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!

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

It comes together quickly and with very little effort, leaving you plenty of time to finish household tasks or visit with company.

Don’t have leftovers? We have an easy turkey breast air fryer recipe that is ready in no time!

Looking for more comforting soups to try? You’ll love these meatball tortellini, easy vegetable soup, and chicken and gnocchi recipes!

titled collage for turkey rice soup

How To Make Turkey Rice Soup

First, saute the veggies in butter until soft. Add in the garlic, cooking until fragrant, then coat everything with the flour.

Pour in the stock, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Then, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer until everything is tender. Dish it up with some crusty bread and enjoy!

turkey soup ingredients

Ingredient Notes

  • Turkey – This is a great recipe for using up Thanksgiving leftovers. To make it on a regular weeknight, cook a breast tenderloin in the oven. Place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then, bake at 375°F for 50-60 minutes and shred when cooled.

    Or, make a bone-in breast in the crockpot instead! It will cook throughout the day and be ready when it’s time to make the rice and turkey soup.

  • Rice – I used basmati, but any variety will do. If you like more texture to your soup, use a wild rice blend since it will hold its shape better. No need to cook it first – the grains will plump as the soup simmers.
  • Stock – Turkey stock will obviously complement the flavor of the meat, but feel free to use chicken or vegetable stock if you prefer.

    You can also make your own with a leftover carcass! Place 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 or refrigerate for later.

flour sprinkled over carrots celery and onion in large pot

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pouring stock into pot of turkey rice soup

FAQ – Common Recipe Questions

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 long do leftovers last in the refrigerator?

Because this will continue to thicken, I recommend enjoying it within a day or two. You can add extra stock 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.

adding leftover turkey to pot of soup

Can I add frozen vegetables to rice and turkey 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.


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turkey rice soup in a dutch oven


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rice and turkey soup in a white bowl

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!
bowl of turkey rice soup, closeup

Originally published October 2021

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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. 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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