How to Make Turkey Carcass Soup

top down shot of Turkey Carcass Soup in a marble table with some wild rice mix

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One of the best ways to use up your holiday leftovers is to make a turkey carcass soup when you are done with your roast turkey. This is a great waste not, want not recipe to make sure you are making the most out of your food!

Turkey Carcass Soup and a spoon in a marble table
How to Make Turkey Carcass Soup

How to Make Turkey Soup From Scratch

If you want to make turkey soup from scratch you are going to have to start with using up your leftover turkey, whether it’s from my deconstructed turkey This is the best way to use up your roast turkey, making a soup that is loaded with healthy vegetables, lean turkey meat and a homemade broth. I like to also add in wild rice to make it a meal in a bowl!

1.Break Down The Roast Turkey

Take the roast turkey and remove all of the meat from the bones and place in a container. Break the turkey carcass apart at the joints where you can, in order to be able to fit it into the soup pot. Remove all the skin and fatty parts as well.

2.Simmer the Turkey Carcass

Place the turkey pieces into a large stock pot. You now have to add the seasonings. Throw in a large onion cut into quarters, 2 carrots  cut in thirds, 2 celery stalks ( if you have the leafy tops those are amazing for flavour, add them in!) . Add in 2 tbsp of salt,  5-6 peppercorns, 3 bay leaves, 2-3 springs fresh parsley if possible and then cover the turkey with water, just to the top of it. Simmer for 3-4 hours until the turkey bones are starting to break down, the meat is falling off the bone and the broth is looking nicely colored.

3.Remove the Carcass and Strain

Remove the carcass from the soup pot carefully and set aside. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer then return to the pot.

4.Add the Remaining Soup Ingredients

Add in the rest of the soup ingredients and cook until the vegetable are soft and the rice has cooked completely.

top down shot of Turkey Carcass Soup in a marble table with some wild rice mix

Tips & Tricks for Making Turkey Soup from a Carcass

  1. The key to this fast and easy turkey carcass soup recipe is removing the fat BEFORE you make the broth. A lot of recipes will have you cool the turkey broth and then skim the fat off the top, but when I am making the soup I want it THAT DAY, and I’m not usually making it for another time. Remove the skin, the fat and clean up the bones and you will have a soup that has just the right amount of flavour from fat.
  2. When you are removing the meat, chop it into the small pieces for the soup and measure out the two cups of meat while you are doing that, it saves a ton of time.
  3. Only use enough water to cover the bones and vegetables in your soup pot. If you use too much water you are going to have a weak broth.
  4. If you want to make more broth, you can add more water but you will have to compensate for diluting the flavour by adding store-bought  chicken or turkey stock of you own to the homemade broth.This is totally ok if you want to make a large batch and have a smaller turkey!
  5. Skim any foam off the top of your simmering soup while you are cooking it for the three hours. This does NOT need to be in the soup!

close up soup bowls of Turkey Carcass Soup in a marble table with some wild rice mix

Make This Turkey Carcass Soup From the BEST Roast Turkey Recipe!

Now, if you need a foolproof method to make the best, most render and juicy turkey ever, try my Roast Turkey recipe. That recipe is the best method of cooking a turkey, period. I have tried it all. Breast down, red wine, convection, low and slow, fast and furious, and THAT method in that recipe yielded the best turkey I have ever made. if you are looking for another great leftover turkey recipe, try my Turkey Pot Pie, that is a great recipe for using up the extra meat, while this turkey carcass soup uses up the bones.

This turkey carcass soup will definitely be simmering on my stove top on Boxing Day if we make turkey for Christmas this year! I think we might be having prime rib this year, but if I know my Mom, there will be a small roast turkey at some point during the holidays, I just know it. You can make this into a turkey noodle soup, simply skip the rice and add in precooked egg noodles once the vegetables are done cooking.

Happy cooking!

