Transform your holiday leftovers into nourishing goodness with this soul-soothing and budget-friendly Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe!⁠

Minimize food waste and get cozy with this wholesome recipe. Packed with veggies and protein, it’s the ultimate nutritious comfort meal. It’s great for picky eaters (swap out with your fav veggies!) and for feeding a crowd. ⁠

Let this recipe be your post-celebration remedy to support your well-being as we head into the New Year. ⁠


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 medium carrots cut into 1/2-inch coins (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 stalks celery cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 cloves garlic minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 to 3 cups leftover cooked shredded turkey or shredded chicken; see notes if you’d like to use your turkey carcass
  • 3/4 cup long grain brown rice* rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus additional to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 32 ounces (4 cups) low sodium chicken broth, or vegetable or turkey broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas no need to thaw
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a Dutch oven or similar large, sturdy soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow the veggies to cook for another 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and stir in the garlic, cooking until very fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in the shredded turkey, rice, salt, pepper, oregano, broth, and water. Cover the pot and turn the heat to high (covering helps the water boil more quickly). Once the soup begins to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, adjust the lid so it is slightly ajar, and let cook until the rice is tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Stir the soup every 10 to 15 minutes, scraping a wooden spoon or spatula along the bottom to prevent the rice from sticking. Remove from the heat.
  3. Stir in the lemon juice, spinach, peas, and parsley. Cover the pot and let sit off the heat for 5 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt.
  4. Stir the soup and adjust the salt to taste (I added 1/2 teaspoon, but this will depend upon your broth and the saltiness of your turkey). Enjoy warm.


  • *If you are looking to really stretch this recipe for a crowd or want a thicker soup, up the amount of rice to 1 full cup.
  • To use your turkey carcass: Place your turkey carcass into a soup mesh bag and add to the soup at the end of Step 2, pushing it into the center of the soup so it is covered by liquid. Once soup is done simmering, right before Step 3, carefully use kitchen tongs to remove the mesh bag of turkey carcass from the soup & discard.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate for 2 to 3 days; if your turkey is already a few days old, eat the soup within 1 to 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT: The rice in the soup will absorb liquid as it sits. When reheating, add more broth or water to thin as needed; add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and pinch of salt to wake it back up.

Recipe by Well Plated by Erin.