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This Turkey Wild Rice Soup is the perfect way to use up Thanksgiving leftover turkey. It’s loaded with veggies, warm and hearty, and so easy to prepare!

wild rice soup with leftover turkey in a bowl

Easy Wild Rice Soup with Turkey

Do you ever find yourself with leftover turkey after the holidays? Well, thanks to this Turkey Wild Rice Soup recipe, you’ll know just how to use them up! I make this every single year. 

This soup is packed full of chewy wild rice, tender leftover turkey, and whatever veggies you have on hand. 

I love the heartiness, flavors, and textures. Plus, if you want to get really efficient with your leftovers, you can use the turkey carcass to make turkey bone broth/stock. It takes the soup to another level. The better the broth, the better the soup!

No turkey? You can totally use leftover shredded chicken, too!

Leftover turkey and wild rice soup

Ingredients Needed:

  • Butter – used to sauté the veggies.
  • Veggies – we’re using a mix of onion, carrot, celery, and baby bella mushrooms, but feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand.
  • Garlic – use fresh garlic for the best flavor.
  • Seasonings – we use a simple blend of salt, pepper, dried thyme, and dried parsley.
  • Turkey Stock – or chicken broth. Make homemade broth with leftover turkey carcass or buy a good quality store-bought version.
  • Fish Sauce – this is optional, but adds a delicious umami flavor.
  • Wild Rice – you’ll need 1 cup of dry wild rice. It cooks right in the soup.
  • Turkey – any leftover turkey will work. You could also use leftover or rotisserie chicken!

How to Make Turkey Rice Soup From Leftover Turkey

You’ll want to pick off as much of the meat as possible from the turkey after it has been carved. If you are able to, pick all the meat from the turkey while it’s still warm because it is much easier to do!

Our recipe calls for about 2-3 cups of leftover turkey meat. Once you’ve picked off meat from the turkey you should make a bone broth with it to use in your soup!

  1. Sauté the veggies: Heat butter or oil in a large pot, then add in onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper. Cook until softening, then add mushrooms and garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add soup ingredients: Add in the thyme parsley, turkey stock, fish sauce, and rice. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  3. Add turkey and simmer: Mix in the turkey, then simmer again, uncovered, until the rice is cooked.

How to Make Homemade Turkey Broth

Making turkey stock with the leftover carcass is so simple and such a great way to use up all of the turkey. No waste win! I usually use the instant pot, but you can also do it on the stovetop! 

  1. Place the whole carcass, a few aromatics, spices, and water into the instant pot. 
  2. Cook on high pressure for 50 minutes. 

If you’d rather not make your own, you can use a good-quality bone broth or stock from the store instead. 

Can You Put Uncooked Rice in Soup?

Yes! In fact, you should put uncooked rice in this soup. It cooks perfectly right in the broth. If you put already cooked rice in it, you’ll end up with over-cooked rice.

What Vegetables Are Good in Wild Rice Soup?

We choose to include a classic blend of onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms! But if you have other leftover veggies like green beans you can add those in at the very end of the cooking time just to reheat!

two bowls of turkey and wild rice soup

Tips and Notes

  • If you are using leftover turkey, pull off as much of the meat as possible from the turkey after it has been carved. Ideally, while it is still warm. This makes it so much easier to do.
  • Make your own broth. It’s just so good and so easy! The better the broth, the better the soup.
  • Use whatever veggies you have on-hand. We use a combination of onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms, but feel free to use any other leftover veggies (like green beans) that you might have after the holidays. Keep in mind that different veggies take different amounts of time to heat through.

Serving Suggestions

Wild rice soup with turkey is a complete meal all on its own thanks to the veggies, grain, and chicken. However, it’s delicious served with a couple of side dishes too, especially if you have other holiday leftovers. It’s also great with Crackers and crusty bread!

How to Store Wild Rice Soup

Storing: Store leftover wild rice soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months. 

Freezing Instructions: 

  1. Let your soup cool completely before transferring into a freezer-safe gallon-size bag or containter.
  2. Seal and then place in the freezer.
  3. Will last for up to 3 months.
  4. When you’re ready to serve again, thaw in the fridge if frozen, then warm on low on the stove, or even the crockpot, until heated all the way through.

