This Turkey Wild Rice Soup is a great way to transform all those Thanksgiving leftovers! And if you don’t have any turkey, chicken will work just as well.
This simple creamy turkey wild rice soup is very easy to make, and it’s freezer-friendly. There’s nothing better than a warm and comforting bowl of creamy rice soup, especially when the weather is getting colder each day!
This turkey wild rice soup recipe is one of my favorite ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. It’s the perfect way to transform them into a warm, creamy, and hearty soup.
It is a satisfying and comforting soup that is super easy to make. This creamy rice soup is one of those recipes that tastes better the next day, so it’s great for lunch or even meal prep. Did I mention it’s freezer-friendly as well? I love it as much as I love this Turkey Orzo Soup!
Turkey wild rice soup is also a great way to use up any vegetables you have in your fridge. So, it’s a win-win!
You don’t have to stick to turkey either. This creamy wild rice soup works just as well with chicken. Rotisserie chicken is a great option, as is my Dutch Oven Chicken.
Why we love this Turkey Wild Rice Soup:
- It’s a great way to transform leftover Thanksgiving leftovers into delicious meals.
- It’s comforting. Who doesn’t love a cozy bowl of creamy chicken soup!
- Easy and simple! It’s a straightforward recipe. Nothing complicated here.
- Versatile: You can use turkey or chicken, and even throw in any veggies you have in hand. You can use any type of rice or even pasta.
As always, ingredient quantities can be found in the recipe card down below, but I wanted to share a few helpful notes of each here:
- Leftover turkey meat: I prefer to use breast meat, but dark meat will work too. Rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken work great.
- Wild rice blend: Most grocery stores sell “wild rice blend,” which is a combination of wild rice, brown rice, and other types of rice. This recipe calls for cooked wild rice blend. Follow package directions and cook it separately.
- Onions, carrots, celery: The backbone of the soup’s aromatic base, which provides flavor and depth. I like to dice these into ½ inch for texture.
- Minced garlic, fresh thyme, and dried oregano: These are the aromatics and flavor boosters. Feel free to use your favorite herbs.
- Baby bella mushrooms: They add a “meaty” texture and umami-richness that deepens flavors. You can use other types, such as white or cremini mushrooms.
- All-purpose flour: Helps to thicken the soup just right.
- Chicken broth: Use a high-quality broth as it greatly influences the overall taste.
- Half-and-half: Adds creaminess. Heavy cream works too.
- Olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste
Making this turkey wild rice soup is very easy because most of the ingredients are already cooked. You’ll have dinner ready in no time. Here’s how to make it.
Step 1 | Cook vegetable base
In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Then, stir in the garlic, thyme, and oregano, and cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the sliced mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes until softened.
Step 2 | Add flour and broth
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, stirring to coat them evenly to prevent lumps for another 2 minutes. Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring continuously to dissolve the flour. Bring to a simmer. As it simmers, the broth will thicken.
Step 3 | Add rice and turkey
Then, stir in the cooked wild rice blend and cooked turkey, and simmer for another 5 minutes until heated through.
Step 4 | Finish with cream
Stir in the half-and-half and simmer for another 2 minutes until warm. Serve immediately and enjoy with bread or crackers!
How to Cook Wild Rice
Pure wild rice itself can be a bit tough and chewy, which is why I prefer the “wild rice blend” for its mix of textures. I use Lundberg’s wild rice blend, which contains wild rice, brown rice, and red rice.
How much rice to cook? 1 cup uncooked rice yields about 2.5 to 3 cups of cooked rice.
Cook over the stovetop, covered, according to package directions. Wild rice blends usually take 40 to 45 minutes to cook. Each brand may have slightly different cooking times and directions, but generally you need to cook 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water. You can also use a rice cooker, if you have one.
If you made my Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash and have some extra rice left, this would be a great recipe!
Freezing and Storage
This turkey wild rice soup is freezer-friendly. Freeze for up to 3 months in containers (I use Souper Cubes). Skip adding the half-and-half until you’re ready to reheat the soup, as dairy doesn’t freeze well. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove, stirring in the half-and-half at the end.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Turkey wild rice soup is a great option for lunch or meal planning.
More Cozy Soup Recipes
If you’re already in cozy soup mode, I’ve got the best soup recipes for you to enjoy this season! My favorite of all time is this creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup.
Cozy soups to enjoy this season:
I would not recommend that. Rice releases starch, so the broth may turn too starchy and even a bit gummy. Wild rice can also tint the color of the water a purple-ish hue.
Absolutely! Leftover seared chicken breast, rotisserie chicken, or roast chicken are great options.
Yes. Any type of rice will work in this recipe. You could even use small pasta, such as ditalini, bowtie, or acini de pepe.
This recipe was originally published in 2018 and updated in November 2023 to include new photos and information, plus a few recipe modifications.
Tips for Success
- Turkey or chicken can be used interchangeably to make this recipe.
- I like to dice the vegetables into ½ inch pieces to maintain texture. Also, feel free to use any vegetables you have in hand. My favorite add-ins are green beans and corn.
- If you can’t find wild rice blend, any type of rice will work. Cook rice according to package instructions.
- Do not add uncooked rice into the soup. The broth may become too starchy and thick. Plus, wild rice tends to tint the color of the water into a purple-ish hue.
- Generally, 1 cup uncooked rice yields about 2.5 to 3 cups of cooked rice.
- I love to serve this turkey wild rice soup with toasted baguette, rosemary focaccia, or oyster crackers.
Turkey Wild Rice Soup
- 6-quart Dutch oven 4.5 quart works too
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend - yields about 2.5 to 3 cups cooked rice, see note below
- Olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups chicken broth - plus more as needed
- 2 cups diced cooked turkey breast - chicken works too
- 1 cup half-and-half - or heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Sauté the diced onions, carrots and celery until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic, thyme, dried oregano, and sauté for another 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Stir in the flour evenly over the vegetables, stirring to coat evenly for another 2 minutes to cook off any raw flour taste. Then, gradually pour in the 6 cups of chicken broth, stirring to dissolve the flour and break up any lumps. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes, half-covered. It will thicken as it heats up.
- Stir in the cooked rice and cooked turkey meat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring back to a boil and then simmer for another 5 minutes, or until heated through. If needed, add more broth until desired consistency.
- Finish it with half-and-half until warm. Serve with bread or crackers. Enjoy!
- Wild rice blend: For this recipe, I use Lundberg brand “wild rice blend,” which is a combination of wild rice, brown rice, and red rice.
- How much rice to cook: For this recipe, you need about 2.5 to 3 cups of cooked rice, which is the equivalent to 1 cup uncooked rice.
- Freezing: Skip the dairy addition. Freeze for up to 3 months in containers. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight first, or reheat from frozen in a pot.
- Store leftovers in sealed containers, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Baby bella mushrooms: Cremini or white mushrooms.
- Thyme: If using dried thyme, use about ⅓ of the amount of fresh.
- Vegetable add-in ideas: Corn, green beans, spinach
- Any kind of rice will work here. You can even use short pastas, such as ditalini, arancini di pepe, or bowtie pasta.