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Turkey Tetrazzini

This creamy and comforting Turkey Tetrazzini is one of my favorite meals to make with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. It works equally well with leftover chicken and I often buy rotisserie chicken to use.

Turkey Tetrazzini in a blue casserole dish.

Tetrazzini Ingredients

In my opinion, the mushrooms and peas are essential for a tetrazzini. They’re my favorite part and I’ll admit that whenever I dish myself up, I always dig for a few extra mushrooms. A splash of sherry and a pinch of nutmeg also add wonderful flavor to a tetrazzini.


That being said, Turkey Tetrazzini is very adaptable and forgiving and you can leave any of these ingredients out to suit your taste.

  • Try adding broccoli or even green beans instead of peas or mushrooms.
  • No turkey? Use rotisserie chicken instaed.
  • I love the flavor the sherry gives this casserole, but it can be left out.
  • Use another pasta shape in place of spaghetti.

Because when you have a creamy, cheesey sauce pretty much anything tastes good in it.

Turkey Tetrazzini getting scooped out of casserole dish.

From Scratch Recipe

Quite a few Turkey Tetrazzini recipes use Condensed Soup to make preparation quick and easy and I make a lot of casseroles using condensed soup, including tetrazzini on occasion. But this one is from scratch with a creamy sauce made from butter, flour, chicken broth, milk, and heavy cream. If you don’t like cooking with canned soup, this is a great recipe to try.

Turkey Tetrazzini in a bowl.

Make Ahead

Like most casseroles, Turkey Tetrazzini can be made ahead of time. Another reason it’s a family favorite. Just get it all assembled, wrap with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Take it out, discard the plastic wrap and add a few minutes to the baking time. You have yourself a hassle free weeknight meal.

How To Store

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Can It Be Frozen?

Yes. Freeze the unbaked casserole for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. I recommend waiting to add the bread crumb topping until just before baking.

Everyone will want seconds of this hot and creamy meal.

Cooked casserole in a blue casserole dish.

More Leftover Turkey Recipes

And if you have some leftover ham, try this Ham Tetrazzini Recipe!

Turkey (or chicken) Tetrazinni

Turkey Tetrazinni

Turkey (or Chicken) Tetrazzini with peas and mushrooms and a creamy, cheesy sauce is always a family favorite. Panko crumbs are mixed with melted butter and grated Parmesan to create a golden crust.
PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes
TOTAL: 50 minutes


  • 12 ounces spaghetti, snapped in half
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry
  • 3 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken
  • 1/2 to 1 cup frozen green peas, defrosted
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • 1/2 cup homemade bread crumbs or panko crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta. Cook to al dente and drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • While water is coming to a boil, add 2 tablespoons butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until brown. Remove mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter to skillet along with flour. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  • Gradually add the chicken stock, milk, and heavy cream, whisking well to avoid lumps. Cook until smooth and bubbly, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add salt, thyme, pepper, nutmeg, lemon juice, Sherry, and mushrooms.
  • Stir in turkey, peas and Parmesan cheese. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  • Add cooked pasta to the skillet, or if not enough room combine both in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid if mixture is too dry.
  • Transfer mixture to a greased 9X13-inch baking dish.
  • In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Scatter on top of casserole. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes. If desired, broil briefly to brown top.


Use a dry sherry. I like to use Taylor’s dry sherry. If you don’t want to use sherry, it can be left out or you can substitute white wine.
Nutritional info is provided as an estimate only and will vary based on brands of products used.


Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 563mg | Potassium: 405mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1122IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 1mg
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Casserole, Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pasta, thanksgiving leftovers

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Originally published September 29, 2014.

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51 thoughts on “Turkey Tetrazzini”

  1. Read the reviews and opted to use juice from 1/2 lemon, a bit more nutmeg, minced dried onion, garlic powder, italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and lemon pepper topped with Italian bread crumbs. Pleased with the results from that

  2. These all sound great, especially the turkey tetrazzini. I used to make it a few years ago. I am no longer able to cook myself, but I gather good sounding recipes and give to my granddaughter. She usually tries those that I recommend. I will post as she tries them.

