Turkey Tetrazzini

Leftover turkey is so great until the second week

We’ve had this recipe for so long, we can’t be sure of its origin. We do know this, we’ve cut the butter substantially, which may come as a shock since it still calls for a whole stick. We switched a buttery bread crumb topping for a garlic flavored one we used in another pasta dish. This dish is hearty, filling and a great way to use up leftover turkey.

Turkey Tetazzini

Bread crumb topping

  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Romano cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 4 cups cooked turkey, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 1 pound spaghetti, broken in half (cooked al dente)
  • 4 tbsp sherry or marsala
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup Romano cheese
  • salt/pepper to taste

Cook pasta and set aside, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. In a large skillet, heat garlic cloves in olive oil until fragrant over medium heat. Stir in bread crumbs and toast until golden, stirring often to cook evenly. They should be browned in three to five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool on a plate. Clean skillet before sauteing onions and mushrooms in a splash of olive oil until tender. Remove from heat and place in a medium sized bowl. Clean skillet and return to medium heat. Melt butter and whisk in flour to make a roux. Once the mix is golden and thick, about three minutes slowly stir in the stock. Stir to incorporate. Allow to simmer, stirring often until thick, about five to seven minutes. Turn off heat and add sherry, lemon juice, nutmeg, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix in pasta with reserved water. Stir in turkey, mushrooms and onions and peas. Stir to coat pasta. Pour into a large baking dish. (We use a lasagna pan.) Cover with bread crumb mix and bake at 450 until top bakes and liquid bubbles, about 15 minutes.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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52 Responses to Turkey Tetrazzini

  1. ceciliag says:

    I am so excited, I am First in your comments (i think) usually I am last. This is a great simple pasta dish for leftovers, I am willing to bet that I will be making this in the next few days.. maybe not with turkey though.. turkeys scare me, Hope you had a fab thanksgiving.. c

  2. eva626 says:

    yes…that is what I will do to our left over turkey tom morning…ill have to wake up early before all the carnivores in my house get to the left overs.

  3. rutheh says:

    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I think the addition of the sherry or marsala must be key to making this dish rhyme. Posting on FB for friends who will enjoy making it.

  4. nrhatch says:

    Pasta and peas and garlic crumb cheese. YUMMY!

    Hope you had a wonderful day, Greg & Katharine. One of the best parts of Thankgiving for me is enjoying the leftovers.

  5. looks delish! the romano breadcrumb topping sounds fantastic. what a great recipe for leftovers! hope you & katherine enjoyed a fabulous thanksgiving holiday!

  6. A_Boleyn says:

    What a tasty looking use of the leftover turkey. Definitely something to try this Christmas with the leftovers. πŸ™‚

  7. spree says:

    We love turkey tetrazzini around our house, and this looks great.

  8. Thank you for tomorrow’s dinner solution!

  9. Gobble Gobble this bird is done for with another great recipe! Thanks for the leftover ideas.

  10. Cool! I didn’t know if anyone made this anymore!

  11. I’ll have that Turkey Tetrazzini to go thanks! UPS?

  12. Tandy says:

    what a great use of the leftover turkey πŸ™‚

  13. Good, good idea. I love breadcrumbs with pasta. That, however, is the trouble with turkey – it never seems to disappear.

  14. We don’t celebrate Turkey day, but heck I’m going to HAVE to make this recipe now, anything with breadcrumbs and a roux gets my vote!

  15. Charles says:

    Great use for leftover turkey, Greg – looks yummy.

  16. ChgoJohn says:

    Ya know, I’ve never had turkey tetrazzini — ever! I must admit, though, that your pic looks so good that I don’t care what is in it, I want some. And don’t go to far away with that serving dish because I’m going to want more. Oh! I’m stealing your bread crumb topping mixture.

