Turkey Tetrazzini

The countdown to Thanksgiving is officially on! That means that my kitchen is going to be a hot mess of pies, cranberry sauce, stuffing, peeled potatoes, and roasted butternut squash today as I prep as much as possible before dinner tomorrow. I’ll be happy when I can kick back, fill my plate with a little bit of everything, and stuff my belly. It seems that no matter how much we manage to eat on Thanksgiving day, there is always an infinite amount of leftovers. The good news is, Thanksgiving leftovers take very well to reheating, making them easy to eat again and again. The bad news? There are only so many turkey sandwiches one can eat. It gets boring, fast. Luckily, we’re not relegated to turkey sandwich prison; you can repurpose that turkey in a ton of different ways. Previously, I’ve made my grandma’s famous Thanksgiving leftovers casserole, a turkey-rice soup and turkey pot pie. Those are all fabulous, but I have to say, I think turkey tetrazzini definitely takes the cake.

I really can’t resist any type of baked noodle dish, be it baked ziti, macaroni and cheese, or something like tetrazzini.

I also can’t help myself when it comes to picking the crunchy, bread crumb and cheese-coated noodles off of the top layer. Shhh, if anyone asks, it wasn’t me!

I won’t lie. I ate this tetrazzini for lunch and dinner multiple days in a row after making it. That’s sort of a big deal for me, as I tend to accumulate leftovers without finishing them off. Ask my Chief Culinary Consultant about the sheer number of take out and Tupperware containers that threaten to take over a refrigerator. It’s downright scary. Not this time, though. This time I finished every last morsel and was seriously bummed when I realized it was gone. I secretly didn’t even want to share it. Between the noodles, the creamy sauce, mushrooms, turkey and peas, it was baked perfection.

This is a total no-brainer when it comes to using up some of that leftover turkey, plus, don’t throw away that almost-empty bottle of wine! You can use it in this, too!

What’s your favorite way to use up leftover turkey?

One year ago: Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Two years ago: Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole

Turkey Tetrazzini

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

A fabulous turkey noodle casserole recipe - a great way to use up any leftover turkey!


12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
11 tablespoons (5½ ounces) unsalted butter, divided
¼ cup all-purpose flour
12 ounces egg noodles
1½ cups whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream
2 cups turkey stock (can substitute chicken stock/broth)
¼ cup white wine (can substitute stock or broth)
3 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 cup frozen peas
6 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about ¾ cup shredded), divided
3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about ⅔ cup), divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup plain bread crumbs


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish; set aside. Fill a large pot with water and put it over high heat to boil.

2. In a large, 12-inch skillet with sides, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.

3. In the same skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking occasionally, until the flour is browned and has a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes.

4. While the flour cooks, add the noodles to the boiling water and cook to al dente. While the noodles are cooking, continue on with the recipe.

5. Slowly whisk the milk, cream, turkey stock and wine into the butter/flour mixture. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

6. Drain the pasta when it is finished, then add the cooked pasta, mushrooms, turkey and peas to the sauce in the skillet, tossing everything together until it is evenly coated. Add half of the Gruyere and half of the Parmesan cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

7. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons unsalted butter. In a small bowl, toss together the bread crumbs, remaining Gruyere, remaining Parmesan and the melted butter. Toss with a fork until the bread crumbs and Parmesan are evenly moistened. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the tetrazzini.

8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

(Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes)


24 Responses to “Turkey Tetrazzini”

  1. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on November 21, 2012 at 2:12 am

    I made turkey tetrazzini tonight for dinner! It’s one of our fave dinners 🙂


  2. little kitchie on November 21, 2012 at 5:29 am

    one of our favorite dinners as well! when we don’t have turkey leftovers, i make it with chicken. mmm i am craving some now! i also love doing turkey pot pies, or making turkey empanadas! hope you have a happy thanksgiving!


  3. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on November 21, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I’m going to have a ton of turkey leftovers, and this recipe will be great for Friday night dinner!! Thank you for the recipe!!


  4. Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks on November 21, 2012 at 8:47 am

    This looks awesome! I’m thinking I will have to roast a turkey for all these amazing leftover turkey recipes I’m seeing everywhere, and this one is at the top of my list!


