Turkey Barley Soup is a great way to use leftover turkey. It takes just 20 minutes to make, it’s nutritious, and it’s the best turkey soup ever!
Our Leftover Turkey Barley soup serves six and costs about $5.52 to make, which is only $0.92 per serving.
We love this soup after the holidays, but you can easily swap out the turkey for chicken and enjoy it all soup season long. For more soup recipes, do not miss out on our Slow Cooker Gnocchi Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup, or our Slow Cooker Italian Harvest Soup.
Leftover Turkey Soup
There is an unwritten rule that the day after a holiday is for relaxing and eating leftovers. This Turkey and Barley Soup is the perfect solution for the day after a holiday meal. It is easy to make and uses up your leftover turkey, giving you another option besides turkey sandwiches.
Our Leftover Turkey Soup recipe is packed full of veggies and herbs. The soup is not only healthy but also filling. It takes just a few minutes to prepare, so you are not spending another full day in the kitchen prepping meals.
Now you can veg out and still get your veggies in with this Turkey Soup!
What is the difference between pearl barley and quick barley?
Quick barley has been quick steamed, allowing it to cook in just 15 minutes compared to pearl barley, which can take hours. For this recipe, I recommend quick barley since it is a quick and easy meal.
Is Barley Soup healthy for you?
Barley is a good source of vitamins, fiber, and minerals, making it a healthy grain. Add in with the veggies in this soup, and you have a healthy soup to enjoy.
Does barley need to be cooked before adding to soup?
You do not need to pre-cook the barley before adding it to the soup. The barley will cook in the broth while making the soup.
How much will this Turkey Barley Soup recipe cost to make:
RECIPE COST: $5.52
PRICE PER SERVING: $0.92
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil – $0.03
- 1 small onion – $0.28
- 2 large carrots – $0.28
- 2 celery stalks – $0.18
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning – $0.13
- 6 cups chicken broth – $1.86
- 2/3 cup quick-cooking barley – $0.32
- 2 cups leftover Turkey – $2.08
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley – $0.22
To find out more about how we price our recipes, check out Budget Recipes Explained.
How to make Turkey Soup from leftovers:
STEP ONE: First, heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Then add in the veggies to cook.
STEP TWO: Next, add in the garlic and Italian seasoning to cook for one minute. After that, pour in the broth and barley.
STEP THREE: Allow the soup to cook for 15 minutes. Then add the turkey and parsley and cook for another two minutes.
STEP FOUR: Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.
The Flavor and Recipe Variations
Instead of leftover turkey, you can use chicken or leftover ham.
If you don’t have Italian seasoning, then you can use poultry seasoning.
Chicken Broth Alternatives
This quick and easy recipe uses boxed chicken broth, which is excellent if you are in a hurry. However, you can easily make your own turkey broth using the carcass from your leftover turkey.
To make your own broth, combine the carcass with some onions, carrots, celery, parsley, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a stockpot. Cover with cold water and simmer for 2 hours, skimming away any foam or fat as needed.
How long is it good for:
Serve: As with most recipes, you shouldn’t leave this soup out for longer than 2 hours.
Store: Like most soups, this recipe warms up nicely. When using leftover turkey from the day before, this soup can be enjoyed up to four days when properly stored in an airtight container. Barley does soak up the broth, so sometimes I add a little extra chicken broth with leftovers.
Freeze: Once the finished soup has cooled, place the soup in freezer-safe Ziploc bags or freezer-safe containers. Freeze for up to 6 months. To reheat: Thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight and then heat in a saucepan until heated through. You may need to add more chicken broth when reheating.
How to get the kids involved with this recipe:
Ages 2-3: Let your little one put the veggies in the pot. They can also help put the garnishes on top for the finishing touch!
Ages 4-5: Have your little one practice measuring and counting skills by pouring in the chicken broth. Your kiddo can also measure and pour in the seasoning and barley.
Ages 6-8: Teaching proper knife safety; let your child chop up the veggies. We love this Kids’ Starter Knife set.
Ages 9-11: Supervise them while they prepare the entire recipe. Remember to have them read it twice before beginning the recipe.
Ages 12+: Let them prepare the entire recipe, unsupervised, while you do the happy dance in the corner!
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Turkey Barley Soup
- soup ladle
- Dutch oven
- measuring cups
- cutting board
- Measuring spoons
- Liquid measuring cup
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 2 large celery stalks chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 6 cups chicken broth
- ⅔ cup quick-cooking barley
- 2 cups leftover turkey chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onion, carrots, and celery stalks for about 5 minutes or until tender.
- Add garlic and Italian seasoning and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Pour in chicken broth and add barley. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the turkey and parsley and cook for 2 more minutes or until heated through.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
You can make this meal in the crockpot too! Start by sweating the veggies in the microwave for 5 minutes before adding them to the slow cooker. Next, add the seasonings and broth. Cook on high for 2 hours. Add the turkey, barley, and parsley and cook an additional hour before serving.