Turkey Noodle Casserole

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

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6.


  • 12 oz 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 of milk
  • 1/4 cup cream or sour cream
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 2 teaspoons dry tarragon
  • 2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey
  • 6 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • Freshly chopped parsley for garnish (optional)


1 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).

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2 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.

3 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.

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4 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.

During this time the pasta will be ready. Drain it and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking.

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5 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.

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6 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.

7 Sprinkle with panko and drizzle 1 Tbsp melted butter over the top.

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

Garnish with chopped parsley, if using.

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  • Mary from NJ

    P.S. Also used Jarlsberg instead of Gruyere. Big sale at supermarket and the flavor is similar ( I think).

  • Mary from NJ

    I made this after hosting an early Turkey dinner for relatives who can’t join us on the actual day. It took a little time but well worth the effort. Used homemade broth from the turkey carcass which I think added more depth of flavor. I had to sub in penne noodles and also added a cup of thin sliced carrots for color. There’s something about creating a delicious meal from fresh ingredients that can be very soothing. Especially in these unsettling times!

  • Helen S

    I have made it and reheated it the next day just as good maybe better

  • Diane

    Is it possible to make this a day or two ahead and then just pop it into the oven before serving?

    • Elise

      Hi Diane, I haven’t tried doing that but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!

  • Sherry

    Just delicious! I used green beans along with the celery and shallots, regular Pinot Gris for lack of vermouth, crushed cornbread stuffing cubes since the Panko crumbs were too old,
    And sour cream for cream. In spite of my substitutions….I was sooo frustrated….it turned out to be fabulously tasty. My husband absolutely loved it. He said the taste was “just gorgeous”, and he was right. Thanks for a great recipe, one that survived a bit of substitution and still rocked.

  • Eleni

    Snuck enough turkey from two different gatherings yesterday to make this again. Thanks, Elise, you’re the best!

  • Helen Sneed

    Can this be made the day before and baked the next day ?

    • Elise

      Hi Helen, I think so, but I haven’t tried making it ahead like that. If you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!

  • Dave

    Didn’t like this at all. Distinct lack of flavor. Diced celery left stringy bites in the casserole. I would sub cream of chicken/mushroom soup instead of plain milk/cream for more flavor. Also would include a chopped garlic clove or two. Sharp cheddar might taste better too. Thanks for sharing but this was a big fail for me.

  • Kathleen

    This was delicious! I will be making it with turkey leftovers instead of turkey pot pie from now on. The sauce was excellent and the Gruyere cheese is a must! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Ann

    This is a keeper! I doubled the recipe thinking I needed to make two casseroles – one to eat immediately and one for a couple of days in the future. One recipe would have been enough for the two casseroles. I was also worried that the second casserole would be too dry, but it was not. (I warmed it in the microwave, finished in the oven and added the bread crumbs at then end.) Even reheating leftovers in the microwave did not dry this casserole out. I added mushrooms, a small amount of fine-diced jalapeno pepper (a must in our house), sage, and a good dollop of cheese spread of garlic cheddar raw milk found at Brennan’s Markets. Sooo good!

  • Melanie

    This was excellent Elise, thanks for the recipe. I had to modify it based on what I had on hand – no gruyere cheese so used some sharp cheddar instead. I also had some fresh spinach that had seen better days so I tossed that in at the end. I think the gruyere would be better, but overall a great meal and great use of leftovers.

  • Sriyanthie

    Do you bake it uncovered?

    • Elise

      Yes, otherwise it won’t get browned on top.

  • Shweta K

    I have pretty much everything except for the tarragon. Wondering if I could substitute with sage and thyme? Thanks!

  • Liane

    I just made this and it hit the spot! My celery was particularly leafy so I chopped up the greens and used in place of the parsley. I will make this again, I loved the subtle flavors.


    • Andy

      This was fantastic and my picky 3 year old wolfed it down. I used sliced zucchini in place of celery as one of us has a problem with celery.
      Agree about the flavors, very tasty.

      Have to check out your other recipes now :)

  • Kristin Clark


    Do you think this would freeze well? Would I freeze it before baking?

    Love your recipes!!

    • Elise

      I have no idea if it would freeze well.

  • Alice

    Wow, that looks fantastic, printed and going to make it. What casserole dish is that? I LOVE it and want one…do tell please.

  • Cindy

    This recipe sounds wonderful! I will have to substitute turkey with chicken though. I am in China, and can’t find any turkey here :P

    • Elise

      This recipe will work beautifully with chicken. I recommend chicken thigh meat as it is more strongly flavored and won’t dry out with the longer cooking.

    • Amy

      Hi Cindy! I know I am a random person on the internet, but I have a suggestion for you. My family lived in China in the 90’s. At Thanksgiving, we found that some of the western hotels will have Thanksgiving dinners at their restaurants. My mom called around to the hotels in the area, and we would usually find a hotel willing to sell us a turkey. Just FYI. Have a great Chinese Thanksgiving! For some reason, they are the childhood Thanksgivings I look back on with the most fondness.

    • Vicki

      I’m another random stranger who lived in Beijing for 11 years. We left 2 years ago and local and imported turkeys were widely available from supermarkets like Jenny’s and Schindler’s German Butcher in Beijing.

      • Cindy

        Hi Vicki! I am not in Beijing anymore, I am in another city in China now. but still I never knew they had these at Jenny’s! I’ll be telling my friends about it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Henry

    I like to make wayyy too much, along with a really big turkey, so I have plenty of leftovers, as well as lots of bones to make stock with afterward. One of my favorite leftover recipes is is a turkey pot pie, with gravy for the liquid, and dressing for the crust.

    Already planning my menu and order of battle for Thursday, and can’t wait!

  • Renee

    This sounds wonderful! Am looking forward to trying this in the next couple of weeks! I make my turkey sauce/gravy with vermouth as well, so should be very yummy!