Leftover Turkey Orzo Soup is a great way to utilize your holiday leftovers. This recipe is made with a leftover turkey carcass but a leftover chicken carcass works well too.
Holiday season translates to turkey season. I rarely make a roasted turkey more than once a year and it always happens on Thanksgiving. To be honest, my family and I love all the sides of the dinner more than the turkey. I am also know to make several appetizers like Three Cheese Pepperoni Bread and Greek Shrimp Skewers. But my favorite part of having a turkey dinner is having the leftovers. This turkey soup is one of my favorite ways in using leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Turkey Orzo Soup?
A turkey (or chicken) carcass - You can use a whole carcass from a chicken or turkey. A bone in turkey breast carcass works well too. Whatever you use should have enough leftover meat attached to make 2 cups of shredded chicken or turkey.
salt and pepper
veggies like carrots, spinach and/or celery - Use whatever leftover vegetables you have from Thanksgiving. I like onions, carrots, celery and spinach. The recipe below contains carrots and spinach because that is what I had on hand.
dried basil or your favorite dried herb- other herbs that work well are tarragon, dill, and parsley
dried orzo - regular or whole wheat is great for this leftover turkey soup recipe
How to make this Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe
- Boil the turkey carcass in a pot of water. Add salt and pepper. Let it simmer for about 2 hours. Skim any fat from the top. Or store in a container until you are ready to make the soup then skim the fat after the broth has cooled.
- Remove the turkey carcass and strain the broth. Throw away the bones and shred the turkey meat.
- Add the strained broth and turkey to the pot along with the vegetables and herbs. Bring to a boil and cook the orzo. Your soup is ready to eat!
How do you store the soup leftovers?
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The soup might thicken so add a bit of extra water when reheating.
This soup recipe freezes well but I like to cook it and leave out the orzo before freezing it. When I reheat the soup after defrosting I add the orzo to the boiling soup and cook for about 10 minutes or until the orzo is tender.
More Recipes using Leftover Turkey
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Leftover Turkey Orzo Soup
- 1 turkey or chicken carcass (with some meat left on)
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 cups frozen spinach
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 ½ cups dried orzo
- Put the turkey or chicken carcass in a large pot and fill with water. Break in half if necessary to fit in the pot. Cook on medium high heat until water comes to a boil. Bring heat to low and simmer covered for 2 hours.
- Remove carcass from pot and let cool for 10 minutes. Strain broth and add about 8 cups back to the pot. Remove meat from the bones and discard skin and bones. Measure 2 cups of shredded turkey and add to the broth along with the carrots and spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn heat onto medium and bring mixture to a boil. Add orzo and dried basil. Cook for 10 minutes or until orzo is tender. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.