Turkey Noodle Casserole

Turkey noodle casserole with egg noodles, leftover turkey, shallots, celery, and a white sauce with Gruyere, mustard, and tarragon.

turkey noodle casserole
Elise Bauer

Every year we start our Thanksgiving planning with the best of intentions. "Last year was over-the-top. Could we please put the brakes on with the side dishes this time?" And every year we cook way more food than our extended family could possibly eat in one sitting.

I blame my father.

He can't resist a side that sounds good. Of course we need creamed turnips along with creamed cauliflower, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, and turnip gratin. And that's just the starches!

turkey noodle casserole
Elise Bauer

Every year we pick out a turkey big enough for all of us, not counting the fact that we will be so full with sides that we don't have a lot of room left for the turkey.

But is this problem? Having too much turkey?

Uh, let me think about it. No. No it is not a problem. It just means more opportunities for creative uses of turkey leftovers like this luscious turkey noodle casserole.

It's creamy, it's crunchy, it's sort of fancy for a casserole. Never mind that though, it tastes great. A perfect home for the leftover turkey that lost out to too many sides.

Turkey Noodle Casserole

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 80 mins
Total Time 100 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces egg noodles

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 2 cups sliced shallots or thinly sliced onions

  • 2 cups diced celery

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine

  • 1 1/2 cups milk

  • 1/4 cup cream or sour cream

  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock

  • 2 teaspoons dry tarragon

  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

  • 3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey

  • 6 ounces grated Gruyere cheese

  • Salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

  • Freshly chopped parsley for garnish, optional

Method

  1. Preheat oven, boil water for pasta:

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Start heating 4 quarts of water for the pasta. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the water (1 Tbsp for every 2 quarts of water).

  2. Cook shallots, add flour:

    Melt butter in a large, thick-bottomed pot (5-quart) on medium heat. Add the shallots and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

    Stir in the flour and cook over low heat, stirring for about 3 minutes.

    cook shallots in pot for turkey noodle casserole
    Elise Bauer
  3. Cook noodles firmer than al dente:

    Put the noodles into the boiling water you've heated. Follow the package directions and cook the noodles for 2 minutes less than the range given on the package.

    The pasta should be a bit firmer than al dente. So, for example, if the package instructions say bring to a boil and cook for 6 to 10 minutes, add the pasta to the hot water, return the water to a boil and cook it for 4 minutes. While the pasta is cooking continue on with the recipe.

  4. Start the sauce:

    Into the saucepan with the butter, shallots, celery, and flour, add the dry vermouth and let bubble for a minute. Then stir in the milk, cream, and stock. Add the tarragon.

    Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 to 8 minutes.

    stirred vegetables in hot cooking pot
    Elise Bauer
    creamy casserole mixture in hot cooking pot
    Elise Bauer
  5. Drain and rinse the pasta:

    By the time the sauce is done the pasta will be ready. Drain it and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking.

  6. Add cheese, mustard, turkey to the sauce:

    Add the grated cheese and mustard to the pot. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add the chopped cooked turkey to the pot.

    Add salt to taste (depending on if you are using salted stock or not, or salted butter or not, that could be no added salt to as much as a teaspoon). Add freshly ground black pepper.

    Casserole cream with cheese on top with wooden spoon
    Elise Bauer
    adding turkey to sauce for turkey noodle casserole
    Elise Bauer
  7. Add the pasta, lemon juice, transfer to casserole:

    Now it's time to add the cooked pasta to the pot. If the noodles have stuck together, rinse them in the colander with a little water to separate the noodles from each other. Add the noodles to the pot with the turkey.

    Stir in the lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to your taste. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 3-quart casserole.

    noodles added to casserole mixture in pot
    Elise Bauer
    ready to cook Turkey noodle casserole in baking pan
    Elise Bauer
  8. Sprinkle with panko and drizzle 1 Tbsp melted butter over the top.
  9. Bake:

    Bake the casserole at 375°F in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden.

    Fully cooked turkey noodle casserole in baking pan
    Elise Bauer

    Garnish with chopped parsley, if using.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
624 Calories
32g Fat
43g Carbs
38g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 624
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 40%
Saturated Fat 17g 83%
Cholesterol 165mg 55%
Sodium 790mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 7mg 33%
Calcium 448mg 34%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 715mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.