Turkey Carcass Soup


A turkey carcass soup is the answer when you don't want to waste a single bite of turkey. This is a delicious soup and one of my favorites. If you want to freeze some, leave out the potatoes.

overhead turkey carcass soup
Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins

Step away from the trash can! Put what's left of your holiday meal to good use by making a hearty turkey carcass soup. This wholesome recipe is not only incredibly delicious and wholesome, it's a great (and budget-friendly) way to reduce food waste.

What Is a Turkey Carcass?

A turkey carcass is what's left after you finish a whole turkey. Instead of throwing the carcass away, some people like to use every bit of the bird by making stock or soup. The bones and remaining scraps of meat add rich flavor to the broth, ensuring you get every bit of deliciousness out of your holiday dinner.

How to Make Soup With a Turkey Carcass

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this satisfying turkey soup:

Make the Broth

Place the turkey carcass in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking until the remaining meat falls off the bone. Remove and chop the meat and discard the bones. Strain the broth into a clean soup pot.

Make the Soup

Add the chopped turkey to the strained broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the remaining ingredients (tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, cabbage, barley, Worcestershire sauce, salt, parsley, basil, bay leaf, pepper, paprika, poultry seasoning, and thyme). Cook until the vegetables are tender.

What to Serve With Turkey Carcass Soup

This no-waste meal is a great way to use up more of your Thanksgiving leftovers. Rolls, cornbread, stuffing, or biscuits would pair perfectly with turkey soup.

Get more ideas: 10 Ways to Love Up Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

How to Store Turkey Carcass Soup

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Can You Freeze Turkey Carcass Soup?

Yes, you can freeze turkey carcass soup. Let the soup cool, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container (in individual portions if you're not planning to eat it all at once). Make sure to leave about 1-inch remaining at the top of the container, as the soup will expand as it freezes. Freeze for up to one month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This is now my favorite soup recipe," says Denise Walker. "I removed the potatoes to cut down on the carbs, but added bow tie pasta. It was so flavorful and delicious and the stock really created the taste. I absolutely loved it!"

"This soup is delicious," according to Ros_Brit. "I made the soup as directed, but added some chicken bouillon for more flavor. It was the best soup I've ever made."

"Best soup I ever made," raves Debbie Nelson-Scheffler. "We had a smoked turkey for Thanksgiving. It was amazing in this soup."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 1 turkey carcass

  • 4 quarts water

  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped

  • 6 small potatoes, diced

  • 4 large carrots, diced

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 2 stalks celery, diced

  • 1 ½ cups shredded cabbage

  • ½ cup uncooked barley

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 large bay leaf

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon ground paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning

  • 1 pinch dried thyme


  1. Place turkey carcass into a large soup pot; pour in water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the remaining meat falls off the bones, about 1 hour.

    overhead turkey in pot of water

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Remove turkey carcass from the pot. Remove and chop any remaining turkey meat. Discard carcass.

    overhead of chopped turkey from carcass

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Strain broth through a fine mesh strainer into a clean soup pot. Add chopped turkey to the strained broth and bring to a boil.

    overhead of strained broth

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  4. Reduce heat and stir in tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, cabbage, barley, Worcestershire sauce, salt, parsley, basil, bay leaf, pepper, paprika, poultry seasoning, and thyme. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 1 more hour.

    overhead turkey carcass soup

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  5. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

133 Calories
1g Fat
28g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 133
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 439mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 29mg 145%
Calcium 67mg 5%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 667mg 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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