Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers: Turkey Tortilla Soup

Tired of eating the same old dried out, microwave-reheated breast meat for days? I sure would be. This Turkey Tortilla Soup will spice up your leftovers!

Turkey Tortilla Soup

Originally posted 27 Nov 2007
Updated 25 Nov 2009

In the past, we’ve always saved the carcass of the turkey to make stock, and most of the time we turn that stock into turkey jook (rice congee). It’s pretty easy to do.

But I was getting tired of Asian food. I just didn’t want to fall back on warming up leftover turkey again. I wanted some kicked up flavors and spice! So I went Southwestern with a Turkey Tortilla Soup.

Turkey Tortilla Soup Recipe

Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine November 2006


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp ancho chili powder
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 quart homemade turkey broth
6 cilantro sprigs (I left them out)
Kosher salt
2 cups shredded or medium-diced leftover roast turkey
1-1/2 cups medium-diced fresh tomato
1 cup cooked fresh corn kernels (or substitute thawed frozen corn)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 to 1 ripe avocado, medium diced
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbs. sour cream, or to taste (optional)
1/2 lime, cut into wedges

Turkey Tortilla Soup Ingrendients

Turkey Tortilla Soup Ingredients


1. Heat the 2 Tbsp oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until softened and just beginning to brown.

2. Add the chili powder and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 15 to 30 seconds. Pour in the broth and scrape the bottom of the pan with the spoon to loosen any cooked-on bits.

3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, until the broth has reduced by about a third, 20 to 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

4. Divide the turkey, tomato, corn, and beans four bowls.

Esther and Daniel dividing the ingredients

Daniel and Esther assembling Turkey Tortilla Soup

5. Ladle the hot broth into the bowls, top with chopped avocadoes, a sprinkle of feta cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.

Turkey Tortilla Soup

Turkey Tortilla Soup 2

If you have it, squeeze some lime juice on top to give it a tart bite. I would have garnished with chopped cilantro but the cilantro was sitting in the bottom of the veggie drawer and I didn’t find it until later. Instead of fresh fried corn tortilla strips, I just crumbled some corn tortilla chips and mixed that in to the soup.

So there you have it, another delicious way to enjoy your leftover turkey!

Aloha, Nate

7 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers: Turkey Tortilla Soup”

  1. >I’m certainly drooling over the jook!
    Yum Yum! I did not have any turkey this year. No leftover turkey for me to “play” around with.

  2. >yummm this soup looks hearty and heart warming! maybe i can adapt it and swap chicken breasts for the turkey… hmmm

  3. >@Dance with Corgis – hope you got to make it!

    @Lingzie – actually the original recipe called for chicken so you definitely can use chicken.

    @otehlia – let us know how it came out!

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