Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Carcass Soup

Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Carcass Soup is a wonderful way to make the most of your holiday leftovers and create a flavorful, hearty soup. Here’s the full recipe:


  • 1 turkey carcass (leftover from Thanksgiving)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Water (enough to cover the turkey carcass)
  • 1 cup leftover turkey meat, shredded or diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup chopped green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup diced potatoes
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice or pasta (optional)
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
  • Lemon wedges for serving (optional)


  1. Prepare the Turkey Broth:
    • Place the turkey carcass in a large stockpot. Add quartered onion, chopped carrots, chopped celery, smashed garlic, bay leaf, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Cover with Water:
    • Pour enough water into the pot to completely cover the turkey carcass and vegetables. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Simmer and Extract Flavors:
    • Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the broth to simmer for at least 1-2 hours, or longer if possible, to extract the flavors from the turkey carcass.
  4. Strain the Broth:
    • After simmering, strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into another large pot or bowl. Discard the solids, including the turkey bones and vegetables.
  5. Prepare Soup Base:
    • Return the strained broth to the pot. Add leftover turkey meat, frozen peas, corn kernels, chopped green beans, diced potatoes, and uncooked rice or pasta if using.
  6. Simmer Soup:
    • Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender and the rice or pasta is cooked through.
  7. Adjust Seasoning:
    • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper as needed.
  8. Serve:
    • Ladle the hot Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Carcass Soup into bowls. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for a burst of freshness.
  9. Enjoy:
    • Serve the soup hot, savoring the rich flavors of the homemade turkey broth and the assortment of vegetables.
  10. Storage:
    • This soup can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. If reheating, you may need to add a little extra broth as the rice or pasta can absorb liquid.

Feel free to customize this recipe by adding other leftover vegetables or herbs from your Thanksgiving feast. The Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Carcass Soup is a wholesome and satisfying way to use every bit of your holiday turkey and create a comforting meal for the days following Thanksgiving.

Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Carcass Soup Benefits

The Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Carcass Soup not only serves as a delicious way to repurpose holiday leftovers but also offers several nutritional benefits due to its nutrient-rich ingredients. Here are some potential benefits associated with this hearty and flavorful soup:

  1. Rich Source of Protein:
    • The leftover turkey meat and the collagen-rich carcass contribute a substantial amount of protein to the soup. Protein is essential for muscle repair, immune function, and overall body maintenance.
  2. Homemade Turkey Broth Nutrients:
    • The homemade turkey broth, made from simmering the carcass, provides essential nutrients such as minerals, amino acids, and gelatin, which may have joint and skin health benefits.
  3. Vitamins from Vegetables:
    • The addition of vegetables like carrots, celery, onions, green beans, and potatoes introduces various vitamins (A, C, K) and minerals to the soup, supporting overall health.
  4. Fiber Content:
    • Vegetables and, if included, rice or pasta contribute dietary fiber, promoting digestive health and helping maintain a feeling of fullness.
  5. Antioxidants from Vegetables:
    • The variety of vegetables in the soup, especially those with vibrant colors, provide antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress in the body.
  6. Hydration from Broth:
    • The broth used in the soup adds moisture and contributes to hydration, an essential aspect of overall well-being.
  7. Immune System Support:
    • The combination of nutrients from turkey, vegetables, and homemade broth can contribute to supporting the immune system, especially during the colder months.
  8. Comfort and Mental Well-Being:
    • Enjoying a warm and flavorful soup can contribute to a sense of comfort and well-being, positively impacting mental health and mood.
  9. Customization for Dietary Preferences:
    • The recipe is versatile, allowing for customization based on dietary preferences. You can add or omit specific vegetables or adjust the seasoning to suit your taste.
  10. Utilization of Leftovers Reduces Food Waste:
    • Creating a soup from Thanksgiving leftovers, including the turkey carcass, is an excellent way to minimize food waste and make the most of every part of the holiday feast.

It’s important to note that while this soup offers nutritional benefits, moderation and balance in overall dietary choices are key to a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, individual nutritional needs vary, and it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized dietary advice based on your specific health goals and conditions.

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