Creole Turkey Neck

and Cabbage Soup

March 30: National Turkey Neck Soup Day

Highlander sometimes eats turkey giblet gravy and Islander gobble-gobbles up the oven-roasted tail at Thanksgiving meals. We enjoy our leftovers and try not to waste any of the turkey meat. But we rarely save other turkey parts, such as the neck, because they do not look or sound too appetizing to cook. Yet we decided to try making a Southern soul food-style dish, Creole turkey neck and cabbage soup, in observance of National Turkey Neck Soup Day. Islander did not like it at all and practically gagged at the “aroma” of the boiled neck pieces (a foul-smelling fowl?). The cabbage, along with the spicy seasonings, did tone down the odor a bit. Highlander agreed that it was not worth the effort and few ingredients of making it again since it took a few hours to prepare this dish in our kitchen. However, for those who are more adventurous with their appetites and cooking experiments are welcome to try the recipe below.


(Adapted from Live Strong)


  • 1 turkey neck
  • 1 head cabbage
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Creole seasoning to taste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • hot sauce (optional)


Cut off the bottom core of the cabbage. Halve it and rinse well. Slice into strips and drain in a colander.

Cut the turkey neck into three or four pieces. Place in a pot and pour enough water over the pieces. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the neck pieces and skim the debri out of the liquid. Add the sugar.

Stir in the Creole seasoning. Return the neck pieces in the liquid. Boil on medium low heat for another hour. Remove the neck pieces again and strain the liquid. Put the neck pieces back in the pot, then add the cabbage strips and strained liquid.

Pour in the chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover with a lid and let the cabbage cook for about 30 minutes or until wilted. Turn up the heat to medium and cook for another 45 minutes to reduce the liquid. Adjust the taste with Creole seasoning. Stir gently. Ladle the cabbage strips and liquid into soup bowls. Top with a turkey neck piece. Serve with a splash of hot sauce.


  • Turkey neck is a tough meat so it needs to be cooked for a long time to become tender.
  • Smoked turkey neck, if available, would lend a more unique flavor to this recipe.
  • Although Thanksgiving is many months away, try our traditional turkey recipe (simple oven-roasted method). Or prepare our popular Oreo turkey cookies.