Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup

updated Apr 2, 2024

Leftover Thanksgiving turkey is repurposed in this noodle soup which comes together in 20 minutes but tastes like it simmered on the stove all day.

Serves6 to 8

Prep10 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 25 minutes

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For me, the best part of Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers. Day one is the day for turkey sandwiches and plates of reheated dinner. And this turkey noodle soup is the ideal next step for leftovers. It not only uses up the leftover turkey meat, but also any vegetables and herbs you may have left from the big day. 

The Ingredients You’ll Need for Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup

  • Leftover turkey. You’ll need 4 cups shredded, cooked turkey. Dark or white meat will work. To save yourself some prep time, shred the meat as you’re putting away the leftover Thanksgiving turkey. You can swap in cooked chicken here.
  • Mirepoix. This is the French word for their classic combination of carrots, onion, and celery. Sautéed together, they form a delicious base of flavor for the soup.
  • Herbs and garlic. Fresh thyme and garlic add an herby, garlicky punch, but you can use a big pinch of dried thyme if that’s all you have. Fresh parsley and dill brighten up the soup as a garnish when serving.
  • Broth. Homemade chicken or turkey stock makes this soup amazing, but store-bought low-sodium broth is also great. Vegetable broth will also work here.
  • Oil and butter. A combination of olive oil and butter is used to sauté the vegetables and add a little richness, but you can just one or the other too.
  • Egg noodles. Get dried wide egg noodles for that classic turkey noodle soup vibe.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

How Do You Make Turkey Noodle Soup?

A hearty turkey soup doesn’t have to be complicated and can come together in just 20 minutes. Here are the four basic steps.

  1. Sauté the mirepoix and aromatics. Sauté the onion, celery, and carrots in olive oil and butter. Then add in some garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant.
  2. Simmer with the broth. Add in turkey or chicken broth and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Cook the noodles. While the soup is simmering, cook dried wide egg noodles separately. Cook them separately so that the noodles don’t absorb too much broth when they’re added to the soup. This also keeps the soup from getting too starchy.
  4. Add the turkey. When the soup is ready, stir in the shredded turkey and noodles. Putting them in last will keep them from overcooking. Serve the soup with fresh parsley or dill.

What Can I Add to My Turkey Soup to Give It More Flavor?

While this soup is perfectly delicious when made with a store-bought chicken stock, you can take it to the next level in flavor by making your own turkey stock. It’s very simple and you likely already have all the ingredients.

All you have to do is put your turkey carcass and any leftover bones into a big stockpot. Cover it with water and add aromatics like onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Simmer this for a few hours, drain the liquid from the solid, and voila! You have homemade, richly flavored turkey stock.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe

Leftover Thanksgiving turkey is repurposed in this noodle soup which comes together in 20 minutes but tastes like it simmered on the stove all day.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 4

    large carrots

  • 4 medium stalks


  • 1/2

    medium yellow onion

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cloves


  • 4 sprigs

    fresh thyme

  • 8 cups

    homemade unsalted turkey or chicken stock, or store-bought low-sodium turkey or chicken broth

  • 4 cups

    shredded, cooked turkey

  • 12 ounces

    dried wide egg noodles

  • 1/2 medium bunch

    fresh parsley or dill


  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare the following, adding each to the same large bowl as you complete it: Peel and thinly slice 4 large carrots crosswise (about 2 cups). Thinly slice 4 medium celery stalks crosswise (about 2 cups). Dice 1/2 medium yellow onion (about 1 cup).

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Add the carrot mixture, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mince 2 garlic cloves.

  3. Add the garlic and 4 fresh thyme sprigs. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 8 cups turkey or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add 12 ounces dried wide egg noodles to the pot of boiling water and cook according to package instructions until al dente, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain the noodles and add them to the soup.

  4. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs from the soup. Add 4 cups shredded, cooked turkey meat, stir to combine, and turn off the heat. Coarsely chop the leaves from 1/2 medium bunch fresh parsley or dill. Serve the soup garnished with the herbs.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: This soup can be made up to 2 days ahead of time without the noodles and refrigerated in an airtight container. Cook the noodles right before eating or refrigerate cooked noodles separately from the soup.

Storage: Leftover soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.