This hearty Instant Pot Turkey Soup is the quickest and most appetizing way to use up leftover turkey. It’s loaded with veggies with a pop of flavor from garlic and sage.
If you’re tired of leftover turkey sandwiches after a big Thanksgiving dinner, then this healthy turkey noodle soup is the best way to get yet another enjoyable meal without a lot of hassle.
It cooks in just 10 minutes (minus the time it needs to come to pressure) making it the quickest and easiest soup of the season.
I used leftover roasted turkey, but I think smoked turkey would also be delightful. But this homemade turkey soup recipe shouldn’t be reserved just after the holidays, it’s perfect to use throughout the year using these super quick recipes: Air Fryer Turkey Breast or even this Instant Pot Turkey Breast.
It’s a healthy, comforting soup that is easy to make year-round, so let’s get to it.
- Butter – you could use olive oil, if you prefer.
- Veggies – I used carrots, onion, celery and button mushrooms. I like using a lot of vegetables in my soups, but you can use as much or as little as you want!
- Garlic and fresh sage – they both go so perfectly with turkey. If you don’t have fresh, you can use 1 teaspoon garlic powder and ½ teaspoon dried sage.
- Chicken stock – I recommend using good quality, low sodium stock or homemade broth.
- Shredded cooked turkey – I used leftover roasted turkey in this recipe, but smoked turkey would also be great.
- Egg noodles – elbow macaroni or ditalini would also work great! When cooking pasta in the instant pot, just cook it for half the amount of time on the box.
- Kosher salt & black pepper
- Bay leaf -make sure to take it out before serving this soup. You can omit it if you don’t have any on hand.
How to make it:
- Heat the Instant Pot using Saute and add butter.
- Saute the veggies and cook until they’re tender.
- Add garlic and sage and cook for another minute.
- Add chicken stock, turkey, noodles, bay leaf and salt and pepper, stir.
- Attach the lid and pressure cook for 3 minutes.
- Release pressure by venting (be careful of the steam!)
- Remove the bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste.
Be sure to read the full recipe in the recipe box below.
That’s it! With only 10 minutes of prep and 10 minutes of cook time (excluding pressurizing), you can dish out this full-flavored, hearty soup in less than 30 minutes!
You can store any leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Don’t have an Instant Pot?
That’s ok, you can still make this turkey soup on the stovetop. It takes a bit more effort, but the result is the same.
To make this turkey noodle soup on the stovetop, just use a stockpot to saute the chopped veggies and continue following the directions.
Once the veggies are tender and a bit browned, add the chicken stock and the rest of the ingredients (except the noodles).
Cook on medium-high heat and bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
In another pot, cook the noodles separately as directed on the box. If you cook it all together then the noodles will soak up most of the liquid, so I suggest adding the cooked noodles after the stock has simmered.
Once the noodles are cooked, drain and add them to the soup. Have a little taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper, and enjoy!
What is an Instant Pot?
An Instant Pot is like a modernized electrical pressure cooker that has many more functions and cooks food in a fraction of the time. You can put the food in the pot, walk away and come back to a delicious warm meal.
It’s a one-pot solution that takes the fear out of pressurizing.
If you haven’t yet bought an Instant Pot, and are looking for reasons and recommendations to buy one, I found an informational post that may help you.
I have this 6-Quart Instant Pot. It’s not only a pressure cooker but also a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute pan and food warmer. It is even a yogurt maker, so it does a lot for a reasonable price.
Best noodles for soup:
Egg noodles are classic for soups, they’re different from boxed noodles in taste, texture and color.
Egg noodles are usually broad with a distinctly yellow color due to the addition of the eggs in the dough. They’re savory in taste and a perfect addition to soups and casseroles.
If you don’t have egg noodles, you can use any type of pasta you like. Elbow or ditalini work great in this turkey soup.
Although I wouldn’t want to use lasagna noodles because that would just be awkward, you get the picture.
Just note that the key to cooking pasta in the instant pot is to cook it for half of the time written on the box directions.
Egg noodles traditionally cook in 7 minutes on the stovetop, so I divided that in half and rounded it down to 3 minutes for this recipe.
Spices for turkey soup:
In keeping with the seasonal theme, I used garlic and sage which is reminiscent of Thanksgiving. To me, it’s a perfect combination that really adds a robust earthy flavor.
