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Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice

Our turkey soup recipe is the best way to put those Thanksgiving leftovers to work. It’s made with wild rice, lots of veggies, and plenty of delicious turkey, of course.


a bowl of wild rice and vegetable soup made with leftover turkey

A Solid Recipe Plan For Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey.

Take this turkey soup recipe and immediately add it to your holiday recipe arsonal. It’s so easy, so good, and ensures that none of that leftover turkey goes to waste. There’s always a lot of focus on the Thanksgiving feast itself—but what do you do with all that leftover meat?

Every year, we find ourselves looking for ways to incorporate leftover turkey into our weekly meal plan once Thanksgiving has passed. Whether it be Turkey Hand Pies, Turkey Pot Pie, Turkey Pozole Rojo or this simple and flavor-packed turkey and wild rice soup solves that age-old problem.

ingredients laid out for turkey soup with wild rice, carrots, celery, onions and kale

Waste Not Want Not.

The last thing we want after a holiday is more heavy food, but we also don’t want to be wasteful with what is left in our fridges. This light and simple turkey soup with wild rice and lots of veggies is, without a doubt, the ultimate healthy comfort dish.

Repurposing leftovers is a great way to take part in Kroger’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste initiative. If you weren't already aware, more than 40% of the food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten, yet 1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger. Food waste undermines food security. So Kroger has committed to eliminating waste in their company completely by 2020 and ending hunger in the communities they serve by 2025.

wild rice soup made with turkey carrots, kale, onion and celery

How Do You Make Turkey Soup?

This rice and turkey soup recipe is so easy and comes together in a flash, making it just the kind of recipe you’ll want to have on hand after the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It is guaranteed to put your fridge full of leftover turkey to good use. Here’s how to make this soup:

  1. Head to your local store to pick-up ingredients. Our market of choice is our local Fred Meyer store, which makes shopping for our meals such a breeze.

  2. Cook the onions and celery in the olive oil until tender.

  3. Add the broth (or homemade turkey stock), seasoning, and rice and simmer for 20 minutes until the rice is tender.

  4. Add the turkey and kale and simmer for 5 more minutes until the turkey is warm.

  5. You just made yourself a healthy, easy 30-minute dinner, enjoy!

turkey and wild rice soup with carrots, celery, onion and kale in a ladle over a soup pot
wild rice soup with turkey, carrots, celery and onions in a bowl with a spoon

Do I Have to Use Leftover Turkey For This Soup?

Can we let you in on a little secret? It doesn't have to be November to enjoy cooking with turkey! Most supermarkets (like our Fred Meyer stores) carry turkey in the freezer section ALL year long, making this turkey soup recipe a great weeknight dinner option any time you’d like. However, there’s no rule that says you can’t swap in chicken for the turkey meat.

Here is a little tip for our fellow turkey fanatics: before our local Fred Meyer store stops selling turkeys at Thanksgiving time we buy ourselves just one more of those beautiful birds and are usually able to get a great deal on it. We save it for a few weeks before cooking it up for dinner (so we are all in the mood for turkey again) and feed the whole family (plus dinner guests) a toned down version of the classic Thanksgiving turkey all over again. Then, I use the leftovers (once again!) to create stunning dishes like this Leftover Turkey Soup recipe!

Tips For Making This Easy Turkey Soup:

The tips we have for making this soup are simple:

  • Make sure you cook the onions for a long time. The idea here isn't to caramelize them, but to get them completely translucent before adding them to the broth. This will ensure that there isn’t a sharp onion taste to the broth.

  • If you can’t find wild rice, feel free to use white or brown long grain rice instead. The recipe will be great either way.

Reminder: Wild rice still has a “toothsome” bite to it when it is fully cooked. It doesn’t turn into mush like other rice varieties which makes it a wonderful choice for this turkey soup recipe.

wild rice soup with turkey, carrots, celery and onions in a bowl with a spoon

What to Serve With Your Turkey Soup:

This turkey soup recipe makes for a wonderful lunch all on its own. It can also be a hearty dinner served with a piece of good bread or this Cornbread with Creamed Corn and Jalapeño Infused Honey on the side.

If you’d like to turn this humble bowl of leftover turkey soup with wild rice into a bountiful dinner for guests, why not add a salad? Both this Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Creamy Maple Dressing and this Celery Pear and Hazelnut Salad would make festive additions to a thoroughly autumn dinner.

What Else Can I Make With Leftover Turkey?

wild rice soup with turkey, carrots, celery and onions in a bowl with a spoon

Leftovers For Dinner? Yes, Please!

If you make this Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe we’d love to hear about it! Be sure to snap a photo, add it to your Instagram feed or stories and tag @themodernproper and #themodernproper if you do. Also, feel free to leave a comment on the post and tell your friends where you discovered the recipe!

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Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  40 min
  • Calories: 259


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups onion, minced (about 2 small)
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, 1/2 inch sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice
  • 2-3 cups kale, ribs removed, chopped
  • 2 cups turkey, cooked, shredded
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • parmesan cheese, optional


  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions, celery and carrots, sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic to the pot and sauté 2 minutes longer.
  3. Add the chicken stock, salt, pepper, basil, poultry seasoning to the pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the rice and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add shredded turkey, Kale and lemon juice. Simmer just long enough for turkey to heat through and kale to wilt.
  6. Serve with parmesan cheese if desired

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories259
  • Protein7 g
  • Carbohydrates28 g
  • Total Fat6 g
  • Dietary Fiber5 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium1575 mg
  • Total Sugars7 g

Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • kris

    is hte wild rice added uncooked - or already cooked?

    Uncooked. Hope you enjoy!

  • Chelsey

    I use this recipe whenever I want chicken soup. It is sooo good. Every single time. Last time I made it I forgot kale so I added a zucchini and I’ll probably do that going forward!

    Thanks Chelsey, we are so glad you love it! Sounds great with zucchini!

  • Jenn

    This soup was incredible with our leftover turkey, so much so I also made a few weeks later with chicken!

    Thank you Jenn, this is so great to hear!