This Creamy Leftover Turkey Wild Rice Soup recipe is a hearty, satisfying soup that is full of carrots, mushrooms, celery and onion in a light, creamy broth. It's great for using up leftover turkey from the holidays and an easy, comforting classic that is perfect for chilly days!

White bowls filled with creamy leftover turkey wild rice soup.

It's soup season and we couldn't be more excited! Some of our other favorites are Better-Than-Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup, Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup, and The Best Loaded Baked Potato Soup!

I spent the last day of 2018 in Utah visiting family and staying warm inside while freezing winds gusted to over 70 mph, blowing snow everywhere. We are planning on skiing the rest of the week and I'm already cold just thinking about hitting the slopes and hoping at least the winds die down!

In the meantime, just the thought of this satisfying, flavorful turkey wild rice soup is warming me up. This soup is especially amazing with smoked turkey from Thanksgiving leftovers. Not that we wait for Thanksgiving to roll around to make this soup!

Two bowls of creamy turkey soup with wild rice next to a large pot of the soup.

I have actually been meaning to share this with you since this last Thanksgiving but got sidetracked by the allure of Christmas cookies! But better late than never.

I'm including substitutions, just in case you don't have any leftover turkey in your fridge or freezer. Chicken wild rice soup is just as good as turkey wild rice soup anyway, right?

Soup is one of my favorite meals to make all fall and winter long. So much that I make a batch of soup at least once a week and then usually eat that for lunches as well.

My 2nd grader shares my love of soup and even asked for a thermos for Christmas so she could bring soup in her lunchbox to school. This easy soup recipe is especially delicious and filling thanks to the addition of wild rice.

I love the color, texture, and nutty, slightly sweet flavor of the wild rice.

An aerial view of a bowl of turkey wild rice soup with spoons below.

I actually debated saving this recipe for my American Eats series when I get around to Minnesota, since wild rice it Minnesota's state grain, but I just couldn't wait until then to share it with you.

Serve this turkey wild rice soup with a nice, crispy romaine salad and a loaf of crusty bread for a complete meal. It makes a big pot and the leftovers reheat well the next day. Oh, and full disclaimer - this soup will actually look a little more "brothy" than what you see in these pics.

I employed a food photography trick for showing off the soup ingredients a bit by inverting a small bowl and letting the soup ingredients sort of sit on that so you could see the rice and veggies and turkey that otherwise would have been more submerged in the broth.

I've gotta use the tricks of the trade to show off this delicious soup and make it look every bit as good as it tastes, but I wanted you to know it might not look exactly like this as you are pouring it into bowls. We're still cool, right?

An image of bowls of easy turkey soup made with wild rice, vegetables, and leftover thanksgiving turkey.

How to Make Creamy Leftover Turkey Wild Rice Soup

  1. Start by preparing the wild rice according to the directions on the package that it came in. This can take a while - typically around 50-60 minutes, but can be done up to a day or two ahead.
  2. Melt butter in a large dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat, then saute the onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic until the onion softened.
  3. Sprinkle with the flour and cook for just a minute before slowly adding the chicken stock while stirring. At this point you can increase the heat a bit to bring the soup to a low boil before reducing the heat back to medium and adding most of the remaining ingredients, including the cooked wild rice, herbs and seasonings, and shredded turkey.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes, then stir in the milk, cream, and lemon juice and heat through for another 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
An image of a pot full of sauteed onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, and garlic for making creamy turkey wild rice soup.

How do you make creamy turkey soup?

This easy turkey soup is made creamy in two parts. The first is by sprinkling some flour over the sauteed vegetables and cooking a bit before stirring in the broth. This thickens the soup just slightly, without making it gummy or thick.

The second thing that makes this leftover turkey soup creamy is the addition of a little dairy right at the end. I use 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of heavy cream, but you could use 2 cups of half-and-half if that's what you have in the fridge.

If you are watching calories or need a dairy-free version, you can leave out the milk and cream and still have a delicious, if not as creamy, turkey wild rice soup.

An image of a ladle-full of creamy turkey wild rice soup over a large pot of soup.

Tips for Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup

  • By all means, make homemade turkey or chicken stock using a leftover turkey or chicken carcass if you have one. But honestly, I make this with store-bought chicken stock and it tastes amazing and saves me a ton of work. While I prefer making most things from scratch, turkey and chicken stock are one thing I almost always buy in bulk at Costco because I use them so much!
  • If I'm feeling turkeyed out right after Thanksgiving, I will shred any leftovers and freeze them in gallon-size freezer-safe ziplock bags for using in recipes like this one for this easy creamy turkey soup.
  • If you don't have leftover turkey on hand, a pulled-apart rotisserie chicken (also from Costco or any grocery store - we get these on a regular basis) is also a great option for this soup, which then becomes chicken wild rice soup.
  • Or if you don't have cooked turkey or chicken, you can always throw a few boneless, skinless chicken breasts in to cook when you add the broth. Once the broth comes to a boil, cover with a lid and let the chicken cook for 10-12 minutes until cooked through, then remove and shred or chop before adding back to the soup pot along with cooked wild rice and completing the recipe from there.
  • You can keep leftovers in the fridge for a few days, but the rice will continue to absorb the broth. Just thin the soup out with a little additional broth when reheating the soup to get it to your desired consistency.
  • I typically use the Harvest Wild Rice blend from Costco or Lundberg Wild Rice, but any kind would do. Even brown rice would work in the recipe, if that's what you have on hand.
  • Go ahead and double the mushrooms, carrots, and celery if you want for an even healthier, more veggie-filled soup!

