Put your leftover turkey to work in this quick and easy Turkey Noodle Soup! It's simple but delicious and perfect year-round. Or make it with chicken!
Don’t wait for Thanksgiving! When soup beckons, you can use leftover Rotisserie Chicken to make this soup, too. Or use either one for my slow cooker chicken tortellini soup, Mexican chicken soup, or chicken quinoa soup. See more soup and stew recipes here.
Leftover turkey gets put to work in this easy soup for lunches and dinners. Aromatic vegetables, shredded turkey, and egg noodles in a savory broth; every spoonful is incredibly comforting and delicious.
Of course, you can use store-bought or homemade frozen chicken stock for this soup, but with a little extra time, you can also make your own turkey stock from the carcass.
It’s a little more work, but it’s all right here—and it’s absolutely worth it.
Making Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup for a houseful of guests? You might need extra. Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s super easy.
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup Ingredients:
- Turkey. Or chicken. Either one works fine.
- Onion, carrots, and celery (mirepoix)
- Thyme (fresh or dried) and a bay leaf.
- Parsley. A little for garnish makes a big flavor impact.
- Chicken broth. Or turkey broth…see below for making your own.
- Egg noodles. Or any pasta you prefer; it just might take a bit longer for them to cook.
- Salt and freshly ground pepper.
How to make Turkey Noodle Soup:
This recipe is easy to double, triple, or quadruple. All you need is a pot big enough—you can freeze what you don’t eat. Have a look at the recipe card below for exact amounts.
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat some olive oil. Then add chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté the vegetables until softened.
- Then pour in the broth, herbs, and the turkey. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are fork-tender—maybe 15 minutes or so. That’s it!
- If you want noodles, stir them in uncooked. Add extra pasta, if you like—but don’t add too many, otherwise they’ll soak up all your broth and you’ll be left with mush.
- Cook the noodles for as long as it takes for them to soften, anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley, adjust the seasoning if needed, then pour into bowls and serve.
How to make Turkey Noodle Soup with the carcass:
Before you make the soup, you need to simmer the turkey carcass to make broth. You can make stock on the stove or in the Instant Pot.
It pays dividends to make your own broth; turkey or chicken bones make a rich and flavorful stock. The best part? You don’t even really need a recipe.
- All you have to do is place the turkey (or chicken) carcass into a stock pot and fill it with cold water. Add a few stalks of celery, a bay leaf, an onion, maybe a few cloves of garlic, and some peppercorns.
- Bring the water to a boil and then turn down the heat to a low simmer on the stove. Cover the pot. Simmer for a few hours.
- Pour the stock through a fine mesh strainer set over a very large bowl or pot. Discard bones, meat, skin, vegetables and herbs, and reserve the liquid. Use right away, or cover the container and refrigerate.
If you like, you can skim the fat off of the chilled stock before proceeding with the recipe. That’s your stock!
Now you’re ready to make Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup whenever your heart desires. Freeze the extra stock to use in recipes later.
Making turkey broth in the Instant Pot:
Using a pressure cooker to make stock from leftover turkey makes very short work of the process. This applies to chicken, too!
- First, add the turkey carcass, any aromatics, and water to the pressure cooker.
- Select High Pressure and set timer for 30 minutes. When timer sounds, turn the pressure cooker off and use a natural release.
When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Let the broth cool slightly.
- Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl or another pot. Throw away bones, meat, skin, vegetables and herbs, but keep the liquid.
- Use immediately, or cover the bowl and refrigerate. If you want, you can skim the fat off of the chilled stock before proceeding with the recipe.
How to make Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup in a Slow Cooker:
If you don’t mind waiting, you can absolutely make this recipe in the slow cooker. It takes much longer than it does on the stove, though.
- To start, add the broth, turkey, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, and thyme to the slow cooker.
- Cover, and cook on HIGH for 3 hours, or LOW for 6 hours.
- Once the time is up, stir in the egg noodles and cook 15 minutes longer on HIGH until the egg noodles are tender.
Can you make Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup in an Instant Pot?
If you have an electric pressure cooker that’s begging to be broken in, you may want to save it for a recipe that takes longer to cook on the stovetop or in the oven.
This recipe is so easy, as-is, that it just works better on the stove. It’s ready in under 30 minutes, once you start cooking.
However, Instant Pots are unbeatable for making homemade chicken and turkey stock.
If you’re lucky enough to bring home the Thanksgiving turkey, do yourself a flavor and make your own stock. It saves a ton of time; plus homemade broth is better than anything you can buy.
Once you make the stock, then you can whip up this soup on the stove, as fast as any mom or grandma ever did.
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 8 cups (2 quarts) chicken broth
- 3 cups leftover turkey chopped or shredded
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 ounces wide egg noodles
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Minced fresh parsley for garnish
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in broth, turkey, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in noodles and cook until tender, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh parsley.