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 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?
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.