Turkey Tetrazzini

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

Turkey Tetrazzini

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.


Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 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.

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Turkey Tetrazzini

Showing 4 of 51 Comments

  • Denise

    This was one of the best recipes for Turkey Tetrazzini I’ve tried. And it was easy. It does make a lot, although no complaints! I made one small casserole for me and put the rest into a 9×13 pan for my mom and sister. Everyone loved it.

  • Roy Turning

    Loved it! I used soy milk since that’s all I have around the house but the cream was the real stuff from cows. I switched the Swiss cheese out for white cheddar just because I hate Swiss cheese. I also added celery. It all worked out great and this was my first time ever to make a roux, (not as hard as I thought it would be). My better half wants onions added but what does she know. Total servings should be listed as at least 8 unless your talking heavy construction workers on a cold day.

  • Grant Taylor

    Did everything as stated, except substituted fresh caught coho salmon – 1 inch thick strips three inches long -that I had froze over night. Added and mixed them in, just before placing in oven. Mixed in finely chopped crispy bacon to the topping as well… WOW – salmon still pink inside and just starting to flake into cream sauce.

  • Frank

    Lady, I don’t know who you are, but your recipes are the first place I look when I need to jog my memory. This tetrazzini is a great example of how good leftovers can be! Thanks so much. Ok, so I threw in a few black olives, and sauteed the ‘shrooms with garlic. Still wonderful, and “just like Momma used to make!” Just put a batch together, and since it’s just me and the wife now, I’m sure it will freeze beautifully. thanks again. Going for the pot pie next….

  • Stephanie Weaver, MPH

    Hi Elise, I had to take a minute to leave a comment. My mom made turkey tetrazzini every holiday after we’d had turkey. It became a family joke. Hers was just white sauce, peas, noodles, turkey, and that parmesan that comes in the green can. I have told family members that they should try making your recipe so they understand how great it can be!

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