This easy Turkey Tetrazzini recipe is classic comfort food that’s irresistibly creamy, cheesy, and delicious! It’s a great make-ahead meal and freezer-friendly. Also pretty much the most perfect use for leftover Thanksgiving Turkey.
What is Turkey Tetrazzini?
Turkey Tetrazzini is a popular American pasta bake casserole made with diced up turkey (or chicken), vegetables, and a buttery, cream based sauce. Chef Ernest Arbogast debuted this creation at his San Francisco hotel in the 1900’s in honor of the Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini.
If making this dish for the very first time, you might be put off by the combination of strange “gloppy” ingredients. But then it cooks up all cheesy and bubbly and you are sold within one bite, finally understanding what all the fuss is about. It’s synonymous with Thanksgiving, since it’s the perfect casserole to use up leftovers, but you can definitely make this all year round or sub the turkey with chicken and make chicken tetrazzini instead.
Easy Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for measurements and details.)
- Pasta: We use spaghetti, but you can make this with any kind of noodles. It’s important to cook them al dente, because they will continue cooking as the casserole bakes and you don’t want the noodles to end up mushy.
- Turkey: Put that leftover Thanksgiving turkey to use here! Light or dark meat are both delicious. Dice or shred, depending on your preference.
- Sauce: This is one of the few recipes I make which incorporates cream of canned goods. I’ve made a couple completely from scratch versions and just didn’t like them as much. Bonus, this way is quicker! You’ll also need low-sodium chicken broth, sherry, melted butter, and sour cream.
- Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Cheese: A trifecta of shredded mozzarella, cheddar, and Parmesan is delish!
- Peas and carrots: We love sweet peas and carrots in this casserole for flavor and color.
How to Make Turkey Tetrazzini
This dish only has a few simple steps and the prep is super easy. Here’s a brief summary:
(For all the details, scroll down to the complete printable recipe card and don’t miss the video below.)
- Start by dicing up the cooked turkey.
- Cook up the pasta according to package directions, al dente.
- Combine the sauce ingredients and spices until fully incorporated. Mix in the turkey, pasta, peas and carrots.
- Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13 casserole dish, sprinkle with the cheeses.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 15.
- Let is rest for 5 minutes or so and dig in!
Make Ahead and Storing Leftovers
- Can Turkey Tetrazzini be made ahead of time? Yes! This is a fantastic make-ahead meal. Make as instructed, but instead of baking, cover the casserole tightly with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove from fridge and add about 15 minutes onto the baking time.
- How to freeze Turkey Tetrazzini: Prep according to the recipe in a freezer-safe casserole dish, cover tightly in plastic wrap and again in foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then bake accordingly.
- How to store leftovers: allow any leftovers to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
More Ways to Use Leftover Turkey:
- Add some to this Mushroom Rice and make a meal out of it.
- Make a Turkey Apple Pasta Salad.
- Cranberry-Turkey Enchiladas are a must!
- Swap out the chicken for turkey in these Chicken Pot Pie Crescent Bundles.
- Put some in Chicken Noodle Soup.
- 10 ounce can reduced-sodium cream of celery soup (not diluted – no water added)
- 10 ounce can reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup (not diluted – no water added)
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1/2 cup butter , melted
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots (does not need to be thawed)
- 2 1/2 cups chopped or shredded leftover cooked turkey
- 1 pound spaghetti , cooked al dente
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh chopped parsley , for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
- In large bowl whisk together both soups, sour cream, butter, chicken broth, sherry, salt, pepper, and garlic powder until combined.
- Stir in the peas and carrots, turkey, and cooked spaghetti; toss to combine until fully coated.
- Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the cheeses.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking for another 15 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole is hot throughout.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley. Let stand 5-10 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!