Thanksgiving leftovers: Turkey, sweet potato, and corn chowder

The best part of Thanksgiving? Days of leftovers made from your favorite dishes. Here's how to combine a few favorites to make a turkey chowder.

The Runaway Spoon
Having extra sweet potatoes and onion on hand are a good idea when mixing up leftover chowder like this turkey chowder soup.

Leftovers are as much a part of Thanksgiving as the feast itself. I have been known to make extra of some favorite dishes (I’m looking at you dressing) and stash them away just to be sure I have some for the weekend.

But I know that after cooking the big meal, getting back in the kitchen to cook again is not always an appealing thought. That’s why soup is such a great way to use the leftovers – it’s pretty easy to throw things in the pot and still end up with a delicious, warming meal to share.

Make sure you buy an extra sweet potato and set aside. The same goes for the other ingredients – it’s a shame to be craving some leftover soup and not have what you need. That being said, I take no issue with using bought, pre-diced onions or bell pepper. You could also whip up some dressing croutons to go with this soup. And a little cranberry sauce dollop on top is a festive touch.

Turkey, sweet potato, and corn chowder
Serves 6

6 strips of bacon
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 sweet potato (about 1 pound), peeled and finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage, divided
1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups turkey broth or chicken broth
1 cup water
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
3 cups diced cooked turkey
1-1/2 cups milk

1. Chop the bacon into small pieces and place in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook until the bacon pieces are crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Carefully drain off the drippings and let cool for a few minutes.

2. Return 3 tablespoons of drippings back to the pot, then add the onions and cook for a few minutes until they are beginning to soften.

3. Add the diced sweet potatoes, the bell pepper, 1 tablespoon of the sage, and the marjoram and stir to coat in the grease. Cook until the onions are very soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.

4. Sprinkle over the flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Pour in the turkey stock and the water, raise the heat and bring to the boil. Add the corn and the turkey, reduce the heat to a medium low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Stir in the milk, the remaining 1 tablespoon of sage and about 3/4 of the bacon (reserving some to top the bowls of chowder. Cook until warmed through.

6. The soup will keep covered in the fridge for 2 days. Reheat gently before serving.


I like to dice the sweet potato into pretty small cubes so it is easy to eat with a spoon.

Seek out a light colored turkey or chicken broth. Dark stacks give the soup a muddy hue.

Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Creamy Turkey and Wild Rice Chowder with Toasted Dressing Croutons

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