25-Minutes Turkey Escarole Soup – A Soul-Soothing Meal

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Indulge in the homey warmth of our Turkey Escarole Soup, a rustic and hearty bowl of comfort. Savory ground turkey mingles with tender escarole, creating a delightful dance of flavors and textures. Carrots and celery add a subtle sweetness, while a robust broth infused with herbs brings everything together. Each spoonful promises a comforting embrace, making this soup the perfect remedy for chilly days or when you’re in need of a nourishing, soul-soothing meal.

A tender memory dances in my mind whenever the scent of simmering turkey escarole soup wafts through the air. As a child, I found comfort in the clinking of my grandmother’s ladle against the pot, her hands lovingly stirring a medley of ingredients. 

Turkey Escarole Soup

The tender turkey star found its robust partner in escarole’s slightly bitter charm, creating a symphony of flavors in every spoonful. This soup, an emblem of shared meals, bore witness to laughter echoing off walls and secrets whispered over steamy bowls. 

Today, as I recreate this cherished recipe, I’m transported back to my grandmother’s cozy kitchen. Each simmer, each stir, unfurls the soft echo of her legacy. 

While I invite you to relish this nourishing recipe, remember that it’s not just soup—it’s a bowlful of nostalgia, a ladle of love, and a testament to food’s remarkable ability.

What Is Turkey Escarole Soup?

Turkey escarole soup is a hearty, nourishing dish brimming with tender chunks of turkey, escarole leaves, and often accented with beans or pasta. It’s rooted in Italian-American cuisine, where escarole, a type of endive, is prized for its slightly bitter flavor that balances the richness of the turkey. 

Simmered in a savory broth, the ingredients meld into a warming, comforting soup, perfect for colder days or when you need an enjoyable meal. It’s a culinary symbol of warmth, nutrition, and homey satisfaction.

Turkey Escarole Soup

Can You Vary The Turkey Escarole Soup With Other Ingredients?

Absolutely, Turkey Escarole Soup can be modified to suit various dietary preferences:

  • Vegan/Vegetarian Substitute turkey with tofu, tempeh, or chickpeas. Use vegetable broth and add more veggies for nutrition.
  • Gluten-Free Choose gluten-free broth and use rice or gluten-free pasta instead of regular grains.
  • Paleo/Whole30 Stick to compliant ingredients, including broth, turkey, escarole, and non-starchy veggies like zucchini or bell peppers.
  • Keto Emphasize low-carb veggies and healthy fats. Increase olive oil or heavy cream, and limit or remove beans for strict keto adherence.
Turkey Escarole Soup

Recipe Directions

  1. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Sauté the turkey until cooked and browned.
  2. Add a variety of vegetables and aromatic spices to the pot. Sauté until the onions turn translucent and the flavors meld together.
  3. Introduce the vibrant greens, stirring until they begin to wilt slightly.
  4. Incorporate tomatoes, stock, and water to achieve the desired consistency if needed. Add in some pasta and a cheese rind for a rich and creamy touch.
  5. Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes, allowing all the flavors to meld together beautifully.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your preferences, ensuring a perfectly balanced flavor profile.
  7. Serve up a comforting bowl of the Hearty Turkey Escarole Soup and savor its heartwarming goodness.
Turkey Escarole Soup

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Turkey Escarole Soup lends itself to a myriad of delightful variations, add-ons, and toppings that can cater to every palette. Here are some possibilities:


  • Italian Twist: Add cannellini beans and small pasta like ditalini for a heartier, Italian-inspired version.
  • Spicy Take: Stir in some red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños for a spicy kick.
  • Winter Warmer: Toss in root vegetables like carrots and parsnips to make it a more filling winter meal.


  • Protein Power: Include lentils or chickpeas for a boost of plant-based protein.
  • Veggie Boost: You can add other vegetables like zucchini, spinach, or kale for added nutrition.


  • Cheesy Finish: Sprinkle a handful of Parmesan cheese on top before serving for a salty, tangy touch.
  • Crunch Factor: Add croutons for a delightful crunch that contrasts with the soup’s smooth texture.
  • Fresh Flavors: Top with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or basil for a bright, fresh flavor.
Turkey Escarole Soup

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

Yes, you can definitely prepare Turkey Escarole Soup using either a slow cooker or an Instant Pot. Here’s a brief outline for both methods:

Slow Cooker

  • Combine all the ingredients (excluding the escarole) in the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, until the turkey is cooked and flavors meld together.
  • About 30 minutes before serving, add the chopped escarole to the slow cooker and stir well. Cook until the escarole wilts into the soup.
  • Check seasoning, add salt and pepper if needed, then serve.

