creamy turkey and rice soup
Leftovers, Soups and Stews

Creamy of Turkey and Rice Soup From Leftover Roast Turkey

Cooks in 1 Hour 30 Minutes Difficulty Medium 2 comments

Thanksgiving invariably means leftover turkey. This creamy turkey rice soup is a great way to use up all those bits and pieces of leftover turkey meat plus the turkey carcass! Simple ingredients make a hearty, warming soup filled with a creamy bone broth that the whole family will enjoy.

I have spent years making every turkey dinner for my family. And I always end up with a pan full of bits and pieces of that roast turkey. It’s a real shame to toss it out. So, I have developed this excellent bone broth-based cream soup to use it all up!

This creamy rice and turkey soup has a well-developed flavor from the rich bone broth we make from scratch! Don’t let that scare you; we can make this soup in under two hours!

If you love leftover recipes, be sure to see our leftover inspired recipes here.

finished turkey soup

Let’s get out the stock pot and make some bone broth!

Making a good bone broth can be intimidating if you’re new to the kitchen. It’s really not. Take the turkey’s carcass and remove all remaining chunks of meat. Wrap that backup and put it in the fridge for now.

Toss the bones, fat, and gristly bits into a stock pot. Cover with just enough water that everything is submerged. Bring the whole pot to a rolling boil on high heat.

Reduce the heat to let it simmer for one hour. This is the time you can add herbs if you wish. But we wanted straight turkey bone broth for that rich turkey flavor for this recipe.

Add water as needed to keep the bones submerged as the broth is boiling. Remove from the heat after one hour.

removing turkey bits from bone broth

Here is the tricky part and where good kitchen tools pay off. You will need to remove all the gristle, fat, and bones. No one likes bone bits in a soup. So how are you going to achieve this? You can either strain through a strainer into your soup pot or bowl. Or you can scoop. I used my Kitchenaid gourmet rust-resistant kitchen strainer. Its slots are small enough to catch most leftovers.

Once you’ve strained the broth off the leftovers, set it aside and work on the soup base.

Get the Dutch oven or soup pot on for this creamy turkey soup!

I used my stainless steel Dutch oven for this recipe because it holds the right amount of soup for my family. As I have said before, I like to make larger batches to keep some for work lunches. My adult asd child is a soup fanatic, so having extra is really important to me.

Let’s get to it! Wash, peel, and chop the vegetables we are sautéing them in a bit of olive oil. Stir the celery, carrots, and onions as they sauté so they don’t burn. When they are done sautéing, you need to measure the bone broth and add it immediately. We are using five cups of the rich turkey bone broth in this cream soup.

Add into the pot one-half cup of uncooked white rice. Let the soup simmer now uncovered for twenty minutes. The rice will thoroughly cook, and the carrots will become fork-tender.

While the soup is simmering, pull that turkey meat out of the fridge. You remember the meat we removed from the carcass and roasting pan. Chop it up into smaller pieces.

Add the chopped turkey meat and one cup of heavy cream when the soup is done. Yes, that’s right, I used a full-fat cream gasp! 35%, in fact. If you want the soup to be lighter, use a lower-fat cream or milk. I was going for the added richness in this recipe.

Add half a teaspoon of dried parsley and half a teaspoon of black pepper. I added a dash of salt at this point because it needed it. Add more or less salt according to your taste.

Allow the whole pot to simmer for five minutes before removing from the heat and serving.

This leftover turkey cream soup has an intense, rich, creamy flavor paired with a strong turkey flavor reminiscent of Thanksgiving dinner! Enjoy this hearty soup for lunch or dinner.

The leftover soup is kept in the fridge for up to three days. It can easily be reheated on the stovetop or microwave.


Turkey: Thanksgiving tradition means turkey. Roast turkey is always plentiful and means there is a whole carcass to deal with. Instead of tossing them, make a delicious bone broth for the base of this seasonal soup.

Celery: Adds a savory flavor and texture when used in soup bases. The mild bitterness of celery plays off the sweet nature of the carrots and onions.

Carrots: Have a sweetness that, when combined with the celery and onions, often makes a great soup base. I used whole carrots diced into small pieces for this soup to give it a more delicate bite.

Onions: This soup uses white cooking onion for its deep flavor. Chopped into small pieces, it softens in the soup, and it almost goes unnoticed in the finished dish.

Cream: This recipe is intended to be incredibly rich and creamy, so we used a heavy cream. If you prefer to watch your calorie intake, a lighter cream or milk will make the base creamy.

