Smoked Turkey Chowder

A special wintry chowder with ingredients like smoked turkey, caramelized onions and caramelized mushrooms plus rustic potatoes and a hint of fresh rosemary. This is the height of winter comfort food ...

Smoked Turkey Chowder, more winter comfort food ♥ Weekend Comfort Food. Gluten Free. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Real Food, Fresh & Seasonal. Weekend Comfort Food. Naturally Gluten Free. High Protein. Budget Friendly. Potluck & Party Friendly.

Fast Food vs Slow Food

America may be blotted with asphalt-moated fast-food stops but for more than two decades, a slow food movement has been, aptly, slowly emerging. In chapters across the world, including one right here in St. Louis at, people are fixed on the preservation of local foods and culinary traditions.

Despite its name, the slow food movement’s foundation is taste not haste.

Still, dishes that can be prepared quickly take on entirely new dimensions when allowed to cook slowly, very slowly.

These recipes are two of my slow favorites, the potatoes new, the chowder old. The chowder recipe easily converts to a delicious clam chowder. When taste counts, choose clam chowder. When taste and local both count, smoked turkey is the pick.

Slow-Baked Potatoes

(Sloooow) Baked Potatoes, How Long to Bake a Baked Potato ♥, one hour in the oven is not enough! How long to bake baked potatoes for soft, nutty flesh and crisp, crackly skins.

No, they don’t burn up. No, they don’t shrivel into nothing. Yes, they do bake into the most delicious creamy, nutty baked potatoes imaginable.

Just rub russet potatoes with oil, then place directly onto an oven rack and bake for two and a half hours (yes, that's 2-1/2 hours, that’s neither a typo nor a mistake and even up to three hours) at 350F/180C.

Intrigued?! More detail needed?! Understood! It's all here, (Sloooow) Baked Potatoes (How Long to Bake a Baked Potato).

What's In Smoked Turkey Chowder?

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

  • Smoked Turkey Look for smoked turkey legs near the hams. They don't always yield a lot of meat, you might want to buy two. Can't find any? Try two or three smoked ham hocks or a smoked ham shank. You might buy extra, because, oh my, there's Slow-Cooked Greens & Smoked Turkey, so good, you'll want to eat the pot.
  • Caramelized Onions & Mushrooms The onions start off by themselves, slow-cooked in butter until soft and luscious, something entirely different than barely cooked sautéed onions. Then the onions are lifted out, the mushrooms are cooked in this liquid that remains in the pan. Do allow time for the sugars to fully develop, first for the onions, then for the mushrooms ...
  • Potatoes Yukon gold potatoes work well, leave the skins on! The friend who gave me this recipe cuts the potatoes in rough and rustic pieces, somehow contributing to the character of the soup. Me? I like them in neat little cubes! You? Your call ...
  • Chowder Broth This is such a lovely broth, a mix of turkey stock (if you have it) or chicken stock (if you don't). It's definitely worth making your own stock, it doesn't have to be a complicated process. We're keen on No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock, always stored for later in the freezer, see How to Freeze Stock in Canning Jars.
  • Rosemary Ahhh, the rosemary. It adds such dimension to this chowder. A small packet of fresh herbs is expensive but that's probably the only option during the cold-weather months when Smoked Turkey Chowder appeals. Can you dried rosemary instead? Please don't!

You'll Love My Smoked Turkey Chowder If You ...

  • love smoked meats
  • love caramelized onions
  • love the idea of caramelized mushrooms!
  • want a filling, hearty main dish soup
  • want something rustic but still, special
  • Ready to get started? Here's your recipe!

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe for smoked turkey chowder hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Smoked Turkey Chowder, more winter comfort food ♥ Weekend Comfort Food. Gluten Free. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.