It’s my favorite way to season this soup, and not just after the holidays.
That being said, there are many winning combinations of herbs to enliven any soup. Thyme, parsley, oregano, chives and basil are all typical additions.
But dill, lemon balm, and mint create different flavor combinations for those who like to experiment with taste profiles.
I also like using fresh herbs in dishes, but sometimes it just isn’t possible. If you don’t have fresh herbs to use in this soup, by all means, use dried herbs. There will be a difference in the amount you use so let’s take a look.
Dried vs Fresh Herbs:
For flaky dried herbs like oregano or sage, the rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs to 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.
If you’re using ground herbs instead of flaky herbs, the rule is 1 teaspoon dried leaf herbs to ½ teaspoon of ground dried herbs.
But if you’re using something like ground ginger which is more pungent than flaky herbs, the ratio is 4 parts fresh to 1 part dried.
But why is that? It seems counterintuitive that dried herbs would be more potent than fresh herbs, to me anyway. But fresh herbs like basil and parsley are 80 to 90 percent water.
When dried, the water evaporates leaving more concentrated flavors due to strong residues of essential oils.
This is even more extreme with rosemary and thyme that have heartier leaves because the flavor intensity can be even greater than that of basil. So you should be a little more conservative with dried harder-leafed herbs.
For this turkey noodle soup recipe, I recommend 1 teaspoon garlic powder and ½ teaspoon dried sage if you don’t have fresh herbs.
Following these general rules will help you get the seasonings just right.
Can I use chicken instead of turkey?
Sure! If you don’t have any leftover turkey, you can swap it out with chicken. A roasted chicken would be quite nice. Since you only need 2 cups of shredded meat, you can make a comforting soup anytime you like.
Can I freeze noodle soup?
Yes and no. I don’t recommend freezing soup with noodles because the pasta gets mushy, and that’s just a no-no in my house.
But if you make the stock with the veggies and let it thoroughly cool, you can put it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to make the turkey noodle soup, just put the frozen soup base in the fridge overnight to thaw. Add the base to a stockpot and reheat it. Separately, cook the noodles as directed, drain, transfer to the soup base, stir and serve.
Can I use homemade turkey broth instead of chicken broth?
Sure! A lot of people use leftover turkey carcasses from Thanksgiving to make great homemade turkey stock. It freezes great and can be used as a flavorful soup base months later.
These last few years, I haven’t had a big Thanksgiving gathering due to the pandemic, so I haven’t had a reason to make a whole turkey. Instead, this year I will make this Air Fryer Turkey Breast, and since we’re a family of 3, I’ll have just enough roasted turkey for this soup.
Because the air fryer turkey breast is boneless, I used a high-quality, low sodium chicken stock instead of making my own.
But if you have homemade turkey stock, then by all means use it!
Other hearty recipes:
My kid loves this Kid-friendly Chili and doesn’t even know about the hidden veggies. 😉
If you’re looking for a terrific salad to serve alongside any soup, try this Panzanella Salad. It’s a Tuscan-style bread salad that is filling and terrific.
And for another great turkey dish, try this great Turkey Chops Recipe!
If you make this Turkey Noodle Soup, leave a comment below and let me know how it turned out. I do appreciate your feedback. See you next week!
Instant Pot Turkey Soup
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) butter
- 2 large carrots peeled and cut into 1/4" pieces
- 2 medium stalks of celery sliced and cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 cup button mushrooms sliced into 1/4" pieces
- 3 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh sage minced
- 4 cups (946 ml) chicken stock
- 2 cups shredded cooked turkey
- 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 dried bay leaf
- Turn on the Saute function of the Instant Pot.
- Add the butter and once it's melted, add the carrots, celery, onion, and mushrooms.
- Stir to coat all of the vegetables with the melted butter.
- Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and have started to brown.
- Add in the garlic and sage and cook for another minute.
- Add in the chicken stock, turkey, noodles, salt, pepper, and bay leaf, and give it a stir.
- Attach the lid and make sure the valve is in the sealing position.
- Choose Manual, High Pressure and set it for 3 minutes.
- When it's done cooking, do a manual release by switching the valve to the venting position. Be careful!
- Remove the bay leaf and add more salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm.
- Refrigerate leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.