A recipe for creamy turkey rice soup that makes a delicious, bone-broth nourishing, one dish meal in just 20 minutes hands-on time. Perfect way to use up leftover cooked turkey - and it's just good with chicken.
I love finding ways to use the nourishing bone broth I make with turkey or chicken bones, whether it's in a soup, sauce or recipe that calls for broth.
Our whole family loves traditional turkey noodle soup, and chicken noodle soup, and when we're sick, I love to feed my family a chicken-vegetable soup that warms their tummies and hopefully helps speed their recovery.
When we're in a spicy mood, turkey and rice soup with curry fits the bill.
And this recipe for creamy turkey rice soup?
Not only is it a great way to make use of leftover turkey (or chicken) you've stashed in the freezer, it's just plain comfort food.
On a more practical level, this soup is filled with hearty, healthy food like brown rice, vegetables and bone broth, for an easy one-dish dinner.
It also gains depth of flavor over a few days in the fridge, making it a wonderful meal prep recipe to have for lunches. So don't be afraid to make a big pot!
Creamy Turkey Rice Soup Recipe
- Cooked turkey (or chicken)
- Brown rice
- Vegetables: onions, garlic, celery, carrots, peas, and optional potatoes
- Milk, cream, or coconut milk
- Salt and pepper
And of course, broth.
I use my homemade bone broth made in a slow cooker with the bones from either a turkey or chicken.
It's easy to make when I have the bones and using the vegetable scraps I keep in the freezer - I just add to the slow cooker with water and let it cook on low for 18-24 hours.
After straining I freeze in quart jars to use for recipes like this. So easy and SO CHEAP.
Since we're using precooked poultry for this recipe, we actually won't be adding it until the end of cooking, after the rice is done. This is to make sure that the meat's flavor isn't all boiled out, which I'm here to tell you is a real thing.
The cooking steps are pretty straightforward:
- Cook the fresh vegetables in butter or oil in a large pot.
- Sprinkle with a bit of flour (this will help thicken the soup - you can use a corn or potato starch at the end instead if you need to be gluten free).
- Add the broth and rice, bring to a boil and cook until done.
- Only then do you add the turkey or chicken, peas, and cream, heating just a few minutes until everything is warmed through.
Turkey or Chicken?
Like I've mentioned, this recipe easily becomes creamy chicken rice soup by using broth and cooked meat from a chicken.
In fact, I like to plan a meal around a spiced slow cooker whole chicken one night, make the broth in the slow cooker overnight and plan on this soup (or one of the others mentioned above) for the next night's meal.
Once you have the meat off the bones and your broth cooked (all done the day before) this recipe comes together in about an hour.
So - ready for some warm, comforting soup tomorrow?
Creamy Turkey Rice Soup FAQs
Yes - simply replace the milk with a can of coconut milk - it will not add any coconut flavor but will add the creaminess.
This is really good with chopped spinach added at the end, or kale or chard added with the other vegetables.
You can also replace the (optional) potatoes with turnips, parsnips or sweet potatoes and I've added chopped sweet red peppers in with the onion mixture in the past.
So, yes - play with the vegetables and use what you have!
I think so, though the rice does break up a bit more after thawing. It didn't make a difference to us, though, and it was nice to have this ready to go in the freezer for quick meals.
What readers say:
"Best soup ever!" - Billie
Creamy Turkey Rice Soup (or Chicken)
- 2 tablespoons butter (or oil for dairy free)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 to 5 carrots, peeled & chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped (optional)*
- 1/3 cup flour**
- 8 cups turkey or chicken broth (preferably this Easy Homemade Chicken Broth)
- 1 cup brown rice
- 3 cups cooked turkey (or chicken)
- 1 cups frozen peas
- 1/2-3/4 cup whole milk, or half & half (or use 1 can coconut milk for dairy free)
- 2 to 4 teaspoons salt, to taste (use the larger amount if using unsalted broth)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots, celery and potatoes, if using. Cook about 5 minutes to soften the vegetables.
- Add the flour and stir to coat vegetables. Slowly pour in the stock, stirring as you do, to incorporate the flour well.
- Add rice to the broth-vegetable mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook about 45 minutes or until rice is tender.
- Add the remaining ingredients (turkey, peas, milk, salt and pepper) and simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes more.
- Taste soup, adjust seasonings if needed, and serve.
More Soups to Make With Poultry
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published in February 2014.