Creamy Baked Turkey Tetrazzini is one of my best leftover turkey recipes! This simple, classic pasta bake is made with tender cooked spaghetti and turkey tossed in a homemade mushroom cream sauce, then baked beneath a layer of crunchy panko and parmesan. It’s the perfect lazy, post-holiday meal to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers.
Easy Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini with Mushrooms
I don’t know about you, friends, but once Thanksgiving has come and gone, I don’t even want to look at my oven for at least a week. And that’s saying something, for me!
This is why I opt to get all my post-holiday cooking done at once, while there’s still leftover turkey in the fridge. I bake it all up into this easy, one-shot, garlicky turkey tetrazzini recipe to tide us over for the next few days. Dinner? Turkey tetrazzini. Quick lunch? Tetrazzini!
This easy pasta bake is so flavorful, we never get tired of it. I love how the tender turkey, savory mushrooms, and creamy sauce tie together perfectly. Heck, sometimes I’ll even prepare two casseroles, and freeze one for a later day.
If you’re wondering what to do with a bucketload of leftover roast turkey, you’re going to love this delicious and creamy turkey tetrazzini!
What You’ll Need
So, what is tetrazzini sauce made of? Let’s have a quick look at the ingredients you’ll need, and don’t forget to check the recipe card for the full amounts:
- Spaghetti: You’ll need about a pound of dry spaghetti pasta to make this baked turkey tetrazzini. Other long pasta, like fettuccine or linguine, are also good options.
- Butter and Olive Oil: You’ll use both throughout the recipe for cooking and flavoring.
- Garlic: Freshly minced garlic or bust, friends!
- Baby Bella Mushrooms: Just about any white or brown mushrooms will work, but I find these baby mushrooms to be a perfect size for easy slicing.
- Chicken Broth: I like to use a low-sodium broth or stock so that the recipe doesn’t come out overly salty. Vegetable broth is the next best choice.
- Flour: Just regular all-purpose flour, for thickening the mushroom sauce.
- Heavy Cream: Full-fat cream will yield the creamiest tetrazzini sauce. However, you can use half-and-half or 2% milk if you prefer it lighter.
- Leftover Turkey: Gather up that leftover cooked turkey from the fridge, and chop it into bite-sized chunks.
- Mozzarella Cheese: I melt shredded mozzarella into the cream sauce for next-level ooey-gooey, melty creaminess. (Is it me? Am I the drama?)
- Frozen Peas: Totally optional. Green peas add a nice pop of color and I happen to love them! Feel free to omit if you’d prefer.
- Panko Bread Crumbs: Panko crumbs are the lighter, flakier cousins of regular breadcrumbs. They make the best topping for baked pasta recipes!
- Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated, to combine with the panko for extra flavor.
- Salt and Pepper
How Long Is Leftover Turkey Good For?
Stored airtight, leftover Thanksgiving turkey will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator. This leaves ample time to turn it into something delicious, like this turkey tetrazzini. For longer-term storage, you can also freeze leftover turkey for up to 3 months.
How to Make Baked Turkey Tetrazzini
While the oven preheats, get your spaghetti cooked al dente according to the directions on the package. Set aside the pasta, along with a greased baking dish, and then get started on the cream sauce:
- Make the Mushroom Sauce: Saute the garlic in a Dutch oven with butter and olive oil, then add the mushrooms and a half cup of chicken broth. After a few minutes, add the rest of the butter and additional olive oil, and then whisk in the flour. Finally, pour in the remaining broth along with heavy cream. Toss in a pinch of salt and pepper, then simmer to thicken.
- Add Turkey: Next, stir the chopped turkey, shredded mozzarella, and green peas into the sauce.
- Add Spaghetti: Next, toss the spaghetti in the cream sauce to coat. Transfer the spaghetti and sauce to the baking dish and then mix up the topping.
- Make the Topping: In a separate bowl, whisk together the panko, parmesan, and the last of the olive oil. Spread the topping evenly over the top of the spaghetti in the pan.
- Bake: Finally, bake the tetrazzini at 350ºF until the top is crisp and golden, between 22 to 25 minutes. Be sure to let the casserole rest on the counter for 10 minutes or so, before serving.
Tips and Variations
Here are even more ways to make the most out of this easy turkey tetrazzini recipe:
- Extra Cheese: For even more cheesiness, stir a blend of cheeses into the sauce. Mix mozzarella with other melty varieties like, grated cheddar or provolone.
- Add Herbs: Bring additional flavor to your tetrazzini with fresh or dried herbs, like parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, and/or rosemary.
- Add Veggies: Why stop at frozen peas? Add extra veggies to your pasta bake, such as diced zucchini, carrots, or even cherry tomatoes. It’s also another great excuse to use up more Thanksgiving leftovers, like Honey Roasted Butternut Squash or Easy Roasted Green Beans.
- Chicken Tetrazzini: This recipe is a wonderful way to use up leftover holiday turkey. However, it’s just as good when I make it with chopped cooked chicken, too! You can also swap out turkey or chicken for diced holiday ham instead.
- Add Bacon: Smokey, crispy cooked bacon is great to add to the mushroom sauce or sprinkle overtop once the tetrazzini is baked.
A cozy baked turkey tetrazzini goes with so many meal ideas! We love serving ours with a side of crusty No-Knead Skillet Bread and a fresh fall salad. You should try my Apple Bacon Salad with Homemade Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette. 👌 Tetrazzini makes a satisfying lunch or light dinner on the days after a huge holiday meal.
Serve this turkey tetrazzini with one or more of these easy side dishes:
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
- This baked turkey tetrazzini can be stored airtight in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- Reheat portions in the oven at 350ºF, or in the microwave until warmed through.
Can I Freeze Turkey Tetrazzini?
- Yes! To extend the life of your leftovers even longer, this tetrazzini can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap the casserole tightly in plastic wrap, with an extra layer of aluminum foil, or store it airtight in a freezer-safe container.
- Defrost the turkey tetrazzini overnight in the fridge, then reheat in the oven or in the microwave (if reheating smaller portions).
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Cook spaghetti according to the directions on the package. Drain.
Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch Oven set over medium heat.
Stir in the garlic and cook for about 15 seconds, or until fragrant.
Add in the mushrooms and ½ cup chicken broth; cook for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.
Add remaining butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet, and whisk in the flour.
Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Slowly add in remaining chicken broth and heavy cream; whisk until completely smooth.
Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer; cook for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
Stir in the chopped turkey, mozzarella cheese, and peas.
Add the cooked spaghetti and toss until well combined.
Transfer the mixture to previously prepared baking dish. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine the panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, and remaining olive oil.
Sprinkle the panko mixture over the top of the baking dish.
Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until golden on top.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
- Pasta: I use spaghetti to make Tetrazzini, but you can use any kind of noodles that you like, or have on hand.
- Turkey: This is a great recipe for Thanksgiving turkey leftovers, but don’t stop there! You can always use leftover chicken or even chopped up seafood.
- Cheese: Mozzarella is my go-to for turkey tetrazzini, but you can mix it up with a bit of shredded cheddar and provolone.
Calories: 872 kcal | Carbohydrates: 47 g | Protein: 15 g | Fat: 70 g | Saturated Fat: 25 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28 g | Trans Fat: 0.2 g | Cholesterol: 98 mg | Sodium: 273 mg | Potassium: 424 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 720 IU | Vitamin C: 6 mg | Calcium: 149 mg | Iron: 2 mg | Net Carbs: 44 g
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.