How to Make Turkey Carcass Soup

4.96 from 188 votes
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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 188 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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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Brenda Stewart says

    So after you make the stock/broth and strain it, what do you do with the carrots, onions, and celery that were used for that? Can you use them as part of the soup ingredients?

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      No, they disintegrate into the soup and are mush by the time you’re done making the stock. The reason the stock is so good is that the vegetables do start to disintegrate into it. Just use fresh vegetables for the next step.5 stars

      • Sarah says

        I always add dumplings at the end of this soup recipe! Amazing!4 stars

  2. Tammy Harris says

    Also use the leftover smoked veggies i put on smoker
    Broccoli,,cauliflower , asparagus, carrots ,green beans, mushrooms, turnips, water chestnuts, bell peppers, red yellow, orange, babies sweet, shallots, garlic, balsamic vinegar, any spice you find appealing

  3. Mindy Meadows says

    The best soup I ever made! I used 3 cups of turkey and added some frozen peas. Made me think I’ve been making soup all wrong for 30 years it as so delicious.5 stars

  4. Jon Tyler says

    I would cut down on the salt a bit. Turned out too salty for my taste. But after diluting it a little tasted great

  5. Deede says

    I made this soup, very tasty, however, the salt content was too much. I would reduce it to 1 tablespoon, or wait to add it after. Maybe my turkey’s seasoning was too much for the use of the larger amount of salt. Also, I added bell peppers and potatoes to my soup and served it over noodles. I will make this again for sure.4 stars

  6. Amy says

    I just finished making the stock and it’s too late to eat tonight. Is it ok to refrigerate the stock and then do the soup the next day? Thanks!

  7. Dayle says

    This recipe is just what I was looking for. The soup came out great ! I did do one thing differently. I used organic onions and didn’t peel them. The skins gave the broth a nice golden color and added some additional flavor.
    Thanks for a great recipe.

  8. Lawrence Hill says

    I roasted a turkey for the first time in about 20 years. It turned out well.

    I have always wanted to try my hand at turkey noodle soup. Your recipe was easy, with perfect directions.

    This recipe is s keeper! I quickly devoured to bowls. I see why it has 5 stars!

  9. Claudine says

    Just made this soup using the carcass from our Thanksgiving turkey and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing!5 stars

  10. Angela says

    I just posted above for the instant pot. Scratch the 12 min for the second part do it for 22min and rice is perfect

  11. Aileen Harley says

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    The Best Turkey Soup I have ever tasted!!!
    This is my go to recipe for making turkey soup! Been using it for a few years now. I have tried other recipes in the past and they were always so bland. I like how detailed Karlynn made the recipe. I did not alter or change anything as it is perfect in my eyes! I used Wholesome wild rice blend by Nuworld, great rice but it contains red rice which turned the whole soup a tinge pink lol. Still tasted delicious but I will avoid any red rice blends going further. My hubby loves it he says it’s the best turkey soup ever! His only complaint was “is there going to be enough for both of us?!?”5 stars

  12. Virginia says

    Can you tell me what Wild Rice mix is? I only see instant at the store, unless I want to buy the ingredients and make it at home.

    • Karlynn says

      There is usually a smaller bag of a wild rice mix in the stores, but not instant. Any wild rice will work!5 stars

  13. Rebecca says

    Best turkey/chicken soup I’ve ever made! Used the Christmas turkey carcass AND the Thanksgiving turkey carcass from the freezer, with some giblets and shitake mushroom stems for an extra large batch. Today I’m doing it with the Instant Pot and two chicken carcasses. Can’t wait!

  14. Linda says

    I’ve made soup from chicken and turkey carcasses for more than 40 years. I was a bit dubious about this recipe but tried it and it resulted in the best tasting soup I’ve ever made! I used brown rice since I had no wild rice. I used the carcass from a 16-lb turkey and it made 20 cups of stock, so I get to make another batch tomorrow :). My sweetheart is still walking around saying “that’s the best soup I’ve ever had” and encouraging me to make more turkey so I can make more soup. I highly recommend this recipe!!

