Wondering what to do with leftover turkey? This creamy turkey wild rice soup recipe is a delicious way to use up turkey leftovers that’s different from the same old same old.
I love turkey so much I always buy one the moment they go on sale for the season, at least a few weeks before Thanksgiving itself.
Since it’s just the two of us we always have a ton leftover. I’m happy to eat a few sandwiches and turkey and dressing bowls but after a while I’m certainly ready for something different.
This year has been so unseasonably cold already I couldn’t help but ponder a recipe for turkey soup, especially since I always like to make a turkey bone broth from the leftover bones.
I also had some leftover fresh veggies, half and half, and wanted to make something with wild rice so putting together this turkey wild rice soup recipe was a no brainer.
Can You Freeze Turkey Rice Soup?
I’ve never frozen this soup so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out. I would start with a small batch to freeze versus freezing the whole recipe if you’re curious.
I will say that the texture of the overall soup may be off upon thawing due to the dairy. The texture of the rice may also be impacted since it’s already been cooked.
If you intend to freeze any of the soup I would definitely leave the rice out and then stir in warmed rice right before serving.
How To Make Turkey Soup
Here are some of my tips for making homemade turkey soup.
Leftover turkey soup is one of the easiest recipes to make thanks to already having the protein cooked. You can use dark or white meat or both. It’s a really great way to use leftover white turkey meat that can otherwise end up dry when reheated.
You can also save time by using prechopped veggies as most grocery stores now sell mirepoix all chopped and ready to go.
I always make a homemade bone broth with leftover turkey and/or chicken bones and keep it in the freezer. However, you can absolutely use premade canned or boxed broth.
I recommend using warmed broth and half and half because this will help prevent your soup from becoming lumpy. This also helps in gravies, too.
I haven’t tried using just milk in this recipe. It should work out okay, the soup will likely just not be quite as rich or thick as normal.
You can also use any type of rice you want for this turkey soup recipe. I like the bite of wild rice but actually had a hard time finding just wild rice locally.
If you wanted to use white or brown rice or even the frozen rice you steam in the microwave that should be fine.
What To Serve With Turkey Soup
This is a hearty all-in-one meal thanks to all the protein and veggies, but I absolutely love having bread to dunk into the soup to enjoy with it. Here are some homemade bread recipes and desserts to go with the soup.
- Homemade Yeast Rolls Recipe
- Homemade Cloverleaf Rolls Recipe
- Baked Acorn Squash
- Cookie Butter Cheesecake Recipe
- No-Bake Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bites Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 10 ounces sliced mushrooms, washed and dried (I used baby portabellas)
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups turkey or chicken broth, warmed
- 2 cups half and half, warmed
- 2 cups cooked wild rice (I used a wild rice blend from Trader Joe's)
- 3 cups cubed cooked turkey (I used a mix of white and dark meat)
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 10 ounces mushrooms and cook until they start to brown stirring occasionally, about 2 - 3 minutes.
- Add the ½ cup butter to the mushrooms and stir until melted. Add in the 3 chopped carrots, celery ribs, and onion. Cook until tender stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium and stir in 2 minced garlic cloves and ½ cup all-purpose flour, coating all of the veggies. Keep stirring and cook for one minute.
- Slowly stir in 4 cups of broth and 2 cups of half and half until well combined. Bring to a simmer cooking until slightly thickened and stirring occasionally.
- Stir in 2 cups cooked wild rice, 3 cups turkey, and 2 teaspoons dried thyme. Bring back to simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Season to taste with about ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Serve and enjoy! Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 3 days. I love using the Rubbermaid Brilliance containers because they include steam holes in the lid for easy mess-free microwaving. I haven’t tried freezing this soup but the texture may be off upon thawing due to the dairy.
You can use chicken instead of turkey or any kind of cooked rice you prefer.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 Cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340 Total Fat: 19g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 121mg Sodium: 289mg Carbohydrates: 15g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 4g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 26g