Perfect Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe To Try

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Transform your leftovers into a culinary masterpiece with our Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe, a soul-soothing broth brimming with flavor and nostalgia. Begin by simmering the turkey carcass, extracting every ounce of richness and savoring the fragrant memories of feasts past. Toss in a medley of robust vegetables and hearty barley, creating a symphony of textures and tastes. Infuse with fresh herbs, allowing their aromatic whispers to dance through the broth. Ladle into bowls, garnishing with a sprinkle of love and a dash of gratitude, and savor the hearty embrace of homemade goodness in every spoonful.

Embark on an exceptional culinary journey brimming with warmth and deep-rooted tradition. Uncover the secret of maximizing flavor, transforming your leftover turkey carcass into a delightful, hearty soup.

A symphony of simmering ingredients, this nourishing recipe redefines sustainable home cooking. 

Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe

Savor the dance of garlic and onion, their aroma enveloping your kitchen, their essence infusing the turkey bones. Picture the interplay of carrots and celery, adding vibrancy and depth.

Bask in the therapeutic act of soup making, with each stir unleashing hidden richness from your Thanksgiving reminiscence. 

Experience a flavor profile that is both comfortingly familiar and surprisingly nuanced. A whisper of thyme, a hint of black pepper, and the lingering warmth of the broth bring forth a culinary masterpiece.

Step into this flavorful story, perfect for the chilliest winter evenings or when you crave the simple pleasures of home. 

This Turkey Carcass Soup recipe invites exploring, savoring, and celebrating.

What Is Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe?

Turkey carcass soup is a time-honored recipe designed to use every bit of your Thanksgiving bird. The leftover turkey bones are simmered slowly, extracting deep flavors and nutrients to create a robust broth.

This base is then enriched with onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. 

Aromatic herbs such as thyme and rosemary add layers of complexity. The result is a hearty, comforting soup, often finished with leftover turkey meat and occasionally some pasta or rice, making it a perfect, sustainable dish for chilly post-holiday evenings.

Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

Absolutely! The beauty of the Turkey Carcass Soup recipe lies in its adaptability. Here’s how you can modify it to suit different dietary preferences:

  • Keto & Paleo Stick to low-carb vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, spinach, or bell peppers. Avoid adding grains or legumes. You could add more protein, like eggs or additional lean turkey meat, to keep you satiated.
  • Gluten-Free This soup is inherently gluten-free as long as you avoid adding any ingredients that contain gluten. Watch out for pre-packaged broths or seasonings which can sometimes have hidden gluten.
  • Whole30 Follow the base recipe, but skip any non-compliant ingredients like grains, dairy, legumes, or sweeteners. Amp up the vegetables or add a Whole30 compliant protein source.
  • Vegetarian & Vegan While the recipe fundamentally relies on turkey bones, you can make a flavorful vegetable broth by simmering a mix of vegetables like onions, carrots, celery, and aromatic herbs. You might also add umami-rich ingredients like mushrooms or seaweed. Replace the turkey meat with hearty veggies or plant-based proteins like tofu or tempeh.
Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe

Recipe Directions

  1. Combine turkey carcass, stuffing, vegetables, seasonings, and broth in a large pot. Add water to cover.
  2. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer for 1 hour. Skim off foam.
  3. Remove carcass and bones, separate any meat and return it to the pot. Discard bones and skin.
  4. Season with garlic salt and pepper.
  5. Add rice, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in peas and simmer until rice is tender, about 10 more minutes.
  7. Adjust seasonings and serve warm.
Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Swap rice for other grains like quinoa or barley for a heartier soup.
  • Use a variety of vegetables – spinach, zucchini, or kale add vibrant colors and flavors.
  • Spice things up with a dash of cayenne or smoked paprika.
  • Give it an Asian twist with ginger, lemongrass, and a splash of soy sauce.


  • Add cooked beans or lentils for extra protein and texture.
  • Stir in chopped leftover turkey meat or other leftover roasted meats.
  • Include hearty whole grains or small pasta shapes for a more filling soup.
  • Toss in handfuls of fresh spinach or kale just before serving for a nutrient boost.


  • Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro.
  • Add a crunch with croutons or toasted nuts.
  • Offer grated parmesan or a swirl of cream for a luxurious finish.
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice can brighten the flavors.
  • A drizzle of good-quality olive oil adds richness and depth.
Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe

Can I Make Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Absolutely! Both slow cookers and Instant Pots are excellent tools for making Turkey Carcass Soup. Here’s a brief guide:

Slow Cooker

  • Place the turkey carcass, vegetables, herbs, seasonings, and broth into the slow cooker. Add enough water to cover the ingredients.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
  • After cooking, remove the carcass and any bones. Pick off the meat and return it to the cooker. Discard the bones and skin.
  • Stir in rice and peas, and cook on high for another 20-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Adjust seasonings to taste before serving.

