Turkey Noodle Soup

Turkey Noodle Soup

The Spruce

Ratings (80)
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1027 Calories
36g Fat
28g Carbs
140g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 1027
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 452mg 151%
Sodium 818mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Protein 140g
Calcium 101mg 8%
*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 the turkey's way of making it up to you.

You can make a terrific broth by simmering a turkey carcass along with some carrots, celery, onion, herbs, spices—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, which you can do using a good set of kitchen shears. And you can wrap up the parts you don't use and freeze them.

You can also use the broth for making turkey chili or turkey gravy—the possibilities are limitless, and it all starts with the turkey carcass. 

Not only do the bones impart loads of deep turkey flavor, but the cartilage in the sternum, ribcage, and elsewhere will slowly melt away into a rich gelatin which will give body to the soup, and it will also jell in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey carcass (from a roasted turkey, with extra meat removed)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bay leaf (dry or fresh)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and diced)
  • 2 celery ribs (diced)
  • 8 ounces wide egg noodles (or other dried pasta)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked turkey meat (diced)
  • Kosher salt (to taste) 
  • Ground white pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

    Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe
    The Spruce 
  3. Remove the carcass and set it aside. Meanwhile, strain the liquid, rinse out the pot and then return the liquid to the pot. You can put the bay leaf back in. Bring it to a boil, then add the carrots and celery. Simmer until the carrots are not-quite-soft.

    Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Now add the noodles, and cook until al dente, the timing of which will depend on the variety of pasta you're using. Follow the package instructions!

    Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Add the turkey meat, and simmer until it is heated through. Season with Kosher salt and ground white pepper

    Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Serve right away in bowls garnished with the chopped parsley.

    Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Enjoy!

Tips

  • If you're roasting a boneless turkey breast and don't have a carcass in the freezer, you can use store-bought turkey or chicken stock (or broth). 
  • It's best to pull off as much meat as you can before simmering the carcass. There's no point cooking it twice—especially if it was overcooked to begin with. If you're freezing the carcass, pull off the meat first and freeze it separately. 
  • The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of leftover turkey meat and it should be a cinch to harvest that much meat from your turkey carcass. Of course, you can add more if you like an especially meaty soup.
  • For a nice touch, especially during the colder months, warm up the bowls before you ladle the soup in.