Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup + Best Ever Homemade Broth

Make the most of your leftover Thanksgiving turkey with this BEST EVER homemade broth for leftover turkey noodle soup. Learn my trick for creating the most flavorful broth. 

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by #PastaFits through my participation in the Healthy Aperture Network, which is awesome, because I love pasta. Thanks for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! 

It’s time for a Thanksgiving confession:

I don’t love Thanksgiving turkey.

There. I said it. Does this make me less of an American?? Are they going to revoke my citizenship? Will I be deported? If I do get deported, do I get to choose where I go? Is Bali an option?

Despite my lack of affection, we still roast a turkey every year. In my mind, it’s for one reason – soup.

Leftover turkey soup is one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving. Frankly, it’s the only reason I eat Thanksgiving turkey. Less room in the fridge for turkey means more room for soup! We’ve hosted the past four years, not because we love squeezing a dozen people into our old craftsman, but because we end up with all the leftover soup. Sorry family. We still love you (we just love soup more).

This year, sadly we’re not getting a Thanksgiving. Although it’s not too sad – we’re headed to Hawaii for Scott’s big sisters wedding! Hawaii > stuffing. But only slightly.

This year, whipping up Thanksgiving inspired recipes for the blog has to take the place of the actual holiday. I’ve already got some Thanksgiving worthy Brussels sprouts, a classic Italian holiday dish, AND a non-pie pumpkin dessert on the way! When #pastafits asked me to create a healthy pasta meal for the holidays, I essentially used it as an excuse to make soup.

Normally, we make matzo ball soup the day after Thanksgiving, which I love, but after a day or two I’m ready to get some fiber back in my system. That’s where whole grain pasta comes in. With 6 grams in a serving, it’s a nice way to get your gut in order after the stuffing-extravaganza that is Thanksgiving (as it should be!). Comforting, yet vegetable packed and nourishing turkey noodle soup is a nice break from sweet potato casserole.

What makes this soup is the broth. It’s spectacular. I learned how to make broth from my mom, who I would consider a soup making pro. Sorry mom, but I’ve learned some things. I see your broth and I raise you one. My secret is roasting both the bones and vegetables before making the stock. It adds a richer flavor and a hint of sweetness. Once the bones and vegetables are roasted, you use a little wine to deglaze the pan and scoop up every last bit of yummy goodness. I used red wine, which gives it a darker color, but feel free to use white. The other secret ingredient - dill. How do people eat chicken noodle soup without it? It's a blasphemy!

When making noodle soup, be sure to boil your pasta separately. Cooking them in the broth will make your leftovers mushy and sad. If you freeze leftover soup, just boil up a small pot of pasta when you’re ready to eat.

What's your favorite thing to do with Thanksgiving leftovers? Share in the comments below! 

Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup + Best Ever Homemade Broth

Serves 4-6


Best Ever Broth: 

  • 1 leftover turkey carcass, picked clean of meat
  • 4 quarts water (or more)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 medium celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup red or white wine
  • 15 black peppercorns
  • 6 sprigs of parsley
  • 4 sprigs of dill

Noodle Soup:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 10 cups turkey broth
  • Leftover cooked turkey
  • 8 ounces 100% whole grain pasta
  • Lots of chopped, fresh dill, for garnish


  1. First make the broth. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Break turkey carcass into pieces and spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Roast for 45-60 minutes until bones are dark and caramelized. Place bones in a large pot and cover with 4 quarts of water (or more to cover bones). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, skimming any foam that forms at the surface.
  2. Meanwhile, toss onion, celery, and carrots with a tablespoon of olive oil. Spread evenly over the same baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes until browned. Scoop roasted vegetables into the simmering broth and add dill, parsley and peppercorns.
  3. Place baking sheet over the stovetop and add wine, scraping up browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Let simmer to reduce a few minutes, them pour into the broth. Continue to simmer 60-90 minutes until flavors have melded. Season with salt and set aside.
  4. In another large pot, heat tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds. Add carrots, celery, mushrooms and onions and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Add 10 cups broth and leftover cooked turkey. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-30 minutes until flavors have melded.
  5. While soup is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to soup along with lots of fresh dill for garnish.