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.
The Original Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe
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.
To my mother, however, turkey Tetrazzini is just another way of saying turkey casserole. In her opinion casseroles are passé; she hasn’t made one in twenty years. (Note to readers – my mother is anything but a snob, although she can sound like one at times. Note to my mother’s friends — she loves your casseroles.) Fortunately, neither my father nor I could care less if something is “in” or “out”; all we care about is whether or not we like it (and by the way, mom used to make a wicked good tuna casserole).
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!
Don’t Have Peas? Try these Vegetable Subs
- Green beans
- Red or green peppers
- Artichoke hearts
Making Turkey Tetrazzini in Advance
If you've cooked a whole turkey, this is a great recipe to make and freeze with turkey leftovers, extending the life of your leftovers for months.
Follow these steps for easy freezing.
- Before adding the ingredients to the casserole dish, line it with foil, using enough so that the foil comes up the sides and above the lips of all sides of the dish.
- Follow Steps 1 through 7.
- Bake as directed in Step 8.
- Cool the cooked casserole completely.
- Cover the cooled casserole with a layer of foil and place it in the freezer, in the casserole dish.
- Once the casserole is completely frozen, pop it out of the casserole dish and wrap it tightly in a second layer of foil.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
Defrost overnight, remove from the foil, and pop it back into its original casserole dish. Reheat at 375°F for about 30 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly.
Refrigerating Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini
Refrigerate leftovers tightly covered for 3 to 5 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave, or reheat in the oven at 375°F for about 30 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly.
5 More Ways to Use Leftover Turkey
- Turkey Black Bean Quinoa Bake
- Sweet Potato, Mushroom, Leftover Turkey Casserole
- Cajun Turkey Pot Pie
- Mom's Turkey Soup
- Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas
12 ounces mushrooms,sliced (about 4 to 5 cups)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
12 ounces egg noodles, spaghetti, linguini or other pasta
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy 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 grated parmesan, divided
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Ground nutmeg (optional)
1/3 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (or panko)
Freshly chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven and boil the water:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Start boiling 2 to 3 quarts of water for the pasta. Add 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart of water.
Sauté the mushrooms:
Cook the mushrooms in 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat, stirring, until all of the liquid the mushrooms give off has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.
Make a roux:
In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the flour and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes.
Boil the pasta:
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.
Make the sauce:
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.
Assemble the casserole:
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.
Make the 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.
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.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 32g||41%|
|Saturated Fat 17g||86%|
|Total Carbohydrate 35g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||14%|
|Total Sugars 7g|
|Vitamin C 7mg||35%|
|*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.|