Turkey Tetrazzini is the quintessential creamy casserole for using up leftover turkey! With tender pasta, peas, mushrooms, and turkey baked in a cheesy, garlicky cream sauce with an irresistible crispy topping, this is comfort food at its finest.
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Why You’ll Love This Easy Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe
- Leftover Turkey, Upgraded. Don’t get me wrong—I adore a good leftover turkey recipe (especially this Apple Grilled Cheese with Turkey and Turkey Salad)—but sometimes it’s nice to change it up. This turkey tetrazzini turns your leftovers into a proper meal. (Looking for more ways to use your extra Thanksgiving Turkey? Check out this collection of Leftover Turkey recipes!)
- Feeds a Crowd. Sometimes your Thanksgiving guests stay the whole weekend and you need some additional meal options. Even if you have only a small amount of leftover turkey, baked turkey tetrazzini will stretch your precious supply to feed a crowd. (Turkey Soup is another excellent “stretch” recipe.)
- From-Scratch Goodness. The original turkey tetrazzini recipe from Betty Crocker is made with cream of mushroom soup and is pretty bland. With the help of a few little culinary tricks—a splash of vinegar here, some sun-dried tomatoes there—this turkey tetrazzini ditches the canned soup with delectable results! (My Hash Brown Casserole is also made sans soup!)
5 Star Review
“This is so creamy and SO GOOD. We love it!”— Elaine —
How to Make Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole
- Turkey. See Dry Brine Turkey, Smoked Turkey, and Spatchcock Turkey for my favorite recipes. To make chicken tetrazzini instead, use one of my easy shredded chicken recipes: How to Cook Shredded Chicken, Instant Pot Chicken, Crock Pot Chicken.
- Pasta. I used whole wheat spaghetti noodles for an extra nutrition boost.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes. These little red beauties pack a big tomato flavor punch that’s incredibly tasty in this dish (and in Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta).
- Mushrooms. Mushrooms are a delicious and nutritious addition to our tetrazzini. They pair perfectly with the creamy sauce.
- Peas. Using frozen peas is one of my favorite healthy shortcuts.
- Sherry Vinegar. Gives the dish acidity and depth of flavor. It’s a classic in tetrazzini recipes!
- White Whole Wheat Flour. Helps thicken the tetrazzini sauce. If you don’t keep white whole wheat flour on hand, regular all purpose flour may also be used.
- Cream Cheese. The key to an ultra-luscious, creamy, and flavorful tetrazzini (and King Ranch Chicken). I used reduced-fat cream cheese to reduce calories and cholesterol (just don’t use fat-free).
- Worcestershire. For a touch of umami.
- Smoked Paprika. Adds a subtle smoky flavor.
- Greek Yogurt. Gives the tetrazzini body, helps make it creamy, and adds tanginess. If you don’t have Greek yogurt, low-fat sour cream would also work. (I also use Greek Yogurt in this holiday-worthy Broccoli Rice Casserole.)
- Cheese. This dish uses a mix of Parmesan and provolone, mozzarella, or Monterey Jack. The blend results in melty, dreamy, cheesy goodness.
- Panko. For the scrumptious crispy topping.
- Get Started. Cook the pasta and sauté the onion.
- Add the Mushrooms. Stir them into the onions, along with the garlic.
- Add the Vinegar. Stir it into the veggies.
- Bring to a Boil. Stir in the flour, then pour in the broth. Bring to a gentle boil.
- Finish the Sauce. Remove from the heat, then add the cream cheese, Worcestershire, and spices.
- Stir. Add the drained tomatoes, turkey, peas, and cheese; stir everything together.
- Add the Yogurt. Stir until the yogurt is incorporated.
- Add the Pasta. Make sure it’s well-coated with the sauce.
- Finish. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top with the Panko bread crumbs. Bake turkey tetrazzini at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Broil if desired. Let sit for a few minutes, then dig into that crunchy topping! ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze turkey tetrazzini in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Chop the onion and garlic up to 1 day in advance. Cook and shred the turkey (or chicken) up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate each ingredient in a separate airtight storage container.