Hands-on time: about 30 minutes
Time to table: 3 – 4 hours
Makes 10 cups
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large onions, chopped in large pieces
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, caps broken into pieces, stems chopped (see TIPS)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional but encourages browning)
  • 1 – 2 large Yukon gold potatoes, skins on, cut into rough pieces or even batons
  • 4 cups turkey or chicken stock (see TIPS)
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 smoked turkey leg, skin discarded, meat cut into slices
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste

CARAMELIZED ONIONS & MUSHROOMS In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the onion, toss to coat. Stirring occasionally, cook until onions are deep gold in color, about 90 minutes; you may need to adjust the temperature, to sloooowly cook the onions and to avoid burning. Lift the onions from the pot, leaving the cooking liquid behind. Stir in the mushrooms and sugar and let cook until deep brown in color, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

POTATOES Meanwhile, separately cook potatoes in salted water. Drain, then peel if desired.

CHOWDER In a large, heavy pot such as a Dutch oven, warm the stock, milk, turkey, oregano and rosemary on low heat, not allowing to boil. Stir in the cooked onions, cooked mushrooms, and cooked potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

FOR STOVETOP Cover and gently cook on medium low heat for 1 – 2 hours, stirring occasionally, not allowing to boil.

~ or ~

FOR OVEN Cover and place in a 200F oven for 4 hours, longer if you like.

ALANNA's TIPS For succulent not-from-a-can texture, skip the knife and break mushroom caps into irregular shapes. Using a slow cooker to caramelize the onions removes some of the guesswork/tending to keep the stove at the right temperature to keep the onions cooking without burning them at the end. Just follow the technique described in Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions. Once the onions are done, proceed with the mushrooms right in the slow cooker, they'll take about an hour. If ever there’s a time to choose good homemade chicken stock, this is it. Even this no-fuss stock will do, try No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock. A smoked turkey leg yields about 14 ounces of meat. This chowder is a little broth-y, for something more meaty, use two smoked turkey legs. Believe it or not, ham is a good substitute for smoked turkey. They taste remarkably alike and even have the same pink-ish color! For clam chowder, use three small cans of clams (including their liquid) instead of smoked turkey.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup:152 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 18mg Cholesterol; 441mg Sodium; 17g Carb; 2g Fiber; 9g Sugar; 6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 4 & SmartPoints 6 & Freestyle 5 & myWW green 5 & blue 5 & purple 4 & future WW points CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 2/3 cup (4g protein).
Adapted from a recipe from a woman I barely remember, although I do think that maybe (maybe?) her name was Debbie! I remember she was quite insistent that the potatoes pieces should be large, peeled and irregular. Me, I like them skins on and neat and tidy!

More Long-time Favorite Homemade Soup Recipes

~ soup recipes ~
Turkey Sweet Potato Soup ♥, one of my oldest recipes, a healthy colorful soup made with sweet potatoes and leftover turkey.

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup (Turkey & Wild Rice Soup) ♥, hearty soup with wild rice and butternut squash.

White Chicken Chili ♥, spicy-but-not-too-spicy, just chicken, spices, chilies and white beans.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ mushroom recipes ~
~ potato recipes ~
~ turkey recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2007, 2014, 2020, 2021 & 2022

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. There is nothing like the aroma of something cooking for hours on the stove. My kitchen is in the center of the house, and whenever I'm making soup or stew or something that simmers on the stovetop, the entire house fills with good smells. This chowder might be great for a New Year's Day brunch.

  2. Anonymous12/28/2007

    I will definitely try your slow baked potato recipe and yay you, for writing about Slow Food. It's become the watchword (words?) of my life and one way or another, has changed it in significant ways. Happy New Year to you, Alanna!

  3. For years clam chowder and challah was our New Year's Eve dinner.
    3 hrs at 350 - unreal!

  4. This really does sound delicious. I'm sending this recipe to my sister who loves chowder but is allergic to seafood. Happy New Year!

  5. Great recipe-perfect for a cold day in Maine. Wonderful that Slow Food is now in St. Louis. I would love to attend one of your functions if it coincides with visiting my son. Can you put me on your distribution list?
    Happy New Year to you.

  6. Anonymous6/23/2008

    We are giving a party tonight here in Basel, Switzerland and your slow cooked baked potato is featured on the menu.

    It saves so much last-minute-stress.
    Thank you for the recipe.



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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna