It’s time for comfort food. This easy dish of creamy turkey tetrazzini will warm you up on the inside and make you feel cozy.
You can use roasted turkey or chicken which makes this dish a very economical way to use up leftovers. Baked creamy spaghetti noodles with a light dusting of bread crumbs to give some crunch. The dish is named after an Italian opera singer named Luisa Tetrazzini. And whether it was invented in by a chef in San Francisco or from a hotel in New York, there have been references to this classic favorite since 1908.
Like many classics, there are many variations—mushrooms, peas, broccoli can all be included. And cheese, nuts or bread crumbs can be used as a topping. For this basic recipe you make white sauce, par boil the spaghetti and dice an onion and green onion to mix with the roasted dice turkey. Then simply mix everything together and top with some bread crumbs and bake.
Add what ever other veggies you want to bulk up the dish, just make sure the pieces are cut into 1/2” pieces. You can prep the dish early (even the day before) and bake later. It can even be frozen before baking which makes a great dish to have in your recipe box.
Leftover Turkey Math
- To use up leftover turkey, I like to dice the meat into 1/2” pieces and freeze in 2 cup portions. 10-12 ounces of cooked poultry is equal to 2 cups of diced meat.
This creamy turkey tetrazzini is a quick comfort dish of baked noodles and turkey in a creamy sauce.
- 10–12 ounces cooked turkey, cut into 1/2” pieces, (about 2 cups of meat)
- 12 ounces dried spaghetti noodles
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 onion, cut into a fine dice, (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
- 1 garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 green onions, cut into a fine dice, (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease a 2-quart (about 7”x11”) baking dish and set aside.
- Cut cooked turkey into 1/2“ pieces and place in a large bowl.
- In a large saucepot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt.
- Break the dried spaghetti noodles in half and add to boiling water. Stir to combine and cook noodles until al dente. (It is important to not overcook the noodles as they will continue to cook while baking.
- Drain the noodles and add the noodles to the cooked turkey.
- Diced the onion and set aside.
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter and a stir in the diced onion. Cook for 2 minutes until the onion softens and turns translucent.
- Add the flour, chicken boullion and garlic; stir to combine. Continue stirring until the flour is incorporated and forms a roux.
- Stir in the water while stirring and cook until the sauce comes together and thickens.
- Add the cream, Italian seasoning, half of the salt and pepper and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- You may need to stir in an additional 1/2 cup of water if the sauce is too thick.
- Add the sauce to the large bowl with the noodles and turkey. Add the diced green onions and stir well to combine.
- Spoon creamy noodles into the prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle the bread crumbs oven the top of the noodles.
- If cooking immediately, place baking dish in the preheated 375° F oven for 30-40 minutes, until the bread crumbs are browned and crisp and the noodles are golden and bubbling.
- Remove from oven and set rest for 10 minutes so the dish can firm up.
- Serve hot.
To freeze the creamy Turkey Tetrazzini, don’t preheat the oven, prepare until the bread crumbs have been added. Wrap the dish tightly in foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
To defrost—thaw the baking dish in the refrigerator overnight and the next day, cook for the normal 30-40 minutes in a preheated 375° F oven.
Or place the frozen dish in the cold oven and then turn on the heat to 375° F. Once the oven has come to the 375° F temperature, start the timer and add an additional 15 minutes for a total of 50-60 minutes. This slower time with protect the baking pan from shattering from temperature shock.
Keywords: Thanksgiving leftovers, comfort food