Turkey Tetrazzini

Put leftover turkey (or chicken!) to work with this easy Turkey Tetrazzini casserole. Creamy, comforting, and freezer friendly too! Scroll down for an easy video tutorial!

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.

Put leftover turkey (or chicken!) to work with this easy Turkey Tetrazzini casserole. Creamy, comforting, and freezer friendly too!


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.

Put leftover turkey (or chicken!) to work with this easy Turkey Tetrazzini casserole. Creamy, comforting, and freezer friendly too!

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.

Save this Turkey Tetrazzini to your “Main Dishes” Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty recipes!

Put leftover turkey (or chicken!) to work with this easy Turkey Tetrazzini casserole. Creamy, comforting, and freezer friendly too!
4.34 from 3 votes

Turkey Tetrazzini

Put leftover turkey (or chicken!) to work with this easy Turkey Tetrazzini casserole. Creamy, comforting, and freezer friendly too!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 684 kcal


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
  • 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:

  1. In a food processor, process the bread and butter until coarsely ground, about 6 pulses. Set aside. 

To make the casserole:

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. 

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 

  5. Stir in flour and cook until golden, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Whisk in broth and half and half. 

  6. 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.

  7. 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. 

  8. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping has browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. 

Recipe Notes

Adapted from The Cook's Country Cookbook.

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  1. I think you just hit the mother lode!!! This has got to be a hit and right up there with your Cincinnati Chili….

  2. Can you use milk instead of half and half?

    • Hi Vanessa, yes definitely! It just make take a little longer to thicken in Step 6. But it will still taste amazing! Thanks for the question.

  3. The recipe looks great. I’d maybe replace the second onion with some celery. This may just be the way I grew up of course, but celery just seems like a key part of the flavor

    • Hi Shawn, that sounds like a fantastic idea which I am going to try. I think you’re right… celery would be perfect here! My mom used cream of celery soup in all her best casseroles growing up, so I think I’d like that as well. Thank you so much!

  4. i had to improvise with this recipe due to what was in the fridge and pantry Christmas Day. My meal was Christmas Eve so no need to cook that day except to heat up the feast from the night before, right? My in Law’s Family Tradition: Leftovers the day after a feast. So my mother in law made turkey tetrazzini look effortless and in a 50″s style, Don Draper type. It was delicious and my 2 daughters loved it. When i used this recipe i only had shredded parmesan cheese and it turned into rubber in my sauce. Is there a way to recover?

    • Hi Amy, I’m so sorry you had trouble with this recipe and right at Christmas to. I don’t think it was the fact that you used shredded parmesan instead of grated because I’ve used various cheeses and not had this problem. It sounds like your sauce seized up. Usually this happens when the sauce is too hot or the cheese is too cold or some of each. Or, if you didn’t stir it immediately that can happen. The recipe says to remove the pot from heat before adding the cheese, but perhaps the more complete answer is to let the sauce cool for a minute or two before adding the cheese so this doesn’t happen. I haven’t had a problem with cheese seizing personally, but this is my best guess. To save it at this point, although I suspect you’ve given up by now, I’d probably try adding a little bit of water (maybe a few tablespoons?) and stir gently to try to get all the cheese up to temperature and loosened out. This is just a guess. I’m really sorry you had an issue with the cheese.

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