Instant Pot

  • Use the ‘Saute’ function to cook any raw ingredients, like onions or garlic, to release their flavors.
  • Add the turkey and other ingredients (again, excluding the escarole) to the Instant Pot.
  • Close the lid and set the pot to ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’ on high pressure for around 15 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally, then open the lid and switch back to the ‘Saute’ function.
  • Stir in the escarole and let it cook until it wilts, about 5 minutes.
  • Adjust seasoning and serve hot.

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

You can use store-bought or homemade broth when making Turkey Escarole Soup. Both have their own advantages.

Store-Bought Broth

  • This is a convenient, time-saving option that works well for quick meals. There are many high-quality store-bought broths available today, both in regular and low-sodium varieties. 

Choose one that best fits your dietary needs and flavor preferences. If you opt for a store-bought broth, make sure to taste it before adding any additional salt to your soup.

Homemade Broth

  • Making your own broth allows for more control over the ingredients and flavor. If you have leftover turkey bones, you can simmer them with aromatic vegetables and herbs to create a flavorful broth. 

Homemade broth can be richer and more nuanced in flavor compared to store-bought options, but it requires more time and preparation.

Turkey Escarole Soup

How To Serve?

Serving Turkey Escarole Soup can be a simple, elegant affair. Here are some suggestions:

  • Bread: A crusty piece of whole-grain bread or a baguette makes an excellent side to this hearty soup. The bread can be used to soak up the flavorful broth.
  • Salad: A fresh, crisp salad would complement the soup well, adding a refreshing contrast to the warm, hearty soup.
  • Cheese: Sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top for a savory finishing touch.
  • Wine Pairing: A light white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a medium-bodied red like Merlot could be a good pairing.
  • Serving Dish: Serve the soup in a deep, wide bowl to showcase its vibrant colors and textures. Garnish with fresh herbs or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Turkey Escarole Soup

Perfect Side Dishes

Turkey Escarole Soup is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Here are some suggestions:


  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: The gooey, rich flavors of a grilled cheese sandwich provide a delicious contrast to the light and savory soup.
  • Turkey and Avocado Wrap: A wrap filled with lean turkey and creamy avocado slices could further highlight the turkey in the soup.


  • Italian Chopped Salad: With salami, mozzarella, tomatoes, and olives, this salad complements the Italian roots of the soup.
  • Classic Caesar Salad: The creamy dressing and crispy romaine lettuce in a Caesar salad offer a great contrast to the soup.

First Course

  • Bruschetta: Traditional Italian bruschetta, with fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic, can be a refreshing first course.
  • Caprese Skewers: Skewers with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and basil leaves are a light, simple, and visually appealing starter.
Turkey Escarole Soup

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Storage: Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: Turkey escarole soup freezes well. Once cooled, ladle it into freezer-safe containers, leaving some room for expansion. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  • Reheating: Reheat the soup gently on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of broth or water if it thickens too much upon reheating.
  • Make Ahead: This soup improves in flavor when made ahead. Prepare the soup up to 2 days in advance, allowing the flavors to meld. Reheat before serving for a quick and satisfying meal.
Turkey Escarole Soup

What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Reheat and Eat: The simplest option is to reheat and enjoy another bowl. The flavors often deepen over time, making leftovers even more delicious.
  • New Soup: Use it as a base for a new soup. Add fresh vegetables, grains, or a different type of protein to change it up.
  • Stew or Casserole: Thicken the soup with a bit of flour or cornstarch and add some extra veggies or grains to make a stew or casserole.
  • Sauce: Blend the soup until smooth and use it as a sauce over pasta, grains, or protein.
  • Freeze: Portion the leftovers into individual servings and freeze for a quick and easy future meal.