Parsley: Dried parsley is an excellent herb for turkey soups. It adds a bit of color and complements the turkey’s savouriness. If you don’t have dried parsley, chervil will work as well.

Salt: This common spice is added to soups to bring out the ingredients’ full flavor. We use a small amount because we are watching our salt intake. You can add more as needed to suit your taste.

Substitutions for the Creamy Turkey and Rice Soup

Turkey: Chicken makes an excellent sub in this turkey soup. In fact, you can follow the whole recipe right through, from broth making to the finished soup, with little change. If using a roasted chicken carcass, you will need to save more of the roasted chicken to add back into the finished soup. If you make roast chicken to use breast meat, you can double down on kitchen effectiveness by keeping this recipe in mind.

Celery: This bitter vegetable can be replaced with fennel with little difference to the finished soup. I recommend using only the fennel bulb and adding a bit of fresh Italian parsley leaves to replace the celery leaves in the recipe.

Carrots: Add sweetness to this recipe; however, if you don’t have carrots, they can be replaced with chopped parsnips. Not though that parsnips have a distinct flavor, which will alter the flavor profile of this soup considerably.

Onion: You can use any large onion in the soup base. The cooking onions just generally have a more robust flavor.

Cream: Replace the 35% cream with 18% or less. In fact, you can use 2% milk or even skim milk. The more you reduce the milk fat ratio, the less creamy the soup will become. Try adjusting the bone broth to milk ratio to increase the creamy nature of the soup while reducing the milk fat.

Expert Tips and Serving Suggestions:

It is essential when making the bone broth to ensure no stuffing makes it in. The turkey meat should be fat-free before being added back into the soup.

Serve the rich, creamy soup with a side of crusty bread. Or soda crackers. This creamy turkey and rice soup would also make a tasty family dinner starter after the holidays.

creamy turkey and rice soup (1)

Creamy Turkey and Rice Soup From Leftover Roast Turkey

Amber Bondar
This creamy turkey and rice soup makes full use of the holiday leftover turkey. Everything from the roasting pan gets used up in this hearty creamy soup that is rich in turkey flavor. This makes enough to feed a large family or to have leftovers for school/work lunches the next day.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 8


  • 1 Stock Pot
  • 1 Dutch Oven Soup Pot
  • 1 Strainer Hand held or other
  • 1 measuring cup
  • 1 Teaspoon
  • 1 knife
  • 1 Vegetable peeler


Turkey Bone Broth

  • 8 Cups Water More or less as needed
  • 1 Whole Turkey Carcass Meat Removed

Creamy Turkey and Rice Soup

  • 3 Stalks Celery With Leafy Tops Sliced Into Pieces
  • 3 Lrg Carrots Peeled Diced Small
  • 1 Lrg White Onion Diced
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 5 Cups Turkey Bone Broth
  • ½ Cup Uncooked White Rice
  • 3 Cups Leftover Chopped Turkey Meat
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream Or lighter cream or milk
  • ½ Tsp Dried Parsley
  • ½ Tsp Black Pepper
  • Dash of Salt Adjust to taste


Make Turkey Bone Broth

  • In a large stock pot add broken up turkey carcass with gristle and fat.
  • Cover with water. Bring to a rolling boil on high.
  • Reduce temperature to simmer for one hour.
  • Check back and add water as needed to keep bones submerged.
  • Using a strainer remove all the bone, gristle, fat and leftover bits of meat from the broth.
  • Set aside until needed.

Creamy Turkey and Rice Soup

  • Wash and chop the celery including the leaves.
  • Wash peel and dice the carrots.
  • Peel and dice the white cooking onion.
  • In Dutch oven or soup pot add the olive oil and the vegetables.
  • Saute on high stirring constantly for five minutes.
  • Measure and add in the turkey bone broth.
  • Add the uncooked white rice and allow to simmer for twenty minutes with lid off. Stir occasionally to prevent rice from sticking.
  • Add the cream, chopped turkey, herb and spice. Allow to simmer for five more minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve.
Keyword easy meal ideas, leftover, mushroom soup, turkey


  1. 5 stars
    I was looking for a different kind of turkey soup, not your run-of-the-mill turkey, broth and vegetables. I came across this creamy turkey soup and it is delicious! I substituted fennel for the celery and a sweet onion for the white onion. The flavor is unbelievable, buttery like almost. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. It will go in my Favorites file for sure!

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