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Turkey Orzo Soup

My delicious Turkey orzo soup is a simple soup with comforting flavors that’s perfect for using leftover turkey. With lots of fresh vegetables and a perfectly seasoned broth, this easy soup recipe is a refreshing change after all the rich holiday food. 

The best part? It's so convenient. With just a handful of ingredients and about half an hour of your time, you'll have a steaming bowl of homemade goodness ready to enjoy.

Turkey Orzo Soup served in a white bowl.

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Why You Will Love This Turkey Orzo Soup

  • Convenient way to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
  • Simple and quick preparation with minimal ingredients.
  • Hearty texture with tender turkey and orzo pasta.
  • Well-seasoned broth with Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Comforting, flavorful, and provides warmth on chilly days.

Usually after enjoying Thanksgiving with both sides of our family, we are ready for a lighter meal and this turkey orzo soup is a family favorite. It's become a post-Thanksgiving tradition in our home.

I like that I can use leftover turkey and it's easy to make. It's always a win when I can make the most of our holiday leftovers.

Another delicious orzo soup to try is my Creamy Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup.

Ingredient Notes

See the printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.

Ingredients to make Turkey Orzo Soup set out on the counter.
  • Turkey - Bust out the leftover turkey because this is its time to shine! Just 2 cups of shredded turkey is all you need
  • Vegetables like onion, celery, carrots, and garlic are all cooked in olive oil to bring a beautiful flavor to the soup. 
  • Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper will bring out all the flavors!
  • Orzo- This tiny pasta gives the Turkey Orzo Soup a heartiness and creaminess that can’t be beaten. 
  • Chicken Stock - This forms the foundation of the soup and is used to simmer all the other ingredients.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Chicken Orzo Soup: Instead of turkey, use cooked chicken breast or thigh meat. Shred or dice it and add it to the soup. Chicken orzo soup is equally delicious and a great way to use up leftover chicken.
  • Rice Instead of Orzo: For a change of texture, substitute orzo with rice. You can use long-grain white rice, brown rice, or even wild rice for a heartier option. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time according to the type of rice you choose.
  • Veggie-Packed: Enhance the soup's nutritional value by adding more vegetables. You can incorporate spinach, kale, zucchini, or even peas for extra color and flavor. Add them during the last few minutes of cooking to keep them vibrant and tender.
  • Creamy Variation: For a creamy version of this soup, stir in a bit of heavy cream, half-and-half, or coconut milk towards the end of cooking. This will create a velvety texture and a rich flavor profile.
  • Herb-Infused: Experiment with fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or rosemary to infuse the soup with aromatic flavors. You can either add them during cooking or as a garnish just before serving.

How To Make Turkey Orzo Soup

Prepare the ingredients by dicing the onion, celery, and carrot, and mincing the garlic. Cut the turkey into bite-sized cubes or shreds. 

Sauteed diced onions in a large pot.
Onions, celery, and carrots in a large pot.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the diced onion until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. 

Continue by adding the carrots, celery, and minced garlic, sautéing for an additional 4-5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. 

Turkey, orzo pasta, and seasonings in a large pot.
Turkey, Orzo pasta, and vegetables in a large soup pot.

Stir in the turkey, orzo pasta, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, ensuring everything is well combined. 

Pour in the chicken stock, bringing the soup to a simmer. 

Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender, and the orzo is cooked through. 

Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if desired.

Turkey Orzo Soup in a large pot.

Storing and Freezing

To store leftover turkey orzo soup, allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, transfer it to an airtight container, making sure to cover it well. Store it in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Reheat on stovetop or in the microwave.

Leftover orzo soup will soak up more broth during storage, so add more chicken stock as needed during reheating. 

I have never tried freezing this soup. But if you'd like to freeze some for later use, I would not add the orzo before freezing to avoid it becoming mushy.

To freeze portion the soup into airtight freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Be sure to leave some space at the top to allow for expansion. Label the containers with the date and contents, and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months.

When ready to enjoy the frozen soup, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost function on your microwave. Reheat it on the stovetop, add orzo, and let it cook until done and heated through.

Can I prepare this soup ahead of time?

To save time you can prepare the vegetables and turkey the day before. Dice all your vegetables and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I also like to cube or shred the turkey and store it in the refrigerator.

Can I use a different type of pasta instead of orzo pasta?

Of course! Orzo can be substituted with other small pasta shapes like ditalini, small shells, or even broken spaghetti or angel hair pasta.

What to Serve with this Soup

This hearty Turkey Orzo Soup is a complete meal on its own! It doesn’t need anything else, but you could serve it with a crusty bread, crackers or Homemade Bread.

Serving of Turkey Orzo Soup in white bowl.

Need more easy soup recipes? Here are a few favorites to try!

This Turkey Orzo Soup is a delightful way to savor the flavors of Thanksgiving all over again as a comforting, hearty soup.

If you try this recipe, please come back and rate it. Leave me a comment below. I love to hear from you!

Turkey Orzo Soup served in a white bowl.

Turkey Orzo Soup Recipe

Author: Judy Wilson
Turkey orzo soup is a simple soup with comforting flavors that’s perfect for using leftover turkey. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 262 kcal


  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups cooked turkey
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)


  • Prepare the meat and vegetables. Dice the onion, celery and carrot. Mince the garlic.
  • Cut the turkey into cubes or shred it into bite-sized pieces.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté 3-4 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the carrots, celery and minced garlic, and sauté another 4-5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add the turkey, orzo pasta, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and stir well.
  • Pour chicken stock into the pot, and bring the soup to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, and the orzo is cooked through.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.


Once cooled leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two days.
The orzo will soften and soak up more broth during storage. Add additional broth as necessary before reheating. 


Calories: 262kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 19gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 703mgPotassium: 546mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 5178IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 1mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and should only be used as a general guideline. It is an estimate that will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Recipe Rating

Esme Slabbert

Monday 27th of November 2023

Hi Judy, Although we here in Canada had our Thanksgiving in October, I do not have leftover turkey, but gonna add this to Pinterest for whenever I have some to make this recipe. I always have Orzo on hand. I visited you via BUSY MONDAY 597 I linked up this week with = 84+85. Hope you will join us M-S SeniorSalonPitStop and W-S #WordlessWednesday. You will find both under BLOGGING.

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