Turkey leftovers anyone? Try this American classic turkey casserole—Turkey Tetrazzini—a hearty pasta bake that includes sautéed mushrooms, a cheesy creamy sauce, leftover turkey peas, and egg noodles.
Tetrazzini is thought to have been originated in San Francisco, named after a famous opera singer of the early 1900s—Luisa Tetrazzini—who lived there for many years.
I made this for them the other night and judging by my dad’s three servings, it passes with flying colors. It’s a great way to use up turkey leftovers!
Updated from the recipe archive, first posted 2005.
- 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 4-5 cups)
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided 3 Tbsp, 4 Tbsp, and 1 Tbsp
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 12 oz egg noodles, spaghetti, linguini or other pasta
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 1/4 cup cream
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry sherry (or vermouth or dry white wine)
- 3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey
- 1 cup peas
- 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan (divided into 1/3 and 1/3 cups)
- 1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Salt and Pepper
- Ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1/3 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (or panko)
- Freshly chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
1 Preheat oven and heat water for pasta: Preheat oven to 375°F. Start heating 2 to 3 quarts of water for the pasta. Add 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart of water.
2 Sauté mushrooms: Cook the mushrooms in 3 Tbsp of the butter over medium-high heat, stirring, until all of the liquid the mushrooms give off has evaporated, 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
3 Make a roux with flour and butter: In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 4 Tbsp of butter. Stir in the flour, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes.
4 Add pasta to boiling water: About now, put the pasta into the boiling water you've heated. Follow the package directions and cook until al dente. While the pasta is cooking continue on with the recipe.
5 Make sauce by adding milk, cream, broth, sherry to roux: Into the saucepan with the butter and flour, slowly whisk in the milk, cream, chicken broth, and the sherry. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 to 8 minutes.
6 Combine pasta with sauce, mushrooms, turkey, peas, cheese, lemon juice, nutmeg: When the pasta is ready, drain it. In a large bowl combine the pasta, the sauce, the mushrooms, the turkey, and the peas. Stir in 1/3 cup of the Parmesan and the 1/3 cup of Swiss cheese. Stir in the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Note that if you have been using unsalted butter, and/or unsalted or low sodium stock, you will need to add more salt than you might expect. Just keep sprinkling it in until it is seasoned to your taste. Add a pinch of ground nutmeg if using, again to taste. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 3-quart casserole.
7 Make breadcrumb Parmesan topping: In a small bowl combine well the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tetrazzini, and dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits.
8 Bake: Bake the Tetrazzini in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden.
Garnish individual servings with chopped parsley.