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Leftover Turkey Soup With Stuffing Croutons

Every year, I ask myself what I like better – Thanksgiving dinner or leftovers. Hard call! This leftover turkey soup is topped with croutons made from leftover stuffing. 

I know that as I am slicing the turkey for the main event, I always turn my thoughts to tucking the carcass into the fridge, ready for making soup the next day. Turkey soup is one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving.

Turkey Soup with Stuffing Croutons

This homemade turkey soup is not just a soup. It’s a full meal when you add lots of vegetables, noodles and leftover turkey.

And it’s amazing when you top the soup with crispy croutons made from leftover stuffing (my favorite). Here’s my homemade stuffing recipe that I’ve been making forever. The croutons taste just like the stuffing.

My husband likes to eat the stuffing croutons right off the top of the soup. I like to sink them into the soup making them mushy – it reminds me of my childhood when I soaked crackers in my soup.

This homemade leftover turkey soup is like a reward for all the work from the days before.  Comforting, hearty and super tasty.

Serve it as a meal on it’s own or as a teaser before leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes, cranberry orange relish (5 minutes), bone-in turkey breast or sous vide turkey breast and creamed spinach

Tailor To Your Taste

  • Vegetables: I always use onion, carrots and celery. And, if I have some on hand, I also add parsnip, turnip and spinach.  
  • Broth: For a richer soup, use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water. 
  • Noodles: Orzo or fine egg noodles are my favorite, but any small pasta or rice will work. 
  • Use chicken instead: needless to say, you can always use bones from a roasted chicken instead of a turkey. 

Make Ahead 

  • The soup can be made  up to 3-4 days ahead and kept in the fridge covered.
  • The stuffing croutons would have to be kept in the fridge so it’s best not to make crisp them up ahead as they will become soft in the fridge.
  • Reheat the soup in the pot and make the stuffing croutons while you are reheating the soup.

Other Thanksgiving dinner recipes

How to make leftover turkey soup

turkey bones, onion, vegetables, herbs, broth in soup pot
Put turkey bones, veggies, herbs and seasoning in a pot. Cover with broth or water. Simmer for an hour partially covered.
cooked turkey soup in pot
Remove turkey bones. Taste and adjust flavors if needed.
stuffing in single layer on baking pan
Bake leftover stuffing at 425F/218C for 12 minutes to make croutons.
chopped chicken, veggies, spinach, orzo on cutting board
Strain soup if needed and add cooked veggies, cut up turkey meat, noodles and spinach (if using).
ladle of turkey soup
Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls.
Leftover Turkey Soup topped with Stuffing Croutons in a bowl p4
Top with stuffing croutons and serve.
Leftover Turkey Soup topped with Stuffing Croutons in a bowl ff
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Leftover Turkey Soup with Stuffing Croutons

Every year, I ask myself what I like better - Thanksgiving dinner or leftovers. Hard call! This leftover turkey soup is topped with croutons made from leftover stuffing.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

For the Basic Soup

  • bones from leftover cooked turkey, broken up wings, legs, back etc (with skin is good)
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1-2 inches pieces
  • 4 carrots, peeled, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 1 garlic clove
  • handful fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sprinkle of thyme or a few fresh sprigs
  • 6 peppercorns
  • water or chicken broth to cover about 8 cups, broth will make a richer soup
  • salt to taste (don't add salt initially if turkey has been brined)

Enhancements for finishing soup

  • 1 cup leftover turkey meat, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 cups fresh spinach (or 1 cup frozen, microwaved for 2 minutes and drained)
  • 1 cup cooked noodles (I use orzo or fine egg soup noodles)

Stuffing Croutons

  • 1 cups leftover stuffing
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or melted butter

Instructions

  • SIMMER SOUP: In a large pot, add turkey bones, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, seasonings and parsley. Add just enough water or broth to cover all ingredients. Heat to boiling, then lower heat to medium low. Cover partially and simmer for about an hour. Taste. If depth of flavor is not there yet, see Note 1. Adjust seasonings with salt and fresh herbs if desired. Strain soup through a mesh sieve, reserving carrots and celery. Place back into pot. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt .
  • MAKE CROUTONS: While soup is simmering, heat the oven to 425F. Place the stuffing in a single layer on a foil or parchment lined pan. Drizzle oil on stuffing and toss to cover evenly. Bake stuffing croutons for about 12 minutes, shaking half way through, until golden brown and crispy.
  • ASSEMBLE SOUP: Combine broth, carrots, celery, noodles and turkey in the pot and heat to medium. Add spinach if desired and stir until wilted for a minute. Ladle into individual bowls and top with a few tablespoons of stuffing croutons.

Notes

Exact measurements for vegetables and croutons are not important. Use more or less - or whatever you have on hand.
  1. To enhance broth flavor/depth: The trick to a rich turkey soup is the ratio of turkey bones to water or broth. So don't put in too much water - just enough to cover the veggies and bones. If you find the soup is not flavorful enough, cook it longer (uncovered) for another 15-30 minutes. Or add a can of undiluted chicken broth e.g. Campbells or chicken bullion cubes.
  2. Make Ahead: The soup can be made  up to 3-4 days ahead and kept in the fridge covered. The stuffing croutons would have to be kept in the fridge so it's best not to make them ahead as they will become soft in the fridge. Reheat the soup in the pot and make the stuffing croutons while you are reheating the soup.  

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Leftover Turkey Soup with Stuffing Croutons
Amount Per Serving
Calories 201 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 26mg9%
Sodium 1763mg77%
Potassium 594mg17%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 8533IU171%
Vitamin C 33mg40%
Calcium 69mg7%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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This leftover turkey soup recipe, originally posted in 2016, has been updated with new information and pictures. 

 

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