What to Serve with Turkey Tetrazzini
- Bread. Because sometimes the only acceptable side dish for a carb-y comfort food casserole is more carbs. Try Homemade Dinner Rolls or Drop Biscuits.
- Salad. If you’d rather go the lighter route, try my Apple Walnut Salad or Arugula Salad.
- Veggie Sides. An easy vegetable side dish like Sautéed Green Beans or Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts is perfect.
- Thanksgiving Leftovers. Making your tetrazzini with leftover turkey? Might as well serve it with leftover Cranberry Orange Relish and Sweet Potato Souffle!
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Dish. Perfect for making this turkey tetrazzini.
- Dutch Oven. A kitchen staple that will last a lifetime.
- Spatula. I love using this heat-resistant spatula for everything.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Cook the Pasta to Almost Al Dente. Basically, you want the pasta to be a little bit under-cooked. It will absorb the liquid from the sauce while the turkey tetrazzini bakes in the oven, so if it’s cooked all the way, it will end up bloated and soggy by the end of the baking time.
- Make Sure the Flour Is Fully Cooked. It can be hard to tell visually since it will darken from the mushrooms’ juices, so be sure to stir it in well and cook for the full 2 minutes. If you rush this, the sauce will have an unpleasant raw flour taste.
- Add Broth If Needed. After adding the pasta, you want the sauce to look kind of soupy. If it’s too thick, you’ll end up with dry turkey tetrazzini, so add some extra broth until it reaches that soupy consistency.
Turkey Tetrazzini Video
- 16 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
- 1/3 cup dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 16 ounces cremini (baby bella) mushrooms sliced
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 3 to 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel) cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups cooked, shredded turkey (or chicken*)
- 10 ounces frozen green peas
- 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2/3 cup shredded Provolone and Mozzarella cheese, or Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs whole wheat if possible
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a deep 9×13 or similarly sized baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Break the pasta noodles in half. Cook in a large pot of salted water until it is just below al dente (it should not be completely crunchy but should still be too chewy to eat; the pasta will cook more in the oven). Drain and set aside
- Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside to rehydrate (if using oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, you can skip this step; simply drain them and pat off excess oil).
- In a Dutch oven or similar large, deep pot, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onion and sauté until softened and turning translucent, about 5 minutes; adjust the heat as needed so that the onion cooks but does not brown.
- Add the mushrooms and garlic, then increase to medium-high heat. Sauté until the mushrooms begin to soften and give up their liquid, about 5 minutes, stirring periodically.
- Stir in the sherry vinegar and let cook 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle the flour over the top, then stir to coat the mushrooms. Continue cooking and stirring periodically for 2 minutes. No white bits of white flour should remain.
- Slowly pour in 3 cups of the broth, stirring all the while to avoid any lumps. Bring to a gently boil and let cook, stirring fairly often, until the mixture is reduced by about 1/3, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add the cream cheese, Worcestershire, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cream cheese is mostly melted (some bits may remain, which is just fine).
- Drain and roughly chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Add to the pot with the turkey, peas, Provolone cheese, and Parmesan cheese.
- Stir until the cheese is melted, then stir in the Greek yogurt. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired.
- Add the cooked spaghetti and stir it to combine. If it looks very thick, add more broth as needed. It should look a little bit soupy, as some of the broth will cook off in the oven.
- Pour or scoop the spaghetti mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the Panko over the top. Bake the turkey tetrazzini for 25 minutes, or until the casserole is hot and bubbly. If you’d like to brown the topping further, pop the casserole under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes until it is done to your liking, watching carefully so that it does not burn. Remove from the oven and let rest a few minutes. Enjoy hot.
- *To quickly and easily prepare shredded chicken, see my stovetop method for How to Cook Shredded Chicken, Instant Pot Chicken, or Crock Pot Shredded Chicken.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Reheat leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze turkey tetrazzini in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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