Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

$8.94 recipe / $2.24 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 9 votes
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Have you eaten all of your Thanksgiving leftovers yet?? If not, here’s an amazing soup that you can make with that leftover turkey, and any leftover vegetables you may have laying around from all that Thanksgiving prep a few days ago. This Turkey and Wild Rice Soup is rich, flavorful, and just packed with goodies. Plus, it’s one of those soups that tastes even better the next day, so make a pot of this and you’ll be eating GOOD for the next few days!

Overhead view of a bowl of turkey and wild rice soup on a wood surface.

What’s in Turkey and WIld RIce Soup

This recipe is actually based on the filling for my chicken pot pie recipe, but I used leftover Thanksgiving turkey instead and made it a little thinner to be more soup-like.

It starts with a basic medley of vegetables (onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and mushrooms) sautéed until tender, then we add a combination of butter and flour that will help thicken the soup and give it body. Next, we add vegetable broth, herbs, and the wild rice blend, and simmer until the rice is tender. Finally, we add in the cooked chopped turkey, heat through, then add a dose of cream for a rich finish. 👌 Perfect!

Do I Have to Use Turkey?

This recipe is quite flexible, so if you want to make it any other time of the year other than after Thanksgiving, simply swap out the cooked turkey with some chopped rotisserie chicken! Still super delish and hearty!

Overhead view of turkey and wild rice soup in the pot with a ladle.

What Kind of Rice to Use

For this soup, you’ll want to use a wild rice blend. While you can use wild rice by itself, I find that using a blend of different rices adds more texture and color to the bowl and the rice blends tend to be more affordable than wild rice by itself. I used Lundberg’s Wild Blend, but you can sometimes find generic store versions of this, depending on where you shop (last year ALDI had some). And, since rice is shelf stable, you can save the leftovers to use in other recipes, rather than worrying about it going to waste.

How to Store Leftovers

Refrigerate this soup just after cooking so that it cools quickly. Even better yet, divide it into single servings for faster cooling and easier serving and reheating later. Chill completely in the refrigerator overnight, then, if desired, transfer it to the freezer for longer storage. The soup can be reheated in the microwave or in a pot on the stove over medium-low, stirring often, until hot.

Close up side view of a bowl of turkey and wild rice soup.
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Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

5 from 9 votes
Turkey and Wild Rice Soup is a great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers, plus the leftovers are great so it's the perfect meal prep!
Overhead view of a bowl of turkey and wild rice soup.
Servings 4 1.75 cups each
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
Total 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.37)
  • 2 carrots ($0.29)
  • 3 ribs celery ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 5 Tbsp butter, divided ($0.48)
  • 8 oz. mushrooms ($1.79)
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour ($0.06)
  • 1/2 cup wild rice blend ($1.20)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp rubbed sage ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth ($0.47)
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey ($3.11)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream ($0.55)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) ($0.02)

Instructions 

  • Dice the onion, slice the carrots and celery, and mince the garlic. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to a large soup pot with 1 Tbsp butter and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  • While the vegetables are sautéing, slice the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the pot and continue to sauté until the mushrooms are soft.
  • Add the flour and remaining 4 Tbsp butter to the pot. Continue to stir and cook for about one minute more.
  • Add the wild rice, thyme, sage, pepper, and broth to the pot. Stir until all of the flour and butter mixture has dissolved off the vegetables and the bottom of the pot.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the soup up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the soup simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the rice is tender.
  • Once the rice is tender, add the chopped turkey. Stir to combine and heat through.
  • Stir in the heavy cream, then taste the soup and season with about ½ tsp salt, or to your liking. Enjoy hot with bread for dipping!

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Equipment

Nutrition

Serving: 1.75cupsCalories: 472kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 24gFat: 27gSodium: 1451mgFiber: 4g
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Close up of a ladle full of turkey and wild rice soup over the pot.

How to Make Turkey and wild rice soup – Step by Step Photos

Carrot, onion, celery, and garlic in the soup pot.

Dice one yellow onion, slice 2 carrots, slice 3 ribs of celery, and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to a large soup pot with 1 Tbsp butter. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.

Sliced mushrooms added to the pot.

While the vegetables are sautéing, slice 8 oz. mushrooms. Add them to the pot and continue to sauté until the mushrooms have softened.

Butter and flour added to the pot.

Add 4 Tbsp butter and ¼ cup flour to the pot. Continue to stir and cook for about one minute more. The flour and butter will form a paste that will coat the vegetables, that is okay.

Wild rice blend and herbs added to the pot.

Add ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp rubbed sage, ¼ tsp pepper, and ½ cup wild rice blend to the pot.

Vegetable broth being poured into the pot.

Add 4 cups of vegetable broth. Stir to combine and dissolve all of the flour and butter off of the vegetables and the bottom of the pot.

Simmered soup in the pot.

Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the soup to come to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the wild rice is tender.

Chopped turkey being poured into the pot.

Once the rice is tender, add 2 cups of chopped cooked turkey (or chicken) and stir to combine. Allow the turkey to heat through in the soup.

Cream being stirred into the soup.

Finally, to make the soup extra lush, stir in a ⅓ cup heavy cream.

Finished soup in the pot with a spoon.

Taste the soup and add salt to your liking (I added ½ tsp). Keep in mind that adding a little salt really helps the different flavors pop!

Finished pot of turkey and wild rice soup seen from above.

Serve the Turkey and Wild Rice Soup hot with some hearty bread for dipping!

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  1. So tasty. Kept my turkey bones to make the broth so it was even more budget friendly. Thanks for sharing all your great and creative recipes! Will definitely make this one again!

  2. AMAZING! so delicious. I’ve been making a lot of soups lately to the delight of my family and even though they’ve all been really good this one just got voted as best yet. Loved it. 😍 🤤

  3. O.M.G. I’m obsessed with this soup. Mine turned out a bit more stewy and thick than the pics but I truly don’t care because the flavor is so good. I also used about 1/3 of the amount of cream because it was already looking pretty thick and it’s still perfectly rich. This will be repeated for sure!!

  4. Some wild rice blend products have herbs & seasonings in them. Am I correct in that they are NOT what this recipe calls for?

  5. My husband loves soup – he said this was the most delicious homemade soup he’s ever had, and I have to agree. I used stock made from our leftover Thanksgiving turkey and doubled the recipe, and we’ve already had 3 meals from it. BEST. SOUP. EVER.

  6. Such a great soup! I would probably add 3/4 cup of wild rice next time I make it but it was a perfect dish otherwise. We topped with a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar and the acid really elevated the soup to the next level.

  7. This was delicious–like fall in a cup! I did an all veggie option and added a can of white beans in place of the turkey. It was hearty and delicious, and the wild rice really helped to make it something special.

  8. When you simmer the soup for 40 minutes, do you leave the lid on? I have not made this yet but wouldn’t 40 minutes of simmering reduce the liquid quite a bit?
    Also, if we switch the wild rice blend for something else (like brown rice, white rice, farro), do we cook the broth only for the time it takes for the grain to be done?
    Thanks. I really loved your chicken pot pie so I am intrigued by this.

    1. She’s got it in the instructions; leave the lid on :-) I tried it today with wild rice, but I’m planning to do it with farro soon and will cook just until the farro is tender.

    2. I followed the instructions to a T; with the exception of doubling the thyme and sage (after tasting the broth), as we like more flavor. Also, I didn’t add the cream. Because I didn’t feel like a creamy soup. The flavor of the soup was very good!

      The instructions say to turn the heat down to medium-low, and simmer for 40 minutes. I cooked it for only 29 minutes — and yes, my broth reduced A LOT! The wild rice blend was sticking to the bottom of my Dutch oven, and wasn’t cooked tender enough.

      BTW, yes, I did check and stir the pot at 15 minutes and then again 14 minutes later; to equal a total of 29 minutes, not the 40 minutes the recipe calls for! Since the wild rice wasn’t tender enough and there wasn’t enough broth, I added some water. Which helped loosen and increase the broth, and aided me in scraping the bottom of the pot.

      The dish was tasty and I will make it again; only with some modifications. 1st.) I will cook the wild rice blend in a separate pot and get that going first. 2nd.) I will add 3/4 C of water to the broth, and simmer it on low; not medium-low. 3rd.) I will double the thyme and sage again. BTW, both of the herbs are new!

    3. Leave the lid on, as per the instructions. Cook the grain until it is done, as you don’t want it to turn to mush. XOXO -Monti

    1. Yes. The ratio is 1 tablespoon of fresh for every teaspoon of dry. XOXO -Monti

    1. I’m sure you could, though the liquid ratios would be different. As we haven’t tested it, we can’t give you any serious guidance. XOXO -Monti

  9. What a perfect way to use Thanksgiving leftovers. I used turkey broth instead of vegetable as the store was completely wiped out, as well as milk instead of heavy cream. We were able to use leftover rolls from Thanksgiving as well. It’s a wonderful hearty & tasty dish!

  10. Any reason why this couldn’t be made with brown rice instead of a wild rice blend? Wild rice is expensive and hard to find where I live.

    1. You can make it with brown rice- but the ratios and cooking time will vary. Just follow the box directions for cooking the rice to figure out the liquid ratios and timing.