Mains,  Recipes

Turkey Pho

Winter is soup season. If you’re like me and live in the snowy Midwest, you quickly learn to accept the fact that once October rolls around you’re in for endless soups, stews and chowders until at least April.

This winter in particular has had me craving the comfort of a warm bowl of soup. With endless ups and downs and snow and ice storms one after another it’s nice to know there is a warm bowl of soup waiting for me at the end of the day. So, while the winter weather is still trying to decide if it wants to snow or rain, I’ve been busy in the kitchen combating the winter blues with this bowl of brothy goodness.


Pho has long been a favorite of mine, my husband and I live right down the street form a little Vietnamese restaurant where we love to go and order pho for takeout. It has quickly become my favorite soup for when I am feeling under the weather or just need a pick me up on a cold winter day.

While traditional pho is made with beef by stewing beef bones with herbs and spices, I decided to go a more nontraditional route. Slow cooked for a rich and flavorful broth, this pho is made with turkey for a broth that that is reminiscent of home cooked chicken soup (with a twist!). Loaded with perfectly cooked rice noodles and turkey meat then topped with fresh basil, bean sprouts, onion, jalapeño, and a fresh squeeze of lime this pho will melt away the winter blues in no time. With soup this good, who needs the take out?

So, cozy up in your favorite sweater and grab a bowl because we’ve still got at least 3 months left of soup season.

Turkey Pho


For the Broth:

  • Canola or olive oil
  • 1 raw or cooked turkey carcass
  • 2 turkey drumsticks raw or cooked
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves are garlic smashed
  • 2 1/4 inch slices of fresh ginger
  • 4-5 pieces of star anise
  • 6-8 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 dried shitaki mushrooms
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To Serve:

  • 1 package of rice noodles
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Fresh basil
  • Thinly sliced jalapeno
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Bean sprouts


  • In a very large pot heat add 2 tbs of oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion slices and cook until translucent. Add the Turkey carcass, drumsticks, garlic, ginger, clove, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, shiitake mushrooms, cilantro sprigs and enough water to cover or mostly cover the turkey carcass.
  • Bring to a boil, skim off any foam that comes to the top. Lower the heat down to a simmer the cook and simmer with the lid on for 2-3 hours checking occasionally to skim the foam off the top.
  • Remove the carcass and drumsticks and set aside.
  • Strain the broth through a find mesh strainer and discard the solids. Pour the broth back into the pot keep warm over low heat while you season to taste with fish sauce and salt and pepper.
  • Shred the meat off the drumsticks and any remaining meat form the carcass, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Cook the noodles according to package instructions and thinly slice some red onion and jalapeño.
  • To assemble, Add the noodles to a bowl top with broth and turkey meat then garnish with fresh basil, onion, bean sprouts, jalapeño and a fresh squeeze of lime. Serve immediately and enjoy!!


I typically make this soup after we have roasted a turkey or chicken. I will wrap the carcass and freeze it until I am ready to make soup. If you do not have a leftover turkey or chicken carcass you can buy just wings and drumsticks to make the broth. For a turkey, I would use at least 4 wings and 4 drumsticks. 


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