Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup

After all the preparation and cost, Thanksgiving dinner is over. Now you’re faced with the clean-up. You take the bulk of the turkey meat off the bone and get ready to toss the carcass, but wait… Don’t do it!

Revisit your Grandma’s kitchen secrets and you’ll save time and money with just a few simple steps.

Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup {A nice light meal, especially on the days following the ‘feast’.}
Homemade Turkey stock *see recipe below
Cooked Turkey, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
1 pkg of curly noodles
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopping finely
Salt & pepper

Even though I gave quantities for the vegetables, adjust according to how much stock you have.

Heat stock in large stock pot. Taste the stock. Add salt & pepper until stock is nice and savory. You can also add some turkey or chicken base to create a better flavor or read my suggestions for creating a tasty turkey broth below.

Add Onion, celery and carrots. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add noodles and cook until tender. Do not overcook or they will get mushy. Add turkey and stir gently. At the very end add parsley. Sometimes I will just sprinkle this directly in the soup bowl so it’s fresh and colorful.

Serve with a roll or a small salad for a nice light meal.

Homemade Turkey Stock {Can be frozen for up to 6 months.}
Turkey carcass (cut up if necessary to fit into the pot)
Celery (including the heart and leaves)
2 Bay Leaves

After dinner, immediately pull out the stock pot and put the carcass and any other bones (leg, thighs, wings, neck, etc…but not liver or heart) into the pot. Cover with water. The water level should not be more than 2/3 from the top or it can boil over easily. You can break up or chop up the carcass if you need to.

Add quartered onions, celery and carrots. Leaving the vegetable in large chunks will make it easier to remove later. Bring to boil and then simmer for 2-3 hours while you’re cleaning up after dinner.

Later that evening, I pour the entire contents through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Remove any large items from strainer (large bones, vegetables) and pour the rest on a large jelly roll sheet (something with a lip). This will help the contents to cool quickly and avoid a lot of finger burning.

Cover bowl (or use any kind of container with a lid) and put somewhere cool overnight. Often, if my fridge is full from leftovers and if it’s sufficiently cool outside, I will store it in the garage.

After the strained pieces are cooled, I remove any and all meat from the bones. This can be a tedious job, but one I’ve done all my life, so I kind of enjoy it. It’s amazing how much meat you get off of the carcass. Meat you would have otherwise thrown away. There is usually enough meat from the bones for the soup, which leaves any left-over turkey from dinner to be used in other recipes. Refrigerate the meat.

Next day, after the stock has cooled, you can easily remove the fat from the stock because it has risen to the top.

At this point you can refrigerate for a few days or freeze for later use. Just make sure to leave some room at the top of the container so the stock can expand. I usually make soup the next day, as we all want a light meal at this point.


To create a clearer, turkey broth there are a few tricks that will help. Keep stock at a low simmer and avoid stirring. Do not cook longer than 3 hours, usually 2 is good, as long as the meat if falling off the bones.

Skim off any foam that collects at the top of the pot, especially during the first ½ hour.

After you’ve strained the stock the first time, you can strain again through a cheese cloth.

You can also add an egg white to simmering hot stock. It will stay at the top of the soup and collect the sediment. Just spoon it out after a while.

If your stock tastes weak after this entire process, you may need to simmer and reduce. This will condense the flavors. You can also add a little turkey base, although I have to say it’s very satisfying when I can make it taste great without it.

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