Making homemade turkey soup after your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is super easy and a delicious way to use all the leftovers. This is the basic, easy homemade turkey soup recipe you remember your mom making. It's delicious!

Serve this with some no yeast bread with herbs and cheese for a truly cozy meal!

A pot of homemade turkey soup on a table with bread on the side.

It's that time of year again, friends! Time to grab our soup pots and get ready to dig into a warm and delicious bowl of post-Thanksgiving turkey soup!

This is a recipe that I've made a million times, or once a year since I was probably 19 so not actually anywhere near a million. Sidebar → I think I may have been the only 19-year-old on the planet geeky enough to make homemade turkey soup after her Thanksgiving dinner.

Why we love this turkey soup recipe

  • It reminds us of home and family and being a kid. It's the same exact recipe that my mom made after every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner so there's big-time nostalgia going on here.
  • It's super easy to make.
  • The broth, made from simmering that pile of turkey bones you have, is unbelievably flavorful.
  • Eating a bowl of this turkey soup is like getting a big hug. Honestly, it's all good feelings here.
Two bowls of homemade turkey soup on a table with bread.

The Best Homemade Turkey Soup

This soup is 90% about the delicious homemade turkey stock. You could drink the stock on its own it's so good.

It's also ridiculously easy to make. All you're going to do is remove as much of the meat as you can, break the bones into a few pieces so that they fit in your largest pot or crockpot, then fill with water. You'll slowly simmer the stock overnight and wake up to the most amazing smelling home and a pot of tasty turkey broth.

You'll notice that I don't add anything other than the turkey bones to the pot. I've made it plenty of times by adding different herbs, peppercorns, onions, carrots, etc. but I don't notice a major difference in flavor at the end so I've stopped doing that. The roasted turkey is all the flavor you need.

You can either make the soup right away from the turkey stock, or you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for at least 3 months.

Butter up some bread and dig in!

A close up of a bowl of homemade turkey soup.

How to make homemade turkey soup

The recipe goes something like this:

  1. Grab your biggest pot (or crockpot!), pop in the turkey bones, and fill the pot with water.
  2. Simmer. Keep simmering. Strain.
  3. Sauté some onions, carrots, and celery.
  4. Now add the turkey broth you just made and some leftover turkey meat.

Serve, preferably with a thick slice of well-buttered no yeast bread with herbs and cheese.

The recipe below is how I typically make homemade turkey soup. If you choose to add egg noodles and turn this recipe into a homemade turkey noodle soup, cook them separately and add them to each bowl of soup to prevent them from getting over-cooked and mushy.

If you'd rather have a homemade turkey vegetable soup, or you eat paleo or Whole30, simply leave the noodles out.

Turkey noodle soup in a black bowl with a spoon in it.

Time saving tip!

After dinner, when you're cleaning up the kitchen, put the turkey bones immediately into your crockpot to start making the stock. You'll clean up AND start the soup all at the same time!

Wondering what to do with all your Thanksgiving leftovers?

If you have a pile of turkey dinner leftovers in your fridge, here are a few of our other favorite recipe that put them to good use.

A close up of a pot of turkey soup.

More turkey soup recipes

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A pot of homemade turkey soup on a table with bread on the side.

Homemade Turkey Soup

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: North American

Description

Making homemade turkey soup after your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is super easy and a delicious way to use all the leftovers. This is the basic, easy homemade turkey soup recipe you remember your mom making. It's delicious!


Scale

Ingredients

Turkey stock:

  • Bones from your roast turkey

Homemade Turkey Soup:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 6 cups turkey stock
  • Reserved turkey meat (see notes)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Optional: cooked egg noodles

Instructions

Turkey stock:

  1. Remove all of the meat from the turkey and reserve 3 cups for the soup. If you've cooked your stuffing in the turkey, make sure to remove it all.
  2. Break the roast turkey into 3 or 4 pieces small enough that they will fit in your largest pot. Fill the pot with cold water so that the water comes 2 inches above the bones. Bring the pot almost to a boil then reduce the heat so that it is barely simmering. You want the water to moving around, but not bubbling. Cook for 8-10 hours, leaving the lid off. (See notes if you'd like to use your crockpot instead.)
  3. Strain the turkey stock through a colander into a large bowl and discard the solids. Strain once more through a fine mesh sieve. You can either use the turkey stock immediately or let it cool and refrigerate it for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Homemade Turkey Soup:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the carrot and cook until it begins to brown in a few places, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the celery, turkey stock, and the reserved turkey meat to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the carrots and celery are soft. Season to taste generously with sea salt.
  3. If you're using the egg noodles, add them cooked to your soup bowl, ladle in the soup, and garnish with a little sprinkle of parsley.

Notes

If you'd like to use your crockpot to make the turkey stock, put all the bones in, fill with water, and set the timer for 8-10 hours. PRO TIP: this while you're cleaning up from dinner so you don't have to store the bones! Here's a link to the full Crockpot Turkey Stock recipe.

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A blue pot filled with turkey soup and the recipe title on top of the picture.