Turkey Tetrazzini, a creamy casserole perfect for using that leftover Thanksgiving turkey ~ pasta baked in homemade cream sauce, with mushrooms, peas, Parmesan and diced turkey or chicken.
Every year I say I’m going to make turkey tetrazinni with the leftover Thanksgiving Day turkey, and every year I make turkey noodle soup instead. This year, I’m doing it! I know I’ll have leftover white turkey meat and I’m pretty sure the kids will love this. I know Meathead does.
So, a little backstory here. My husband and his best bud went on a canoe trip up in the Boundary Waters, years ago when we lived in Minnesota. Apparently, the guy packing them out apologized for running out of chicken, and that he had to make turkey tetrazzini instead, he hoped they didn’t mind.
This set off a joke that dominated their entire rugged canoe trip and to this day, they STILL bring it up and start laughing, swearing, snorting and practically crying ~ they just plain get obnoxious about it. So weird, like I say about Meathead all the time.
Turkey tetrazzini (or “turkey tet” as Meathead and Murphy call it) is a creamy casserole made with diced turkey or chicken, pasta, mushrooms and peas. Anything creamy, especially with mushrooms and peas, my husband will be the first at the table. This version of tetrazzini is pretty classic and delicious, it’s also easy but not quite as easy as opening a can of cream of whatever soup.
The cream sauce is homemade and so worth the time, very easy and you can make this casserole in an hour, start to finish. The better the ingredients, the better the finished dish, just sayin’ ~ Kelly
Here’s how to make homemade turkey stock, essential for Thanksgiving and what I use in this recipe. And this is how I made turkey breast in the Instant Pot this year, so very good for a smaller group of turkey eaters. I always have some Instant Pot chicken stock in the freezer, too!
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 12 ounces white button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups turkey stock, very hot, preferably homemade (or chicken broth)
- 1 cup whipping cream, very hot
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled to release flavor
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan, plus more to sprinkle on top
- 3 cups cooked, skinless turkey, cut into bite-size pieces (or chicken)
- 12 ounces spaghetti, linguine or egg noodles, cooked, drained
- Heat oven to 375º. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and set aside.
- In large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms, wine and a sprinkle of salt; cook and stir until softened. Add peas, stir and cook a couple more minutes. Set aside.
- In large saucepan, melt 3 remaining tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir and cook for about 3 minutes. Whisk in about ½ cup hot broth until thick and smooth. Add remaining hot stock and hot whipping cream. Simmer until thick and smooth, about 10 minutes. Add seasonings and Parmesan cheese, whisk until smooth and cheese has melted, taste for salt and pepper.
- Mix in the diced turkey, reserved mushrooms and peas mixture, and cooked pasta noodles. Combine well and pour into prepared casserole, top with a handful of shredded Parmesan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling around the edges.
- Can substitute chicken for turkey, then you have chicken tetrazzini!
- Try dry sherry instead of white wine, classic flavor combination with mushrooms and cream sauces.
- Tarragon is another good herb to toss in, same amount as thyme.
- No need to clean mushrooms under running water, just clean off any dirt with a paper towel. Mushrooms release a ton of liquid, don't add more to the party.