Family Entrees

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey and Veggie Soup

In case you missed last week’s post, I wrote a step by step guide on how to cook the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey. You can find this post here.  If this is your first time making a turkey or want to try a different way to roasting it, take a look at my method. It takes some work but once you get the hang of it, it is pretty easy to accomplish a well cooked turkey that is tender and juicy. I also included a recipe for my Homemade Cranberry Sauce. It goes perfect with any turkey.

Thanksgiving is a great holiday to celebrate. It is the perfect opportunity to reflect on all the things we have. Weather it is the big things or the little ones, our accomplishments and goal achievements. We get a chance to just sit back and be thankful for everything we have and for the lessons we have learned this past year. Being grateful that we get to enjoy these things and understanding that there are others out there who may have less. All while we share this moment with our loved ones while sharing a beautiful and delicious meal.

Dinner time is definitely one of my favorite parts of this warm holiday. I love to eat and I love to eat good home cooked food. I cook all day and make a huge feast. Then my family also brings dishes they have made to contribute to dinner. Needless to say, there is more than enough food. I try to make as many of these foods as healthy as possible. However, I do like to indulge and allow myself to enjoy a little bit of everything in it’s traditional forms. Thanksgiving is not the time to hold back on food.

Another great part of Thanksgiving food are the leftovers. With all that food, we have leftovers for days. I try to give as much to my family as they want to take home. Even at that, I’m still left with so much food I barely have any space in my fridge for it. It’s ok though because I do love to eat leftovers. I’m the type of person who finds that food tastes better the next day. So lunch on Black Friday is Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. Usually dinner is too. And I love it!

By Saturday though, I’m not too much into eating leftovers anymore. While I do love them, I get bored with having the same thing so many days in a row. I like a little variety. Even when I meal prep I try to make a variety of food to not be eating the same meal for five days straight. I also opt for things that I can make in different ways during the week and using different ingredients.

When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner left overs you can do the same thing. You don’t have to keep eating the same meal with the same sides the whole weekend. For us, what we have left over of the most is the turkey. The reason for this is because we usually have a great variety of other meats for this family dinner. My husband usually makes a ham and my mother-in-law makes a traditional Dominican pork shoulder. So everyone ends up eating a little bit of each meat. The turkey always makes the biggest amount of protein and this is why there is a decent amount of it left.

There are quite a great number of recipes online you can find to make with Thanksgiving leftovers. To be honest I haven’t really tried any of them before. I’ve only tried my own ways of using up leftover turkey. Again, it is what we typically have a good amount of left in the fridge after a couple of days and after having other people take food home. My favorite ways to use up my  turkey are in a sandwich, salad, or soup.

Making a turkey sandwich with leftover turkey is probably the most popular and obvious way. I usually have a bit of cranberry sauce left over too so I put that in the sandwich too. I chop up some lettuce and onions, add my turkey and cranberry sauce in the middle on multigrain bread. If I’m lucky to have some stuffing leftover, I throw it in there too. This is a very basic and pretty boring way to use up my turkey. It’s still pretty good though.

Making a salad is a very easy way to use up that turkey and it is actually one of my favorite ways. The turkey salad I make is delicious and it’s a good way to eat lightly after such big meals. What I usually do is I chop up my turkey and mix it with some baby spinach, red onions, dried cranberries, almonds, Greek yogurt, lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper. I don’t measure anything. Just eye it. It comes out so good though!

Lastly, my go to way to use up my leftover turkey is by making a soup. This one is absolute favorite ways because my turkey is so flavorful it makes a delicious broth after it simmers with all the veggies. It makes for a very warm and hearty soup perfect for a cold fall day. It is also a great way to eat a light dinner after a huge Thanksgiving dinner. I use some carrots, celery, red potatoes, kale, onions, garlic, fresh herbs and spices.

I just use water instead of broth because the turkey is already seasoned and has so much flavor it makes it’s own tasty broth. Also, the fresh herbs and spices add even more flavor to it. Just let it simmer for a little while and you will see how good it turns out. Making this soup is very easy to make too and usually just takes 15 minutes to make. Then just let it simmer for a little while to allow the flavors to blend in. Just don’t let the kale wilt too much. The full recipe for this soup is below.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Hope you guys enjoy this time with your loved ones and have a great Thanksgiving Day! Also, know that if you’re reading this, I am so thankful for you!

4.5 from 4 votes
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Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey and Veggie Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups left over turkey (cubed)
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • handful kale
  • 1-2 fresh thyme strings
  • 1 tsp fresh sage
  • 1 rosemary string
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 red potatoes
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 green onions
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Dice onion, carrots, celery, potatoes and garlic. 

  2. In a large pot, heat up olive oil and sauté onion until translucent. About 2-3 minutes.

  3. Stir in carrots, potatoes, and celery. 

  4. Remove rosemary and thyme from strings and add to pot along with sage, turmeric, salt, and pepper. 

  5. Stir in cubed turkey and mix well.

  6. Add water and bring to a boil. Add garlic and green onions.

  7. Bring heat down to low and cover soup to simmer for 5 minutes.

  8. Add handful of kale and cover again and let it simmer for at least another 10 minutes. The more it simmers the better the flavors but don't simmer for too long because kale will wilt. 

  9. Serve and garnish with more green onions. 

This Leftover Thanksgiving Veggie Soup is the perfect way to use up that leftover turkey. This hearty soup is flavorful and delicious. Check out recipe!

20 Comments

  1. Soup sounds like a great suggestion for leftovers. We don’t usually have too much leftovers but we do enjoy turkey throughout the year so I’ll have to remember this recipe.

    1. Thank you Rose! Yes it’s a great soup for the upcoming cold winter days.

  2. Stacey Berube

    This looks very very yummy!

    1. Thank you so much Stacey!

  3. Jenn JG

    Yum this soup sounds delicious! Great way to use the leftovers besides the usual boring ideas!! Going to keep this in mind to try, thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Jenn! Glad you liked this idea!

  4. I love Thanksgiving leftovers and I really love soup… so this is perfect!

    1. Thank you Inez! I love both too!!

  5. Meagan

    We love coming up with new ways to use our leftovers and this sounds so good!

    1. Thank you so much Meagan!

  6. Typically, we don’t like onion, but we can easily take that out. This looks amazing and so detailed!! My mouth is watering just reading this! Going to check out the rest of your recipes!

    1. yes you can omit the onion if you’re not a fan! Thank you so much Jamelyn! that was such a sweet compliment!

  7. This looks like a great recipe!

    1. Thank you so much Rebecca!

  8. What a wonderful idea for leftovers!! I have everything for this in my fridge!

    1. Thank you Pamela! That’s awesome! that rarely ever happens lol

  9. This looks so yummy and how we love eating leftovers after thanksgiving. Thanks for the recipe gonna try soon.

    1. Thank you Tosha! Hope you enjoy it!

  10. Yup, it was delicious – SO much healthier than the gravy-based (I kid you not!) soup that certain relatives w/whom we spend Thanksgiving often make! Thanks for your fresh take on this classic dish!

    1. Aww thank you so much Flossie! Adding gravy to soup sounds pretty tasty but yes not so healthy. After a huge Thanksgiving meal I’m ready for something much lighter! Thank you for trying this recipe out and for sharing! 😊

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