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Turkey tetrazzini being scooped out of a white baking dish.
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Turkey Tetrazzini

Put leftover turkey to work with this easy Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole. Made with creamy sauce and pasta baked under a crunchy crumb topping, this simple casserole is ready in under an hour or can be made ahead or frozen.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 310kcal

Ingredients

For the topping:

  • 2 slices high-quality sandwich bread lightly toasted and torn into 2-inch pieces, or 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (see note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted

For the filling:

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces spaghetti broken in half (see note 2)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onions finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme (see note 3)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • hot sauce to taste, optional (see note 4)
  • 2 cups cooked turkey shredded or cut into 1/2 inch pieces (see note 5)
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions

To make the topping:

  • If using bread slices, tear the slices into 2-inch pieces. In a food processor, process the pieces until finely ground.
  • In a small bowl, add bread crumbs and melted butter and toss until evenly coated. 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 7 to 9 minutes. Drain well and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
  • Return the same large pot to medium-high heat and melt butter until foaming. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme 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, pepper, and hot sauce if desired. Do not skip this step or your casserole may be bland!
  • To the pot with sauce, add cooked pasta, turkey, and frozen peas, and toss to combine. Pour into a 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumb topping. 
  • Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping has browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Video

Notes

  1. Crumb topping: Homemade bread crumbs are delicious, but you can substitute store-bought.
  2. Spaghetti: I prefer a long-stranded pasta: linguine, or fettuccine, snapped in half while uncooked for easy serving, but you can use any pasta.
  3. Thyme: Feel free to use rosemary, basil, or parsley instead of, or in addition to, the thyme.
  4. Season to taste: If you don’t season the sauce before you add back the noodles, your casserole will be bland! Taste the sauce and season it until you really LOVE IT. Now’s a good time to add hot sauce or red pepper flakes if that’s your thing.
  5. Turkey: Leftover roast turkey is the ideal candidate here.
  6. Cover with foil to prevent over-browning: Since everyone’s oven is a little different, place a layer of foil overt the casserole to keep the breadcrumbs from burning.
  7. More vegetables: Instead o just the peas, do a mixture of frozen peas, carrots, and corn. Sauté some mushrooms with the onions, or add some finely chopped red bell peppers.
  8. Make ahead: This casserole can be made up to two days ahead. Assemble it and add it to the baking dish, but don’t add the breadcrumbs or bake. Instead, wrap it up and store it in the fridge. Add the breadcrumbs just before baking
  9. Freezing: Just cover, wrap, and freeze it before baking. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake in a 400 degree oven until hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 346mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 527IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 2mg