Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe – put your leftover turkey to work in this creamy, hearty casserole loaded with peas, carrots, Parmesan cheese and plenty of mushrooms.
Grab the leftover turkey before it disappears because you’ll want to make this delicious, easy casserole to feed your company or hungry crowd! I love an all-in-one recipe with vegetables, rich creamy sauce, pasta and protein in every scoop. If you happen to have any leftover after the first round, this casserole re-warms beautifully in the microwave.
An American dish dating back to the early 1900’s, Tetrazzini is believed to be named after the Italian opera star, Luisa Tetrazzini. Through the years there have been hundreds of variations to the recipe, but the basics seem to stay the same; poultry, mushrooms, and a Parmesan cream sauce served over hot pasta. Back in the days when canned condensed cream of mushroom soup appeared on the grocery store shelves, this easy casserole became a staple in many American homes.
I like the idea of serving the Tetrazzini sauce over a bowl of hot pasta, but there’s something about baking it all together in a casserole dish, or oven-proof skillet, that gives it that retro appeal. The spaghetti soaks up the sauce and binds the entire dish together. Presented in casserole form, Tetrazzini can be baked with a cheesy crumb topping, which is always a winner in my book!
Did I mention that this is a great way to use up leftover holiday white wine? Wine and mushrooms, peas, poultry and pasta – with a few chopped carrots added for color, casserole perfection! Don’t worry if you don’t have leftover turkey this year, this recipe can be made with a rotisserie chicken too. There are no hard and fast rules about using spaghetti, change it up with curly egg noodles if you want. It’s all good!
Be sure to use good quality Parmesan cheese that you grate yourself. The pre-shredded package Parmesan doesn’t melt as well and your sauce won’t be as creamy. And finally, take it easy with the salt in this dish. While the casserole loves a good bit of seasoning, Parmesan naturally gives it a salty bite so extra salt is not needed. Plenty of fresh ground black pepper is a must however!
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- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 1/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 12 ounces white mushrooms, sliced thin
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth (14.5 ounce can)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 4 cups cooked turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 2 tablespoon melted unsalted butter for topping
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish, if desired
- Hot sauce for serving if desired
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Fill a large pot with water and place over medium-high heat. Keep warm until ready to cook the pasta.
In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs with 1/3 cup of the grated Parmesan cheese.
In a large saucepan cook the mushrooms in 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir frequently until the mushrooms have released their liquid and then most of it evaporates.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the diced onion and carrots. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions are just starting to soften. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour, and cook stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Add the milk, broth and wine and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer the sauce, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Off heat, add the cream cheese, the remaining 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Stir just until lightly blended, cover and keep warm. The cheeses will continue to melt in the warm sauce.
Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain the pasta reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Place the spaghetti back into the pot used to cook it in, add the mushroom sauce, turkey, and peas. Gently stir to combine. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons (or more) of the pasta water if needed to thin. Check seasonings and add more black pepper if desired.
Pour the mixture into a 3-quart lightly greased casserole dish or oven-proof skillet. Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs over the casserole and drizzle with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Bake until bubbling and the top is golden brown about 30 minutes.
Once assembled, the casserole can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and aluminum foil and refrigerated or frozen until ready to bake. If frozen, allow the casserole to sit overnight in the refrigerator until mostly thawed, then bake until bubbly and warmed through.
Substitute egg noodles for the spaghetti if desired
Take care when adding salt. Parmesan adds a good salty bite so check seasoning before adding more than listed. Plenty of black pepper is fine however!
Inspired by recipes on Cook’s Country and Epicurious
I love my big stainless steel, ovenproof skillet for baking this casserole – click on the photo for more information:
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When it comes to leftover turkey, I always want to make at least one outstanding sandwich. Our Turkey Waldorf Wraps and this Turkey Apple & Cheese Panini with Hot Pepper Jelly are personal favorites! Looking for more delicious ways to use up your leftover turkey? Check out this richly flavored Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup from That Skinny Chick Can Bake. I love all Liz’s wonderful garnishes for this beautiful, easy soup. I also love this Turkey Dumpling Soup from Wine & Glue – so comforting! Sue, from The View from Great Island, knocked it out of the park with this Creamy White (Leftover) Turkey Chili. And finally, this Ultimate Leftover Turkey Club Sandwich from Oh Sweet Basil looks insanely good!
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.