Easy 30-Minute Turkey Noodle Soup — Have leftover Thanksgiving turkey? Make this turkey soup! It’s easy and tastes like grandma’s homemade chicken noodle soup, but with turkey!
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Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe
This turkey soup is chicken noodle soup’s cousin. And it’s perfect for using up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey. You know you have some. Or maybe you have a ton like I did.
We already celebrated our family’s Thanksgiving because we’re in Mexico this week (follow me on Instagram for pictures). Most years I plan for enough turkey for second helpings on the big day and plenty of leftovers on the days following, but this year I way overbought and had tons of leftover turkey. Turkey soup to the rescue!
This turkey noodle soup is hearty, comforting, full of rich flavors, and fairly healthy all things considered.
I used white breast meat because that’s what I had, but adding some dark is okay too. I added sage, rosemary, and thyme, which make the soup taste like Thanksgiving all over again. For my family who all love Thanksgiving, that’s a very good thing and they savored the soup!
What’s in This Turkey Soup?
To make this homemade turkey soup recipe, you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Vidalia onion
- Turkey or chicken broth
- Fresh herbs
- Dried oregano
- Salt and pepper
- Wide egg noodles
- Cooked turkey
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Turkey Soup
To make this turkey noodle soup, follow these straightforward steps:
- First sauté the carrots, celery, and onion in an oiled Dutch oven until softened.
- Then, add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.
- Add the broth and herbs (both fresh and dried) and bring to a boil.
- Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes before adding in the noodles.
- Once the noodles have softened, add in the shredded turkey and let the soup simmer until the turkey is heated through.
- Serve the turkey soup immediately.
Can I Use Dried Herbs Instead of Fresh?
Technically yes, but you’d need to simmer the soup for longer in order to let the dried herbs soften and release their flavor. Also, you’d need to adjust the amount of herbs you add in (dried herbs are more potent than fresh). If you have fresh herbs leftover from your Thanksgiving feast, I highly recommend using those instead of dried.
Can I Use Shredded Chicken Instead of Turkey?
If you don’t have leftover turkey to shred, you can certainly use shredded chicken. Or just make my Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, which this recipe is derived from. There’s a 1-minute video in that recipe post that shows exactly how I make it.
Tips for Making Homemade Turkey Soup
If you have leftover cooking juices from your turkey, you can use that in place of some of the broth. The cooking juices are full of flavor, so you definitely don’t want them to go to waste!
Also, I recommend buying low-sodium broth, that way there’s no chance of your turkey noodle soup turning out too salty. I prefer to control the amount of salt that goes into my food, so I always buy low-sodium options whenever I can.
Finally, if the overall liquid level is lower than you’d like at any time while making the soup and you prefer more broth, adding a cup or two of water or extra broth to this homemade turkey soup is okay.
The noodles soak up a lot of water and continue to do so for a few hours as the soup cools, so adding more liquid may be necessary.
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced thin (about 1 1/2 large carrots)
- 1 cup celery, sliced thin (about 2 stalks)
- 1 cup sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 1 medium onion)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 64 ounces (8 cups) low-sodium turkey or chicken broth*
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 12 ounces wide egg noodles (or your favorite noodles or pasta)
- about 1 to 2 cups water, optional and as necessary**
- 2 to 3 cups shredded cooked turkey (white or dark meat, chicken may be substituted)
- salt, to taste
- To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the oil, carrots, celery, onion, and sauté over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
- Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the broth, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, pepper, and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are fork-tender.
- Add the noodles and check the liquid level. Notes – If it’s low (depending on pot size, etc.), add 1 to 2 cups water or as necessary, and boil mixture for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until noodles are soft and cooked through.
- Add the turkey (if you like meatier soup or have a lot on hand, add 3 cups) and boil 1 to 2 minutes, or until turkey is warmed through.
- Taste soup and add salt to taste. I added about 1 tablespoon but this will vary based on how salty the broth used is, how salty the turkey is, how much water you added, and personal preference.
- Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, herbs, etc.) and serve immediately.
- Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
*If you have leftover cooking juices from your turkey, you can use that in place of the broth, i.e. 1 cup cooking juice can be substituted for 1 cup broth.
**At any time while making the soup, if the overall liquid level is lower than you like and you prefer more broth, adding a cup or two of water is okay. The noodles soak up a lot of water and continue to do so for a few hours as the soup cools.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 980Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 494mgSodium: 747mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 129g
More Easy Soup Recipes:
You can use turkey in most any of the soup recipes below that call for chicken. Shredded chicken or shredded turkey are pretty interchangeable in my soup recipes.
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Reposted November 29, 2019 and November 27, 2020