Love,

Karlynn

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One of the best ways to use up your holiday leftovers is to make a turkey carcass soup when you are done with your roast turkey. This is a great waste not, want not recipe to make sure you are making the most out of your food! #turkey #soup #broth

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How to Make Turkey Carcass Soup

One of the best ways to use up your holiday leftovers is to make a turkey carcass soup when you are done with your roast turkey. 
4.96 from 148 votes
top down shot of Turkey Carcass Soup in a marble table with some wild rice mix
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Total Time
3 hours 10 minutes
Course
Soups
Cuisine
American
Servings
8
Calories
261
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients
 

Turkey Stock Ingredients

  • 1 turkey carcass cleaned of skin, fat and meat
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh parlsey or 2 tsp dry
  • water to top

Turkey Soup Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 4-5 large carrots diced large
  • 3-4 stalks celery diced large
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 cups diced turkey meat
  • 8-10 cups turkey stock
  • 1 cup wild rice mix

Instructions
 

  • Break the turkey carcass apart at the joints where you can, in order to be able to fit it into the soup pot. Remove all the skin and fatty parts as well. 
  • Place the turkey pieces into a large stock pot. Add the onion, the carrots and the celery stalks ( if you have the leafy tops those are amazing for flavour, add them in!) . 
  • Add in the salt, peppercorns, bay leaves,,fresh parsley, and then cover the turkey with water, just to the top of it. 
  • Simmer for 3-4 hours until the turkey bones are starting to break down, the meat is falling off the bone and the broth is looking cloudy.
  • Remove the carcass from the soup pot carefully and set aside. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer then place in another pot.

Turkey Soup Ingredients

  • Chose the soup pot that you want to use, then add in the butter. Fry the onions until soft, then add in the celery and carrots. Fry for another 4-5 minutes, then add in the poultry seasoning. Fry for 1 minute.
  • Add in the turkey meat, the broth and the rice, Stir. Bring to a low simmer and cook until the rice is done and the vegetables are soft.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

  • If you want to reduce the stock, after you strain it you can return it to the same pot and boil it until it's reduced. This will make it stronger tasting.
  • I have estimated that you will have around 8-10 cups of broth when you are done cooking to use in your soup. If you made more than that, simply store the extra in a container and freeze for later!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 261kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 459mg, Potassium: 656mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 6160IU, Vitamin C: 4.5mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 1.7mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Mlrnewman says

    Too salty. Cut the salt in half. Otherwise a good recipe.4 stars

  2. jean-guy baribeau says

    Thank you for this excellent recipe.

    What size turkey would provide 8-10 cups of stock?

    Thanks,

    jgb

  3. Pat says

    Is it safe to make soup from turkey cooked 9 days ago?

  4. Charlie says

    We pretty much followed the recipe exactly except that used orzo pasta instead of rice. Soup came out fantastic! This day after thanksgiving cook up gave us plenty of leftover soup to placing the freezer.5 stars

    • Ed says

      Why are the ingredients listed LAST in the step-wise Instructions/directions on how to make turkey soup? Following along, there is suddenly a note to do something “until the the rice is cooked.”
      What rice? Where? How much? It takes a lot of fishing around this site in order to find out the ingredients which are assumed. It’s as if this is backwards. It would be nice to know FIRST what all the ingredients are, and THEN go from there. Not the other way around. Thank you.

  5. Joanne says

    Yum! I used fresh veggies that were left over from Thanksgiving fresh thyme, sage & parsley. I added halved small tomatoes and a handful of penne pasta. Topped the soup with shredded Parmesan. Oh so good!5 stars

  6. Starla Kennelly says

    This is so tasty! Thank you! Question: what size is each serving that the nutrition facts are based on?

  7. Gail says

    Recipe for turkey stock is way over salted -2Tablespoons of salt. GauRuined my whole pot of soup.Tried to correct. But it was impossible.What a waste!!!

