This quick and easy Turkey Tetrazzini is full of tender turkey meat & chopped vegetables in a perfectly rich & creamy sauce that is baked with pasta and melty cheese on top! A great use for all that leftover Thanksgiving turkey!
Easy Turkey Tetrazzini
Every year, on the days leading up to Thanksgiving Day, we make sure that we purchase a very large bird to make sure that we will have plenty of leftovers! Whether you are ready to make use of those leftovers right away or you choose to freeze your turkey meat and use it later, we guarantee that this is a great way to breathe new life into those juicy turkey chunks of goodness. The whole family is going to love this easy comfort food that is made from scratch with real, simple ingredients.
If you are looking for more delicious ways to use up your turkey leftovers, you definitely need to checkout our complete list of the Best Turkey Leftover Recipes!
What You Will Need
- butter – a little in the pan to help sauté the fresh veggies.
- garlic & onion – the perfect way to get the flavor party started!
- fresh mushrooms, carrots, & celery – we love this simple combination of classic vegetables but you could also toss in some frozen peas, chopped sweet bell pepper, or any that you have on hand.
- flour – this is the thickening agent used to thicken up your sauce.
- chicken broth – feel free to grab your favorite from the local grocery store or make our homemade version for even more flavor! Turkey broth would also work!
- unsweetened almond milk & cream cheese – these bring all that creamy goodness. Option to use a dairy-free cream cheese.
- parmesan cheese & mozzarella cheese – the more cheese the better! Which can also be substituted for dairy-free cheese, if you prefer.
- garlic powder, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, & ground pepper – a simple seasoning mixture that brings so much great flavor!
- lemon juice – a splash of acidity always helps to lighten & brighten the flavor profile.
- spaghetti noodles – we love classic spaghetti noodles but you can use any of your favorite pasta noodles, including gluten-free options.
- cooked turkey – no matter if you roast, grill, smoke, or deep-fry your turkey, make sure you have plenty for leftovers. You could also use cooked chicken in this recipe!
How To Make Turkey Tetrazzini
First, you can begin making this classic turkey tetrazzini by melting the butter in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, you can add the onion and garlic to sauté for a few minutes. Then add the fresh vegetables and mushrooms.
After your aromatics and vegetables have cooked down a bit you can add the flour. Mix completely and then gradually pour in the chicken broth and almond milk, while consistently mixing the whole time. Next, you can add the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, & mozzarella cheese to melt.
Now you can mix in the cooked turkey chunks, seasonings, and lemon juice. Mix again with a large wooden spoon to fully combine.
While you are preparing your creamy turkey mixture you can cook your spaghetti noodles to al dente in a medium saucepan according to the box directions. Once they are cooked you can drain them so they are ready to go!
Pro tip: when adding the noodles to the boiling water we like to break them in half or even thirds for easier bite-size pieces once your tetrazzini is done baking.
Now it is time for some layering magic! In a prepared baking dish you can add half of the noodles, spread half of the turkey mixture on top, then the rest of the noodles, and the rest of the turkey mixture.
Use a pair of tongs to mix them a bit, top with remaining mozzarella cheese, cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Finally, remove the foil and finish baking for about 5-10 minutes.
- gluten-free: this recipe can easily be made gluten-free by simply using a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour and gluten-free noodles.
- dairy-free: to make this delicious recipe dairy-free you can use a plant-based butter, dairy-free cheeses, and almond milk.
- recipe variations: if you are looking to change things up, you can easily substitute cooked chicken for the turkey or use a variety of other vegetables (fresh, canned, or frozen). Use what you have on hand!
- leftovers: this homemade turkey tetrazzini makes a lot so you will probably have leftovers. These can easily be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- freezer: it’s a great option for freezing! We love to freeze this after it has fully baked. Simply cover with aluminum foil and place in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge and reheat in the oven, if it is in an oven-safe container. You can also freeze in individual containers if that’s easier.
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Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner/Entree
- Method: Stove Top + Oven
- Cuisine: American
Turkey Tetrazzini – this classic leftover turkey recipe for turkey tetrazzini is simple, easy and sure to be a family favorite!
- 3 tablespoons butter (or ghee or plant butter)
- 2–3 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 1 pint baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup carrot, minced
- 1/4 cup celery, minced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (sub gluten-free)
- 2 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of choice)
- 4oz plain cream cheese (regular or dairy-free)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 mozzarella cheese, shredded (divided)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 12 oz cooked spaghetti noodles
- 2 cups cooked turkey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook spaghetti al dente according to package instructions (feel free to break noodles into halves or thirds); drain and set aside.
- Bring large skillet to medium-high heat. Add butter and let melt; swirl to coat the pan.
- Add garlic and move around pan until fragrant; approx. 30 seconds.
- Add onion and move around pan until they soften slightly; approx. 1-2 minutes.
- Add mushrooms, carrot and celery. Sauté for 3-5 minutes.
- Add flour and stir to coat the veggies. Slowly add broth, approx. 1/2 cup at a time, continually stirring to combine. Once broth is added let simmer 3-5 minutes. Then slowly add almond milk, while stirring continuously until fully combined.
- Let simmer 5-10 minutes or until thickened.
- Add cream cheese, parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, pepper and lemon juice. Remove from heat and stir until cheese has melted.
- Add turkey and stir to combine.
- Add half the noodles to a 9×13 baking dish. Pour half the sauce on top and give it a toss. Add the remaining half of the noodles followed by the remaining half of the sauce. Toss to combine.
- Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and cover with aluminum foil. Let bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Remove and let cool slightly before serving.
- Gluten-Free: to make this gluten-free use gluten-free spaghetti noodles and gluten-free flour.
- Dairy-Free: to make this dairy-free use plant butter, dairy-free cream cheese (I love Kite Hill), and dairy-free alternatives to parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
- Storage: store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Add-ins: feel free to add in frozen peas (about 1/2 cup) or other veggies into the mix!
Keywords: turkey tetrazzini
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