This Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole is an excellent recipe for using up leftover turkey. This classic comfort food pasta bake is hearty and full of noodles, mushrooms, peas and turkey all coated in a rich and creamy cheese sauce and topped with a crispy, buttery breadcrumb topping. Everything is baked in the oven until it’s golden and bubbly for a dinner that is hearty enough to satisfy everyone!
Classic Turkey Tetrazzini
What better way to kick off comfort season (fall is coming you guys!) than with a classic recipe that checks all the boxes of what pure comfort food should be.
- Carb city!
I’m especially fond of the carb city factor myself! There’s just something purely satisfying about a plate full of creamy pasta that fills your belly and fills your soul. If you’re in the mood for comfort food, it’s your lucky day because we have got tons of options! Never would I turndown a plate of Chicken Fried Steak and creamy Mashed Potatoes or a bowl of delicious One Pot Creamy Chicken and Noodles. My favorite comfort food though, is my grandma’s Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes. Oh man if that doesn’t take me right back to my five year old self.
Just say no to canned condensed cream soup!
I strive to use fresh ingredients in all of my recipes, or to make things from scratch. It’s just better for you!. While occasional we may call on a canned favorite, those instances are limited. When it comes to condensed cream soup they are actually incredibly easy to make yourself and they are going to be healthier and contain a lot less sodium. Plus it just tastes better to make it from scratch!
All that you need is to make a roux (a cooked mixture of butter and flour), milk and chicken broth. As it simmers, it thickens and becomes the soup you’d have from the can, only much, much tastier and better for you.
How to Make Turkey Tetrazzini
This is not a 30 minute meal, but it’s a truly delicious one that may look complicated but it really isn’t. While I do use turkey for this dish because who doesn’t have turkey leftovers around the holidays, you can easily swap that our for some rotisserie chicken.
- Start by gathering up all of the ingredients and having them ready to go on your counter. This is the way I start every recipe as it really saves time to have everything ready to go.
- Cook the pasta to just before al dente. It will cook a little more in the oven so you don’t want to overdo it with the boiling. I used spaghetti but you really could use any kind of past that you have on hand. Linguine or rotini also work really nice. Drain the water from the pasta and set it aside until ready to use.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Melt butter and cook onions and mushrooms, then mix with flour to form a roux. Add chicken broth and simmer until the mixture is thickened. This doesn’t take long but is a necessary step and the base for your sauce.
- Remove the sauce from heat and stir in some sour cream and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Then stir in cooked pasta, shredded turkey, peas and olives. Sidenote, I know olives may sound like a strange addition, but they add a nice salty bite to the dish. You can leave them out if you’re not a fan.
- Pour the entire mixture into a large casserole dish and cover with shredded Mozzarella cheese and buttered breadcrumbs.
- Bake until breadcrumbs are golden and sauce is bubbly. Serve Turkey Tetrazzini hot and garnished with fresh minced parsley.
What to do with leftovers
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. This recipe reheats nicely, so you can have lunches ready to go or make another meal out of it.
Can I make Turkey Tetrazzini ahead of time?
Thinking of making an extra casserole to freeze for later? This dish works really well as a make ahead casserole. Great for always having dinner on hand or for sending with a friend in need.
- Make and cook within 24 hours: Make the casserole as instructed and cover with foil. Pop the casserole in the fridge up to a day in advance and cook as instructed when really. Let sit out for 20 minutes to take the chill off.
- To freeze the whole casserole, make as directed and use a casserole dish that you won’t mind keepin in the freezer for a while. Make the recipe but do not bake it. Cover the dish with tightly with a few layers of plastic wrap and foil to avoid freezer burn. To bake, thaw in the fridge overnight and bake according to recipe instructions.
More comfort food recipes to try:
- Dad’s Classic Meatloaf
- Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
- Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
- Homemade Chicken Soup
- Crock Pot Roast
- Creamy One Pot Parmesan Chicken and Rice
- 12 ounces uncooked spaghetti about 2/3 of a package broken in half
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup minced yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic 4 cloves
- ½ pound white mushrooms sliced
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups turkey or chicken broth + a little more if sauce is too thick
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cups shredded leftover turkey
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 4- ounce can of diced olives
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese divided
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- Fresh parsley for garnish if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling, salted water to just al dente (should still have a good “bite” to it). Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium low heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until tender; another 3-4 minutes.
- Sprinkle flour over the onions and mushrooms and whisk together until coated. Cook until golden; 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and whisk together until smooth. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking until the mixture thickens; 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. **If sauce seems too thick, add a little milk or broth.
- Stir in sour cream, 1 1/2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese until cheese is melted, then stir in the cooked spaghetti, turkey, peas and olives.
- Pour the casserole into an 11x7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of Mozzarella on top of the spaghetti.
- Mix together breadcrumbs with 3 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle evenly over the casserole.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with fresh minced parsley.