Leftovers Turkey Soup

Never throw out your turkey bones! They are full of flavor that can be transformed into this delicious soup. Make this and then you can thank me!

NOTE: An Instant Pot makes this soup super easy but you can do it without one. To make it in a large pot add about 4-5 quarts of water to the bones for the stock. You will need to simmer for at least 5-6 hours before straining and then for 2 hours after adding the soup vegetables.


  • All your turkey bones and leftover dark meat
(save the leftover turkey breast for sandwiches!)
If you are buying bones and turkey parts to make this, you need the amount of turkey bones in one turkey "carcass". This was two packages in the meat department of my local supermarket. I also used 1 1/2 wings and two very small turkey thighs (one regular size leg or thigh would be plenty)

  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 1-2 carrots
  • 1-2 ribs celery

  • 14-16 cups cubed soup vegetables:
(I usually cut up the vegetables while the bones are turning into stock)
I used 1 Onion, 4-5 ribs celery, 6 small carrots, 1 sweet potato, 2 parsnips, 1 zucchini, and a mini pumpkin
You can use other soup vegetables that you prefer but always include an onion, some celery and at least 1-2 carrots


If you are starting with raw bones/turkey parts season them with salt and pepper and roast on a sheet pan at 350 for approximately 2 hours

Shred the dark meat off the bones. You want about 2 cups of shredded meat but more or less will be fine. Refrigerate for later.

Now, let's make the turkey stock!
Place all the turkey bones in your instant pot with the halved onion, carrot(s) and celery. Fill until max line with water. Lock lid in place and make sure valve is sealed. Also be sure your sealing ring is set in securely in your lid or the pot will not come to pressure. Set on manual, high pressure for 90 minutes. Now go do something else!
(I often will dice the soup vegetables now.)

When the time is up vent the pressure. When the pressure comes down strain the stock into an extra large bowl or another pot and discard the bones and vegetables (you can feed them to your pet chickens if you have some :-) ).

Place your cubed vegetables and shredded turkey into the instant pot insert. Pour your stock into the pot until the max line. (You can freeze any extra stock and use it in place of chicken stock anywhere it's called for)

Lock the lid in place and set for 25 minutes.
When time is up vent pressure and enjoy your soup!

You can season with salt if needed but I always find that the salt from the turkey bones is sufficient.

I freeze this soup all the time. There will be a slight change in texture in the soup vegetables but because they are cubed it will be negligible.

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