Turkey Pho

Got leftover turkey bones? Do you have some extra white or dark turkey meat? Use those ingredients to make luscious turkey pho! This soup is so warm and comforting!

Photo by JAN N G U Y E N ud83cudf41 on Pexels.com

Pho is a noodle soup that originates from Vietnam. Scholars debate whether pho soup was inspired by Chinese or French influences. Pho consists of broth, meat, and rice noodles. It is usually served with herbs, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and fresh chilies. Many people also like having a bit of chili sauce or bean sauce to add to their pho for even more flavor.

Pho has always brought a smile to my face. It was one of my favorite things to eat as a child. The savory broth, the chewy noodles, and the succulent meat all melded together to make something magical. I often ordered it at restaurants and I craved it when my relatives made it at home. My large extended family usually ate pho for holiday dinner during colder months. For Thanksgiving and Christmas we would have the more traditional fare for lunch and then for dinner we would have steaming hot bowls of pho. It is an important tradition I hope to continue.

This past Thanksgiving, I had a creative idea. I thought that it would be interesting to use the leftover turkey bones and turkey meat to make turkey pho as a twist on an old favorite. I had only made turkey broth once before, but this experience was worth it to make turkey pho! Please enjoy this recipe! I hope it brings new memories and traditions for your family as well!

Turkey Pho Recipe

Yields 4 servings

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 3 hours

Specialty Tools: Large pot, spice bag, cheese cloth, or spice ball.

Beer Pairing Suggestion: Lager

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Sauvignon Blanc



4 whole star anise

4 whole cloves

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

1 cinnamon stick

2.5-3 pounds turkey bones

1 piece of ginger (1 inch), peeled

1 yellow onion, peeled and cut in half

3 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon sugar

1 pound cooked turkey, shredded or thinly sliced


8 ounces pho noodles, cooked to package directions

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Garnishes: bean sprouts, Asian basil, chilies, lime wedges, black pepper, chili sauce


Put the star anise, cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon stick into a spice bag. Set aside.

Place the turkey bones in a large stock pot. Pour 3 quarts of water over the turkey bones. Bring to a rapid boil. Boil for 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to simmer. Add the ginger, onion, fish sauce, and sugar. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the spice bag to the pot. Continue to simmer the broth for 2 hours and 30 minutes minutes.

Skim off any scum that may emerge from the surface of the broth.

Reduce heat to low. Remove the spice bag and the piece of ginger.

Add more fish sauce to your taste preference.

To Serve: Place the noodles in preheated bowls. Reheat them in the microwave if they are not warm. Place some turkey and onion on the noodles. Sprinkle some scallions and cilantro on top.

Bring the broth back to a boil and divide evenly among the bowls.

Serve hot. Garnish with bean sprouts, Asian basil, chilies, lime wedges, black pepper, and chili sauce.

This a creative way to use up those leftover bones from a holiday turkey!

This recipe can be just the ticket if you have any extra turkey you have around the fridge!

Don’t have time to make broth from scratch? Use store-bought turkey broth and simmer in spices for 30 minutes.

White and dark meat turkey work great in this dish!


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