Earlier this week, I did a round-up of over 50 Thanksgiving leftover recipes and guess what?! I hardly have any leftovers! I know I should be happy, but I’m actually a little sad. I don’t have enough leftovers to make those wonderful recipes…sniffle, sniffle.

The lack of leftovers are mainly due to two teen boys in the house, but at least they left me the turkey bones. What can you make with turkey bones? Why stock  and soup of course!

So if you’re only left with turkey bones and very little leftover turkey, here is a basic turkey and rice soup recipe that uses the bones AND a round-up of turkey stock recipes from around the web.

Turkey & Rice SoupTurkey-and-Rice-Soup

When I was little, my grandmother would never throw out the turkey bones and would ALWAYS make chook. This is my spin on that thick rice soup I used to eat after every Thanksgiving.

Look at all that meat that is just falling off the bones! I’m always amazed at how much meat is left on the bones.

Place turkey bones in a pot and cover with water, vinegar (helps draw calcium from the bones), and spices. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to medium low. Simmer for about 2 to 4 hours until the meat falls off of the bones – 2 hours is the minimum time, but you’ll get more flavor from the bones the longer you cook it.

Remove the bones and left it cool down. When cool enough to touch, remove any remaining meat from the bones and add it to the pot.

Note: If you feel like small bones may have fallen off into the soup, strain it and remove the small bones before returning the meat to the stock.

Chopped-VeggiesWhile the bones are cooling, chop up the vegetables (not all vegetables shown) and set aside for later.

Rinse 1 1/2 cups of short grain rice and add it to the pot with any leftover turkey meat. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring between to prevent the rice from sticking to the pot. Turkey-Soup-Cooking

After 20 minutes, add the vegetables and remaining ingredients. If any additional seasoning needs to be added, do so here. Cover and cook for at least another 40 minutes, stirring between to prevent sticking.

The soup will become extremely thick and this is normal. It is almost like eating a soft rice soup, which was something my grandmother used to feed me when I wasn’t feeling well. The video below shows how thick the soup will become. Of course, if you want to add more water to thin it out, you can do so.

If you have any leftover of this soup, it will become very thick before it cools down to store. This video shows how thick the soup will become.

Leftover Turkey and Rice Soup

Serves 6-8
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 5 hours
Total time 5 hours, 20 minutes
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Soup
Misc Serve Hot



  • leftover turkey bones
  • 10-11 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon cane or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 chopped onion or 2 tablespoon onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic


  • 1-2 cup shredded or chopped turkey meat
  • 1 1/2 cup short grain rice
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup low salt soy sauce (add more if needed)
  • 1 " sliced ginger pieces

soup (Optional)

  • 1/2 can water chestnuts (diced or thin slivers)
  • chopped fresh parsley or green onions (garnish)


  • Can be served with additional fresh parsley or green onions.
  • Soup will thicken as the rice sits in the broth, so additional water may need to be added during the cooking process.


Step 1
Place turkey bones in a large pot and add water. Make sure water covers all the bones. Add the remaining stock ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 2(minimum) to 4 hours.
Step 2
After the stock is cooked, take out the turkey bones. When the bones are cool enough to handle, pick off any remaining meat and add it to the stock. *If you feel small bones fell off into the stock, strain the soup. Separate out the bones and the meat. Retun the meat and stock back into the pot.*
Step 3
Chop carrots, celery, parsley, and water chestnuts. Set aside. Wash the rice and add it to the stock. Cover and cook for 20 minutes on medium low heat. Make sure to stir the rice up every 10-15 minutes to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Step 4
After 20 minutes, add the chopped vegetables and all other ingredients to the soup. Cover and cook for another 40 minutes until the rice is soft. Again, make sure to stir the rice every 10-15 minutes to prevent sticking. *Add more water if the soup is getting too thick and adjust seasoning.*
Step 5
Take out slices of ginger before serving. Have additional fresh chopped parsley or green onions for garnish.

Here are some other great recipes to that use leftover turkey bones.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. My family loves soups but we’ve been sticking to our safe soups (chicken soup, broccoli cheddar, etc.) so I would definitely love to try this recipe!

  2. This soup sure looks like something my dad (a rice lover) would really enjoy. Thanks for linking it up to the Country Fair Blog party this month. I hope you will join us again on January 1st. Have a fabulous week!

  3. Oh thanks for the tip about the vinegar! I did not know that 🙂
    Thanks for stopping by and linking up with Tasty Tuesday, Erlene. Look forward to seeing you again next week.

  4. Erlene, this looks amazing. Sorry you didn’t have lots of leftovers. I think one of my favorites is making turkey sandwiches. When there were times I didn’t have leftover turkey, I felt sad too.
    Thanks for sharing at the Retro Re-Pin Party 🙂 Pinned

  5. Now I wish I had that turkey bone back! Why haven’t I thought of using the turkey bone before is beyond me. We did freeze the ham bone for making soup later. We did not have any leftover turkey this year though.
    You soup sound really good right now!
    Pinning to my Soups and Stews board.

  6. Yum! I always deep fry our turkey and the hubs smokes a ham for Thanksgiving and one of my daughters always takes the ham bone home for soup. I’ve never thought to make soup with the turkey bone. It looks delicious.

  7. This soup looks great. In fact, I kind of feel like you just a little sad because we did not have much left overs this year (not because of two teenage boys) but because I did not put the leftovers away on time. I am left with turkey though. This little soup is something I could definitely make for hubby and me. My toddlers do not eat much soup! Thanks for the recipe and the round up!