  • Enhance the flavor by using homemade turkey broth. Simmer turkey bones with aromatics like onions, carrots, and celery for a rich base.
  • For added texture and nutrition, add a handful of cooked quinoa or barley to the soup.
  • Consider adding a splash of white wine or a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving to brighten the flavors.
  • For a creamy variation, stir in a dollop of Greek yogurt or a splash of heavy cream.
  • Spice it up with a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce for a kick.
  • Add depth to the soup by incorporating a teaspoon of smoked paprika or a tablespoon of tomato paste.
25-Minutes Turkey Escarole Soup - A Soul-Soothing Meal

25-Minutes Turkey Escarole Soup – A Soul-Soothing Meal

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Course: Soup Recipes


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Turkey Escarole Soup is a comforting, hearty dish that seamlessly blends the robust flavors of tender turkey with the slightly bitter charm of escarole.


  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

  • 1-1/4 lb 1-1/4 Ground Turkey

  • 1 1 Medium Onion, Chopped

  • 2 2 Zucchini, Chopped

  • 8 Oz 8 Mushrooms, Sliced

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Red Pepper Flakes (Mild Or Hot) ( To Taste)

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Dried Thyme Leaf

  • 4 tsp Fresh 4 tsp Fresh thyme Leaves

  • 1/2 Tbsp 1/2 Black Pepper

  • 1 1 Escarole, Washed, Roughly Chopped ( Large Head)

  • 2 2 (Baby Spinach) (Small Bags)

  • 6 Oz 6 Canned Or Fresh Tomato, Ground Or Chopped

  • 4 Cups 4 Chicken stock (Low-Sodium Store-Bought Or Homemade)

  • 1 Cup 1 Water (If Needed To Cover)

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Small pasta (Orzo, Pilaf Noodles, Broken Spaghetti, Etc.)

  • Rind Of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (Any Size You Have)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat (takes about 1 minute).
  • Add 1-1/4 lb ground turkey to the pot and sauté until no longer pink (about 5-7 minutes).
  • Add in 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped zucchinis, and 8 oz of sliced mushrooms. Continue to sauté until the onions become translucent (approximately 5 minutes).
  • Stir in 1 tsp of red pepper flakes (adjust according to heat preference), 2 tsp of dried thyme (or 4 tsp if using fresh), and 1/2 tsp of black pepper.
  • Add a large head of roughly chopped escarole (or 2 small bags of baby spinach) to the pot. Stir to combine with the other ingredients. Once the escarole just begins to wilt (around 2 minutes), add 6 oz of ground or chopped canned tomato.
  • Pour in 4 cups of chicken stock, and if needed, add up to 1 cup of water to ensure all the ingredients are covered. Stir in 1/4 cup of small pasta and the rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
  • Once the escarole has cooked down, if the soup seems too thick, add a cup or two of water.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes. The flavors will meld together during this time.
  • Taste the soup. If you used homemade chicken stock, you might need to add more salt and pepper. Adjust these seasonings to your liking.
  • Serve the soup hot, ensuring to remove the cheese rind before serving. Enjoy this comforting, hearty dish.
  • Ladle
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Stirring Spoon
  • Large Pot Or Dutch Oven
  • Measuring Cups And Spoons


  • Storing: If you have leftovers, let the soup cool before transferring it to an airtight container and refrigerating. It should keep well for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: This soup freezes well, making it a good meal prep option. Just remember to cool it completely before freezing and don’t forget to leave some space in the container for the soup to expand as it freezes.
  • Reheating: Reheat the soup over medium heat on the stove, stirring occasionally. You can also reheat in the microwave. If the soup is too thick after refrigeration or freezing, you can add a little water or broth to thin it out.
  • Vegetable Options: Feel free to use other greens if you don’t have escarole. Spinach or kale would be good substitutes.
  • Spiciness: Adjust the quantity of red pepper flakes according to your spice preference.
  • Dietary Needs: This soup can be easily adapted to various dietary needs. For a vegetarian or vegan version, substitute the turkey with plant-based protein and use vegetable broth.

Nutrition Table

Turkey Escarole Soup

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You've entered a realm where each bowl isn't just a meal; it's an expedition to the core of comfort, well-being, and the sheer delight of feeding both body and soul. My name is Julia, and I'm here to navigate you through the flavorful worlds of Soup Chick. Together, we'll uncover the artistry behind each recipe, share stories that warm the heart, and celebrate the simple pleasures of making and enjoying soup.

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