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Leftover Turkey Carcass Soup

Leftover Turkey Carcass Soup

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Use up every bit of your holiday leftovers by turning what remains of your roast turkey into an authentic homestyle soup. Impress everyone with the easy made-from-scratch broth, then add in tender sweet potatoes, succulent pearl onions, colorful mixed vegetables and leftover turkey meat.MORE+LESS-

Make with

Progresso Broth


turkey carcass, trimmed of the meat


packs (32 oz) Progresso™ chicken broth


celery stalks, cut into 3-inch chunks


onion, peeled and quartered


carrot, cut into 3-inch chunks


tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


cup frozen pearl onions


lb package frozen vegetables or Cascadian Farm™ Frozen Organic Mixed Vegetables


cups shredded turkey meat


pinches salt and pepper, to taste


cup fresh parsley, for garnish

Hide Images

  • 1

    In a large stock pot, add the turkey carcass, stock, water, celery, onion, carrot and one bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 2

    Remove the carcass with tongs and discard. Pour the stock through a large strainer into a bowl. Discard the solids.

  • 3

    Back in the stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the sweet potato and pearl onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and bloom for 30 seconds. Add the frozen veggies, turkey meat, remaining bay leaf and reserved turkey stock. Let simmer another 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes have become tender.

  • 4

    Serve with parsley and crackers!

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • This leftover turkey soup is a serious case of waste not, want not! Make use of every scrap of your roasted bird by cooking up a classic broth-based soup using the remaining carcass of the turkey. Looking for more ways to cut down on holiday waste? We have lots of ideas for reinventing leftover turkey meat.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 turkey carcass, broken into 3 or 4 pieces
  • 3 carrots, halved crosswise
  • 2 celery stalks, halved crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 5 cups kale leaves, shredded
  • 3 cups leftover diced cooked turkey
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
  • 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

Place the carcass in a large soup pot or stockpot and add cold water to cover by 2 inches (about 14 cups). Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming any foam that rises to the surface.

Add carrots, celery, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon rosemary. Return to a boil reduce to a simmer and cook until the broth is rich and flavorful, about 2 hours.

With a wire skimmer, remove and discard turkey carcass and vegetables. Strain and transfer 8 cups of broth to a large saucepan freeze the remainder.

Bring broth to a boil over high heat. Add red-pepper flakes and remaining 1/2 teaspoon rosemary season with salt. Add kale, reduce to a simmer, and cook until kale is tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in turkey, corn, beans, and scallions and cook just until corn is heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt, if desired.

Turkey Carcass Soup Shopping List

Turkey carcass 250g (from your roast dinner)

1 tsp Worchester sauce 2p

Total: £1.48 = 37p a head for 4 people

If you enjoyed this post and would like some more family friendly budget recipes or meal plan ideas, then head over to the budget food section here on Savings 4 Savvy Mums where you&rsquoll find over 30 cheap posts dedicated to helping you cook and shop wiser for less. There&rsquos enough tips to help you save over £300 a month! You could also pop over and follow my family food Pinterest boards for lots more ideas on how to eat well and spend less Family Meal Plans on a Budget, Budget Family Meals & Budget Slimming World Recipes for Families.

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Ingredient Notes


  • Veggies – We want to use carrots, celery, and onion to develop the base of our soup. Note that in the image above the onion is chopped, but you don’t need to chop it. Just add it whole (peeled) to the soup.
  • Turkey – We’re making soup right from the carcass, we’re not wasting anything today! This will give tons of amazing flavor and flu fighting power to our soup.
  • Seasoning – Salt and pepper – be sparing with this ingredient in the early broth stage.
  • Water – A lot of this will simmer off and reduce, leaving us with beautiful broth. You can use no salt added broth instead of water for extra flavor, but really don’t waste your broth, there will be lots of flavor from the turkey carcass.
  • Turkey – Any leftover turkey meat you have, white or dark meat.
  • Noodles – Egg noodles, whatever your favorite brand happens to be! Keep in mind they cook way quicker than regular pasta. You can also choose to use your favorite type of noodle.
  • Bouillon – I love to add a chicken bouillon cube or vegeta which is actually my favorite in these types of soups. Vegeta adds lots of great flavor and it has no MSG.
  • Parsley – Fresh parsley all chopped up.

Related Video

love this soup! I made it pretty much without straying from the recipe. Quite proud to have used every bit of my thansgiving turkey right down to the bones. Very simple, just takes a while, like most soups--froze the broth and finished making the soup 3 weeks later, Pretty light, but very satisfying on a gray, cold winter day

I added turkey meat and next time would add cannellini beans. Very good recipe that uses many ingredients that you probably have on hand from Thanksgiving!

I made this with the turkey carcass from Thanksgiving. I followed the recipe and didn't add anything to it. It is by far the best Turkey soup I have ever made. I served it with crusty sour dough bread.

I mad this with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving and it was perfect! I made the recipe as it is, and added cannellini beans, along with the pasta. Awesome!

Used Tuscan kale as opposed to spinach. Added cannellini beans and ceci beans as opposed to pasta. Fennel for celery. Most nice.

Really really good. I added about 3 cups of turkey from the carcass and a couple tablespoons of congealed pan drippings (sans fat). Delicious! The only problem is that 10 cups of stock wasn't nearly enough. I guess the turkey and noodles soaked it all up. I thought about adding some Swanson turkey stock to turn it back into an actual soup, but it tastes too good as is to mess with it.

Try cooking this in the pressure cooker on high for an hour. Allow it to cool naturally. I used chicken broth instead of water and peeled tomatoes from my garden. Taste test is good as is, but I think I will add some ravioli.

