Turkey and Wild Rice Soup — Smart In The Kitchen


The Best Leftover Turkey Soup

I had every intention of getting you this before Thanksgiving, but here we are! One of my favorite recipes from my cookbook is the Rotisserie Chicken Wild and Rice Soup (page 136). It comes together fast, it’s super flavorful and it’s just darn delicious. It dawned on me that you could follow the exact same method and use it for leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. I highly recommend you give it a try. And if you want to order my cookbook, take advantage of free shipping anywhere in the US until Tuesday (no matter how many books you purchase!). Bonus: all orders shipped from my site come signed! And if you’d like to purchase a holiday apron and cookbook gift set, they’re on sale!

How do I make turkey stock?

If you have the bones from your turkey, simmer them in a large pot of water, with some cut onions, celery and a bundle of parsley, bay leaf and thyme. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of salt and some peppercorns. Or you could throw those ingredients in an Instant Pot and set it to manual pressure for 70 minutes. If you don’t feel like making the stock, although I promise it’s easy and hands-off, you can use chicken stock.

Do you cook the wild rice before adding it to the soup?

You do not need to cook the wild rice before adding it to the soup. If you happen to have wild rice stuffing at your Thanksgiving feast, you could also add a cup or two of leftover rice stuffing to the soup pot and stir it in! It will add major flavor.

What will add flavor to turkey and wild rice soup?

This soup should turn out perfectly, especially if you use a flavorful turkey stock to build the base. A good trick for amping up the flavor of any soup is to add a splash of tamari or soy sauce or a dash of hot sauce, like Tabasco or Crystal. Stir and taste. An extra dash for kosher salt is almost always a good idea.

What’s the best way to store leftover soup?

Cool soup completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 5 days. Bring it to a boil on the stove when you reheat it. If you’d like to freeze the soup, leave a little extra space in the top of your container because soup expands as it freezes. Label and date the soup and use it up within 3 months.


Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

A quick and flavorful soup that the perfect way to use up extra turkey.

Prep Time5 minutes

Cook Time35 minutes

Course: Dinner, Lunch

Cuisine: American

Keyword: instant pot, Leftovers, Slow Cooker, thanksgiving, Turkey, Turkey and Wild Rice Soup, Wild Rice

Servings: 6 people

Calories: 153kcal


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red, white or yellow onion chopped
  • 1 leek (white and light green parts) chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms sliced
  • 10 fresh thyme sprigs and 1 bay leaf tied together with butcher twine
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups shredded turkey
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Garnish: 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley; coarse salt


Instant Pot Directions:

  • Heat the olive oil on the Sauté setting and add the onion. Stir and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the leek, garlic, celery, mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf, kosher salt and chicken stock and stir. Close the lid, seal the vent and cook on Soup or Manual for 15 minutes. When the time is up, use a towel to cover the vent; turn it with tongs to release the steam. (Be very careful not to burn yourself.) Open the lid and stir in the chicken and wild rice. Seal the lid and valve again and set to Soup or Manual for 15 additional minutes. Once it finishes, carefully release the pressure manually and remove the lid. Remove the thyme and bay leaf and discard. Stir in the half-and-half.

  • Ladle into soup bowls and top with parsley and coarse salt.

Stovetop Directions:

  • In a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and stir until softened, about 2 minutes. Add leeks, garlic, celery, mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf, kosher salt and chicken stock and stir. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and wild rice and stir. Cover again and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, until wild rice softens but still has a little crunch.

  • Remove the thyme and bay leaf and discard. In the stovetop version, some of the liquid will evaporate from the pot. If the soup looks dry, add another cup or two of stock or water and another pinch of kosher salt. Stir in the half-and-half.

  • Ladle into soup bowls and top with parsley and coarse salt.


This is a great soup to make for someone who’s not feeling well because the flavors are comforting and not too heavy. I make this in the Instant Pot when I need to prepare dinner in the early afternoon because of a crazy after-school schedule. You can leave it plugged in on Keep Warm and it will be ready to serve when you walk in the door.


Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 642mg | Potassium: 229mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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