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Turkey Tetrazzini on a small white plate

HomemadeTurkey Tetrazzini {Thanksgiving Leftovers}

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Homemade Turkey Tetrazzini is the perfect recipe for Thanksgiving leftovers with chunks of turkey, peas, mushrooms, and a rich cream sauce. So easy and delicious that my family expects it every year after the holiday!!

Years ago, I tried this Turkey Leftover Recipe on a whim and it was so well-loved by the family that it’s now a post-Thanksgiving tradition!

Overhead view of leftover turkey dish in an oval white casserole

Turkey Casserole

I did not grow up eating tetrazzini, in fact, I don’t even think I knew what it was when I was leafing through my Joy of Cooking the day after Thanksgiving years ago. But the recipe called for chicken (but I knew I could sub turkey), noodles, mushrooms, and cream, all of which I had on hand.

This homemade turkey casserole was meant to be. Making this casserole has become a once a year event.

The next Thanksgiving, I was asked to make this turkey leftover recipe again. Apparently, the kiddos, who were not usually fans of casserole type dishes, approved. So our annual tradition is to eat days and days of leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. When there is only a bit of meat clinging to the bones, I cross my fingers and hope to pick off at least three cups from the carcass so I can whip up this tetrazzini recipe.

How to Make Turkey Tetrazzini

  • Cut leftover turkey into bite-sized chunks or shred into bite-sized pieces.
  • Cook pasta in salted water, drain.
  • Saute mushrooms and taste for seasoning.
  • Make the sauce with chicken broth.
  • Add warm cream to the sauce.
  • Toss the pasta, turkey, mushrooms, peas with the cream sauce.
  • Pour into a casserole dish, sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired, and bake until lightly browned and heated through.
Turkey Tetrazzini on a white plate with a bamboo handle fork

Turkey Leftover Recipes

Today, I’m sharing one of our favorite recipes utilizing Thanksgiving leftovers, and much as I’d like to cook up something new and different, Turkey Tetrazzini is always on our menu the weekend after the holiday. And I don’t mind one bit.

There is always some cream in the refrigerator, leftover from whipping up a bowlful to dollop on our pumpkin pie. Grated Parmesan, frozen peas, chicken broth, and pasta are also staples. I just make sure to have fresh mushrooms on hand, though a jar or can of mushrooms would be a wonderful pantry alternative. Transformed from Thanksgiving leftovers, I hope you’ll give this homemade turkey casserole a try.  Don’t forget to try it with chicken for the rest of the year!

Tip of the Day: For those gravy impaired like me, Wondra“quick mixing” flour blends easily without forming lumps. (affiliate link)

Turkey casserole in an oval casserole dish

More Recipes Using Thanksgiving and Turkey Leftovers!

This recipe was first shared in November 2012. The photos and text were updated in 2019.

Turkey Tetrazzini - Comfort food with leftover poultry, peas, mushroom and a dreamy cream sauce!

The Recipe: Turkey Tetrazzini

A delicious pasta, turkey, mushroom and cream sauce casserole for your turkey leftovers.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups shredded or cubed cooked turkey meat
  • 1/2 pound pasta, I use orcchiette or farfalle, cooked in well-salted water and drained
  • 1/2 pound (or more!) mushrooms, trimmed and cut in half or sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sherry (or white wine)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour (Wondra preferred as it doesn't lump)
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream, warmed ( I heat in the microwave in a Pyrex measuring cup)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Sauté mushrooms in butter till lightly browned. Add salt and pepper to taste. Deglaze the pan by adding sherry and cooking until most evaporates. Remove mushrooms and add flour to the pan. Cook for just a minute, then add the chicken broth, whisking to avoid lumps. Cook till mixture thickens slightly. Add cream and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Add the turkey and peas, check for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Place pasta into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish (I use a smaller dish for a deeper casserole). Push pasta to the sides of the dish to create a bowl in the middle of the dish. Scoop out chicken, mushrooms, and peas and arrange in the center of the dish. Pour sauce over top of the dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan. (Alternatively, toss the pasta with the sauce, chicken, mushrooms, and peas. Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan).
  4. Bake till lightly browned and heated through, about 15-20 minutes.

Notes

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 423mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 21g

HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?

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13 comments on “HomemadeTurkey Tetrazzini {Thanksgiving Leftovers}”

  1. Loving this version of tetrazzini. Perhaps because I am so partial to bow ties. Hope you had a great turkey day Liz!

  2. Dear Liz, what a fabulous recipe for all leftover turkey (or chicken) – this looks like it would be a hit with my family as well. How nice that it has been a tradition at your house for years now – isn’t it it wonderful to cook ‘traditional’ meals that everyone can agree on?!

  3. This is the very best dish for turkey leftovers! What a gorgeous presentation. I’ve never made it with bowtie, but that’s going to change. I just love the looks of it and it seems to fit better with the chunks of turkey. Thanks Liz!

  4. We are always praying for leftovers so we can enjoy a delicious creamy turkey tetrazzini. The boys made a huge dent in the bird but maybe enough left to try your delicious recipes. Take Care

  5. Turkey tetrazzini is one of my favorite comfort foods. The timing on this is perfect because of all the turkey leftovers I have right now. Can’t wait to make this again!!

  6. With a delicious meal such as this one, left overs are never an issue.

  7. Yum!!! Similar to our favourite Turkey-A-La-King except with pasta and baked as a casserole – love it!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Liz!

  8. No wonder your family expects this dish every year after the holiday – it’s delicious! Pasta, turkey, mushrooms, peas, and a creamy sauce – that’s a heavenly combination. Since turkey leftovers don’t happen too often throughout the year (Unfair!), I often make a similar dish, just with some chicken breasts instead.

  9. I love repurposing leftovers and you made a great meal out of Turkey sounds wonderful hope you have a blessed holiday with you and your family

  10. So creamy and tasty…a perfect recipe for holiday leftover, Liz.

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