Creamy dairy-free paleo turkey chowder made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Psst! You can also turn this into a paleo chicken chowder! 😉

Paleo Turkey Chowder - dairy-free, gluten-free chowder using leftover Thanksgiving turkey

Hey-o! How was your Thanksgiving?

Mine was easy peasy and filling! I did zero actual cooking, all the showing up, and plenty of eating. Taking a few days to unwind and enjoy company was just what life ordered!

Each year, as soon as the last person has dropped his or her fork after Thanksgiving dinner, I’m always the first person to lay claim to the turkey carcass.

Why? I’m full-tilt obsessed with bone broth (I drink it like it’s tea at night, and I use it for soup), and am a firm believer we should do whatever we can to make full use out of our resources.

Ergo, I’m all about taking on any unwanted leftovers and turning them into something spectacular. 

For me, the simplest turkey soup using turkey bone broth and leftover turkey meat is the most magical of meals. It has healing powers (bone broth is fabulous for gut health as well as a slew of other things), is ultra comforting and satisfying (the meal is easy on your tummy while packing a big protein punch), and the best part is it’s extremely easy to make.

Recently, I had a hankering for super creamy soups (or chowders if you will). Think: Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup…but…like…not aggressively awful for you.

After I whipped up the Orange-Ginger Glazed Turkey Recipe, I made broth with the bones and used some of the leftover meat to make this chowder fantasy a reality.

Paleo Turkey Chowder - dairy-free, gluten-free chowder using leftover Thanksgiving turkey. You can easily turn this into a chicken chowder!

Wanna know how I made this recipe paleo-friendly without the use of dairy? Oh, this is going to tickle you pink. Coconut milk and tapioca flour. That’s it! You basically make a regular turkey soup (oh hey, this can be applied to chicken soup, too), and add coconut milk and tapioca flour at the end to thicken it up and make it all nice and chowder-y.

If you’re opposed to using tapioca flour for any reason at all (maybe it’s not a regular staple in your pantry), you can take a different approach using a blended up potato, exactly how I did in the Vegan Corn Chowder recipe I posted eons ago.

Consider adding any of your favorite chowder veggies, such as green beans (not technically paleo), corn (also not paleo, but delicious nonetheless), and/or mushrooms.

For a little extra je ne sais quois, I added some smoked paprika to this soup, but you can also use Cajun seasoning, cayenne, or skip the spice altogether.

Paleo Turkey Chowder - dairy-free, gluten-free chowder using leftover Thanksgiving turkey. You can easily turn this into a chicken chowder!

Looking for more ideas for re-purposing your Thanksgiving leftovers? Check out my 50 Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes.

Paleo Turkey Chowder - dairy-free, gluten-free chowder using leftover Thanksgiving turkey

Paleo Turkey Chowder

4.41 from 5 votes
Thick, creamy turkey chowder is a fabulous way of using leftover turkey from the holidays! Make it with lefover chicken, too!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium red potato diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 3 large stalks celery chopped
  • 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups turkey broth or chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca flour see note*
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked roast turkey or chicken


  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the potato and onion, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic, celery, and carrots and cover. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables have softened but are still al dente, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add in the turkey broth, coconut milk, paprika, and sea salt. Cover, and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking, covered, at least 15 minutes. 
  • Uncover the pot and add the tapioca flour and turkey. Return to a gentle boil. Continue cooking and stirring until chowder is nice and thick, about another 5 to 10 minutes. Note: For even thicker chowder, add 1 to 2 additional tablespoons of tapioca flour. 
  • Taste chowder for flavor and add sea salt to taste. Serve and enjoy!


Omit the onion and garlic to make this Low-FODMAP.
*If you don't use tapioca flour in your cooking, you can replace it with a cooked potato. To do so, bake, steam, or boil a medium-sized russet or yukon gold potato, and place it in a blender along with the turkey broth and coconut milk. Blend until completely combined. Add the potato-broth mixture to the sauteed vegetables and continue as normal.


Serving: 1of 4 · Calories: 396kcal · Carbohydrates: 18g · Protein: 24g · Fat: 23g · Saturated Fat: 11g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g · Fiber: 4g · Sugar: 5g
Author: Julia
Course: Soups, Stews, & Chilies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy turkey soup, leftover turkey, paleo, paleo turkey chowder, thanksgiving turkey, what to do with leftover turkey, whole30
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!
Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living,, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. You’re so lucky you didn’t have to cook, haha! I think I am forever doomed to cook so long as we eat vegetarian. Meh.

    I haven’t had a good creamy chowder in so long and this is making me crave a big bowl! I love the idea to use coconut milk to make it dairy-free. Seriously, what would we do without the coconut? 😉

  2. Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I always put that turkey carcass to use too — there’s nothing like homemade turkey stock! Normally I make a turkey wild rice or noodle soup but this creamy version sounds like something I need to try!

  3. This is a great recipe for me to make my son, who doesn’t eat lactose. He liked it a lot, and it is different than many of the soups he can eat. Thanks for a great recipe!

  4. I had leftover smoked turkey in the fridge that needed to be used ASAP. My six month old looks to be following in his brothers’ footsteps and needs to be GF, but I didn’t want to just blend up the meat for him. I found your recipe by looking for gluten free cream of turkey soup.

    I made this soup and threw it in the immersion blender for the little one and had a big bowl of the non-blended version for myself. I can’t even decide which one I like more! He was very pleased with his soup, too.

    We’ll be saving the recipe and I’ll be freezing it for those days when I can’t get dinner on the table fast enough. A million thanks!

    1. This is so great to hear, Cori! Thanks so much for the sweet note! I’m so happy your little one enjoyed it and that it works out as a blended soup! What an amazing idea! xoxoxox 😀