Monday, September 27, 2021

Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole + Video

This turkey casserole has pasta and vegetables in a creamy sauce with a crispy cracker topping. Use your Thanksgiving leftovers to make it!

Turkey tetrazzini is the perfect comfort food. It’s a classic leftover turkey casserole, and much better than making endless sandwiches!

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili is another easy leftover turkey recipe. Just add everything at once and let your crockpot do the work.

You can also make my Chicken Enchilada Casserole with turkey instead. It only has 5 ingredients and is ready in about 30 minutes.

Or, make a One-Skillet Pot Pie with homemade drop biscuits and tender bites of turkey meat.

Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole being served from a pan

How To Make Turkey Casserole

Make the sauce while the spaghetti is cooking, then combine the two in a casserole dish and sprinkle on the cracker topping.

Bake until bubbly and golden brown, then garnish and serve. It’s that easy!

leftover turkey recipe ingredients

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Turkey - Feel free to swap this out with chicken instead! Cook up some chicken breasts or grab a rotisserie chicken from the store.
  • Mushrooms - I like the more savory flavor of baby bella mushrooms, sometimes labeled cremini, but regular white button mushrooms would work just fine.
  • Frozen Peas - These add some color and another serving of vegetables, but you can certainly substitute another vegetable or leave them out if you prefer.
  • Shredded Cheese - Get a bolder flavor and a smoother sauce by shredding a fresh block of cheese. Pre-bagged shreds have an added preservative to prevent clumping that creates an unpleasant waxy texture.
  • Butter Crackers - Panko breadcrumbs would make a great substitute for this leftover turkey recipe!

turkey tetrazzini veggies in a pan

Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe Video

To see us make the recipe from start to finish, watch the video at the top of this post.

turkey casserole sauce in a skillet

What You Will Need To Make Leftover Turkey Casserole

  • 9x13 Baking Dish - This set is one of my favorites! The 9x13 is perfect for casseroles and the smaller size is awesome for making half a casserole recipe.
  • Large Skillet - Wider is better to ensure the sauce cooks evenly, ideally more than 15 inches across.
  • Large Pot - For cooking the spaghetti noodles.
  • Box Grater - As much as I love buying shredded cheese because I'm lazy, freshly grated cheese melts down so much better and creates a smoother recipe.

leftover turkey casserole in a pan

Serving Suggestions

Because this meal is hearty and filling, it works as a complete meal all by itself.

If you’d still like to add a side dish, keep it simple. Breadsticks or dinner rolls, a green salad, or some steamed vegetables would be more than enough.

Recipe Notes + FAQ

Can I make leftover turkey casserole ahead of time?

Sure! Just follow the recipe up until baking, but leave off the cracker topping. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

When you’re ready to bake, remove the plastic, add the topping, and bake as directed. You may need to add a few extra minutes since it’s going into the oven cold.

turkey tetrazzini with cheese on top

Would other cheeses taste good?

While I haven’t tried any others myself, I’m sure Pepper Jack or even mozzarella would taste great.

Can turkey tetrazzini be frozen?

The recipe freezes beautifully and is a great option for make-ahead meals.

Allow the dish to cool completely, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 6 months. Then, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake until warmed through.

If you have a large enough skillet, you could double the recipe and split it between two baking dishes. Have one for dinner and freeze the other!

turkey casserole scoop


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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leftover turkey recipe in a casserole dish



Yield: 12
Author: Donna Elick
Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole

Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole

This turkey casserole has pasta and vegetables in a creamy sauce with a crispy cracker topping. Use your Thanksgiving leftovers to make it!
Prep time: 8 MinCook time: 50 MinTotal time: 58 Min


  • 1 pound cooked spaghetti noodles
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 & 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 & 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 16 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 4 cups diced or shredded cooked turkey
  • 1 & 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup crushed butter crackers
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray, set aside. In a large skillet over medium-low heat add 6 tablespoons of the butter and melt, add the onion, cook stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are softened about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the flour to the pan and stir it in to coat the veggies, cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Slowly whisk in the stock and milk, bring to a simmer until thickened. Stir in the cream cheese and whisk it in until melted. Add half of the cheddar cheese. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the cheese is melted, take off the heat. Stir in the turkey and peas.
  3. Pour the sauce over the cooked spaghetti noodles and mix to combine thoroughly. Pour into the prepared baking dish, top with the remaining cheddar cheese, set aside.
  4. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the butter crackers, parmesan cheese, and melted butter. Top the noddles with the cracker mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Garnish with optional parsley and serve.

Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole closeup

Originally published October 2021

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