I just found this soup okay. It wasn't bad, but it was a little bland. There are other things I would rather do with leftover turkey.

Yes, it's as good as the other reviewers say, and I forgot the recommended lemon. And it's beautiful. With excellent bread, a salad with goat cheese and dried fruit, and a good parmesan, not too finely grated, this would make an elegant company lunch. The only change I made was to add an entire 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained. I must say I'm puzzled, though, at the indication that this could serve 8 or 10. Two of us ate half of it for supper. It's hard to imagine that it could be stretched to 10 of even the most abstemious people.

I used stock I had already made, and did not add leeks or celery because I had none on hand. I also added roughly 2 cups of leftover turkey meat. This was a fantastic recipe, and was a hit among family and friends. I will definitely be making this again.

Had a left over roasted turkey from Christmas and made this soup. Followed directions pretty closely and it turned out to be the best turkey soup I've made! Much better than most typical turkey soup recipes. The Tuscan flavors made all the difference.

This recipe is delish!! I made it as recommended but did add a little lemon juice and zest as some other cooks suggested. I also added one can of white beans and about a cup and a half of leftover shredded turkey. We had brined our turkey so the stock was full of flavor. This is by far, the best recipe that I've discovered in a while! It is going in the recipe box and I plan on making it again very soon.

This soup is beautiful. all the colors and the aroma! It turned out very well and I added some cooked pasta at the end since I had some on hand. Next time I may try it with some of the variations mentioned by the other reviewers.

This was really easy and good and I followed the recipe, kind of. I used a crockpot to make the stock and to finish it up. What a tasty way to finish up Thanksgiving.

I used a single baking potato in lieu of the leeks (added after garlic with the onion). Also, I used the no boil lasagna noodles and one frozen package of creamed spinach - the one made with half and half and real butter. It was a HUGE HIT!

In addition to the lemon juice suggested by others, chopped or shredded cabbage does wonders for this soup. Also, white beans make a delicious substitution for the pasta. You don't have to worry about them turning to mush.

I did not have a left over carcas for stock so I bought some. I added a left over potato and the lemon suggested by others. Rosemary is still growing in my garden so I had plenty. I cooked the noodles separetely because I know from experience noodles aren't good when overcooked. Parmesean on top made it awesome. Hubby and I loved it.

I made this exactly as written. no boil lasagna noodle recommendation and will do this for soups more often-quicker and doesn't make the soup starchy.

Opps! The turkey nor the amount to add to the soup is listed in the ingredients. I added 1 1/2 cups cut into small pieces.

I agree with other reviewers about adding lemon juice. It definitely completes this wonderful soup. Only other change I've made after enjoying this soup many times is to keep the pasta separate from the soup, unless you're expecting to have the soup devoured in one sitting. In my view, the pasta becomes a little gluey over a couple of days(though the soup flavor improves and improves). Keeping it separate and adding it to indiviudal bowls at time of serving allows the pasta to retain its texture and not dissolve into the fabulous leftovers.

This is the very best recipe for leftover turkey ever.

I made this recipe exactly as written and it was wonderful. I did add a touch of fresh lemon juice as suggested and it did brighten it up a bit. My husband devoured it.

Looking for something to do with leftover Christmas dinner turkey, I was intrigued by this recipe on the Epicurious app. I made the recipe to specifications, leaving it to others to decide whether they wanted to add leftover turkey to the finished soup. Most agreed that it wasn't necessary. I felt that the grated Parmesan really helped to "make" the dish. Family members were quite happy with the results, as was I. This is a definite keeper!

I thought this soup was only average. A lot of time for nothing special.

This is a great recipe, delicious as written but also very adaptable. Filling your house with the aroma of the turkey stock alone is worth the price of admission! But the soup is quite extraordinary as well. I added the zest and juice of one lemon at the end, which I think added some needed brightness and goes great with the turkey meat. Excellent use for Thanksgiving leftovers.

How to build a great broth

The most commonly used bones for bone broth are beef bones and chicken bones in western cooking. Where I come from, in China, broths are made from many more animals and their bones, including goats, ducks, fish, quails and even snakes and more. Duck bone soup is one of my all time favourites, while I consumed snake soup once for a particular medicinal purpose &ndash but those are stories and recipes for another day.

Traditional broth doesn&rsquot include just bones either. In traditional Chinese cooking that I grew up with, other nutritious parts of the animals, like tendons, feet, joints, skins, meats and even organs are used just as frequently as bones in nourishing soups and broths. Why not? Bones are not the only parts of animals that provide key nourishments requiring a bit of boiling to be extracted.

I am telling you this, to hope that you know me a little better, and understand why I use the word &ldquobone broth&rdquo loosely sometimes in dialogues, including broths that are made from all parts of the animals.

The best broths are made with a balanced mix of cuts: some large bones and cartilages for minerals some joints, tendons and skins for gelatine (that&rsquos what makes the broth gel) and some optional meats for additional protein (especially for those with weakened digestion who can&rsquot digest meats consumed directly).

Lastly, additional aromatics can greatly enhance the flavour of the broth. Every culture has their own flavour combination. What aromatics you choose will give your broth its own characters. Try this shiitake ginger chicken bone broth (all purpose Asian stock). Keep in mind that if you don&rsquot add any aromatics, your broth will be super versatile as add-ins to take on flavours of the next dish.

A broth made from leftover carcass after meats are consumed, like this turkey carcass broth, is one of the easiest to make. There is no work in dealing with raw bones, plus the joints and skins can all be part of the broth making.


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