    • DLehmann says

      Out of curiosity if you’re not a salt person why on gods green earth would you put in the full 2 tablespoons knowing how much sodium that is? So it did not ruin your stock if you made the decision to put the full amount in, in my eyes you ruined it by putting it in. I thought it was delicious 😋
      Salt is something that always can be added after so if anything error on the side of two little knowing you can add more

  8. Adsach says

    It makes for a much better soup if you leave the skin and fat on. Once the stock is finished, let it cool and skim the fat off. You’re losing a lot of flavor if you don’t.3 stars

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      There is so much meat, fat and cartilage left on Turkey at the joints -and not to mention that the bone marrow is fatty as well- that you don’t have to leave gobs of fat in it. The reviews speak for itself, everyone loves the soup done as is. No waiting for it to cool so you can skim fat off. Just making soup right away. I am all about homemade soup from scratch,

      All of the three stars and less reviews come from people who have never made the soup!5 stars

  9. Bev says

    It was great and I particularly liked how you wrote up the instructions making it very easy to follow the steps!5 stars

  10. Sherry says

    Absolutely delicious!! I was uncertain if it would taste as good as it looked, but it exceeded my expectations! A lot of steps and chopping but well worth the trouble.5 stars

  11. Jan says

    I like to cut my vegetables–onions, carrots, celery and potatoes up in smaller cubes–the only time I like large cut vegetables is in a beef stew. Serve with a choice of soda crackers, French or Italian Bread.5 stars

  12. ginger peck says

    This recipe was both easy and delicious. The tips REALLY helped (I wanted to put waaaay to much water in the pot). I added a small lemon to the turkey bone water which I do for chicken soup.5 stars

  13. Yvonne says

    Hello Karlynn,
    I wanted to write and thank you for your roasted turkey recipe.
    This is the first time I have used an oven bag for a turkey, and your recipe using the added broth was also new to me.
    I had homemade chicken broth in my deep freeze and also had purchased oven bags some time ago.
    So, it was good to use these items up.
    My turkey was moist and juice, also beautifully browned. Very little clean up which was a plus. I also roasted a shoulder of lamb in an oven bag with a little broth, and it was so good.
    Thank you so much for this recipe, and know it will be used again and again for other types of meat also.. Very thankful and may you have a blessed Transgiving.

  14. Michelle Pinter says

    Having removed most of the meat, I always, always roast the carcass and any left over bones and scraps with onion, celery, carrot, and garlic for at least an hour in a dutch oven at 375⁰. The carcass should be deep brown. Add cold water to cover, more garlic, onion, carrot, plus parsley and rosemary, sage, and whatever other herbs you want. Simmer for 2 hours at least. Refrigerate overnight – this is essential. Skim the hardened fat off. Warm and strain the broth, pressing hard on the solids.

    At this point you should have a couple quarts of broth. I add some salt or broth concentrate. – Better than Bouillon Chicken is my choice. Make sure you undersalt a bit. If your turkey had additives or had been brined the meat will add significant salt.

    You can take this in any direction with the seasonings and veggies you add. Asian noodle or rice soup, tortilla soup, mulligatawny soup. Turkey and dumplings is awesome. Turkey pot pie. Just like chicken broth.5 stars

  15. R says

    I only ended up with a very small amount of broth after 3 hours of simmering. I only had a 10lb turkey to start with. Suggestions moving forward with the soup? Add water, broth? I don’t want to lose the flavor.4 stars

    • Kenz says

      Same thing happened to me, I simmered for about 3 1/2 hours last night and only came out with about 5 cups of broth.. so I added a little bit of campbells chicken broth and it turned out great

  16. Dale Ernst says

    This is a good basic recipe, but removing the fat and skin is removing flavor. Leave the fat and skin on, and after straining, let the broth sit for about 10 minutes. The fat will form a film on the surface which can easily be removed with a paper towel or piece of bread.5 stars

  17. Mark says

    Great use of the turkey carcass. Followed the recipe except I did not remove the skin and fat but did the broth a day ahead and allowed to cool and strained the fat layer off. Plus it allowed the house to spell good for 2 days! Also used fresh herbs of rosemary, thyme, parsley and sage tied in a bouquet in the final product. The broth is the richest I have ever made. Thanks!5 stars

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