One of the best parts about making a big turkey dinner is all of the leftovers.
This turkey noodle soups starts with a from-scratch broth using a leftover turkey carcass. The broth is then filled with a handful of veggies, some egg noodles and lots of leftover turkey for the perfect cozy soup recipe.
Prep the broth up to 3 days ahead of time or make it now and freeze for later.
A Great Way to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers
- This soup can be made with homemade broth (from a turkey carcass, below) or from prepared chicken or turkey broth or stock.
- The broth can be made a few days ahead, one the broth is made, the soup takes about 20 minutes.
- Add any veggies and any kind of noodles. Leftover roasted veggies are great in this recipe.
- This soup freezes beautifully before adding the noodles.
Ingredients for Turkey Noodle Soup
Broth: Below I’ve included my fave recipe for homemade turkey broth. Of course, you can use boxed or canned chicken broth. I love using a turkey carcass from our leftover Thanksgiving turkey and making homemade broth for the very best flavor.
Adding vegetables adds flavor, I use carrots, celery, and onion with herbs. If you’ve got other veggie scraps from making turkey dinner (the ends of green beans or onions, empty corn cobs etc.) add them in!
Don’t peel the onion when making the broth, the brown onion skin also helps add color.
Soup: Once the broth has been strained and simmered down, add the soup veggies. The vegetables used for broth will be mushy so they can be discarded (although I usually snack on them!).
Noodles: I use dried egg noodles but any pasta shape works. If time allows, this soup is amazing with homemade egg noodles. I would suggest cooking the noodles separately from the broth and adding them to each bowl.
How to Make Homemade Broth
I love homemade turkey broth for soup!
SIMMER – Making homemade broth is easy, just add the ingredients (per the recipe below) to a large soup pot with water and simmer for about 4 hours. It can also be cooked in a slow cooker. If you’ve got extra bones that haven’t been used (like the neck or the back if you’ve spatchcocked the turkey)
STRAIN – Strain the broth through cheesecloth to catch any tiny bits and discard the bones and vegetables. They’ll be too mushy for soup.
SKIM – Let the broth rest so the fat separates and skim it off the top with a spoon (or use a gravy separator). Taste the broth and if you’d like put it back in the post and simmer uncovered to reduce it a bit. I usually reduce it to about 8 cups.
How to Make Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup
This is really easy, once the broth is done it comes together in about 15-20 minutes.
- Soften the veggies in a bit of butter and then add broth until they’re tender.
- Cook the noodles separately if you plan for leftovers, they can be cooked in the broth if you plan to eat it all without leftovers.
- Stir in shredded or chopped leftover turkey meat and parsley just before serving.
Tips for a Great Noodle Soup
- Freeze veggie scraps, onion ends, carrot tops, etc to add to broth.
- Leave the skins on the onions for extra color.
- If using a smaller carcass, either reduce the water or add a spoonful of bouillon (I like Better Than Bouillon turkey or chicken).
- For a deeper flavor, a little bit of boxed broth or no sodium broth can be added in place of some of the water if desired.
- Because the turkey is already cooked, it should be added at the end and just heated through so it doesn’t dry out.
- Leftover gravy can be added to the soup. It can also be thickened with a scoop or two of leftover mashed potatoes.
- Noodles should not be stored in the soup if having leftovers so we cook them on the side.
Yes, turkey noodle soup can be frozen. This soup freezes best without the noodles as they can become mushy in the broth. Thaw the broth by heating directly from frozen in a dutch oven and add cooked noodles once heated through.
From Scratch Turkey Noodle Soup
Broth (or use prepared chicken or turkey broth)
If using prepared or store-bought broth, skip ahead to « noodle soup » below. If making homemade broth from a turkey carcass, place all of the broth ingredients in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook partially covered for 4 hours.
Line a strainer with cheese cloth and strain the broth. Discard the bones and vegetables. Let the broth rest at least 20 minutes, skim the fat off of the top of the broth.
Taste and season the broth with salt & pepper. Add it back into the pot and simmer uncovered to reduce to 8 cups, about 20 minutes.
Cook the onion in butter until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in flour and seasonings and cook for 1 minute. Add celery and carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
Add broth, stirring into the vegetable mixture a bit at a time. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking, cook egg noodles* in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain well.
Add the turkey and parsley to the soup and cook just until heated through. Season with additional salt & pepper.
Place egg noodles in the bottom of a serving bowl. Top with the soup.
Flour is optional but we prefer the consistency of the broth with a little bit of flour cooked in.
*Cooking the Noodles: Cook the noodles separately, this keeps them from getting mushy. If you are not planning for leftovers, the noodles can be cooked directly in the broth. Leftover soup should be stored separately from the noodles.
The broth can be prepared 3 days in advance and refrigerated.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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