Turkey Noodle Soup is a comforting and hearty dish made from tender pieces of leftover cooked turkey. Combined with a flavorful broth, seasoned with aromatic vegetables, such as onions, celery, and carrots, and infused with herbs like thyme and rosemary, this classic soup is known for its rich, savory flavor. It’s a perfect choice for warming up on a chilly day or enjoying leftover Thanksgiving in a comforting year-round dish.
Step 1 Recipe: Thanksgiving Turkey
I love Thanksgiving! A holiday that revolves around food is right up my alley. What’s better is the leftovers! We always have leftover turkey and side dishes. Combine them in different ways to create meals or snacks.
Leftover Thanksgiving Dishes
Leftovers are the heart of this site, and Thanksgiving the heart of the holiday season. It’s no wonder they go together so well! While you could stick to sandwiches and paninis, chances are you’ll get to the point where you have little to no leftovers except the glorious turkey.
Soups are an excellent way to use up leftovers. Each ingredient plays a crucial roll in the flavor profile of the soup, but no one stands out on it’s own. This makes it really easy and convenient to use leftovers, while ensuring you’ll end up with a delicious dish every time.
Exact measurements can be found in the printable recipe card below.
- If you don’t have turkey broth, use chicken broth instead.
- If you don’t have egg noodles or don’t like them, you can use any pasta.
- If your pasta is pre-cooked that saves you even more time. Just boil the broth and add the turkey and pasta in at the same time.
Dried Herbs vs Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs are always more bright, vibrant, and have a pleasing aroma. But if you don’t have fresh herbs, you can use dried herbs at half the amount.
This is an overview of the instructions. For complete directions, scroll down to the bottom.
- Saute the vegetables in a 4 quart pot with oil.
- Add the garlic and seasonings for the last minute. Heat will help develop the flavors but you don’t want to over cook them and risk burning.
- Add the broth and bring to a gentle boil. Add the pasta and cook per package instructions.
- In the last five minutes of the pasta cooking, add the turkey to warm through.
How to store and love your leftovers
- Refrigerate: Leftover turkey noodle soup can be stored in an airtight container for up 3 to 5 days.
- Freeze: Once the dish is completely cooled, freeze in souper cubes or other liquid safe containers for up to 6 months! Just leave room for expansion.
- Reheat: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight if possible. As the soup sits in the fridge the noodles will absorb more of the liquid leaving you with a less brothy soup. When reheating, add a cup or so of water or additional broth if desired.
Omit the pasta, freeze in a large batch and heat in the slow cooker a month later. Add fresh pasta a half hour before serving for an easy, fresh meal.
Keep pasta soups from becoming mushy
Have you ever heard of an ice bath? You can treat your pasta in the same way. Cook to al dente then drain in a colander. Immediately rinse with cold water. This will help stop the cooking process and rinse off extra starch.
The best noodle is a matter of personal preference. Egg noodles are a traditional choice, but you can use any pasta you like, such as wide noodles, small shells, or even rice.
Yes, you can freeze turkey noodle soup. Allow it to cool completely, then store it in airtight containers or freezer bags. Be sure to leave some space for expansion. When reheating, you may need to add a little extra broth or water to reach the desired consistency.
If your soup is too salty, you can try diluting it with unsalted broth or water. You can also add more unsalted vegetables, meat, or noodles to balance the saltiness.
- Fresh herbs elevate the flavor of this soup. If you don’t want to take the time to cut them, gather them together and secure them with kitchen twine. Drop them in after you add the broth to infuse the soup, then remove them just before serving.
- Add a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice or white wine to brighten the flavor after sautéing the vegetables.
- Get creative! If you like more veggies, feel free to add leeks, mushrooms, or spinach.
- Crusty French Bread
- Side Salad
- Leftover Pecan Pie
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Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe
- Dutch oven or large pot
- Sharp knife
- cutting board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (0.21)
- 1 small onion (0.78) diced (about ½ cup)
- 3 medium carrots (0.49) sliced into ½ inch pieces
- 3 stalks celery (0.57) sliced into ½ inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (1.32) finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (0.49) stems removed
- 1 teaspoon salt (0.04)
- ½ teaspoon pepper (0.16)
- 3 cloves garlic (0.41) pressed or minced
- 3 quarts turkey broth or chicken broth (6.54) 12 cups
- 2 ½ cups cooked turkey (5.38) shredded or cut into bite size pieces.
- 12 ounces wide egg noodles (2.22)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley finely chopped (0.12)
- In a large dutch oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil on medium heat, add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute’ until the celery and onions are tender.
- Add the rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper and stir until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.
- Add the turkey broth and bring to a gentle boil, then add the noodles and gently boil for 8-10 minutes, until cooked through.
- The last 5 minutes of cooking, add the turkey. Finish the soup with some fresh parsley and fresh cracked pepper if desired.