A hot pot of Turkey Soup with Rice is exactly what should be simmering on your stove the weekend after Thanksgiving! It’s easy to make and a great way to turn holiday leftovers into a wholesome, comforting meal.
I am typically the cook on Thanksgiving day, so on the day after Thanksgiving, all I really want to do is put my feet up and relax. Leftover turkey soup lets me do just that! Soup is an easy meal to make, and doesn’t take very long at all.
Sometimes I can even get my husband to make this soup so I can really enjoy some relaxation.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Perfect for all of those leftovers: You cooked a really big turkey and now you don’t know what to do with it all? No worries, this recipe is perfect for using up the Thanksgiving leftovers. Leftover turkey soup has always been a must in my house after turkey day.
- Filling comfort food: The addition of rice to this turkey soup makes it hearty and will give you a warm, cozy feeling, especially on a cold day.
- A Healthy Option: After a day of Thanksgiving eating, you might want something a little bit lighter. This soup is filling, but also made with veggies and without processed foods, so it’s wholesome. Eating turkey soup is healthier than eating leftover pie, right?
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Butter and Oil: I like to use a combination of both fats to sauté the vegetables for the soup. You can use one or the other if you prefer.
- Onion, Carrot, and Celery: Chop your veggies in a small to medium dice. Keeping everything around the same size will make for a pleasing texture.
- Long Grain Rice: Short grain rice doesn’t work very well in soups, as it tends to have more starch. The rice cooks in the soup, which is such a timesaver.
- Garlic: A good amount (2 cloves) of garlic goes into this soup. I love how the strong flavor of garlic plays with the flavor of turkey, it’s delicious.
- Turkey Stock: You can use stock you made from the turkey bones or carcass, or just use boxed turkey or chicken stock.
- Turkey or Poultry Seasoning: Use what you have left from making your turkey, use my turkey seasoning. I also love this homemade poultry seasoning recipe and it’s delicious on my Spatchcock Turkey. If you don’t have this delicious seasoning blend, use dried rosemary, tyme, and sage.
- Leftover Turkey Meat: Dice up any leftover meat that you have. 2 cups is the perfect amount. Feel free to really pick the bones to get all of the goodness into the pot.
How to Make Turkey Rice Soup
- Sauté Vegetables: In a dutch oven over medium high heat, add olive oil and melt butter. Add onion, celery, and carrot and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.
- Toast Rice: Add the rice to the pan with the vegetables, and toast for about a minute, just until it starts to turn brown. This step adds a nutty flavor to the soup.
- Season: Add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant. Then pour the stock over the veggies and season with poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer: Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the rice is cooked. Stir in the turkey meat at the end, and simmer for a few minutes until it’s heated through. Adjust seasonings and serve hot.
Add some green: A garnish of fresh parsley makes this soup beautiful, and also adds a fresh herbal flavor to each bowl. Another great trick for adding a fresh note to the soup: give it a squeeze of lemon juice before serving.
Get a good dutch oven: If you like making soups, a dutch oven is your best friend. The heavy construction provides even heating, and makes it versatile to go from stovetop to oven for recipes that require that. I love my red Le Creuset dutch oven, and for a more economical option check out the Lodge version.
Use Chicken: Want to try this soup, but don’t want to go through the trouble of roasting a turkey? No worries, substitute cooked chicken in this soup, or follow this recipe for Chicken and Rice Soup instead.
What to Serve with Turkey Rice Soup
Serve this delicious, restoring turkey soup with a healthy salad. Your body is probably craving it after a heavy holiday meal. My Kale salad with Lemon Vinaigrette is perfect. A simple Caesar Salad would be delicious too.
Heading out for some black Friday shopping: I hope someone has this soup ready for you when you get home! Take a Spinach Smoothie or some Cheerio Bars with you to keep your energy high for all of that shopping.
This depends on how you like your turkey and rice soup to be. Unrinsed rice will release more starch into the broth, making it thicker, while rinsed rice will allow the soup to be brothier.
You can definitely use other types of rice or grains in this turkey soup. Since brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice, I would suggest cooking it before adding to the soup. The same advice applies if you’d like to try wild rice, barley, or noodles.
Sure! Throw in any additional vegetables that you like when you add the broth. They should cook at the same time as the rice. Add more broth if needed. Try cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, or green peppers.
Ah, the last bit of Thanksgiving turkey is turned into a delicious homemade soup. I think that’s a wonderful way to move on to the next holiday!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium yellow onion diced, about 1 cup
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 cup chopped celery
- ½ cup long grain rice
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cups turkey stock if not available, use chicken stock
- 1 ½ teaspoons turkey seasoning or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, and ½ dried teaspoon sage
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups leftover turkey meat shredded or cubed
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- To a dutch over medium high heat, add olive oil and melt butter.
- Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook until softened 2-3 minutes.
- Add rice, and toast for 1 minute.
- Add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds then pour the stock over the veggies, season with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, reduce to medium-low heat and simmer until the rice is cooked.
- Stir in the turkey meat, cook for 2-3 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.
- Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve.
- Washing the Rice: Unrinsed rice will release more starch into the broth, making it thicker, while rinsed rice will allow the soup to be brothier.
- Adding Vegetables. Throw in any additional vegetables that you like when you add the broth. They should cook at the same time as the rice. Add more broth if needed. Try cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, or green peppers.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen