Dinner Recipes

Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup

Holiday celebrations mean leftovers, and leftovers pose a pressing question for home cooks: do you eat reheated turkey and stuffing all week or do you transform them into something entirely different?

This year, we’re going the magical makeover route and turning leftover turkey into hearty Tex-Mex soup. Our recipe is chock full of delicious ingredients — tender turkey, juicy tomatoes, fresh veggies, and a Goldilocks amount of spice. The garnishes are a must! We add queso fresco, tortilla chips, avocado, green onions, cilantro, and sliced jalapeño (for taco-in-a-bowl vibes), but think of the soup as a blank canvas. Whatever topping strikes your fancy, go for it.

Easy recipes are admirable any time of year, but they’re especially appreciated after spending a couple days prepping a big holiday meal. This leftover turkey tortilla soup comes together in a snap with pantry staples you probably have in the cupboard.

Our tip: Craving a hearty soup on a random Tuesday? You don’t need a turkey. Sub in leftover chicken — or, even better, a Gelson’s rotisserie chicken — and make it any time you want to feel warm and cozy.

Serves: 6 to 8

Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup



Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup


2 Tbsp Gelson’s 100% California extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups medium-diced yellow onion
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped, ¼ cup reserved for garnish
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped, ¼ cup reserved for garnish
2 jalapeños, seeds removed and diced, a few slices reserved for garnish
6 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp Gelson’s paprika
1 Tbsp Gelson’s dried whole oregano
½ tsp Gelson’s cayenne pepper
1 tsp granulated sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground Gelson’s black pepper, to taste
6 Roma tomatoes, peeled and medium diced
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups tomato juice
4 cups cooked, shredded turkey
Juice from 1 lime
1 cup crumbled queso fresco, for garnish
Crumbled tortilla chips, to taste, for garnish
2 avocados, diced, for garnish


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over low heat. Stir in the yellow onions, green onions, cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, and sugar. Season with salt and black pepper and cook for 10 minutes.

  2. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.

  3. Add the chicken stock, tomato juice, and shredded turkey. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.

  4. Add the lime juice and remove the pot from the heat.

  5. Divide the soup between bowls and garnish with the queso fresco, tortilla chips, avocado, green onions, cilantro, and sliced jalapeño. Serve hot. Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe source: Laylita's Recipes
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