Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup with Black Beans

Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup with Black Beans is a great use for leftover turkey, but make this with chicken if you’re not lucky enough to have any turkey! This delicious low-glycemic soup is easy to make, it freezes well, and the recipe is gluten-free.

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Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup with Black Beans [found on KalynsKitchen.com]

It won’t be long before you have some leftover turkey, and when you do this deliciously healthy Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe with Black Beans and Lime is a lovely way to use it. And you can use leftover sweet potatoes in this soup too, if you’re lucky enough to have some.

One of my favorite traditions for the day after Thanksgiving is taking the turkey carcass, putting it in a big roasting pan with lots of water, onions, carrots, celery, and a bit of Penzeys Turkey Soup Base, and fill up the house with the smell of turkey stock.  This soup recipe with turkey, black beans, and lime is one of my favorite soups to make with leftover turkey, and I’m indulging my love of sweet potatoes in soup here as well.

This recipe is pretty flexible, but don’t leave out the touch of fresh lime juice added at the very end. Lime and sweet potatoes, that’s what makes this soup special.

Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe with Black Beans and Lime found on KalynsKitchen.comYou can make the soup using chicken and even chicken broth from a can, but I highly recommend making turkey stock if you have a carcass left from the big holiday meal.  Here are instructions for How to Make Turkey Stock, and I promise you’ll thank me when the wonderful smell of this stock fills your house on the day after thanksgiving.
Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe with Black Beans and Lime found on KalynsKitchen.com
Start the soup by cooking the onions and celery a few minutes in the bottom of the soup pot.  Then add the diced sweet potatoes, oregano, cumin, chile powder, sage, and turkey stock and simmer about 40 minutes.  Add black beans and liquid to the mix and simmer about 15 minutes more; then add the diced turkey and green chiles and simmer another 15 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice, simmer a few minutes more, and serve hot.  Add chopped fresh cilantro if you wish.

Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup with Black Beans [found on KalynsKitchen.com]

This is good with cheese and sour cream to sprinkle on at the table.

Original photo for Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe with Black Beans and Lime found on KalynsKitchen.comAnd just for fun, here’s the original photo of this soup from 2007, which I actually still like quite a bit!  When I made this recently to take the new photos, I reduced the cooking times a little, so now the soup is a bit quicker to get on the table; enjoy!

Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup with Black Beans and Lime
(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

1 cup diced onion (1 small onion)
1 cup diced celery
1 T olive oil
3 cups diced sweet potato, cut in pieces about 1/2 inch (orange sweet potatoes are often called Yams or Sweet Yams in U.S. stores)
2 tsp. dried oregano (I used Mexican oregano, but either kind will work)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground chile powder (New Mexico chile powder preferred)
1/2 tsp. dried sage
5 cups turkey stock (can use chicken stock)
2 cans black beans, plus liquid
2 cups diced leftover turkey
2 T diced Anaheim chiles (if canned often called “green chiles”; use more if desired)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (I used my fresh-frozen lime juice)
salt, fresh ground black pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in heavy soup pot, add onions and celery and saute about 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, oregano, cumin, chile powder, sage, and turkey stock, lower heat to a simmer, and cook about 40 minutes, stirring a few times.

Add black beans, rinsing out the can with a small amount of water and adding all bean liquid. Simmer soup 15 minutes more.

Add diced turkey and green chiles and simmer about 15 minutes more. Stir in fresh-squeezed lime juice, season with salt and pepper as desired, and cook 5 minutes more. Serve hot, with additional fresh lime to squeeze into soup if desired.

This would be great with sour cream, chopped cilantro, or grated cheese, and you could even add crushed corn chips for family members who aren’t watching their carbs.

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South Beach/Low-Carb Eating Suggestions:

Sweet potatoes and black beans are both considered to be “good carbs” for the South Beach Diet, meaning they are digested slowly. This soup would be suitable for phase 2 or 3 on South Beach, but It’s probably too high in carbs for other types of low-carb eating plans unless you use a lot more turkey and less beans and sweet potatoes.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn’t have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Delicious Ideas for Turkey Soup:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

The Top Ten Recipes for Slow Cooker Turkey Soup (plus honorable mentions) ~ Slow Cooker from Scratch

Slow Cooker Lemony Turkey (or Chicken) Soup with Spinach and Orzo ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Turkey-Escarole Soup from The Perfect Pantry

Turkey Barley Soup ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Creamy Wild Rice and Turkey Soup ~ Taste and Tell

Coconut-Lime Turkey (or Chicken) and Rice Soup ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) 

Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup with Black Beans [found on KalynsKitchen.com]

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48 comments on “Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup with Black Beans”

  1. This looks wonderful! What a great use for all that leftover turkey… I bet it would freeze pretty well, too!

  2. Have a lovely Thanksgiving with your family!
    I really miss leftover turkey…

  3. Kalyn, have a wonderful weekend and we’ll see you on the other side of Thanksgiving!

  4. Have a safe drive and Happy Thanksgiving Kalyn! Enjoy your family:))
    Turkey soup looks great!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving, Kalyn! This soup looks sublime!

  6. Thanks for mentioning my turkey-escarole soup — that’s what we’re having for Thanksgiving main course this year! Hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday with your family.

  7. This sounds tasty! With homemade turkey stock as well. Happy thanksgiving!

  8. Love the way the soup reads, I’m trying to get everyone to agree for a turkey for Xmas, if we have one, I’ll do your soup. Hope your Thanksgiving is a happy one with your family, I know it will be tasty.

    ‘Hard to get a good shot’, welcome to my world!!!

