This healthy wild rice soup recipe with leftover turkey is the perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers. A family-favorite turkey soup recipe, get it now.
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This healthy wild rice soup recipe is perfect for leftover Thanksgiving turkey
Confession: I’ve never understood the appeal of making a sandwich with Thanksgiving leftovers.
I know. It may sound odd as I know many people who probably look forward to that sandwich more than the actual Thanksgiving meal itself.
Instead, my favorite way to enjoy leftover turkey is turkey is in my mom’s creamy wild rice soup.
This soup is the epitome of a comforting winter soup thanks to its creamy texture and nutty wild rice. Let me show you how to make a healthier version of the classic chicken and wild rice soup.
>>Get more healthy soup recipes here.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Lightened up, yet still so creamy and comforting.
- Easily customizable based on what you have on hand.
- Healthy recipe idea for leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
Ingredients Used to Make Healthy Leftover Turkey Wild Rice Soup
- Leftover turkey: Shredded or diced.
- Wild rice: As noted below, the texture and flavor of wild rice is different from other rices so I don’t recommend subbing it out. You can buy wild rice online.
- Unsweetened oat milk: Instead of heavy cream, this recipe uses unsweetened oat milk. For a thicker consistency, you can use unsweetened oat milk creamer or regular half n half.
- Broth or stock: Use chicken or turkey broth, depending on what you have on hand. For the right balance of sodium, I use a mix of low-sodium and regular. To avoid buying both, I recommend using all low-sodium broth and then adding salt to taste.
- Carrots: I love carrots in wild rice soup. You can also add celery.
- Onion and garlic: For flavor. If you don’t like onions, you can easily leave it out. A shallot would also be really nice in place of the onion.
- Thyme and rosemary: These are herbs that I usually have in the fridge from other Thanksgiving dishes. You can also make this with just thyme if you don’t have rosemary. Sage would also work well. Feel free to use dried herbs instead.
- Whole wheat flour: This is to help thicken the soup. Feel free to use all-purpose flour instead. To make it gluten-free, use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend or cornstarch.
Can you make healthy wild rice soup with rotisserie chicken?
Yes! In fact, when it isn’t the day after Thanksgiving, I usually make this soup with rotisserie chicken instead of turkey.
You can also use leftover chicken or poach a chicken breast and shred it. This is my go-to recipe for poaching chicken that I plan on shredding.
How to substitute dried herbs for fresh
If you don’t have fresh thyme or rosemary, you can easily use dried herbs instead:
For every 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs, use 1 teaspoon of dried.
What is wild rice? And what are the nutritional benefits?
You may be surprised to know that wild rice isn’t actually rice at all. Instead, wild rice is an aquatic grass that’s commonly found in the Great Lakes region of the northern United States.
And while it cooks similarly to rice, wild rice has a chewier texture and nuttier flavor that make it perfect for soups.
Nutritionally, wild rice is higher in protein than other types of rice and contains as much fiber as brown rice. It’s also a rich source of antioxidants and contains a good amount of magnesium.
How to Make Wild Rice Soup with Leftover Turkey
Wild rice soup is so easy! Everything is made in one soup pot and requires just 40 minutes of simmering.
- Saute the onion and carrots in butter.
- Add seasonings.
- Add rice and broth. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Make a slurry by combining the flour with 1/4 cup of water.
- Add the slurry, turkey, and oat milk to the soup, stir, and cook another 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened.
- Dig in!
How to store and reheat wild rice soup
Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover with a lid and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat, simply heat a serving in the microwave for 2 minutes, stirring halfway through.
If reheating a larger portion, I recommend placing the soup in a pot and bringing it to a low boil over medium-high heat.
Personally I don’t like freezing this soup as the consistency does change with thawing.
What to serve with turkey soup
As it has protein, carbs, and some fat, this healthy turkey soup can easily be enjoyed as a meal on its own.
For extra veggies, I like to pair it with a salad. Of course, you can never go wrong with a slice of crusty bread for dipping!
More healthy Thanksgiving leftover recipes to try
If you tried this Healthy Wild Rice Soup with Leftover Turkey, or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below!
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Lightened Up Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
A healthier twist on the traditional Thanksgiving leftovers staple, this soup will keep you nice and warm all winter long.
- 3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 4 medium carrots peeled and chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 3 cups reduced sodium chicken or turkey stock**
- 2 cups regular chicken or turkey stock**
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme*
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary*
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice
- ¼ cup white whole wheat flour can use all-purpose as well
- 2-3 cups shredded leftover turkey can use chicken
- ½ cup half and half
- Pinch salt and pepper to taste
- Optional red pepper flakes for serving
Melt butter in large pan over medium-high heat.
Add carrots, onion and celery, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until carrots just slightly softened.
Next, add garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Cook until fragrant, about 1 min. Add chicken/turkey stock and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
While soup is simmering, whisk together ¼ cup flour with ¼ cup cold water to make your slurry. Set aside.
After 30 minutes, add turkey, half and half, and slurry. Continue to simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Nutrition for 1/6 of recipe: 350 calories, 6g saturated fat, 29g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 3g sugar, 26g protein *If you don’t have any fresh herbs, no need to run out to the store! Simply use 1 tsp dried thyme and ¼ tsp dried rosemary **For broth, you can use 5 cups of low sodium broth instead of doing part low sodium and part regular. You may need to add more salt.
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