This easy Instant Pot ground turkey soup filled with tender carrots, celery, and tomatoes tastes like it has been slowcooked all day but only takes minutes to prep. Kids love the fun acini de pepe pasta but you can substitute rice or your favorite noodle shape to mix things up.
September through April is "soup season" in our house. It is one of my very favorite dinners in our weekly rotation.
I'm always on the hunt for new veggie-heavy, light and healthy soup ideas, especially when they help me clear my fridge of ingredients I already have on hand.
I bought a bulk package of ground turkey and wanted to try a new turkey recipe after I used one half of it in my turkey taco pasta skillet.
This acini de pepe soup has been one of our favorites for years but I usually use ground beef. I decided to lighten it up with the turkey and it was simply perfect. Serve it with a sliced homemade Italian bread for an easy dinner.
Why This is the Best Recipe
We love homemade soups during soup season but I think this is the best ground turkey soup recipe because:
- Instant Pot or Stovetop: You can make it so quickly whether you have an Instant Pot or not.
- Tons of Veggies: The tomato based broth has loads of fresh veggies to make this hearty and healthy.
- Budget Friendly: Ground turkey is such an affordable item right now. This soup takes cost-effective ingredients to keep the price down.
- Freezer Friendly: You could make this soup and freeze it in small portions for easy dinners.
The ingredients for this turkey soup are very simple:
- Ground Turkey
- Olive Oil
- Canned Diced Tomatoes
- Beef Broth: You could use chicken broth if you prefer but since we often use ground beef in this recipe, I kept this broth to add that flavor.
- Bay Leaves
- Acini de Pepe Pasta: Be sure to see my list of variations & substitutions at the bottom!
See recipe card for quantities.
Instant Pot Instructions
My Instant Pot is one of my favorite small appliances for making soup because you can saute right in the pot.
Press the Instant Pot saute button and add the olive oil to the pot. Let it preheat for a couple minutes and add the ground turkey.
As the turkey cooks, sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Use a cooking spoon to break it up into crumbles as it browns.
Once the turkey is no longer pink, add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes with their juices to the pot. Pour in the beef broth and stir to combine. Tuck the bay leaves into the broth.
The vegetables give a lot of flavor to this soup, but I like to add a little seasoning to the mix as well.
I used ½ tablespoon of soup herbs, you could also use a pre-mixed Italian herb blend that features basil, thyme, and parsley. This is completely optional.
Place the lid on and seal the Instant Pot. Set to HIGH pressure for 35 minutes.
Hint: The 35 minute mark is the time the Instant Pot will cook the soup but it does take some additional time to reach pressure. Plan for an additional 20 minutes of time. Heating all the ingredients in the pot with the saute feature will help speed this up.
When the timer beeps, quick release the pressure by turning the valve on your Instant Pot to release.
Remove the lid and stir in the Acini de Pepe pasta.
Cover and seal the Instant Pot again and cook on HIGH for 5 minutes. It won't take very long to come back to pressure this time.
When the timer beeps, quick release the Instant pot and stir the soup.
The pasta will absorb a significant amount of the broth as it cooks. I add an additional container of broth to thin it out AFTER the soup has finished.
If you add both containers to start, it will overfill your Instant Pot so always start with just one and then decide how thick you want your soup before serving.
If you don't have an Instant Pot and prefer to make this soup on your stovetop in a dutch oven or soup pot, you make these simple tweaks:
Brown the ground turkey in olive oil over medium-high heat until no longer pink.
Add the onion, carrots, and celery and stir.
Add the dried herbs and stir.
Add the diced tomatoes with their juices along with the beef broth and stir.
Bring the soup to a boil and then add the bay leaves to the pot.
Reduce the heat to medium-low so the soup continues to simmer and cover.
Cook for 45 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
Add the dried Acini de Pepe to the pot, cover and cook for 5 - 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
There are several variations of this soup you could play with:
- Beef soup: Substitute lean ground beef for the ground turkey
- Turkey rice soup: Substitute 1 - 2 cups precooked brown or white rice for the pasta
- Turkey noodle soup: Substitute wavy egg noodles or your other favorite soup noodle for the Acini de Pepe
- Low carb turkey soup: Leave all the starches out and just eat the meat with the veggies
- Spicy turkey soup: Add ½ - 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the broth before cooking
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
Leftover turkey soup will keep in your fridge for 3 - 4 days but the pasta will absorb the broth as it sits.
Be prepared to add additional broth to thin it out when you reheat it in a saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave.
You can freeze the soup once it has completely cooled.
I recommend storing in smaller containers so you can reheat just the portions you need. Have broth in your pantry for thinning it out when you serve it.
More Instant Pot Recipes
If you love using your Instant Pot for fast family meals, you won't want to miss these easy recipes:
Instant Pot Ground Turkey Soup
- 1 ½ lb ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 large carrots diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- ½ tablespoon dried soup herb blend optional
- 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 2 (32 oz) boxes of beef broth *Use only one for cooking, see note for more details
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup dried Acini de Pepe pasta *see alternatives in Notes
- Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot pot and set the machine to the Saute setting.
- Add the ground turkey to the pot, season it with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and let cook for a couple of minutes before breaking it up with a spoon. Ground turkey is very soft until it has browned up, then it will become easier to crumble.
- Once the turkey is no longer pink, 8 - 10 minutes, add the diced onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. Stir to combine and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the dried soup herbs, if using, and stir them in.
- Add the diced tomatoes and their juices to the pot. Pour in the beef broth and stir to combine all the ingredients together.
- Add the bay leaves to the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and seal. Set to HIGH PRESSURE for 35 minutes.
- Quick release the pressure when the timer beeps. Add the dried Acini de Pepe to the pot, cover and seal the pot and cook on manual pressure for 5 minutes.
A note about broth:The pasta will absorb a lot of broth as it cooks. Use the second box of broth to thin out the soup AFTER you finish the recipe. Using both boxes to start will overflow your Instant Pot. If you use a substitution for the Acini de Pepe, you may not need the second box at all.
Substitutions for Acini de Pepe Pasta:If you can't find, or don't prefer, these tiny soup noodles, you can substitute:
- 2 cups prepared rice (jasmine, white, or brown)
- 1 - 2 cups pre-boiled pasta (egg noodles or soup noodle of choice)
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