The Ultimate Slow Cooker Turkey Soup with Carcass: A Delicious Way to Savor Thanksgiving Leftovers

After the Thanksgiving festivities are over, you’re often left with a hefty turkey carcass and a fridge full of leftovers. Instead of letting them go to waste, why not transform them into a comforting and nourishing slow cooker turkey soup? This ingenious recipe not only helps you make the most of your Thanksgiving bounty but also fills your home with the enticing aroma of a simmering broth.

The Beauty of Bone Broth

The key to a flavorful turkey soup lies in the creation of a rich and nutrient-dense bone broth. By slowly simmering the turkey carcass with aromatic vegetables and herbs, you’ll extract all the goodness from the bones, resulting in a deeply flavored base for your soup.

Here’s what you’ll need for the bone broth:

  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 celery stalk, halved lengthwise
  • 1 carrot, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules (or 2 chicken bouillon cubes)
  • 12 cups water

Combine all these ingredients in your slow cooker, and let the magic happen overnight (or for at least 8-10 hours on low).

Turning Broth into Soup

Once you’ve strained the broth and discarded the solids, it’s time to transform it into a hearty and satisfying soup. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (or sliced)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded turkey meat (reserved from the carcass)
  • Pasta or noodles of your choice (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Add the diced onions, minced garlic, chopped carrots, celery, thyme, salt, and pepper to the strained broth in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours, allowing the vegetables to soften and infuse their flavors into the broth.

After 4 hours, stir in the shredded turkey meat and your desired pasta or noodles (if using). Cook for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until the pasta is cooked through.

Finally, stir in the chopped fresh parsley, and your slow cooker turkey soup is ready to be served!

Customizing Your Soup

The beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility. You can easily adjust the ingredients to suit your personal preferences or incorporate any leftover Thanksgiving veggies you might have on hand.

Here are some tasty variations to consider:

  • Add diced potatoes or sweet potatoes for extra heartiness.
  • Stir in leftover stuffing or dressing for a unique twist.
  • Swap out the pasta for cooked rice or quinoa.
  • Incorporate leftover roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts, green beans, or carrots.
  • Kick up the flavor with a dash of hot sauce or a sprinkle of smoked paprika.
  • Top with crispy fried onions or croutons for a crunchy contrast.

The Convenience of Slow Cooking

One of the best parts of this recipe is the convenience of using a slow cooker. Not only does it free up your stovetop and oven for other holiday cooking tasks, but it also allows the flavors to meld together slowly and perfectly.

Simply set it and forget it, and you’ll have a piping hot, comforting meal ready to enjoy whenever you’re ready. Plus, slow cooker meals are perfect for meal prepping, as the soup can be easily portioned and frozen for future enjoyments.


If you’re looking for a delicious and practical way to make the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers, this slow cooker turkey soup with carcass is a must-try. Not only will you create a flavorful and nourishing meal, but you’ll also reduce food waste and enjoy the satisfaction of transforming every last bit of your holiday feast into a culinary masterpiece.

So, gather your leftovers, dust off your slow cooker, and get ready to savor the ultimate comfort food: a warm, hearty bowl of slow cooker turkey soup with carcass.

Turkey Stock from Left Over Carcass/ Turkey Soup Stock/Slow Cooker Stock

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