    • Karlynn says

      I am SO glad to hear it!!! Thanks for letting me know!.5 stars

  15. C June says

    My Mom always had soup from carcass, wing tips, neck, etc. Instead of just simmering carcass, put turkey, onion in roasting pan, drizzle with oil or butter. Roast until onions start to turn brown, then transfer to large pot and make broth

  16. Kathie H says

    I made this recipe after Christmas. I added diced sweet potatoes and white potatoes. Delicious and very filling

  17. Maggie says

    Loved it, along with the family, great recipe. Didn’t use the entire carcass, used wings, drums and thighs worked out beautifully. Thank you5 stars

  18. Maggie says

    Loved it, along with the family great recipe. Didn’t use the entire carcass, used wings, drums and thighs worked out beautifully. Thank you5 stars

  19. Kathy says

    I made this soup at Thanksgivings and it was eaten up so very fast. We don’t usually have a big turkey at Christmas but we did this year so that I could make more Turkey Carcass soup. I call it Turkey Bone soup. This recipe is perfect and so very DELICIOUS!! Thank you so much for sharing. It will be a “pass down” recipe.

  20. Anita says

    Essentially the same recipe I use except I add medium diced potatoes to mine. Yum.5 stars

  21. Jan says

    Essentially the recipe I use except I add medium diced potatoes to mine. Yum.5 stars

  22. Connie O says

    I am an experienced cook but never made turkey soup from roasted turkey carcass. I must say this was the richest and most flavorful broth I ever tasted. I followed the recipe precisely. I used Amish noodles instead of rice. It was delicious. 2 thumbs up!5 stars

  23. Kim says

    I eliminate the veggies and added seasonings. I use the crock pot, add the broken carcass, water to cover, and 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons, or 30 mL) of vinegar (I use a champagne vinegar, but any white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar will do). I crock on high X 4 hours, then on low overnight and through the morning. I strain the bone broth, let it cool in the frig, pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. It can then be used as a supporting broth when ill, or as a base for other cooking. Herbs can be used according to your recipe when the bone broth is reheated.

  24. Jean Doyle says

    Just finishing up the soup. Followed the recipe as is (had to google poultry seasoning and made my own) and it looks & smells delicious! Thank you!

    • Sharon K says

      Not a big rice fan. I’m thinking about using noodles instead. I think it should work.

  25. Natalie Gillilan says

    Hi there! I just wanted to double-check that the two tablespoons of salt is not a typo? That seems like an awful lot. Thank you! Natalie

    • Karlynn says

      Hi! It’s actually just enough salt, you’re using enough water to cover an entire turkey carcass and all of those vegetables in the very large stock pot.5 stars

  26. Angela W Broyles says

    Love this recipe! Have made it several times! Always a winner5 stars

  27. Sophie says

    I’m confused am I putting the onion and carrots or rather the carrots in whole and the celery and simmer for several hours and then putting more carrots diced up and sautéing some fresh onions?

    • Karlynn says

      hi Sophie, if you print out the recipe card there are very specific ingredients for the stock and then there are very specific ingredients for the actual turkey soup. Then in the directions it is split up into directions for the stock ingredients and then it is split up into directions for the actual soup ingredients if you follow those closely there should be no problem!5 stars

      • Lorraine Estevez says

        I was confused about putting the onions and carrots too. The stock and soup are two separate recipes. One for the stock and one for the actual soup. Thank you for clearing that up…

  28. Jennie says

    Brilliant! Perfect timing – came home with the turkey carcass from last night’s Thanksgiving dinner at Mom’s. 😉
    Thanks, Karlynn.

  29. Jennie says

    Karlynn, any thoughts on using the Instant Pot to make your turkey carcass soup?

    • Karlynn says

      Yup!. You can totally cook it in the instant pot just do high pressure for a good 60 minutes or so!5 stars

      • Judy Sieg says

        Followed the recipe using a smoked turkey carcass and it was delicious! I didn’t have poultry seasoning so I used a healthy mix of parsley, thyme, rosemary, and tarragon. This is definitely a keeper!5 stars

    • Angela says

      I just finished making it in my instant pot and it came out amazing! Do the first part on High pressure for 60 min and then strain. Once you strain sauté second part (butter &onions and then add veggies sauté ) add broth in with rice and cook for 12 min on high pressure again 👌🏽 Turned out so yummy

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