This turkey sweet potato soup is easy to make and is super cozy and filling! A great use for ground turkey, you can make this hearty soup in only about 35 minutes.
Note: this post was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2021 with new photos and improved instructions.
Autumn is the perfect time to serve up a hearty, warming and cozy soup! And if that soup is really easy to make? Even better! This turkey sweet potato soup checks all of those boxes and more - it's really hearty and filling thanks to the sweet potato chunks and ground turkey.
Plus, the addition of rice thickens the soup to make it even more "stick to your ribs." And a few select spices add a ton of warm flavors that really complement the sweet potato.
This soup is filling enough to serve as a main course all on its own, or, try serving it with a slice of toasted zucchini cheese bread, yum!
- Ground turkey: I used 93% lean ground turkey. For me, this is the perfect amount of fat to give some extra flavor and tenderness to the turkey, and this type is readily available in most stores. For more info on cooking with ground turkey, I found this article The Home Cook's Guide to Ground Turkey really informative!
- Oil: I used olive oil, but you can use any neutral oil like vegetable oil, canola oil, etc.
- Rice: I used long grain white rice, because I always have it on hand and it cooks fast. But you can use other varieties of rice, with a few basic modifications. I will give more info on substituting different types of rice in the Tips and Tricks section below.
- Broth: turkey, chicken, or any type you have on hand.
Step by step photos
1. First, prep the sweet potato and onion. Just chop the onion into small pieces and set aside.
Next, you will need to cut the sweet potato into roughly ½ inch pieces. I like to do this by first cutting the peeled sweet potato into ½ inch thick slices. Then, stack a few slices together and cut straight down through the slices, making strips. Then, cut the slices crosswise into cubes.
2. Now, heat the oil in a large stockpot and brown the ground turkey in the oil. Make sure to break the turkey up into smaller chunks as it cooks.
3. Then add the chopped onion, kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, coriander and paprika.
Continue to cook for another couple minutes, until the onion is softened. It will look something like this:
4. Add in the rice and sweet potato. Stir and cook for another minute.
5. Now pour in 6 cups of the broth and stir the soup.
6. Turn the heat up to bring the soup to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, but leave a 1 - 2 inch gap open.
7. Turn the heat down to maintain a gentle boil, for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the sweet potatoes are soft. If you can easily spear a chunk of sweet potato with a fork, they are done!
8. Because the rice absorbs much of the broth during cooking, mix in as much of the remaining 2 cups of broth to the soup as you like; you can make the soup thicker or thinner by adding more or less broth.
You can also taste the soup now and stir in more salt and/or pepper if needed.
Tips and tricks
Substituting other types of rice
You can substitute other types of rice instead of the white rice if you want. Brown rice and wild rice would both be amazing. I have made this soup with a wild/brown rice mix and I loved it! The rice grains actually ended up holding their shape a bit better and had more texture than the white rice. But, I usually make this soup with white rice because it takes much less time to cook.
- If you want to substitute a different kind of rice that takes longer to cook, just boil the soup for the amount of time called for on the bag of rice, but check the rice for doneness 5 - 10 minutes before the end of the cook time.
- Make sure to add the sweet potato chunks during the last 15 minutes of the cook time. That way they won't end up being too mushy if you have a rice (like wild rice) that takes 35 - 40 minutes to cook.
- And, you will want to have extra broth or water on hand in case the particular rice you are using ends up absorbing more liquid. Keep an eye on the soup during a longer cook time, stir on occasion, and add more liquid if needed.
Other tips and tricks
- Try to cut the sweet potatoes as close to the same size as you can so they will cook evenly. It's not worth spending a ton of time going for perfectly uniform cubes, so just try your best without going overboard!
- If you are using fine grain salt instead of kosher salt (which is coarser), use a little less salt than the recipe calls for and adjust as needed.
I like to garnish this soup with homemade croutons (or crackers) for extra crunch, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs, like chives, for a pop of color. You can serve this soup in larger bowls as a main course, either all on its own, or paired with crusty bread.
Or, for a delicious lunch option, serve the soup in a cup or small bowl paired with a side salad or sandwich.
This soup will keep well, covered in the fridge for 3 - 4 days. However, the rice will continue to absorb the broth and will get progressively softer, and the broth will therefore get thicker. I think it still tastes great this way, but if you want to thin the soup out again, mix in some additional broth or water when reheating.
If you want to preserve more of the rice texture even a day or two after cooking, you can try using wild rice and/or brown rice, following the instructions in the Tips and tricks section above.
I have tried freezing this soup, but I found that the texture of the rice and sweet potatoes did not hold up well to freezing. Therefore, I don't recommend freezing the soup, but, you can store it in the fridge for 3 - 4 days as I explained in the previous question.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a star rating and/or review in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And sign up for my weekly newsletter to get recipes delivered straight to you!Print
A hearty, well-seasoned soup with ground turkey, chunks of sweet potato, and rice. You can make this soup in only about 35 minutes!
- 2 tablespoons oil (see note 1)
- 1 pound (454 g) 93% lean ground turkey
- 2 cups (282 g) chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- 4 cups (586 g) sweet potato cubes, ½ inch in diameter (about 1 very large sweet potato)
- 1 cup (184 g) long-grain white rice, rinsed
- 6 - 8 cups (1.4 - 1.9 L) broth, any type (turkey, chicken, beef, etc.)
- Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the ground turkey. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes, or until the turkey is browned. During cooking, stir frequently and break up the ground turkey into smaller chunks with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the chopped onion, kosher salt, pepper, paprika, coriander and cumin. Continue to cook for an additional 2 - 3 minutes or until the onions are softened.
- Add in the sweet potato chunks and rice. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in 6 cups of broth and turn the heat to high to bring to a boil. Once the broth is boiling, turn the heat down to maintain a gentle boil, partially covering the pot with a lid (leave about a 1 - 2 inch opening).
- Gently boil the soup for 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the sweet potato chunks are tender. Check on the soup periodically during the cook time. If most of the liquid has been absorbed, stir in some additional broth.
- Taste the soup and add more salt and/or pepper if needed. If needed, thin the soup out with more broth.
I used olive oil, but feel free to use whatever oil you usually cook with, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil.
Kosher salt is coarse grained; if you want to substitute fine grain salt, start with only 1 teaspoon, taste the finished soup, and add more if desired.
The nutrition information below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full nutrition disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: ⅛ recipe
- Calories: 337
- Sugar: 7.1 g
- Sodium: 1277 mg
- Fat: 8.6 g
- Saturated Fat: .9 g
- Carbohydrates: 46.5 g
- Fiber: 3.9 g
- Protein: 19.5 g
- Cholesterol: 33 mg
Keywords: turkey sweet potato soup, turkey rice soup