, you can break it down to fit the entire thing in or cook in multiple batches.
  • Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and bay leaves to the slow cooker or Instant Pot.
  • Add as much water as you can, filling it to the highest allowed level.
  • Cover and cook on low 10-12 hours in slow cooker (easy to do overnight after Thanksgiving dinner) or on high pressure for 90 minutes in Instant Pot.
  • Strain the broth into a container. When cool enough to handle, shred any turkey from the carcass that you can and add to the broth. Cool the broth and the shredded turkey in the refrigerator and use within a couple of days or store in air tight plastic bag or container in the freezer until ready to use.

To make the soup:

  • In a large stockpot over medium heat, cook the broth with the shredded meat. If frozen, its okay to put the frozen block in the pot to let it melt. Otherwise you can allow broth to thaw in refrigerator prior to heating.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate heavy bottom stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the onion and garlic until golden and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and allow to cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add cooked onion, celery, and garlic to the hot broth.
  • Using the stockpot you used to cook the onions, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Allow to cook until golden brown and fragrant, stirring frequently, about 3-5 minutes. Whisk in the milk and the heavy whipping cream and continue to whisk until until a very thick gravy has formed. Add gravy to soup and whisk until completely mixed and smooth. Add cooked rice. Add salt and pepper, adjusting amounts to taste.


Cooking tips:
  • Don't let that turkey carcass sit out too long. After everyone is done eating, get that stock going.
  • The amount of salt you add to your soup will depend on the taste. For example, if you make your Thanksgiving Turkey with a dry rub, you may not need to add any additional salt to the soup.
  • My favorite tip is to use the frozen par-cooked bags of rice from Trader Joe's. It's much easier than cooking the rice yourself


Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 1256mg | Potassium: 487mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 565IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 1mg