Turkey Noodle Soup

Turkey Noodle Soup

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 3 hrs 20 mins
Total: 3 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
128 Calories
4g Fat
10g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 128
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 219mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 197mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

It's a stretch to say that the sole reason for roasting a turkey is so that you can make soup from the carcass later. But if you've ever been disappointed by how your turkey turned out (maybe the white meat was a bit dry and overcooked), the carcass is your second shot at a great meal. You can make a terrific broth by simmering a leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass along with some aromatics—and then using that broth to make turkey noodle soup with the leftover meat.

As a matter of fact, it happens to be the very best thing you can do with a turkey carcass. You'll probably have to cut it up first so it fits in the pot nicely, which you can do using a good set of kitchen shears. If you're not ready to make soup right after eating turkey, you can freeze the carcass in a zip-top bag and any leftover meat in a separate container for up to two months. It's an affordable meal that makes great use of leftovers and turns them into a whole new meal.

If you're short on time or didn't hang on to the turkey bones, you can skip making the broth and use store-bought chicken or turkey broth. This comforting and warming meal is great on a cold night.

"While this soup has a long cook time, it's almost entirely hands-off. It's the best thing you can do with the remains of a turkey dinner and gives leftovers a whole new life. It'll warm you up from your head to your toes." —Laurel Randolph

turkey noodle soup
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey carcass from a roasted turkey, with extra meat removed

  • 1 medium onion, quartered

  • 1 fresh or dry bay leaf

  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced

  • 2 stalks celery, diced

  • 8 ounces wide egg noodles, or other dried pasta

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked turkey meat, diced

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • White pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Place the turkey carcass in a stockpot along with a quartered onion and a bay leaf. Cover with cold water (about a gallon), bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 3 hours.

    Place the turkey carcass in a stockpot with onion and bay leaf
    The Spruce 
  3. Remove the carcass and discard. Meanwhile, strain the broth, rinse out the pot, and return the broth to the pot. You should have between 2 and 3 quarts of broth.

  4. Bring it to a boil, then add the carrots and celery. Simmer until the carrots are not quite soft, about 2 minutes.

     simmer the stock for Turkey Noodle Soup
    The Spruce
  5. Add the noodles and cook until al dente according to the package instructions.

    add the noodles, and cook until al dente
    The Spruce
  6. Add the turkey meat and simmer just until it is heated through. Season with kosher salt and ground white pepper to taste.

    add turkey, white pepper and kosher salt
    The Spruce
  7. Serve right away in bowls garnished with the chopped parsley. Enjoy.

    Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe
    The Spruce

Tips

  • The broth can be made ahead of time for a quick weeknight soup. Store in the fridge for up to five days.
  • A turkey carcass that has been properly stored and refrigerated will last for up to a week.
  • The recipe calls for a cup and a half of leftover turkey meat, and it should be a cinch to pick off that much from your turkey carcass. You can also use leftover sliced turkey.

Recipe Variations

  • If you don't have a carcass or the time, use store-bought chicken or turkey broth and skip making your own. You'll need eight cups of broth (two quarts).
  • You can also make this soup using a large chicken carcass and leftover chicken to make a chicken noodle soup.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Leftover turkey noodle soup can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days. The longer it sits, the soggier the noodles will become, so eating it fresh is best.
  • The turkey broth will keep for up to five days in the fridge and can be frozen for up to three months.
  • Turkey soup can also be frozen. Cool and add to an airtight container. Freeze for up to a month, defrosting in the fridge overnight before reheating.

How Do I Spice Up Bland Turkey Soup?

If your turkey broth or soup is feeling lackluster, make sure you've seasoned with enough salt and pepper. To add more flavor, try a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, some dried spices like oregano or red pepper flakes, or fresh herbs like parsley or dill.