  3. Colleen Lingle

    My family who are picky eaters loved this. Will be added to our regular set of meals. Thanks for the recipe, I love that it was so simple to make with very little cleanup.

  4. I tend to jazz up most to the recipes. Many mid-westerners eat things that are really bland. I’m from the Southwest, and we eat everything with bold flavoring. Haven’t tried this but I’m going to. Pay no attention to people who don’t think anyone should voice an opposing opinion. It’s just the internet.

    1. melissa mcneill

      This recipe IS really bland, so plan on augmenting with what you like! I added shallots, onions, celery and extra sherry, as well as fresh thyme and it was still fairly bland. Next time I’ll add cayenne and double the nutmeg and thyme along with more sherry 🤔

  5. Delicious! I added a couple cloves of garlic and a shallot and substituted the sherry with white wine. This recipe is definitely a keeper and not just for thanksgiving leftovers, but I will use it with leftover chicken throughout the year too.

  6. Claudia Schmidt

    Just made for dinner tonite! Was really very good! Great flavor! Will be making again.

    1. Dana Sheppard

      I, too, made this for my husband and I after all the family and friends have left. When I made it, I didn’t want to use peas or spinach so I use a can of Italian string beans with the water poured off. I also use Italian seasoning and mushrooms. It made into a really tasteful casserole and I served jellied cranberry sauce and rolls. Nice variation to the Christmas turkey leftovers.

  7. I made this with leftover Thanksgiving turkey, I also added a shallot, to the mushrooms in the butter.
    Delicious, thank you!

  8. I added half an onion sautéed in butter, plus sautéed with that 2 cloves of garlic to the mushrooms. I added peas and carrots too. I topped it with Italian bread crumbs for more flavor. My turkey was left over from a smoked turkey and the flavor was fantastic. It was Amazing! I also used gluten free pasta and was glad for a no-canned soup recipe. My flour was gluten free too so you can adapt this as you may need to.

  9. Delicious! Best casserole I have made in ages. A great combination of flavors. The fresh ingredients made a huge difference.

  10. This is an excellent recipe and wonderful for that leftover Thanksgiving Turkey. I made as stated with exception of one small onion and 3 cloves garlic that I sautéed first. I also added one small jar of pimentos (drained) for some pretty color. Thank you for this recipe. A keeper.

  11. I found this recipe today while searching for something to do with the leftovers from Thanksgiving. It’s scrumptious !!! Highly recommended !

  12. Excellent recipe and post! My husband and I loved this. I will definitely keep making it in the future! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  13. Making this again this afternoon but with left over chicken instead of turkey. We love it as a healthier alternative to the canned soup version.

  14. Annette Dunne

    My daughter was going to toss a turkey carcass that had so much on it that I thought of this dish. I mentioned it to her but the she wasn’t interested….what is up with the 20-50+ generation. Haven’t they heard of “waste not want not ” rule?

  15. My family’s not a fan of mushrooms or peas so I substituted with one large red pepper that I diced and sautéed in 2 tablespoons of butter. I also used broccoli which I steamed for about 6 minutes. This will be the new go to post-Thanksgiving meal.

  16. Wow, this was really great! It had so much flavor, the only thing I added was garlic. To the reviewer who claimed it had no flavor, either you are a terrible cook and messed up the recipe or your taste buds are off. If you know anything about cooking, you should know to taste and season along the cooking process. I loved this dish very much, thanks for a great recipe.

  17. I’m sorry. Made it last night and was unfortunately really disappointed. No flavor. Is it a misprint or does it really call for only 1/4 tsp of nutmeg & thyme? That’s not even enough to flavor HALF of this dish. The Sherry would have been really nice if I could actually taste it! I used 8 cloves of garlic too and added an onion…still, no flavor. I don’t know, I’m glad everyone else is enjoying it but I’m not happy. I’ll give it another try, but next time I will make sure to add more flavor.

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