  9. Lovely photos, Kalyn! Hope you’re having a great holiday.

  10. Hope you are having a wonderful holiday! I am glad I am not the only one with a bubbling turkey carcass on the stove. I think they should have a plug-in air freshener with that scent.

  11. Awesme idea for leftover turkey!

  12. Kalyn,

    I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

    I used your recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar as my potluck dish to take to my brother’s for Thanksgiving dinner. I didn’t have the parmesan cheese or pine nuts, but even so, it was a delicious accompaniment to all the other tasty dishes at the dinner.

  13. Kalyn, hope you’re having a good time with the family and getting the much-deserved rest.

  14. Trust you’re have a grand time with everyone!
    I really love the look of this soup. I know the sweet potato and the turkey are major components but it seems to me the two key is the lime and the anaheim!
    I’ve a post up now for my secret dressing/stuffing ingredient.

  15. I see you’ve already discovered my secret Kalyn! You’re fast!

  16. In the roasting pan: brilliant!

  17. This looks great! There simply cannot be too many good turkey leftover recipes.

    Have a wonderful holiday!

  18. Hi Everyone,
    Just checking in to say thanks for the nice comments. I’m suffering with a really bad cold, so I actually came home early from my sister and I’m drinking hot tea and trying to get better.

  19. Kalyn,

    I hope you start feeling better soon! This soup sounds wonderful and makes me wish I had some leftover turkey!!

  20. Mmm…this sounds very good. I just did a turkey soup myself tonight — not something I usually do. Yours looks delicious.

  21. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and that the annual turkey stock making turned out well 😉 I made a roast duck the other day and made stock with the carcass. Sinfully delicious.

  22. I just found your recipe through google. What do you think about substituting pinto beans for black beans. I have pintos on hand and would like to use them instead.

  23. Melissa, I think pinto beans would be fine.

  24. Thanks for answering back! I’ll be making the soup for dinner tonight!

  25. I love sweet potatoes and had left over turkey breast and wanted to make a soup. I Google sweet potato turkey soup and yours was the first search response. When I saw it included black beans and lime I knew I had to try it and it was amazing. I will definitely keep this as one of my favorites.


  26. Made this last night… used store bought chicken stock though. It is soooo yummy. My hubby even loved it; and he was very skeptical of sweet potatoes since he’s not a fan. I’ll def make this again. I found the recipe just be searching for “leftover turkey soup” on Google.

  27. So glad people are liking this, and it’s a good reminder for me to make it again this year too!

  28. we made this for dinner last night…it was sooooo tasty…thanks for sharing it

  29. Momster, thanks so much for the feedback. Glad to know you liked it.

  30. Just made this today and it was absolutely ‘delumptious’ and I will not only make this again, but I’ll share the link with others. Since I’m living in NM, this is very similar to a ‘tortilla soup’ that’s offered on many restaurant menus and now I know I can make it even better. Topping with shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips and a dap of sour cream was the BEST! Thanks for sharing this great way to use the turkey carcass; I’ll never toss it again! Happy Holidays from Albuquerque.

  31. Jansan48, so happy you liked it. Funny thing, my parents lived in Albuquerque in the 80’s and at that time I didn’t like sweet potatoes at all!

  32. YES! Found you with Google (searched for turkey stock). I made this recipe tonight with Christmas’ leftover turkey meat/carcass. It was so good. A huge hit. I made some tortilla chips and guacamole to go with it. Ate it with some Christmas bread. Thanks!

  33. I made this soup tonight. It was great! My husband picked up my produce for me and the sweet potatoes definitely did not have the happy shade of orange like in your photo. I think it would make a big difference to have yams instead (at least colorwise). I cut down some of the simmer time since my guests came over earlier than I thought and it still turned out great. I boiled the soup for a bit and it became thick, like a stew. Yum! I also used your recipe for turkey stock from my leftover turkey. Thanks for the great recipes!

  34. Jessica, what you see in my photo are orange sweet potatoes. Sometimes stores call them yams, but they are really sweet potatoes. (Don't get in an argument with your grocery store about this, but google it if you don't believe me.) Glad you liked it though!

  35. This was so delicious! The soup is full of flavor and wholesome.

    I added one additional step: Before adding the turkey and chilis, I pureed about 1 1/2 cups of the soup and returned it to the pot. The result was an almost cream-like texture.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  36. Jennifer, sounds like an interesting variation. Thanks for sharing.

  37. Kalyn, Do you think I could throw this all in the crockpot on low for a few hours? Adding the lime juice towards eating time? Would it hold up being frozen?
    Thanks LM

  38. Laura, I can only say I'm guessing it would work, because obviously I haven't tried it that way. I would use a little less stock, maybe 4 cups. If you try it, would love to know how it turns out.

  39. Kalyn. This worked very well in my crock pot. I put everything but the lime & cilantro which I added just before serving. 4 cups of broth was perfect. I did it 5 hours on low. It worked perfectly with my work schedule. I will make this after christmas again.
    Thank you again for all the amazing recipes

  40. Laura, so glad you liked it and great to know it works in the CrockPot!

  41. Love seeing the old and new photos on this post. You have become a great photographer! And the soup looks as delicious as ever.

  42. Looks promising. We don't have the same date for Thanks Giving Day here in Canada but I would try to use the left overs from the rabbit . Hopefully it will turn a good recipe 😉
    Thanks for sharing

  43. what a great healthy soup!

  44. This soup looks amazingly good.

  45. Way late to the party here but – – – Smoked a turkey over the weekend just because. Had leftovers so I tried this last night and loved it. Prepared it with no deviations from the recipe except seasoning the onions & celery while they were cooking initially. Definitely a new & different way to use up turkey. This will be a regular in the rotation now for sure.

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