Turkey Tetrazzini casserole is an American classic and a favorite dish to make with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Good thing it works with chicken too, because this comfort food casserole is something you’ll want to make more often than just after Thanksgiving. It turns leftover turkey or chicken into a satisfying dinner.
Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole – Updating a Classic
Classic recipes are often filled with butter, heavy cream and white pasta. While these versions might taste good, I wanted a healthier dish to fit with today’s healthier eating preferences.
On updates – I switched out the white pasta for whole wheat, made the sauce with whole wheat pastry flour instead of white flour, used homemade turkey broth instead of cream and added peas for color and a little extra vegetables. Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, dry sherry and a little nutmeg flavor.
Make a Roux
The base for the sauce is called a roux (pronounced roo), a classic combination of cooked flour and fat used as a thickener in sauces. Traditionally white flour is used. I’ve used whole wheat pastry flour instead, giving it a nutty flavor and golden color. For the fat, I’ve combined a little butter with olive oil instead of all butter.
Three Steps, Then Bake
There are three steps to putting this casserole together. Making the sauce, cooking the pasta, and cooking the vegetables to mix with the leftover turkey (or chicken). Toss all of these components together and pour into a casserole, bake, and you have a hearty dinner. Just add a tossed green salad for balance.
Other helpful links:
- Chipotle Turkey Pozole, from Simply Recipes
- Leftover sweet potatoes? Here’s a recipe for sweet potato pound cake from The Urban Baker
- All-Clad 3 quart saucier pan, a nice pan to make sauces and for other uses, on Amazon
- Whole wheat pastry flour is a nice addition to your pantry. It’s available from King Arthur Flours and Bobs Red Mill and available at many stores. It keeps a long time stored in the freezer.