Turkey Rice Soup

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Turkey Rice Soup is a hearty and comforting meal that’s ready in under an hour. Use up holiday leftovers or make it entirely from scratch. Either way, turkey soup with rice will warm you right up!

titled: Turkey Rice Soup


Turkey Rice Soup

Enjoy turkey soup with rice and vegetables on chilly nights or after spending hours in the kitchen preparing a holiday meal.

This easy turkey soup recipe with rice comes together quickly and with very little effort, leaving you plenty of time to finish household tasks or visit with company.

Turkey Tetrazzini in another favorite for using up holiday leftovers. It’s an easy, cheesy casserole that feeds a crowd.

And be sure to try more of my comforting soup recipes like meatball tortellini, easy vegetable soup, and chicken and gnocchi!

ingredients to make soup with turkey and rice

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Turkey – This is a great recipe for using up Thanksgiving leftovers, but you can cook up fresh turkey breast for this turkey and rice soup recipe too.

    Make a bone-in breast in the crockpot — it will cook throughout the day and be ready when it’s time to make dinner. Or, use the air fryer if you’re short on time!

  • Rice – I used basmati, but any variety will do. If you prefer more texture, use a wild rice blend since it will hold its shape better.

    No need to cook it first — the grains will plump as the turkey rice soup simmers.
  • Stock – Turkey stock will obviously complement the flavor of the meat, but feel free to use chicken or vegetable stock for this turkey soup recipe with rice.
sprinkling flour over carrots, celery, and onion in pot

Tips for Making Turkey Soup with Rice

  • Make your own turkey stock.

Place a leftover turkey carcass it in a large pot, cover with water, and bring it to a boil over high heat.

Then, reduce to low and simmer for about 90 minutes. Strain the liquid and use it immediately in this turkey soup recipe with rice, or store it for later.

Homemade turkey stock will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or up to 4 months in the freezer.

  • Create a smooth, silky texture.

Once you cook the veggies and coat them in flour, whisk constantly while you pour in the stock.

Go slowly as well! This allows everything to combine smoothly while the flour thickens the mixture.

  • Make it creamy.

Heavy cream is an optional ingredient in this turkey and rice soup recipe, but it sure makes everything extra tasty!

Stir it in right before serving, bringing the soup back to a simmer if needed so it stays nice and warm.

stirring turkey stock into flour coated veggies in pot

Turkey and Rice Soup Recipe FAQ

Can I make turkey rice soup with chicken instead?

Absolutely! Grab a rotisserie bird from the store to save time. Or, cook boneless breasts in the slow cooker and freeze the rest.

If you already have portions frozen ahead of time, dump them straight into the pot with everything else! The meat will thaw and warm as it simmers in the liquid.

How do you make bland turkey soup taste better?

While your first thought may be extra salt or seasonings, you’ll actually want to add acidity!

Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice into the pot, or have wedges waiting on the table so everyone can doctor up their own bowl.

Double down on flavor and texture by stirring some sour cream or Greek yogurt into turkey rice soup. It will brighten all of the flavors and make it creamy to boot!

Can I add frozen vegetables to turkey and rice soup?

Yes, either as a replacement for the fresh veggies or in addition to them.

Stir them in towards the end of cooking since they don’t take long to heat through.

adding shredded turkey to pot with soup ingredients

Storing and Reheating Turkey and Rice Soup

Because leftovers will continue to thicken, I recommend enjoying it within a day or two.

You can add extra stock to turkey and rice soup when reheating, but the texture of the grains will start to become gummy.

Another option is to cook the grains separately, then add a scoop to your bowl before eating. Prepare them with stock instead of water so there’s still plenty of flavor.

turkey rice soup in blue pot


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bowl of soup with turkey, rice, and veggies

bowl of leftover turkey soup with rice

Turkey Rice Soup

Donna Elick
Turkey Rice Soup is a hearty and comforting meal that’s ready in under an hour. Use up holiday leftovers or make it entirely from scratch!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 6



  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup rice
  • 8 cups turkey stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups cooked shredded turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, optional


  • Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
    Add the onions, celery, and carrots to pot. Cook until the onions are soft, about five minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir until the vegetables are well coated; Cook for an additional two minutes.
    Slowly whisk the turkey stock into the pot, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming.
    Add in the rice, thyme, parsley, poultry seasoning, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and turkey.
  • Bring the soup up to a boil over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover.
    Allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Turn off the stove burner.
    Remove the lid from the pot; For a creamier soup, add the optional heavy cream, and stir to combine.
    The heat from the soup should be enough to warm the cream, but if necessary, return the pot of soup to the burner over medium-low heat and cook until soup is warmed through.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 446cal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1592mg | Sugar: 9g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): bowl of turkey rice soup, closeup

Originally published October 2021, updated and republished November 2023

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      1. It was listed in the ingredients – 1/4 cup heavy cream. I imagine it goes in at the end to make a creamier soup.

      2. it says at the bottom of the ingredients, 1/4 cup heavy cream optional. It is if you want to make it creamy and thicker

    1. Allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Turn off the stove burner.
      Remove the lid from the pot; For a creamier soup, add the optional heavy cream, and stir to combine.

  1. I just finished making this. I made stock from our Thanksgiving turkey carcass. I ended up with 7C of turkey stock, so I added 1C of chicken stock for this recipe. The soup has good flavor but it's kinda sweet. I'm not sure why. I might add a little white pepper and definitely more salt. But it's good. Very easy and quick.

    1. I’ll bet that your carrots were sweet. I taste the carrots before I put them in recipes because I’m not a fan of sweet in savory.

  2. I just made this and it was EXCELLENT! I followed the recipe and I used rice flour in mine. Perfect consistency and flavor for such a simple recipe. Thank you for sharing your recipe with us.

      1. Shari, the heavy cream is added at the end of the cooking time, for richer flavor and a creamier consistency. It’s optional, though.

    1. Hi Donna,
      Absolutely! We like to grab a rotisserie chicken from the store to save time. Enjoy!
      TSRI Team Member,

  3. The last ingredient is 1/4 cup of heavy cream – what is it’s purpose and what do I do with it?

    1. Hi Christine,
      Heavy cream gives the soup a richer flavor and creamier consistency. Stir it in just before the end of the cooking time. Thanks for the catch – I’ll update the recipe card!

      TSRI Team member,

  4. 5 stars
    The cream in this soup gave it a much richer texture and flavor than most rice soups would have, I loved it.

    1. Hi Iliana,
      The Ingredients are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of the page, hope that helps.
      TSRI Team Member,

  5. Looking forward to trying this . I froze turkey drumsticks & wings from Thanksgiving for soup . Can I use these instead of roasted turkey breast ? Thanks for your help.

  6. 5 stars
    We love this recipe! I don’t add fresh bay leaf and I use dried thyme, and either chicken or turkey, but this is delicious and easy!

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