Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole

By Sally Cameron on November 26, 2011

chicken & turkey, holiday dishes, pasta, thanksgiving,


Turkey Tetrazzini 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.

Updating the Classic Recipe

Classic recipes are 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:


Leave a Comment
susan | November 27, 2011 at 8:42 am

this sounds amazing. I am printing this out asap and putting it on my weekly meal plan for this week! xx

    Sally | November 27, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Please let me know how it turns out for you Susan. It’s a little work with all of the steps, but none of them are difficult. Good to get your prep done. You could even do the vegetable part ahead, refrigerate, then bring it to room temp before you mix it all together, then bake. You can also probably get 5 servings out of it, especially if you add a salad.

Pingback: Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole (or Chicken) — A Food Centric Life – Fine Food Recipes
Debbie | November 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Sally, I’m putting this on the menu for tomorrow. Since we went out of town for Thanksgiving, I don’t have any leftover turkey, but I do have pheasant and the stock I made from the carcasses. Pheasant Tetrazzini!

    Sally | November 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Wow! That should be something! Please let everyone know how it comes out!

Twin Tables | January 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm

My sis and I agree that although we love Turkey Tetrazzini, it isn’t exactly healthy. We can’t wait to try your version as we froze some turkey after the holidays. We have a version too. It isn’t quite the casserole that you made but it was really darn tasty! :) http://www.twin-tables.com/2011/11/turkey-tetrazzini.html. Great site! This is my first time here!

Rick | April 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm

I don’t understand why anyone would put nutmeg in a white sauce. I have tried it and I can’t stand it there. I can’t even finish my plate.

    Sally | April 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Rick, if you don’t like nutmeg, just leave it out. No problem. It’s a pretty classic combination. My mom thought like you did. I happen to love it in white sauce! To each their own :)

LJ | August 6, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Made this last night and my family of 6, including our daughter’s boyfriend (who is afraid of healthy cooking!), loved it. Can’t tell it’s gluten free pasta and don’t miss the cream that I used to use for tetrazzini. Thanks for your work on this site and sharing your expertise with us, Sally. I came across you through the Daniel Plan :)

    Sally Cameron | August 8, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Thanks LJ, Love to hear stories like that! Just don’t tell them it’s healthy until after the eat it and decide its good! When you try other recipes, please report back. And you there is anything you’d like to see, let me know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *