This comforting cream of turkey soup is our favorite way to use up leftover turkey. It cooks in only 30 minutes, and it’s easy to customize with the ingredients you have on hand.
Creamy Turkey Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Cream of turkey soup is one of our favorite comfort foods. The soothing soup is a delicious way to use up leftover turkey. Flavor aside, we also love that it’s customizable. You could easily turn it into cream of chicken soup by swapping in leftover or rotisserie chicken. And you can try it with vegetables that are in season or just your fave. Our recipe doesn’t contain any starches like potatoes, noodles or rice, but you could easily add any of those to make the soup heartier.

Cooked poultry often dries out when it’s reheated, but in our cream of turkey soup recipe, we reheat it in a velvety broth, keeping it nice and juicy. The soup comes together with a rich, full flavor, as if it were simmered all day. But we know that it’s actually super quick and easy to prepare!

Ingredients for Creamy Turkey Soup

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  • Cubed cooked turkey: This soup is a fantastic way to use up leftover turkey. You can use a mixture of white and dark meat if you like. You could also cook a turkey breast or prepare turkey wings just for using in this soup. We find that cubed turkey has the best texture for this soup, but shredded meat is absolutely OK if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Onions, carrots and celery: This cooked combination is known as mirepoix, and it forms the aromatic base of this cream of turkey soup.
  • Butter and flour: Flour and butter cook together to form a roux. It’s how we transform thin milk and broth into a rich, creamy sauce.
  • Milk: Any type of milk will work, but we recommend avoiding fat-free milk. Without any fat, the soup can become grainy. It’s still edible but looks unappetizing (like a broken sauce). To make the cream of turkey soup really rich, substitute some (or all) of the milk with half-and-half.
  • Turkey or chicken broth: Use your roasted turkey carcass to make a homemade turkey stock, or pick up a store-bought stock. You can substitute water in a pinch, but broth is so much more flavorful.
  • Frozen peas: We recommend frozen peas over canned peas. They taste better and the texture is less mealy. If you’re feeding picky eaters, feel free to skip this ingredient or swap in another vegetable, like frozen cubed sweet potatoes.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, savory and parsley flakes add savory, herbaceous vibes to the soup. If you can’t find dried savory, feel free to use extra thyme. You can also use an herb blend like herbs de Provence, which includes savory.


Step 1: Prepare the soup base

In a large stockpot, saute the chopped onion and celery in butter until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, savory and parsley flakes. Gradually add the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cook and stir for two minutes, until thickened.

Step 2: Simmer the soup

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Add the cooked turkey and carrot pieces to the pot. Add enough turkey broth until the soup reaches the desired consistency. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Add the peas

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Add the peas to the pot. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Recipe Variations

  • Add a starch: Make the soup more filling by adding diced potatoes when you add the carrots. You could also finish the soup by adding cooked egg noodles, orzo or rice at the end, simmering the soup until the grains are warmed through.
  • Change the vegetables: Add variety by including extra vegetables in the mix. Mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach or sweet potatoes would all be fantastic options. Just be sure to cut the vegetables into appropriately sized pieces so they cook evenly.
  • Make it extra creamy: Swirl in a package of cream cheese, the secret ingredient in our favorite cream of chicken soup. Or add a small amount of heavy cream at the very end to give the soup a silky-smooth finish.
  • Go dairy-free: Use olive oil instead of butter, and swap out the regular milk for your fave nondairy milk alternative.
  • Add depth: A splash of Worcestershire or soy sauce deepens the flavor of cream soups. Be aware: A little goes a long way with these savory, umami ingredients.

How to Store Creamy Turkey Soup

Store creamy turkey soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. How long leftovers last depends on whether you used leftover turkey. Cooked turkey is only good for three to four days in the fridge, and that timeline starts from the day the turkey was cooked—not the day the soup was made.

We generally discourage freezing soup made with dairy, as the creaminess can turn grainy upon reheating.

Creamy Turkey Soup Tips

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What are the best side dishes to serve with cream of turkey soup?

Cream of turkey soup can be served with toasted baguette, garlic bread or a garden salad. For more ideas, get inspired by our collection of the best sides for soup.

How do you thicken creamy turkey soup?

We use a roux (a combination of cooked flour and butter) to thicken our creamy turkey soup. To make a gluten-free version, use cornstarch or arrowroot instead of the flour.

Use half as much cornstarch or arrowroot as flour when making substitutions. Cornstarch is not the best thickener if you plan to freeze the soup, but we don’t recommend freezing this soup anyways.

How do you make bland turkey soup taste better?

If your creamy turkey soup tastes bland, add a pinch of salt to see if it perks up the other flavors. You can also try a squeeze of lemon juice, a dash of sour cream or a pinch of cayenne pepper. Learn how to fix this and other common mistakes you may be making with soup.

Creamy Turkey Soup

My mother always prepared a holiday turkey much larger than our family could ever eat in one meal so there'd be plenty of leftovers. That's one tradition I've kept up. This hearty soup uses a lot of turkey and is great after watching football games and raking leaves. -Kathleen Harris, Galesburg, Illinois
Creamy Turkey Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 30 min.


8 servings (2 quarts)


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs with leaves, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each dried thyme, savory and parsley flakes
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 4 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 5 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 to 2 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas


  1. In a large kettle, saute onion and celery in butter until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and seasonings; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add turkey and carrots. Add enough broth until soup is desired consistency. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Add peas; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 300 calories, 14g fat (7g saturated fat), 82mg cholesterol, 636mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 4g fiber), 26g protein.