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Published November 20, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This incredibly easy-to-make, full-flavored turkey tetrazzini recipe is perfect for your family and friends after the holidays. You will love this easy recipe to use leftover turkey.
I’m a huge fan of holiday leftovers. There’s nothing like a simple turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving. Using all these cooked chunks of meat can get mundane with the same old recipes. Change some things this year and try my Ham and Bean Soup or Red Beans and Rice.
Pronounced teh-trah-ZEE-nee, Turkey tetrazzini is an adaptation of chicken tetrazzini, which is said to have been named after the famous opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini. This simple recipe combines pasta with chicken or turkey with a sherry-parmesan cheese cream sauce. It is commonly sprinkled with parmesan or breadcrumbs before baking until golden brown and bubbles.
Turkey seemed to have popularized this dish as a household casserole recipe in the early to mid-20th century. It has become a go-to meal for leftover turkey after Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Turkey – Whether you use ground turkey or leftover smoked turkey from Thanksgiving, you can use whatever you have on hand.
- Mushrooms – I like combining cremini, baby bellas, and buttons, but all mushrooms are acceptable.
- Peas – I use frozen peas, but drained canned will work, or if you can get fresh peas, even better.
- Cream – Heavy or regular whipping cream is perfect, or you can use half and half for less fat.
- Chicken Stock – Use a good chicken stock that is homemade or from a box. You can use bouillon, but be careful so it isn’t overly salty.
- Pasta – Spaghetti is the classic pasta used, but feel free to use linguine, fettuccine, or egg noodles.
- Breadcrumbs – I prefer regular breadcrumbs, but you can use panko.
- Parmesan Cheese – Either finely grated or shreds are perfect for this.
How to Make Turkey Tetrazzini
- Brown some onions, sliced button, and/or cremini mushrooms in a large frying pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat while occasionally stirring, which takes about 8-10 minutes.
- Next, stir in the garlic and cook for 20 to 30 seconds before sprinkling in some flour and mixing it with a spoon to make a roux until combined with the cooked vegetables.
- Deglaze with sherry wine or a dry white wine. It will almost immediately absorb into the cooked veggies.
- Stir in the chicken stock and boil to help activate the roux and thicken the mixture.
- Once thickened, stir in the heavy cream until completely mixed in.
- Add the chicken, salt, pepper, and cheese, and stir to combine everything. Set aside and keep warm.
- In the meantime, add your pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until al dente or the time has been reached based on the package instructions.
- Drain the pasta, add it to the pan with the creamed mushroom mixture, and add the peas. Mix thoroughly to combine.
- Sprinkle on breadcrumbs and extra parmesan cheese and bake in the oven at 375° for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: This is meant to be eaten immediately, but you can keep it warm and covered with foil in an oven at very low temperatures (200°) for about 1 hour before serving.
How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can freeze this covered for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
How to Reheat: Add the desired amount to a small pot or baking dish. Cover with foil or a lid and bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until warm. You may also heat in the microwave in or on a microwave-safe dish until warm.
chef notes + tips
- I am adding some dry or fresh herbs such as sage, thyme, oregano, or rosemary to this recipe to enhance the flavor further.
- Feel free to add other cheeses like mozzarella, fontina, or Asiago.
- This recipe will fit snugly in a 13×9 casserole dish.
- While classically made with spaghetti, you can absolutely use whatever pasta you’d like, such as linguine, fettuccini, egg noodles, or even homemade pasta. If using homemade, they will cook in boiling water for only 2 minutes.
- All varieties of mushrooms will work in this recipe.
More Poultry Recipes
Easy Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 peeled and small diced yellow onion
- 2 cups sliced button mushrooms
- 2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 2 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sherry
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 5 to 6 cups large diced cooked turkey
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pound spaghetti, linguine, fettuccini, or egg noodles
- 1 cup peas
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- In a large frying pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat add in the butter.
- Once the butter is melted place in the onions and mushrooms and cook for 8-10 minutes while occasionally stirring until browned and tender. All the moisture from the mushrooms will secrete and then go back in.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 20 to 30 seconds and then sprinkle in the flour and mix until completely mixed in.
- Next, deglaze with the sherry wine which will immediately absorb into the mushrooms and onions.
- Pour in the chicken stock and stir to mix. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling it should be very thick and at this point pour in the cream to and mix to form a creamed mushroom sauce.
- Add in the turkey, ½ cup of parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Set aside and keep warm.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water add in the pasta and cook until al dente or according to the instructions on the package.
- Drain the noodles and add them to the pan with the creamed mushrooms along with the peas and gently thoroughly mix all the ingredients.
- At this point you can leave in the pan or transfer to a 13×9 casserole dish.
- Sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs and remaining ½ cup of parmesan cheese over the top.
- Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until lightly browned on top and bubbling. Sprinkle on optional chopped fresh parsley.