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This Thai turkey soup recipe is irresistibly flavorful with a creamy coconut curry broth. It’s really easy to make and the tastiest way to use up leftover turkey!

If you like Thai-inspired recipes, try my Easy Thai Shrimp Curry or this Thai Green Curry Soup next.

a bowl of thai turkey soup with a lime wedge and a spoon

Why you’ll love it

I hope those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a good one! If you made a Roast Turkey, chances are you have some leftovers. This Thai turkey curry soup is the perfect thing to ease you out of your turkey coma. It’s also a super low effort alternative to sandwiches.

This turkey soup recipe is warm and cozy but also fresh and fairly light! That’s what I love about making Thai-style food. We’ve got creamy coconut milk, fresh herbs, and vibrant flavors. Such a good combo, and you’ll having a piping hot bowl ready in just 30 minutes.

What you’ll need

  • Olive oil – for sautéing
  • Onion and garlic – tasty aromatics. I like using sweet (Vidalia) onions.
  • Thai red curry paste – it’s a ready-made paste that has fragrant spices and lemongrass. I recommend Thai Kitchen brand, which is not what I’d consider spicy (some brands are).
  • Chicken broth – for more savory flavor
  • Lime juice & wedges – for a pop of acidity and brightness
  • Turkey – we’re using cooked leftover turkey
  • Rice noodles – they’re those translucent ones that come in different sizes; I prefer thicker noodles here to vermicelli
  • Red bell pepper – it adds some veggie goodness
  • Coconut milk – definitely use full fat for the most flavor and best texture
  • Basil, cilantro, scallions – classic fresh ingredients in Thai-style recipes

Pro Tip

Naturally, this soup works well for Thanksgiving leftovers, but it could also be made on another occasion where you have leftover Roast Chicken or rotisserie chicken. Or just cook a turkey breast if you want something a little different. I’ve done that before.

ingredients for thai leftover turkey soup

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

  • I recommend this ladle for easily dishing up this soup.
  • This Staub Dutch oven is the one I use.
  • Store the other half of your onion in this cute onion saver.

How to make Thai turkey soup

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

sauteing onion in a soup pot and adding seasonings and noodles for thai turkey soup

In a soup pot or Dutch oven, sauté the onion in the oil until softened. Stir in the garlic and curry paste, and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in the broth, water, lime juice, turkey, noodles, and red bell pepper.

adding in coconut milk and fresh herbs to a soup pot with thai leftover turkey soup

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Stir in the coconut milk. Simmer until the noodles are cooked through. Add in the fresh herbs and scallions. Taste, and season with salt & pepper as needed.

Substitutions and variations

  • This turkey curry soup is flavorful but not what I’d call spicy. If you do want to make it spicier, add some grated ginger, sriracha, and/or chili paste. Play with the flavor, and taste and adjust until you think it tastes perfect!
  • Are you a salt fiend like me? Add in a splash of soy sauce.
  • If you’re not feeling some of the fresh herbs, simply don’t include them all.

What to serve with turkey curry soup

  • I like to serve each bowl with a lime wedge for an additional burst of fresh flavor.
  • It’s pretty hearty, so pair it with a slice of fresh crusty bread, and you’re good to go.
  • For more Thai flavors, make my Thai Quinoa Salad as a fresh complement.

Leftovers and storage

  • Store leftover soup for 3-4 days, but keep in mind the noodles will soak up the broth fast. You may need to add a splash more chicken broth when reheating.
  • You could freeze leftovers for up to 3 months if you’d like, but I don’t really recommend it. The turkey is cooked twice already, so that could make it dry out even more upon thawing and reheating, and the noodles can change texture.
closeup of a ladle of thai turkey soup

I hope you’ll give this leftover turkey soup a try! Questions? Ask me in the comments below. Please leave a star rating and review, or tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram.