  5. Barbara | Creative Culinary on November 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

    This is one of two favorites; it takes turkey to a whole new level; not something that tastes at all like a leftover.
    My other favorite? I can’t tell you how much I look forward to my favorite sandwich. Turkey, cranberry sauce, cream cheese, sprouts and sunflower seeds. It’s amazing; I seriously only make a turkey so I can make this sandwich the next day. Happy Thanksgiving!


  6. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on November 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    After seeing this, I’m almost *hoping* I get sent home with leftovers!!


  7. Paula on November 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    What a lovely dish! Makes me want to run out and buy a turkey just for the leftovers to have to make this.

    P.S. Happy Thanksgiving (we had ours last month here in Canada)


  8. annie on November 21, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving,Michelle. We’ve already done the turkey celebration in Canada, but I would do it all over again, it’s all so good.


  9. larry on November 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    You should think seriously of writing, you have a way with words, not just foods. I’m a single widower, and leftovers are a way of life, if you like to cook. My containers go to friends, but the turkey tetrazzini stayed home, thanks.


  10. Katie on November 25, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    This is in my oven now. Can’t wait!! Everyone is running late for dinner, if they are lucky I’ll still let them eat.


  11. Jenn on November 26, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I made this tonight with leftover smoked turkey from Thanksgiving and it was superb!! This one may have to go in my regular rotation with chicken as well. Thanks for such a great recipe!


  12. Jodi Pavlik on November 27, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I made this recipe last night, the entire family enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing!


  13. MJSharp on December 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    My husband and I both really liked this dish. Leftovers were excellent too. Will certainly make again, even for company!


  14. Nomes on March 18, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Was super excited to try this and was unfortunately dissapointed. Did not have as much flavour as I thought it would. Still quite nice.


  15. Gloria on March 19, 2013 at 11:02 am

    The directions forgot to tell you what to do with the mushrooms.I added them in step 6 . I substituted a shredded 4 cheese blend, as buying the other cheese was way too expesive. Used Becel instead of butter, more chicken broth for wine, and corn for peas. It was great! It was still good reheated in microwave next day. This is our new favorite for a cold winter supper in Canada.


    • Michelle on March 26th, 2013 at 12:08 am

      Hi Gloria, The directions actually do include the mushrooms; they are added in step #2. I’m glad you enjoyed the dish!


      • morri on September 3rd, 2013 at 5:17 pm

        Gloria is right, though. The recipe tells us to cook the mushrooms and set them aside, but it does not say what to do with them AFTERWARDS. Give your readers some credit, we’re smart people.
        (for the record: I added mushrooms to the pasta along with peas and chicken, then poured in the white sauce)


  16. Jen K on August 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Michelle!

    Turkey Tetrazzini was my favorite dish my mom would make. She didn’t make it often because it was so labor intensive. She gave me the recipe but I could never make it like her’s! She has now passed on (her name was Michelle too!), and I’m always looking for new tetrazzini recipes to try. So many online are NOTHING like her’s (chedder cheese? spaghetti noodles? OLIVES??). I can’t wait to try this one. Looks delicious!


  17. Krista Kreme on September 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I made this a couple weeks ago with my boyfriend. It turned out super delicious! We actually double the recipe for the bread crumb topping ;D Really recommend this recipe! Thanks for sharing!


  18. Stephanie @ The Good Stuff on April 2, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I’ve made this for the last 2 years after I make a turkey around Thanksgiving time and it’s definitely going to be something I make for years to come! It’s so tasty and a great way to utilize the meat and stock. I always bake half and freeze half as an 8×8 pan of this is plenty for us for a meal and lunch leftovers the next day. It’s so nice being able to pull out the other half for a later meal like I did tonight! It reheats really well from frozen. I just put it right into a 350-degree oven and let it bake for about an hour and a half covered with foil, then I remove the foil for about another 30 minutes so it’s all heated through and nice and crispy on top. Great freezer meal! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!


  19. Ellen on November 18, 2014 at 9:55 am

    This is a great recipe. I added raw chopped celery before baking. Love a little bit of crunch in noodle casseroles.


  20. Bruce Nelson on February 16, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Any suggestion on substitutions for the heavy cream? What little research I have done indicated Heavy cream is 38-40%. I can’t find anything over 35% (whipping cream).


    • Michelle on February 17th, 2016 at 9:03 pm

      Hi Bruce, You can use whipped cream, that would work just fine.


  21. Bruce Nelson on February 17, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Thank you. I have used it in other recipes – just not sure if it would work here.


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