Need some leftover turkey recipes? A classic pasta casserole of turkey tetrazzini recipe is just what you need to use up all that leftover turkey!
I made my first Thanksgiving dinner this past weekend and finally got to enjoy the task of finding ways to use up leftovers. I had a ton of ideas but knew I wanted to develop and test ideas for turkey tetrazzini.
This tetrazzini recipe is everything we love about the classic pasta casserole. It’s creamy, cheesy, and loaded with diced turkey and mushrooms.
If you’ve cycled through the Rolodex of leftover turkey recipes–sandwiches, salad, picking it from the pile straight from the fridge–and you’re ready for a super creamy, comforting pasta casserole, this recipe is for you.
Tetrazzini is a classic American dish; it’s a comforting casserole of pasta, cream, cheese, mushrooms, poultry or seafood, and breadcrumbs. My version adds diced pancetta and uses two different kinds of cheese: gruyère and parmesan.
How to make turkey tetrazzini:
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Pasta; I used linguine
- Mushrooms, shallot, pancetta, thyme, butter, and sweet vermouth for the base of the sauce
- Flour, butter, chicken stock, cream, gruyère, parmesan, nutmeg, and white pepper for the cream sauce
- Diced turkey, parsley, and frozen peas to finish the casserole
- Challah or brioche, butter, parsley, and parmesan for the breadcrumb topping
You can also use store-bought breadcrumbs if you don’t feel like fussing with making them yourself!
To make it, you’ll start by boiling up the pasta. Cook it just shy of al dente. It’ll spend about 20 minutes in the oven, so you’ll want it very slightly undercooked.
Next, make the sauce base. Fry the pancetta until crispy and add them to a bowl. Add the mushrooms to the rendered fat and cook until crisp. From there, add the shallot and cook until just softened. Add the pancetta to the pot, pour in that sweet vermouth, and let it cook down.
From there, take everything out of the pot and make a basic roux. Work in the stock, cream, and cheese. To finish it up, add in the turkey, peas, and fresh parsley and toss them together with the sauce.
You’ll want to make the breadcrumbs while the casserole bakes for the first 10 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, add the breadcrumbs on top and bake for 10 minutes. I like to finish with a quick broil, personally.
The result? An ultra-creamy, rich, pasta dish that’s going to have everyone going back for seconds.
Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe
- Large pot
- 13''x9'' baking dish
- Small skillet
- Food processor
- 12 ounces dry linguine
- 4 ounces pancetta diced
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 2 shallots peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dry
- ¼ cup sweet vermouth or sherry
- 6 tablespoons butter divided, plus more for greasing
- ⅓ cup flour
- 2½ cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream or whole milk
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of white pepper
- ⅓ cup grated gruyère
- ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano divided
- 3 cups cooked turkey diced
- ½ cup fresh parsley minced, divided
- 10 ounces frozen peas
- 5 ounces challah bread ⅓ of a 1-pound loaf, cut into cubes
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the linguine:
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Grease a 13″x9″ baking dish with butter. Set it aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add salt and the linguine. Cook until 1–2 minutes under al dente. Reserve ¼ cup pasta cooking water before draining the pasta.
As you wait for the water to boil, prepare the sauce base:
- Place the pancetta into a wide pot. Turn the heat to medium. Cook, occasionally turning, for 5–6 minutes until the fat renders and the pancetta is crispy. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add the mushrooms to the pancetta fat and cook for 8–10 minutes. Add the shallots and cook an additional 5 minutes. Season all over with salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh thyme and toss to coat. Cook for 1 minute.
- Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the pancetta back to the pot. Once everything in the pot begins to sizzle, pour in the sweet vermouth and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes until reduced by half. Transfer to a bowl.
Prepare the roux:
- Melt 4 tablespoons of butter into the pot. Once bubbling and frothy, add the flour. Cook for 1–2 minutes, stirring the flour into the butter, until fragrant and golden.
- Add the chicken stock in ½-cup increments, whisking after each addition to form a slurry. Continue adding the stock in increments until completely incorporated and smooth.
Finish the sauce:
- Pour in half the cream and whisk it into the mixture. Add the remaining half and whisk until smooth. Supplement with more water or milk if you like a looser sauce. Season with salt, nutmeg, and white pepper.
- Add the grated gruyère and ⅓ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano and stir until completely melted into the sauce.
- Fold in the bowl of mushrooms, the diced turkey, ½ cup minced parsley, and the frozen peas, and cook until the peas are warm. Taste and season once more to your preferences.
Prepare the tetrazzini:
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat for 1 minute, adding the pasta cooking water only if needed. Turn off the heat.
- Pour the pasta and sauce into the prepared baking dish.
- Transfer to the oven for 10 minutes.
Make the breadcrumbs:
- As the tetrazzini bakes, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet. Add the challah cubes and cook in the butter until golden brown, about 3–5 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer to a food processor. Pulse until blended into a fine meal. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a bowl.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano and the remaining ½ cup minced parsley to the breadcrumbs. Season with a pinch of salt.
Finish the tetrazzini:
- Remove the tetrazzini from the oven and cover it with breadcrumbs. Transfer back to the oven for an additional 10–15 minutes.
- Once the tetrazzini is bubbly, and the breadcrumbs are browned, remove them from the oven. At this point, you can broil the top for 1–2 minutes if you like. Otherwise, let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
- Spoon the tetrazzini into shallow bowls. Garnish with more fresh parsley if you like. Enjoy!