Instant Pot

  • Place the turkey carcass, vegetables, herbs, seasonings, and broth into the Instant Pot. Add water just to cover the ingredients, but make sure not to exceed the maximum fill line.
  • Secure the lid and set the valve to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  • Let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes, then quickly release any remaining pressure.
  • Open the pot and remove the carcass and any bones. Pick off any meat and return it to the pot, discard the bones and skin.
  • Stir in rice and peas, then secure the lid again. Set the valve to sealing and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release the pressure.
  • Check the rice for doneness and adjust seasonings to taste before serving.
Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

You can certainly use store-bought broth if you need more time or want convenience. It can still deliver a flavorful soup, especially if you select a high-quality, low-sodium variety. This allows you to control the seasoning of your soup more effectively.

However, making your own broth is a terrific way to make use of the entire turkey carcass and extract maximum flavor. Homemade broth tends to have a more robust and complex flavor than most store-bought versions.

It also allows you to control the ingredients and avoid any preservatives or additives.

Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe

How To Serve ?

Serving Turkey Carcass Soup can be a delightful experience when you add a few touches:

  • Serving Bowl: Choose a deep, wide bowl to serve your soup. This not only makes it easier to eat but also allows your guests to see all the beautiful ingredients.
  • Garnish: Garnish each serving with fresh herbs like parsley, a squeeze of lemon juice, or a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper to enhance its visual appeal and add a burst of flavor.
  • Accompaniments: Serve with a slice of crusty bread or a bread roll for dipping. A side salad can also complement the warm, hearty soup well, adding a refreshing element to your meal.
  • Temperature: Make sure to serve the soup hot. If made ahead, reheat just before serving to ensure it’s at the perfect temperature.
  • Portion Size: The portion size will depend on whether the soup is being served as a starter or a main course. A smaller serving is suitable as a starter, while a larger bowl can serve as a satisfying main dish.
Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe

Perfect Side Dishes

  • Crusty Bread: A warm, crusty bread like a baguette or sourdough loaf makes a great companion to soup. It’s perfect for dipping and soaking up the savory broth.
  • Green Salad: A crisp green salad can provide a refreshing contrast to the hearty soup. Try a simple mix of lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: For a comforting, filling meal, serve your soup with a classic grilled cheese sandwich. You can elevate it with gourmet cheeses or add-ins like avocado or tomato.
  • Roasted Vegetables: A side of roasted root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, or sweet potatoes can add a lovely sweet and earthy element to your meal.
  • Quinoa Salad: A light, healthy quinoa salad with fresh veggies, herbs, and a lemony dressing can complement the soup well.
  • Garlic Bread: Garlic bread, with its rich, buttery, and garlicky flavor, is another excellent choice to serve with soup.
  • Slaw: A crunchy slaw, perhaps with a tangy dressing, can provide a great textural contrast to the soft, warm elements of the soup.
Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Refrigeration: Store leftover turkey carcass soup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This allows the flavors to meld and deepen.
  • Freezing: Freeze the soup in portions for longer storage. Remove bones before freezing and use within 2-3 months for optimal taste.
  • Make Ahead Broth: Prepare the turkey broth in advance, strain, and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. This allows for easy removal of any solidified fat before reheating.
  • Add Vegetables Later: To retain texture and flavor, add vegetables like carrots and celery during the final reheating rather than during the initial cooking process.
  • Enhanced Flavors: Make the soup a day ahead and let it rest in the refrigerator; this enhances the overall flavor profile of the turkey carcass soup.
Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe

What Can We Do With Leftovers?

If you have leftover Turkey Carcass Soup, there are a variety of ways to repurpose it:

  • Turkey Soup Sandwiches: Shred the turkey pieces, combine with a little broth, and use as a moist filling for sandwiches.
  • Turkey Pasta: Use the leftover soup as a base for a pasta dish. Just add cooked pasta and perhaps a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
  • Risotto: Simmer your leftover soup until the broth reduces, then stir in Arborio rice and cook until creamy.
  • Turkey Pot Pie: Use the turkey and veggies from your soup in a comforting pot pie, adding a flaky pie crust on top.
  • Turkey Tacos: Use the turkey meat for a quick taco filling, adding your favorite toppings.
  • Freeze It: Portion the leftovers into individual servings and freeze for future quick meals.