a bowl of thai turkey soup with a lime wedge and a spoon
4.84 from 56 votes

Thai Turkey Soup

This Thai turkey soup recipe is irresistibly flavorful with a creamy coconut curry broth. It's really easy to make and the tastiest way to use up leftover turkey!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 heaping tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 cups cooked turkey
  • 7 ounces rice noodles see note
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 handful fresh basil torn/chopped, to taste
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro chopped, to taste
  • 1 handful chopped scallions to taste
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Lime wedges for serving

Instructions 

  • Sauté the onion in the olive oil in a large soup pot for 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
  • Add the garlic and curry paste and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the chicken broth, water, lime juice, turkey, rice noodles, and red bell pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the coconut milk, and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the basil, cilantro, and scallions. Season with salt & pepper as needed and serve immediately with lime wedges.

Notes

  • Serves 4-6.
  • I use Thai Kitchen red curry paste, and it isn’t particularly spicy. Some brands are spicy, however. Want to make this spicier? Add some grated ginger, sriracha, and/or chili paste.
  • Rice noodles come in a variety of brands and package sizes, so you don’t have to be super precise with the weight as you may need to use only part of a package. I buy the thicker ones (3 mm) vs. the super fine ones that are almost like angel hair pasta. I like to buy Thai Kitchen’s stir fry noodles when I can find them. 
  • I used Thai Kitchen red curry paste and coconut milk. I recommend their coconut milk because it’s not too watery unlike some other brands I’ve tried.

Nutrition

Calories: 321kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 937mg, Potassium: 602mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1144IU, Vitamin C: 58mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

This recipe was originally published on November 23, 2018. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!


Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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163 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The soup was fantastic! It was also very easy to make, and I was very impressed that the left over turkey did not taste leftover at all!

      1. 5 stars
        Ok so I was feeling iffy on this when I did a taste test while it was cooking… But once it was done and I sat down with a bowl of it, it was really great! My boyfriend loves it—I have a feeling this recipe is going to be a regular request in our house now.

        I added some extra red curry paste towards the end and red pepper flakes. Skipped the basil.

  2. 3 stars
    Turned heat to low to add coconut milk. It seemed to curdle & doesn’t look as smooth as your picture. Believe the milk was watery also. Didn’t purchase brand you suggested. What are your thoughts?

    1. Hi! It sounds like the coconut milk probably just wasn’t a good one, unfortunately. Maybe it had a lower fat content too, which isn’t ideal. Did you shake the can before adding it? You don’t *have to*, but that can help it all integrate a bit smoother. I’ve had really bad luck with trying other brands of coconut milk, so that’s why I stick to Thai Kitchen.

  3. Hello!
    This looks delicious and I hope to try it! We have a coconut allergy in our family. Would oat milk work as a substitute? Or anything else you would recommend?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Julie! Hmmm this is a tough one because the coconut milk really makes this soup. I am stumped on this one. Oat milk is thin and watery and wouldn’t contribute the right stuff flavor-wise. Perhaps some heavy cream for the creaminess? And then I guess just tweak the spices a bit if it seems like it’s missing something?

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe will become a regular for me! It was delicious. I added fresh mushrooms just because I happen to have them in the fridge.

  5. I am so excited to try this! One of my go to soups is your lemony orzo chicken soup – I love it! And reading the reviews this looks like it will be a close second. Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    My whole family loved this. It was great to have a recipe different than the usual left over turkey soup or stew. I did add fish sauce, a little extra lime juice, some bamboo shoots and saved the cilantro, green onion and Thai basil for sprinkling on fresh just before serving. We will definitely make this again.

  7. Although the write up said the solution is flavorful but not at all spicy, I found it to be so spicy that I didn’t even enjoy it! I followed the directions exactly, except for adding more chicken broth, which seems it would have been less spicier than it was.
    If I make this again, I will use far less Thai red curry sauce then the recipe calls for.

    1. Hi Kathy! The brand of red curry we recommend in the post, Thai Kitchen, is not spicy. It sounds like you bought a spicy variety.