Turkey & Wild Rice Soup | mountainmamacooks.com

I’m going to make this one quick today as I’ve got some snowboarding to do and some serious family time coming my way. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with good food, lots of laughter and hopefully not too many dishes! I just wanted to say a quick namaste to each and every one of you and thank you for reading. I couldn’t be more blessed or thrilled to be part of such a wonderful food blogging community. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Turkey & Wild Rice Soup | mountainmamacooks.com

Without fail this is how our post Thanksgiving feast goes. My oldest brother is the first to start cleaning up as he a dishwashing machine. (God bless him.) My uncle is in the kitchen shortly after, sleeves rolled up and has the task of cleaning the carcass. My mom and I watch for a few minutes (we’ve been cooking for days and are happy to finally be sitting) just until we start to feel guilty and eventually get up to help. Our job is to to divvy out leftovers and put the clean dishes away. My dad and other brother sit on the couch in a post glutton stupor. They do their best to entertain the kids from their stationary positions. It’s been this way for years and somehow it just works.

Turkey & Wild Rice Soup | mountainmamacooks.com

As soon as my uncle gets the carcass cleaned, into the pot it goes with water, a quartered onion, a few ribs of celery, some roughly chopped carrots and whatever herbs I have left over from stuffing the turkey. It simmers away in a clean kitchen and I turn it off sometime during the evening, remove the carcass and then let it sit over night. The next morning, I skim the fat way and what’s left is the most flavorful stock that will be perfect for leftover soup and pot pies to enjoy all throughout the winter.

This is one of my favorite soups to make post Thanksgiving as I usually have most of the ingredients on hand and it comes together in a cinch.

Have a great weekend, everyone! xoxo

Leftover Turkey & Wild Rice Soup


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 6 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups turkey stock (or chicken stock)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped leftover turkey
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. In a large stock pot, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook about 10 minutes until onions are soft and translucent.
  2. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook about 5 minutes more.
  3. Add the flour and cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes until flour is brown and cooked through.
  4. Add the turkey stock, soy sauce, and bay leaf. Stir to break up any flour bits. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Turn heat back down to medium and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Add wild rice and simmer for 35 minutes.
  6. Add turkey, milk, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes more.
  7. Serve soup in large bowls and garnish with extra thyme if desired. I love to eat this soup with a leftover roll slathered in cranberry sauce!
Connect with Mountain Mama Cooks on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter!

73 Responses to Leftover Turkey & Wild Rice Soup

  1. This soup!! It looks so good and perfect for me since, one I have tons of leftovers and two i have tons of mouths to feed for the next week!! YAY!

    Have fun skiing!

  2. Heather says:

    We had our meal elsewhere and weren’t sent home with leftovers, but I may just go buy a turkey on sale this weekend so that I can make this soup!

  3. Liz says:

    Nice soup recipe. Thank you,.

  4. Angel says:

    Only after I gathered the ingredients and started the soup did I realize the recipe says nothing else about the rice except in the list of ingredients. When do you add it? I added with the broth but I don’t know if it will be cooked enough? And should it be covered like the wild rice container says? Thank you.

    • Kelley says:

      My apologies! The recipe has been updated!

      • Angel says:

        Just FYI- now it has 1/2 cup wild rice listed twice in the ingredients. I added during step 4 bc that was closest to the wild rice container recipe. I simmered for a longer time bc I had a “PE” class to attend for an hour. I also added about a cup of chopped organic baby spinach that I needed to use( I sneak spinach in anywhere I can)and added more chicken stock to stretch it out. My husband and I thought the soup was delicious! Very easy and covered up the over-fried turkey…( don’t get me started

        • Angel says:

          Kelley~I know I said my husband and I thought the soup was DELICIOUS!, but it must have been more so than I thought bc he tells everyone about it{he didn’t know about the mushrooms because I diced very small} .:) I can’t wait to make it again, but I’ll have to use chicken( rotisserie?) and will definitely double this time. Even adding more broth didn’t stretch as far as I would like.(probably bc we ate so much at a time.)I’ve told so many people about your recipe. Thanks again!

  5. Susan says:

    Just to be sure, you cook the carcass, remove it and let it sit out all night, or do you refrigerate it till morning? I’m ready to reach out and grab that bowl as it looks perfect! Yum!!!

    • Kelley says:

      I discard the carcass the night before and let the stock sit over night. I then skim the fat off the top, strain the stock and then use it right away or freeze!

