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!
Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe
- 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 whipping 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 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.
6 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.
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 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.
Garnish individual servings with chopped parsley.
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