This effortless leftover turkey and rice soup is a perfect way to use your holiday leftovers! It's packed with nutritious and tasty ingredients like carrots, celery, onions, and herbs. If you don't have turkey, you can easily substitute it with chicken.
😍 Why You'll Love This Leftover Turkey Rice Soup
This easy soup recipe is a fantastic solution for post-holiday leftovers.
- It's a one-pot wonder, meaning everything cooks together - rice included - making cleanup a breeze.
- The preparation is straightforward with just a few ingredients to chop. Let it simmer until the veggies and rice reach the perfect tenderness.
- This turkey and rice soup is not only cozy and comforting but also light yet filling, ideal for the day after a big meal. It's definitely one of our favorite methods for making the most out of leftover holiday fare!
✅ What's in this Turkey Rice Soup Recipe?
- Leftover Turkey Meat: Ideally, use cooked leftover turkey, diced or shredded. If turkey isn't available, cooked chicken is an excellent substitute, particularly rotisserie chicken.
- Rice: Long grain white rice is preferred for its fluffy texture. For a healthier option, brown rice can be used, but keep in mind it will increase the cooking time. Avoid quick-cooking or minute rice as they can become mushy.
- Onion: Yellow onion is recommended for its sweet, mellow flavor. You can substitute with white or red onions for a sharper taste, or even shallots for a milder flavor.
- Carrots and Celery: These vegetables add crunch and nutrition. If unavailable, consider bell peppers.
- Garlic: Fresh minced garlic is ideal for the best flavor. In a pinch, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder can substitute for each clove.
- Chicken Broth: Homemade or store-bought broth works well. If using low-sodium broth, adjust the salt accordingly. Turkey broth will work too.
- Oil and Butter: These are used for sautéing. You can use either one exclusively, or substitute with a light cooking spray for a lower-fat option.
- Soy Sauce: Adds depth of flavor. For a gluten-free soup, use Tamari or coconut aminos.
- Seasonings (Basil, Parsley, Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Red Chili Flakes, Pepper, Salt): Dried herbs are convenient, but fresh herbs can be used (in triple the quantity). Feel free to adjust the types and amounts of herbs.
- Fresh Parsley for Serving: Adds color and a fresh flavor kick.
🔪 How to Make Turkey and Rice Soup
In a large pot set over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. Wait until the butter melts, then add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook these vegetables until they soften, stirring them occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the seasonings, soy sauce, and chicken broth to the pot. Bring this mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the rice to the pot and stir to combine everything evenly. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the rice is nearly cooked through but retains a slightly firm texture.
Add the turkey to the pot. Cover it with a lid, leaving it slightly ajar by about 1 inch, and let it simmer on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes. Continue until the rice is fully cooked and tender. Once done, garnish the soup with parsley.
🗄️ How to Store the Leftover Turkey Soup
To Store, let the leftover soup cool down to room temperature. Then, store it in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
To reheat, gently warm the soup on the stove over low heat until it's just heated through. If you prefer, you can also heat individual servings in the microwave for about 1 minute.
For longer storage, freeze the soup in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating and serving.
👨🍳 Pro Tips
- No turkey? No problem! This soup works wonderfully with shredded Poached Chicken Breast as well!
- Vegetable Variations: Feel free to add other vegetables like mushrooms, green beans, or peas for added nutrition and flavor.
- Adjust Seasonings: Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving, as the flavors can change slightly after cooking.
Can I make This Soup with Wild Rice?
Absolutely! Turkey and Rice Soup can be deliciously made with wild rice. It will add a unique, nutty flavor and chewy texture to the soup, making it even more hearty and nutritious. Just remember that wild rice typically takes longer to cook than white rice, so adjust your cooking time accordingly to ensure the rice is fully tender.
⭐ More Soup Recipes
Ground Turkey Soup with Vegetables-A hearty, nourishing blend of lean ground turkey and a medley of fresh vegetables. This wholesome soup is perfect for a comforting, healthy meal that's easy to make and full of flavor.
Shrimp And Corn Soup- Ideal for a quick, flavorful meal.
Chicken Tortellini Soup-This soup features tender chicken, tortellini, and vegetables in a rich broth, making it a perfect, cozy meal for any day that's both filling and flavorful.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup-Savor the rich, velvety soup, perfect for chilly days.
Chicken Noodle Soup-This soup combines tender chicken, hearty noodles, and vegetables in a savory broth, offering a warm, soothing meal that's perfect for any day and loved by all ages.
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