This Easy Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini is the tastiest way to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers. Both kids and adults love this pasta casserole that’s topped with a parmesan-bread crumb crust and baked until bubbly.
It’s officially November. Halloween has passed us by and it’s time to start focusing on the next big holiday. My favorite holiday – Thanksgiving! It’s turkey time!The decorations in our house are already making the transition – Instead of vases of white tulips, I’ve got bowls of cranberries and red pears set out on the tables. The “beach” scented candles made way for the spiced cider scents. I’ve also found myself obsessing over copper everything…
Last weekend we had a “pretend” Thanksgiving. Even though it’s still a few weeks away, there’s this thing I call the “food blogger schedule” – You have to celebrate everything about a month in advance, so that you can get your posts out in time for the actual holidays… This year it worked out really well for us because we’re going to be out of town for Thanksgiving – Spending it in the warm tropics of the Big Island, Hawaii.
So last weekend was the full meal deal – Turkey, stuffing, glazed carrots, sour cream mashed potatoes, and even a pumpkin pie. We did it up. We even drank the extra special bottle of Pinot Noir just to make it feel really official. And then came the leftovers…
Some may call me crazy, but I’m not the type of person who can just eat Thanksgiving dinner on repeat day after day – I need to twist things up. I’ll make a turkey sandwich with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and lettuce. Then, I’ll try a warm sandwich with horseradish mustard and cheddar cheese … But my favorite dish to make with leftover turkey is Turkey Tetrazzini.
This Easy Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini comes together in a flash, with simple ingredients that you may already have on hand – Half a box of pasta (I used rotini, but you can use any type), frozen peas, bread crumbs, sour cream, parmesan cheese, and a good splash of white wine – You may even have some wine leftover from Thanksgiving dinner, but if you’re anything like me… Probably not. I always keep dry vermouth on hand to swap in recipes calling for white wine. It keeps indefinitely in your cupboard, so it’s easy to always have around, plus it’s only about $8 a bottle.
Turkey Tetrazzini is an old school recipe – A classic casserole that lots of grandmas tend to make. It’s stood the test of time, and for good reason. It’s easy to make, the ingredients are affordable, and everyone (both kids and adults) loves it! I like it because it gives that Thanksgiving turkey a whole new purpose – When you just can’t bear to eat it anymore, but there’s still so much leftover!
What’s your favorite way to eat up leftover turkey? On a sandwich, in soup, or a casserole…? I’d love to hear more ideas in the comments below!
Easy Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini
- 1/2 pound rotini pasta
- 2-3 cups cubed leftover turkey
- 4 Tbsp . butter (divided)
- 1 shallot (minced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 Tbsp . flour
- 1 cup dry white wine or vermouth
- 2 cups bone broth (or chicken or turkey stock)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Freshly grated nutmeg (to taste)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves (chopped)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until just short of al dente, according to package directions.
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Once foaming subsides, add the shallots and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour into the skillet and cook for 1 minute longer. Pour in the wine, and let evaporate for 1 minute, then add the stock. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and stir in sour cream, frozen peas, turkey and cooked pasta. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper and pour into a casserole dish.
- Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and parsley in a small bowl and sprinkle over the casserole. Dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Bake for 25 minutes until hot and bubbly.
PS – Don’t forget to save those turkey bones and vegetable scraps to make this Slow Cooker Bone Broth.
Wine Pairings for Turkey Tetrazzini:
- Try a Chardonnay with this Turkey Tetrazzini. Its rich texture will stand up to this creamy pasta dish, while its minerality and citrus notes pair nicely with the turkey.
18 thoughts on “Easy Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini”
I’m usually one to send leftovers home with guests or freeze it all—I just hate throwing away food, especially food that people worked *so* hard on. But this dish looks like a great way to make those leftovers disappear!
Definitely Catherine! You could also freeze that turkey and then make this recipe a couple weeks later if you’re really on turkey overload!
I love Thanksgiving leftovers! And what a great tip to use dry vermouth in place of wine in recipes (because who has leftover wine after Thanksgiving?? 😉 This looks delicious!
Thanks Marlynn – I love to have vermouth on hand for recipes. I love how easy it is to swap it out (and cheaper too!).
Hawaii for Thanksgiving?!?! Lucky you! We’re likely not going to be around for Thanksgiving either, and we always host it. I’m secretly sad that we’re not hosting and therefore won’t have the best part of Thanksgiving (the leftovers!!!). Though we are also having an early Thanksgiving with my mom this year, only because I just can’t get it out of my head that we won’t be here and making our usual 2 smoked turkeys and all the fixins 😉
And this sounds really good btw, not only for T-day leftovers, but really any kind of poultry leftovers. Yum!
Oohhh – Smoked turkeys – Of course you would make those. And, of course, I’m sure they’re AMAZING!!!
Usually leftover turkey gets thrown into sandwiches for a hike to burn off the calories during the weekend, but truthfully I would always prefer it chopped and put into a comforting casserole like this. Definitely pinning this in case there is an opportunity to take some leftover turkey home with me since I’m never the one making the turkey just contributing sides.
I hope you get the chance to try it out Pech – Have a great Thanksgiving!
Sounds super good! I might have to try it this year. Thanks for a great new (old) idea!
Thank you Becky.
Yessss! Already stocking up on post-Thanksgiving recipes, and this is one of the best so far. No one will even know they’re eating leftovers! So good!
Thanks Karly – It’s a great way to transform those leftovers that everyone seems to tire of so fast!
I really like the spiced scents and copper accents at this time of year, too. Turning leftovers into new meals is a must for my family as well. Thanks for sharing this tasty comfort meal idea. Looks yummy. Enjoy your trip to Hawaii!
Of course Tami! Thank you!!!
You will be in Hawaii? I am so jealous! I love that you had an early Thanksgiving to get all your blog posts out. I plan to do the same. I loved this dish growing up and I can’t wait to make it again for my family! Looks yummy!
Thanks so much Karen! The life of a blogger is kind of funny at times, isn’t it?
Lucky you, probably in Hawaii as I type! I actually love destination Thanksgiving; before our kids came my husband and I spent one year in Yosemite and one year in Virginia Beach. Both beautiful. As for my fave ways to serve up leftover turkey, my two faves are turkey salad sandwiches and turkey ‘n dumplings. This recipe sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to add it to the rotation! Have a great time on your trip!
Thanks Amy – I am in Hawaii as we speak and it’s so peaceful here! Your turkey and dumplings sound fantastic!!! What a great use for leftover turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!