Other Ways To Use Leftover Turkey

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Leftover Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

Turkey Wild Rice Soup

5 from 12 votes
This Turkey Wild Rice Soup is the perfect way to use up Thanksgiving leftover turkey. It’s loaded with veggies, warm and hearty, and so easy to prepare!
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon butter or avocado oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 large carrots sliced to 1/4"
  • 3 celery stalks diced
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 5 cups turkey stock or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 2-3 cups shredded cooked turkey breast leftover thanksgiving turkey works great for this, or shredded chicken works as well


  • In a large dutch oven or stock pot, over medium heat and add butter/oil.
  • When hot add onions, carrots, celery and salt and pepper to the pot and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook another 5 minutes.
  • Add thyme, parsley and 4 cups of the turkey stock, fish sauce, and rice.
  • Bring to a simmer and then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add the turkey and simmer, uncovered, another 30-50 minutes, until the rice is cooked.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning and add more broth if needed.


  • This recipe was developed for thanksgiving leftovers, but it will work great with leftover chicken as well.
  • If the rice isn't done, simmer for longer as desired.
  • Add more broth if needed. If needed, then adust/increase spices as well.


Serving: 6gCalories: 213kcalCarbohydrates: 30.2gProtein: 22gFat: 0.7gSaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 765mgFiber: 3.6gSugar: 3.9g
Keyword: turkey and wild rice soup, turkey wild rice soup, wild rice soup, wild rice soup recipe, wild rice soup with turkey
Course: Soup
Method: Stove Top
Author: Lexi

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Amazing and so easy to put together. Perfect use for our leftover turkey and homemade broth. Definitely will be making this again!

  2. 5 stars
    Because I had on hand, I added some dried mushrooms, some fresh spinach, a little white wine and some fresh squeezed lemon. It was so good!

  3. This is a delicious soup! I used my homemade turkey broth. We were at the cottage and had no celery, but I used lots of fresh parsley and added some cauliflower too. It was a hit with everyone!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this soup today ’cause it’s snowing outside, and we know this recipe is a big favorite at our house!

  5. 5 stars
    Can’t post picture as it is all one!! It was delicious and so easy. I wanted to use up all my turkey so it was quite thick, even after I added more broth. Husband ate most of it so that is a good indication of just how good it was.

  6. 5 stars
    I just made this tonight with our leftovers and it was delicious! Even my kids that don’t like soup enjoyed it. Thank you!

  7. 5 stars
    This was the most amazing soup I have ever made! I left the fish sauce out because I didn’t have it but that’s the only change I made.

  8. 5 stars
    Very nice- tasting soup! My husband and I enjoyed it a lot! Will make again! Thanks so much for another good recipe!

  9. I just wanted to second the comment about the instant pot timing, perhaps it should be adjusted? 50 minutes on high is way too long for already cooked poultry, no? It seemed long when I read it, so I put it in for just 30 thinking I’d check at that point, and it was already tough as shoe leather when it came out. Sadly, I had to toss the whole pot as my family wouldn’t eat it :(. Not going to leave a rating since it seems like all the ingredients would make a delicious soup other than this weird timing issue.

    1. Sarah–Sorry you misunderstood and wasted ingredients but we DO NOT offer directions for making this soup in the Instant Pot in this recipe. We have directions for making the stock / bone broth in the Instant Pot, in case you want to make your own. But no where in the recipe do we offer directions for cooking the soup in the Instant Pot. That is cooked on the stove top. -Kelli

  10. I did the same thing! Often InstantPot directions are below the rest of the recipe, so I just kept on scrolling! Oops!
    I did think it turned out, but when I make this in the Instant Pot again, I’ll be sure to use raw chicken. Since mine had already been cooked, it ended up way overcooked with another 50 minutes in the IP. It was still delicious, and even my soup-averse husband liked it!

  11. 5 stars
    Gave this one a shot with leftover thanksgiving turkey and it was SO GOOD. I accidentally followed the bone broth instructions to make the soup in my Instant Pot and it turned out great! Will definitely have to try the bone broth recipe asap!