More of Our Favorite Soup Recipes

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Creamy Leftover Turkey Wild Rice Soup Recipe

4.95 from 20 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people
This Creamy Leftover Turkey Wild Rice Soup recipe is a hearty, satisfying soup that is full of carrots, mushrooms, celery and onion in a light, creamy broth.  It's great for using up leftover turkey from the holidays and an easy, comforting classic that is perfect for chilly days! 


  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 6 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
  • 8 ounces fresh crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley or ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 4 cups cooked shredded turkey or chicken - see note
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


  • Prepare wild rice according to the package instructions.  This typically takes around 50 to 60 minutes.  This can be done up to a day or two in advance and kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the soup
  • In a large dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add the onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic, and stir, sauteing until the onion has softened.  
  • Sprinkle the flour over the sauteed vegetables and stir in, cooking for 1 minute.  Slowly add the broth, stirring constantly.  Increase the heat to medium-high until the soup comes to a low boil.  
  • Reduce heat to medium and add the cooked wild rice, parsley, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and shredded turkey.  Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add milk, cream, and lemon juice, and cook another 3-5 minutes until hot, tasting and adjust seasoning by adding more salt and pepper, if needed.  Serve immediately.  


You could even just use a rotisserie chicken that has been pulled apart.  Or if all you have on hand are uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, add 1 ½ pounds of uncooked chicken breasts along with the broth in step 3 and bring the soup to a boil.  Cover with a lid and boil for 10-12 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before chopping or shredding, then returning to the soup and adding the cooked rice and continuing with the recipe.  
Recipe adapted from A Farmgirl's Dabbles.  


Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 2148mg | Potassium: 662mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3051IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Gabriella says:

    Ok, I have made this twice in the past few days! I know that sounds crazy but I had a 11.54 lb turkey that was taking up room in my freezer for about 6 months and I was worried it would be freezer burnt so a-roasting I went. I defrosted the beast in the frig and cut off the legs and wings to use for stock. I then made a turkey and stuffing casserole from the breast meat (which hubs and I love) and made a 1/2 batch of this wonderful soup. Really good and all the seasoning worked at 1/2 scale! We really loved it. So then I decided to make another version for Dad who loves the Dark Meat. It is smelling wonderful and should be another delicious 1/2 batch of soup with homemade turkey stock. Wonderful, rich and filling. Might leave the cream out for dad and just use some milk to save his arteries a bit. SOOOOOOOOO Yummmmmmmyyy!!!!!

    1. Amy says:

      Thank you, Gabriella! I'm so glad you love this recipe so much! We think it's pretty fantastic too!

  2. kelly says:

    This is a very good recipe. Lots of turkey leftovers, of course, so I decided to give it a go. I used a wild rice brown rice mix and added that, then also only used one cup of heavy cream because I was low on milk. It tastes so satisfying that I’ll be happy to try it again.

  3. Maria Gonzalez says:

    SoOOOOooop GOOD !!

  4. Julie says:

    This was delicious soup!  We had leftover smoked turkey which added a really nice flavor to the soup. I also increased the veggies and turkey a bit, used half the amount of butter, and half and half for the cream. Trying to save a few extra calories 🙂  My husband said it was a winner. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Hilary Moriarty says:

    This was wonderful. My husband said it was one of the better soups I've made. I used 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, and added a little dried powdered sage and some Trader Joe's Truffle Powder Seasoning and it was spectacular. Thank you for this recipe!

  6. Heidi says:

    This was delicious! My husband gave it a 10. I used brown rice only because I couldn't find any wild rice. My husband doesn't like mushrooms so I left those out and added a few more carrots instead. I will definitely make this again.

  7. Kay G says:

    Tried this recipe last week and loved it so much. We made the soup exactly the same except we used 90 second wild rice that we put in the bottom of our bowl and poured in the soup. Another recipe to add to my list of fall soups.

  8. Tammy says:

    I made this recipe with some rich homemade turkey stock I made and froze over Thanksgiving and leftover herbed turkey breast. Oh my gosh
    It was delicious! I didn’t add the lemon juice though. I love adding lemon juice to dishes to add brightness but the soup tasted so good as it was I didn’t want to take a chance

  9. Beth Porter says:

    5 stars
    I just made this yesterday using my left over Turkey carcass and it was delicious! My only question is it made a lot of soup for just the two of us can I freeze some of it?

    1. Amy says:

      Yes, this soup will freeze well! Sorry for my delayed response - we were traveling!

  10. Jeannie Nash says:

    5 stars
    This soup was easy to make following instructions and absolutely delicious! This is the third one of your recipes that I’ve made, and this is going in to my recipe book. 🥰 Thank you!

    1. Amy says:

      Oh thank you! That is so kind! I am glad you enjoyed it! It is a delicious soup.

  11. Alicia says:

    5 stars
    Delicious soup! I increased the vegetables and added a few dashes of Penzeys "Mural of Flavor" salt free seasoning, but otherwise made it per the recipe. It's definitely a keeper...

  12. Erin says:

    5 stars
    I do not pride myself on being a good cook and WOW this soup turned out SO GOOD. I followed the recipe as written and it was a big hit at dinner time. Even my 8 year old finished her bowl 🙂 I had leftover Easter turkey in the freezer for many months and wanted to clear it out and I'm so glad I put it to good use!

    1. Amy says:

      What a good way to make good use of the frozen turkey! I'm glad your family enjoyed the soup!

  13. Andria Vaughn says:

    5 stars
    It was a bit time consuming but turned out great! Adjusted some seasonings to our preference, but followed the directions exactly. It is definitely a very hearty soup, and will make it again!!

  14. Chandler k burns says:

    Looks very good!