Turkey Leftovers + Pasta + Cheese = Most Awesome Friday Dinner Recipe Ever!

turkey tetrazziniAre you as full and satisfied and happy and filled with turkey and stuffing and veggies and cranberry sauce and everything else as I am? Thanksgiving 2013 has, sadly, come and gone. Can you believe it? Fun family times, cooking, eating, drinking, watching football, saying what we're thankful for ... but now, while the last thing you want to think about is eating, you still have ALL THOSE LEFTOVERS.

What to do with all that leftover turkey? Of course it's delicious with turkey sandwiches, but maybe you want to switch it up a bit and cook something a little heartier (and cheesier) to get you through these freezing temperatures. How about some pasta? Sweet! Just check out this Turkey Tetrazzini recipe from Pioneer Woman. As she said, you'll want to roast an entire turkey just to have enough left over for this recipe. There might be a big of chopping involved, but all you really have to do is put everything into one big pot!


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Turkey Tetrazzini by Pioneer Woman


  • 1-1/2 pound thin spaghetti, broken in half
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups turkey (or chicken) broth
  • 1 block (8-ounce) cream cheese
  • 3 cups cooked (leftover) turkey, shredded or diced
  • 1 cup finely chopped black olives
  • 1-1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 4 slices bacon, fried and cut into bits
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Extra broth for thinning
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs


Cook pasta until not quite done -- al dente according to package instructions (it will finish cooking in the oven.) Drain, rinse, and set aside.

In a large pot, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Add mushrooms and salt, then saute for a couple more minutes. Pour in the wine and allow it to cook with the mushrooms for several minutes, or until the liquid reduces by half.

Sprinkle in flour, then stir the mushrooms around for another minute. Pour in the broth and stir, cooking for another few minutes until the roux thickens.

Reduce heat to medium low. Cut cream cheese into pieces and add it to the pot. Stir it to melt (don't be concerned if the cream cheese remains in little bits for awhile; it'll melt eventually!). Add the leftover turkey, the olives, the peas, the bacon, and the cheeses. Stir to combine, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Add the cooked spaghetti and stir it to combine. Splash in more broth as needed; you want the mixture to have a little extra moisture since it will cook off in the oven. If it's a little soupy, that's fine! Add up to 2 more cups of liquid if you think it needs it.

Pour the mixture into a large baking dish and sprinkle the top with Panko crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and the crumbs are golden brown.


Image via Russell James Smith/Flickr

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