      • Sheryl says:

        Just to be clear, when you let it sit over night. It is not refrigerated. I plan on making the stock tonight.

        • Kelley says:

          Are you referring to this leftover soup recipe or my slow cooker stock recipe? This soup doesn’t have to sit overnight and if you do so, make sure to refrigerate it. If you’re making the stock, yes, keep the slow cooker on low over night.

          • Sheryl says:

            I made this soup with Thanksgiving leftover turkey. It was the best soup I have ever eaten. I am getting ready to make it with Christmas leftover turkey.

        • Blake says:

          Hi just a ? I have made chicken noodle soup and have never let sit over night to discard the fat. Have you tried it without taking the fat off? I seems like you would be losing a lot of flavor from it.
          Just curious

          • Kelley says:

            It’s up to you. I’m using a leftover turkey carcass and it tends to have more skin and fat left on it so I prefer to skim the excess fat off. Do what you like!

  6. donna davis says:

    the directions don’t mention when to ad the wild rice.

  7. donna davis says:

    made this for tonight, it is really good soup, a definite keeper.

  8. Brittany B says:

    OBSESSED with that wooden spoon! where can I find it?!

  9. Amanda says:

    My husband just kept saying, “this is sooooo good!” My mom gave me a frozen turkey (leftover from thanksgiving), and I’ve been trying to use it all up. I still had the carcass, so was able to make the homemade stock as well. Yum!

  10. Martha says:

    The recipe still shows 2 separate rice amounts and 2 separate stock amounts.

  11. donna davis says:

    I’ve made this soup 5 or 6 times now, it is easily my favorite soup, make it every chance I have.

  12. Kathryn says:

    Hi… making the soup now… Are you sure you didn’t mean 4 quarts of stock vs 4 cups? I’m at step #4 with about 12 minutes to go of the simmering of the stock and it’s simmering down to hardly 2 cups by now. I’m glad I have extra stock left… I’m sure I’ll have to add more to the soup when done. I’ve been cooking to over 30 years and can follow a recipe to a tee… hoping this turns out ok… There just doesn’t seem to be enough soup base. It smells delicious though. Also…How many does this recipe serve?

  13. sabrina says:

    I was wondering about the amount of stock as well. My soup has been reduced to a stew! Yummy but doesn’t go far with a family of 6! Should i have used 4 quarts?

    • Angel says:

      I just kept adding stock or broth because the rice kept soaking it up? I double the recipe when I make it so I fudge the amounts and add chopped spinach or kale too.

  14. Angel says:

    Kelley, do you think I could make the soup(except for the Turkey) ahead of Thanksgiving day, Freeze it, and then add the turkey as it becomes available?
    We are so excited to make it that I might want it ready for Thanksgiving night snacking…

  15. sarah says:

    IS the wild rice supposed to be raw or already cooked?

  16. Lizabeth says:

    Hands down the best leftover soup recipe ever! Thank you Mountain Mama! I haven’t been this surprised with a recipe in a long time.

  17. Tanya says:

    This is smelling delicious, but turned a dark brown/ sludgy color when I added the wild rice instead of the beautiful broth color of yours – did I do something wrong?

    • Kelley says:

      Hmmmmm….perhaps it was the rice blend you used? That’s all I can think of. How did it taste?

      • Tanya says:

        It came out beyond delicious! My husband is passing around the recipe at work already! I guess it didnt matter in the end, just wasn’t “the look” I was expecting. Oh well, thank you for the quick response!

        • sarah says:

          I precooked my wild rice and it didn’t color the soup = plus you get to skip that 35 minute simmer if this step is already done.

  18. Mark says:

    This is a terrific turkey soup recipe. I’d made stock from the turkey carcass the day before, and was looking for some soup inspiration. Found it. What’s different in this recipe, and something I hadn’t done before, was the use of flour, soy sauce and milk. I doubled the recipe, used the 3 quarts of stock I had on hand, added a chopped red bell pepper and a leek to the sauté, omitted the half & half (because it didn’t seem right…sorry, I’ll try it next time), and used a box of Far East Long Grain and Wild Rice (including the spice package). It worked. Best effort so far (of many). Thanks!

  19. Janine says:

    Oh my Lord I got hungry just READING this recipe!!! I’m not sure how I came across your site but it is book marked now!!!! I’m getting ready to make it now!!!

