Turkey Rice Soup
Simple yet hearty and oh-so comforting, this turkey rice soup is made with turkey and white rice, is so easy to prepare, and is ready in under 30 minutes! The perfect way to stretch leftover turkey meat into extra meals, too.
About This Turkey Rice Soup
I don’t know about you but I love finding new & delicious ways to repurpose leftovers, especially when it comes to cooked turkey, already-cooked meat like rotisserie chicken, or leftover Thanksgiving turkey like this ultra-juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast!
This easy turkey rice soup is the quintessential way to repurpose any leftover turkey meat into a delicious, veggie-packed weeknight dinner.
Plus there’s so many ways you can customize it to make it your own, and I’ve included notes and suggestions, below, on substitutions and swaps.
Tip: If you want to make turkey soup in the crockpot, I recommend this wildly easy and delicious Slow Cooker Turkey Soup.
Process & Tips
I love that the classic flavor profile of the onions, carrot, and celery makes your turkey even more flavorful in this recipe, and allows the meat to absorb flavor from the broth and spices.
This is a no carcass turkey soup, so it works whether you’re using meat from a whole bone-in turkey or just a turkey breast.
Because this soup cooks so quickly, I recommend chopping the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic before turning on the stove to keep things streamlined.
If you want to mix it up, try one of these turkey rice soup variations!
Spicy Turkey Rice Soup
Add ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes along with the Italian seasoning.
Creamy Turkey Rice Soup
Add ⅓ cup cream along with the lemon juice at the end.
Using Chicken in Place of Turkey
Use 1 cup of cooked rotisserie chicken or other leftover chicken in place of turkey. Alternatively, add 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs in place of the turkey. Once cooked, remove the chicken, shred, and add back to the soup.
Using Ground Turkey
Saute 1 pound of ground turkey (white or dark meat) in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Saute, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through. Add the cooked ground turkey in place of pre-cooked turkey in this recipe.
Add 1 cup cooked pasta such as egg noodles, elbow, penne, or any shape instead of the rice. Cook according to package instructions.
Storing & Freezing
Homemade soups keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
If you want to freeze this recipe, store in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
Note that the rice will continue to absorb the broth upon storage — it will still taste good, but will be a different consistency than freshly cooked.
Cooked turkey: A great use for leftover turkey, feel free to use white meat, dark meat or a mixture. I like shredding the meat, but you can also chop it if you prefer. See notes, above, for using ground turkey.
White rice: Any long grain white rice will work for this recipe, including jasmine or basmati. I did not test this recipe with par-boiled, so if you give it a try, let me know how it goes in the comments.
Chicken stock: Use bone broth or homemade for extra flavor. You can also use turkey stock or vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.
Onion: If you don’t like or can’t eat onions, feel free to skip them in this recipe.
Carrot: Whole, chopped carrots yield the best flavor for this soup.
Celery: Chopped fresh celery works best.
Italian seasoning: Use poultry seasoning or rubbed sage if you don’t have Italian seasoning.
Kosher salt: look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store. It has a subtler flavor. Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
Lemon juice: Don’t skip the lemon juice, as it add such a lovely fresh flavor!
More Turkey Soup Recipes
Easy Turkey Rice Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon no-salt added Italian seasoning
- ½ cup long-grain white rice
- 3 cups cooked turkey, chopped or shredded, white meat, dark meat, or a combination
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 cups water
To Add at the End
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.
- Add the onion, ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the carrot, celery, and additional ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook 3 more minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and rice. Cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the turkey, chicken stock, water, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt, stirring to combine.
- Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
- Uncover and add the lemon juice, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional lemon juice or salt if desired.
Delicious, as always, Robyn. I switched up the ingredients some based on what I had in the house. I used onion, bok choy and peas. I used brown rich instead of white which required extra cooking time. Thank you for the inspiration.
Wonderful, Ellen, so happy to hear you enjoyed and great to know this one worked with brown rice as well. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!
Yummy comforting soup. I did use leftover (precooked) rice and added just before serving. The soup was fine but I think I probably would have preferred it if I had used raw rice. It was delicious never the less, so use what you have on hand!
Wonderful, Alissa, so happy to hear you enjoyed this one. Great to know it worked with the cooked rice you had on hand, but also that raw rice is preferable. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!
So easy, so good, so grateful. Thank you!
Amy, yay, I’m so happy to hear this one was a hit for you. Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean the world!
Some friends and I share lunch once a month and a few offer to bring the food next time. Always the same: soup, salad, fruit, and bread. I never offer to take the soup! I’m intimidated by the great ones others bring every time. No more! I made the recipe as written, but learned in the process what my soups have been missing! Butter for sauteing the vegetables and Italian seasoning! Also real bullion. We’re low-sodium at our house and I make my own vegetable stock, but happened to find Knorr Zero Salt and it makes all the difference. I took Easy Turkey Rice Soup to a friend and then made a variation with chicken and fajita flavors for home. I think I can now make any flavor I want to try and it will be delicious if I follow the basics and “soup it up” to my liking. Thank you!
So wonderful to hear this, Marty! Great tips, too. Thanks so much for leaving a review!
This was delicious! The whole family loved it. The flavor was wonderful. Loved the clean ingredients.
Wonderful, Jodi, so happy to hear you enjoyed this one — thanks as always for taking the time to leave a review!