When it comes to hearty, satisfying meals, this ground turkey soup is a winner! Packed with protein, aromatics, veggies, and spices, this soup is like a warm hug from a bowl.
When the temperature cools down and comfort food cravings skyrocket, nothing beats a wholesome and delicious soup.
And if you love flavor-packed, one-pot, under-an-hour dinner recipes, this ground turkey soup recipe has your name on it.
Table of Contents
Why this recipe works
Don’t you love those recipes that taste better the next day? This ground turkey soup also makes for yummy leftovers.
- One pot meal. From sautéing veggies to simmering, everything happens in a pot. And isn’t it neat when you have just one big pot to clean?!
- Customizable. I love how forgiving this recipe is. You can use different veggies, add some grains, or any spice mix you like.
- Best flavor. The umami, creamy, garlicky, and herby flavors marry so well. This is the kind of soup you enjoy eating.
- Healthy and filling. Packed with protein, fiber, and slow-releasing carbs, this really is balance on a bowl.
This soup with ground turkey is so easy, and besides some bacon and coconut milk, there isn’t much else needed to make. Here is what you’ll need:
- Ground turkey. Because we are making soup, not something in a skillet or pan, any ground turkey works. I used lean turkey for this particular recipe, but extra lean or a fattier cut will work just fine.
- Bacon. Dice a few bacon slices into cubes to flavor the soup. It adds some meaty flavor and gives this soup some heartiness.
- Yellow onion and garlic. The non-negotiable aromatics that, let’s face it, every soup needs.
- Carrots. Finely chopped.
- Celery stalks. Another soup essential! Diced celery stalks add flavor and a nice dose of fiber.
- Yukon gold potatoes. My favorite potatoes for soups or slow-cooked dishes. These particular potatoes don’t fall apart or make the soup chalky. If you can’t find these potatoes, use any kind but chop them into larger pieces.
- Zucchini. A zucchini adds a lovely crunch to the soup. Chop it into uniform chunks.
- Coconut milk. Full-fat coconut milk for the creaminess and richness without needing actual heavy cream.
- Chicken broth. Because we are using ground meat, there isn’t as much flavor compared to a whole piece of turkey. To compensate, I like to use chicken broth to make up for the flavor. Opt for a good quality broth with no added sugar.
- Thyme and oregano. Use fresh herbs for maximum flavor.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
- Chopped parsley For garnish.
How to make ground turkey soup
Don’t let the fancy look of this dish fool you: it’s deceptively simple.
Fry the bacon: Fry chopped bacon until crispy in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Remove the bacon and set aside.
Sauté aromatics: In the same pot, fry the diced yellow onion in the bacon drippings until fragrant. Add the ground turkey and sauté it until it’s no longer pink.
Stir in the veggies: Sauté minced garlic, diced carrots, diced celery, quartered Yukon Gold potatoes, and chopped zucchini until softened.
Add the liquids and simmer: Stir in the coconut milk and broth to make the soup. Stir in fresh thyme and oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer the soup for 20-25 minutes. Once the potatoes are fork-tender, remove the pot from the heat.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Simmer for longer: If you are not in a hurry, simmer the soup for up to two hours. I find the flavors develop even more, and you can tell: try having a bowl a few days after cooking it. It tastes SO good.
- Prep veggies in advance: Chop them and refrigerate them in an airtight container ahead of time. When it is time to make the soup, bring them out and get cooking.
- Use a non-stick pot: Maybe it’s just me, but I find that cooking this soup in a non-stick pot is much easier to clean than other pots (no potatoes sticking to the base!).
Flavor and recipe variations
Cut out the meat. Substitute the ground turkey and bacon with extra firm tofu for a meaty texture. Red, white, kidney, and pinto beans also make fantastic protein-rich additions.
Use other ground meat. Can’t find turkey? Ground chicken and ground pork are the best substitutes, but ground beef and ground lamb will also work. If you use the latter two, opt for lean cuts, as they will not add excess liquid to the soup.
Make it spicy. I have kept the spice at bay for this recipe, but feel free to pump up the heat using jalapenos, hot sauce, or chili flakes. I sometimes like to add a few shakes. of Tabasco sauce.
Add taco seasoning. Ever heard of ground turkey taco soup? Add a tablespoon of taco seasoning and this dish transforms into a completely new meal!
Add grains. Stir in pasta or white or brown rice for some extra wholesome carbs.
To store. Store turkey soup leftovers in the refrigerator for up to five days.
To freeze. Good news! Like any good soup, this one freezes well for three months in a freezer-safe container.
To reheat. Reheat in the pot until hot, or do as I do and zap it in the microwave for 45 seconds.
More soup recipes to try:
Frequently asked questions
Yes! Cook on low for 5-6 hours in a slow cooker or 30 minutes in an instant pot.
This recipe is dairy, grain, and gluten-free. You can also buy low-sodium stock to keep the sodium levels in check.
You could use dried herbs instead of fresh herbs. Use them sparingly as they have concentrated flavor.
Ground Turkey Soup
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 5 slices bacon chopped
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 large carrots peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 3 Yukon Gold potatoes chopped
- 1 medium zucchini chopped
- 14 ounces coconut milk canned
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon thyme fresh
- 1 teaspoon oregano fresh
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- In a large soup pot, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until it's crispy. Remove the bacon and set it aside on a plate lined with paper towels.
- In the same pot, using the bacon fat, add the onion and sauté until it becomes translucent. Push the onion to the side and add the ground turkey to the pot. Cook the turkey, breaking it apart with a spoon, until it's no longer pink.
- Stir in the garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes, and zucchini. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
- Pour in the coconut milk and the chicken broth. Stir to combine all the ingredients. Add the thyme and oregano to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring the soup to a gentle simmer and let it cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
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