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Leftover Turkey and Rice Soup (30 Minute Meal)

My leftover turkey and rice soup is the perfect comfort food after cooking for days for a Thanksgiving feast.  Turn your Thanksgiving turkey into a super comforting and healthy soup in only 30 minutes and just a few ingredients!

Leftover turkey and rice soup - Girl and the Kitchen
My leftover turkey and rice soup is the perfect comfort food after cooking for days for a Thanksgiving feast.

Thanksgiving weekend is one of my favorite weekends.  One reason is because I get to enjoy a 4 day weekend.  But particularly because the holidays are officially in full swing and I get to enjoy my favorite activity of the season:  locking myself up in the house and cooking and baking until my feet and my back ache and I am smiling with glee.

I particularly love the Friday after Thanksgiving…AKA Black Friday.

And trust me it is not because of the sudden price drop of toaster ovens to a whopping $18! Because frankly I think Black Friday is definitely not worth the chaos.

But what is worth it…is this soup.

This Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey and Rice soup is loaded with your leftover turkey (duh) veggies and an uber flavorful broth.  But most importantly it is all made in one pot and in under 30 minutes.

Leftover turkey and rice soup - Girl and the Kitchen


Sweating the veggies before actually pouring broth in releases a great deal of flavor from the veggies.  Sweating is a technique in which vegetables are cooked in fat and some salt over a medium flame while being covered.  Essentially, creating a little sweat lodge for the veggies and allowing them to sweat out all those delicious flavors.

This also cuts down on the amount of time that everything needs to simmer together in order to achieve boku flavor.

I also added in my favorite Better Than Bouillon chicken base that adds a great deal of poultry flavor and makes everything taste like it has been cooking all day!

Better Than Bouillon for Leftover turkey and rice soup - Girl and the Kitchen

So while everyone was fighting crowds, traffic and each other…I remained in the safe hold of my kitchen, listening to holiday music and chopping away.  It was blissful and incredibly soothing.

The munchkin naturally came by and helped me stir and taste.  And fortunately was quite pleased with my work.

I grabbed a loaf of fresh French bread, toasted it up and sat her next to me at the kitchen table while we slurped up the soup and watched “Frosty the Snowman” per her request.  I take this kind of a “Black Friday” over a shopping mall any day.

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Leftover Turkey and Rice Soup (30 Minute Meal)

Leftover Turkey and Rice Soup

  • Author: Mila Furman
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 people 1x


My leftover turkey and rice soup is the perfect comfort food after cooking for days for a Thanksgiving feast. Turn your Thanksgiving turkey into a super comforting and healthy soup in only 30 minutes and just a few ingredients!


  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 2 large carrots (peeled and chopped into half moons)
  • 2 large celery ribs (chopped into half moons)
  • 3 thyme stems
  • 2 cups leftover turkey (white or dark meat is fine)
  • 1/4 cup of uncooked rice
  • 67 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp of Better Than Bouillon
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • a handful of parsley stems and some chopped parsley as a garnish


  1. Throw all your veggies into a pot with olive oil heated to medium heat and let them sweat for about 5-10 minutes. No need for color here so feel free to cover with a lid. And in your thyme and please do season with salt and pepper. Feel free to add some minced garlic as well.
  2. Pour in about 6-7 cups of chicken broth into the pot.
  3. While the soup is bubbling away, shred the turkey.
  4. Add in your turkey and a handful of parsley stems. I just feel like they make all the flavor difference.
  5. Add the rice and continue simmering.
  6. Let the soup simmer away for about 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
  7. Add in Better than Bouillon. Add it in 1 tbsp at a time, making sure you mix it well each time until desired flavor is achieved.
  8. Add in juice of a lemon and taste.
  9. Now pour yourself a hearty bowl of soup and slurp away the hard days!
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: American

Leftover turkey and rice soup - Girl and the Kitchen

Leftover turkey and rice soup - Girl and the Kitchen

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  1. Delicious with leftover smoked turkey! I doubled the rice as our family loves rice. My kids enjoyed it as much as the adults.

  2. loved, Loved, LOVED this soup!!! It was so easy and extremely flavorful. The lemon at the end added the best flavor. I was a little skeptical but it made the soup so much more delicious. So few ingredients to make such a tasty soup. Will be adding this to my soup rotation each year. Bravo!

  3. Will this keep in the refrigerator to reheat later in the week? Or will the rice, like noodles,keep absorbing the broth, leaving nothing but turkey veggies and soggy rice?

  4. If I don’t have fresh parsley in the house, would it work to use some dried parsley instead? Looking forward to trying this recipe tonight with smoked turkey leftovers.
    Thanks for your help!

  5. What a wonderful soup! I made it a few weeks ago with leftover turkey stock and cut-up turkey sausage and figured we would have leftovers … but my family finished it off that night. I’m planning to make it again tonight. Thank you!!!

  6. This was really good. I did a few changes and added powered thye, celery seeds and frozen mixed vegetables. I did 6 cups chicken broth and 1 cup beef broth and 2 cups water and 1/2 cup rice. It was so tasty . Thanks for this easy delicious and flavorful soup.

  7. Just made this with my some of my leftover turkey. I already had cooked rice so I just added it at the end. Absolutely delicious. The lemon makes it.

  8. You didn’t say 2hen to add the turkey (I assume as soon as you shred it) or the lemon zest (I didn’t add it) but the soup was good, thanks.

  9. SO easy, super tasty, and it makes a lot. Every holiday season when I use leftover turkey to make this soup, those who are around for dinner rave about how delicious it is.

  10. This was delicious! I used 8 cups of broth for three people and there were no leftovers. Smelled great cooking too! We enjoyed it but we didn’t “slurp” because that’s disgusting. 🙂

  11. This recipe isn’t reading right – you say in one step to add the turkey then the next step to shred the turkey in the meantime.

    1. Hi there! I just ran through it and it looks fine. Must have been a glitch 🙂 Thank you for letting me know and wishing you a very happy New Year

  12. A couple weeks ago I asked my family if they wanted me to make soup. They all said No! They claimed they don’t like soup. Tonight I made this recipe, every single one of them LOVED it!

  13. The best, most comforting soup ever! Will make again and again. Thanks so much for the delicious soup recipe

  14. I made this recipe for my husband and he loved it. The lemon at the end I wasn’t sure about but it made a huge difference in taste. Absolutely delicious Thank you

  15. This is crazy yum. My wife has had me follow this recipe several times, thank you for making her smile. The Better Than Bouillon kicks it up notch, the acidity of the lemon zest and the lemon flavor, a BOOM touch.. We use Jasmine long grain white rice. You can mess/experiment with this recipe, fun, enjoy. Thank you Meister Girl in the Kitchen.

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