  • Double Boil Elegance: Extract maximum flavor by double boiling the turkey carcass, letting the essence slowly infuse into the broth.
  • Herb Symphony: Elevate the aromatic notes with a bouquet garni of fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, and sage.
  • Root Veggie Harmony: Enhance nutritional value by adding root vegetables like parsnips and turnips for a hearty and wholesome soup.
  • Grainy Goodness: Toss in a handful of barley or quinoa for added texture and a nutrient-packed boost.
  • Citrus Surprise: Finish with a squeeze of citrus, like orange or lemon, to brighten flavors and add a refreshing twist.
  • Umami Depth: Heighten savory tones with a dash of soy sauce or miso, introducing a subtle umami richness.
  • Spice Trail: Embark on a flavor adventure by incorporating warming spices such as cinnamon or smoked paprika for a unique depth.
  • Greens Galore: Just before serving, stir in a handful of kale or spinach, adding a burst of color and nutritional goodness.
  • Crispy Delight: Garnish with homemade turkey cracklings for a crispy, savory topping that adds a delightful crunch.
  • Smoky Elegance: Infuse a touch of smokiness by incorporating a smoked turkey leg into the broth for a robust and complex flavor profile.
Perfect Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe To Try

Perfect Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe To Try

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Course: Soup Recipe


Prep time


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Turkey Carcass Soup is a soul-warming, hearty soup made by simmering the leftover turkey carcass with aromatic vegetables, herbs, and seasonings. This soup stands out for its depth of flavor achieved through slow cooking, allowing the essence of turkey and a medley of ingredients like carrots, celery, and onion to meld beautifully.

Ingredients List

  • 1 Picked 1 Turkey Carcass

  • 1/2 Cups 1/2 Leftover Stuffing

  • 2 2 Celery stalks (Chopped)

  • 2 2 Carrots (Peeled And Sliced)

  • 1 1 Onion  (Peeled And Diced)

  • 2 2 Bay Leaves

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 Poultry Seasoning

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 Ground Sage

  • 1/2 Quarts 1/2 Chicken Broth

  • Garlic Salt (To Taste)

  • Ground Black Pepper (To Taste)

  • 2 Cups 2 Regular Long-Grain White Rice

  • 16 Ounce 16 Frozen Green Peas

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Start by placing the turkey carcass into a large, deep pot. To this, add your stuffing, along with the chopped celery, carrots, and onion.
  • Tuck in your bay leaves, poultry seasoning, and sage to bring out the aromatic flavors.
  • Pour in the chicken broth, making sure all the ingredients are covered. If needed, add in additional water.
  • Slowly bring your soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium.
  • Allow your soup to simmer for about an hour, keeping an eye out for any foam on the surface. Skim this off to ensure a clear broth.
  • After an hour, remove the carcass and any bones from the pot. Pick off any remaining meat and return it to the pot, ensuring to discard the bones and skin.
  • Season your soup to taste with garlic salt and pepper, stirring well to distribute the seasoning.
  • Now, stir in your rice and bring your soup back up to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once boiling, reduce your heat to medium and allow it to simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • After this time, stir in the peas and continue to simmer until your rice is tender, usually around 10 more minutes.
  • Finally, do a taste test. Adjust your seasonings if necessary to suit your preference.
  • Serve your soup piping hot, with optional crusty bread or a side salad. Enjoy the comfort of a homemade meal, made even better by minimizing waste and maximizing flavor.
  • Ladle
  • Strainer
  • Large Pot
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Storage Containers


  • Flexible Recipe: This soup is very flexible. Feel free to adjust the vegetables, herbs, and spices to your liking or based on what you have on hand.
  • Fresh Herbs: If you have fresh herbs, feel free to use them. They’ll impart a more vibrant flavor to the soup. Just remember to add them towards the end of cooking to preserve their flavor and color.
  • Carcass Size: The size of your turkey carcass may affect the amount of broth you end up with and how hearty the soup is. Adjust the other ingredients and water as needed.
  • Skim the Fat: After simmering the carcass, you may notice some fat on the surface of the soup. Feel free to skim it off for a lighter soup, or leave it if you prefer a richer flavor.
  • Broth: Making soup from the turkey carcass is an excellent way to make homemade turkey broth. Even if you don’t want to make soup right away, you can still simmer the carcass, strain the broth, and freeze it for later use.

Nutrition Table

Turkey Carcass Soup Recipe

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