  20. Teresa says:

    This recipe will be forever served on November 28. I made it on November 27 with our left over turkey from Thanksgiving. My mom was losing her battle with gallbladder cancer and wasn’t eating anything but yogurt. The broth of this soup was the last meal she ever had. She kept asking for more and more. She passed away in the morning of November 28. My whole family call this my mom’s love soup. Thank you for allowing her to have an amazing last meal. We will forever cherish this recipe.

    • Kelley says:

      First off, let me tell you how sorry I am for your loss. My love and prayers go out to you and your family. Secondly, a heartfelt thank you. I love to cook because food is so much more than just food; it’s a tool to connect, empower, heal and love. I am so incredibly touched that you were able to share this soup with your mom and your family as your last meal. Warmest wishes this holiday season and God bless.

  21. kimberly says:

    could you use regular white rice if that’s what you have on hand?

  22. Ruby Germain says:

    This was amazing for a day-after Thanksgiving family gathering. EVERYONE asked for the recipe. I doubled the liquid to 8 cups and this served 6 adults as a main course. This is a keeper!

  23. Brian says:

    Looks tasty. Going to make it next week. I think I’m going to add a good deal more seasoning, though.

    How much soup will this recipe make?

  24. Warren says:

    Made this today. Simply amazing. I added little leftover stuffing dumplings. OMG!!

  25. Brian says:

    Made a double batch of this today as written, with no additional seasoning except a little more salt, since I used reduced sodium chicken broth. Turned out wonderful!

    I can confirm, in case anyone wondered, that it does very well in a crock pot. I followed the instructions on the stove through step 3, then dumped everything into the pot and set it to cook for 10 hours. The rice did absorb a good portion of the broth, but there was still enough for a thick soup consistency. We needed every bit of that double batch to be able to feed five, though. Probably due to the decreased broth content. The added thickness, however, made it pair very well both with yeast rolls and with Fritos scoops.

    There’s still leftover turkey in the freezer, so I’m going to make this again after Christmas. I’m thinking that I’ll add an extra half cup or so of wild rice to the mix, and make it more of a turkey and rice casserole type dish.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! Everyone loved it!

  26. Carl Kaplan says:

    Just to confirm, the garlic cloves are put in whole? Not sliced or minced? Thanks.

  27. Peg says:

    I came upon this recipe a few weeks ago. Tried and loved it. Our family has a soup bar instead of appetizers for Thanksgiving. I’ve always made yummy ‘Ahh Potato Soup’ and Ill be adding this to the bar this year. We all stand around the crocks eating soup and chatting. I think this Turkey soup will be a great addition to our family tradition.

  28. Tricia says:

    Quick question…I’m gluten free…do you know if I could substitute corn starch for flour? Looks really yummy!

  29. cathy says:

    I added two extra cups of broth to this recipe. This is a lot of work for no left over soup. Next time I will double the recipe.

    • Kelley says:

      Depending on how much turkey or rice I put in, I often add more stock as well. Doubling is a fantastic idea!

    • Angel says:

      I keep adding stock or broth because I want to extend this soup! I always double the recipe, but noted I could add more celery,carrots, onions. I also throw in other leftover veggies(hello Spinach).
      This is Family Favorite that I tell everyone about!

      • Angel says:

        You really can keep adding stock/broth as liquid is cooked off and/or absorbed by the rice.
        Also, while I always double+ the recipe, and prep it all before the turkey is even cooked, I think it could use a little more of the mirpioux mixture. And I did add spinach again, as I had it left over from Thanksgiving Creamed-Spinach recipe.
        LOVE this recipe- thanks Kelley!
        ***Personal Peeve***- Please don’t comment on recipe threads until you’ve actually dealt with the recipe…

        • Kelley says:

          Thank you for adding your insight. I love this recipe, too, and make it every single year. I love the idea of adding spinach. Thanks for the recommend!

  30. Elizabeth Noel says:

    This was so, so good! WOW! My hubby doesn’t like soup but said he would eat this ‘again and again and again and again…’ ! Thanks so much! I’ll be coming back to this recipe any time I have leftover turkey and chicken.

  31. Gregg says:

    I found your recipe right about Thanksgiving time and since I had the carcass I made the broth etc. OMG it was amazing. I doubled the recipe since I had the extra broth and still family and friends polished it off the first day. Today I roasted 2 chickens and made broth. Already looking forward to Thank you for sharing such a great tasting recipe

  32. Sarah Noel says:

    My sister and friend rave about this soup. I tried it tonight, and I understand why they are raving about it! Absolutely delicious! I added more broth, since I’m a brothy-soup lover. I can’t wait to make this again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *