Put leftover turkey (or chicken!) to work with this easy Turkey Tetrazzini casserole. Creamy, comforting, and freezer friendly too!
Turkey Tetrazzini is my unicorn.
I’ve never seen it (or had it), but I knew it existed. And I knew it was MAGICAL.
It’s really similar to many of the casseroles my mom made while I was growing up, though. The only difference is the noodle (she tends to use macaroni) and the cream of soup (nothing canned here).
So, it’s kind of like being reunited with a long lost… well… unicorn.
I’ve actually been making this casserole all summer long (despite the 110 degree temps in Los Angeles) because I love it so much.
But, I decided to hold off on sharing it with you until we were in “fall food mode.” Whatever that is.
Ever since I did a post for National Turkey month, I’ve been obsessed with buying turkey tenderloin. You get two turkey tenderloins in a pack and you just bake them on a sheet pan for 40 minutes. Then I cut it up and keep it in the fridge for things like Turkey Tetrazzini.
Other people take pretty pictures of this and call it “meal prepping,” but I just like to have protein on hand. Leftover rotisserie chicken works great too!
Definitely print off the Turkey Tetrazzini recipe and shove it in your cookbook for after Thanksgiving. It’s the best way to put your leftover turkey to work!
And if you make the recipe every weekend between now and the end of November, you’re in good company.
Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe
For the topping:
- 4 slices high-quality sandwich bread torn into 2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
For the filling:
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound spaghetti broken into thirds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 16 ounces sliced white mushrooms optional
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 cups cooked turkey cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
To make the topping:
- In a food processor, process the bread and butter until coarsely ground, about 6 pulses. Set aside.
To make the casserole:
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain well, keeping in colander, and toss with olive oil.
- Return same pot to medium-high heat and melt butter until foaming. Add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until the mushrooms have released most of their liquid, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in flour and cook until golden, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Whisk in broth and half and half.
- Bring to a simmer and continue to whisk until sauce thickens, about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and whisk in Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To the pot with sauce, add pasta, turkey and frozen peas, stirring to combine. Pour into a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with crumb topping.
- Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping has browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.