  17. Sissi says:

    It reminds me of a Sicilian traditional pasta with breadcrumbs… It was rather poor people’s dish, while your pasta looks so abundant with delicious leftover meat. The garlic addition is an excellent idea. I might steal it from you πŸ˜‰

  18. This looks very good – love your comment about the second week!

  19. Your cranberry raspberry sauce and green bean casserole were a hit yesterday. At one point I had to rescue the green bean casserole from those dried crispy onions…but then the family got it…there was Parmesan cheese topping. btw I used the juice of the other half of orange + another orange, the remaining pomegranate juice, and some of the excess juice from the cranberries/raspberries to make punch. This tetrazzini is another large family gathering solution. Thank you.

  20. I really did laugh out loud (ok, I snorted) at the comment under the pic! Love leftovers, but yes…there is a limit. This looks wonderful though and I love that crumb topping. DonΒ΄t think leftovers would last that long here with Luna and Alfi looking at me πŸ™‚

  21. Kristy says:

    I hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This is a great way to use leftovers! Can you believe, crime of all crimes, I forgot our leftovers at my aunt’s house. 😦

  22. Rachel says:

    Oh yum and yay for leftovers!! Mmmm… lovely! Hungry NOW!!

  23. Loving all these leftover recipes for turkey – I reckon chicken would work just as well with all of them too.
    πŸ™‚ Mandy

  24. Eva Taylor says:

    Perfect timing, my friend, although with your delightful Thanksgiving Feast, I hardly doubt you would have any leftovers! I love the addition of bread crumbs, my mom used to do this with so many things, and the garlic crumbs would be incredibly flavourful. Delicous sounding recipe, Greg.

  25. I love the turkey leftovers more than the actual original meal itself…great, simple pasta recipe. It is always so much fun to try to get as many leftover recipes as possible out of the one big meal. Hope you are having a happy holiday.

  26. TasteFood says:

    What a great way to use up my turkey. I love the breadcrumbs.

  27. Okay.. two comments for you. First off.. This turkey tetrazzini looks really good. I have never heard of this dish and I must say.. this would go perfect for turkey leftovers. Now the second thing I had to tell you.. Me and my mom LOVED your Glaze recipe :). She told me to tell you.. “instead of bourbon (because most of the woman in my family doesn’t drink) we used pineapple juice and it was amazing!” She was just so excited about this glaze.. let me tell you lol. I hope you and Katherine had a wonderful thanksgiving

  28. I’ve never heard of this, but it looks absolutely fantastic!

  29. spicegirlfla says:

    Sounds so very comforting after a huge feasting day! Pasta dishes are always my favorite and love the garlicy topping!!

  30. Kelly says:

    your blurbs always make me smile Greg – good until the second week indeed. So, please explain. Americans go through the whole turkey thing again in 4 weeks time?

  31. Courtney says:

    I have to admit that I’ve never had Turkey Tetrazzini before. I have no idea why not, but it sounds delish! Hope you and Kathrine had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  32. Made this last night. OMG there were eight of us and the pyrex dish looked like we had barely made a dent in it. Well, I know what’s for supper tonight too. Everyone loved it. Thank you!

  33. d. durand says:

    This looks so good, and we love pasta around our house so I’m thinking this is going to work out rather well. I’m a bit stoked to have another recipe I can use to spice up the leftover turkey. Thanks, I’ll let you know how it turns out. Peace.

  34. Mmmm….I used to make this frequently before going dairy free and gluten free. Used lots of cheese and cream. Might have to work on an allergen free version and see how it goes.

  35. Mama Lisa says:

    Yummy – looks good! We don’t usually have a turkey on Turkey Day. (We do a them every year and this year it was Cajun.) But now that Turkeys are going to be dirt cheap, we’ll have one this week! This will give me something else to do with the left-overs beside sandwiches, sandwiches, sandwiches. Hold the peas, though.

  36. The breadcrumbs sound delicious with this. Ready for a plate and fork! ; )

  37. Karina says:

    Yum, what a great way to use leftovers!

  38. This looks like a great and comforting dish. Thanks for sharing!

  39. Sounds like a great alternative to the usual leftovers.

  40. I like to do a lot of different stuff with turkey leftovers and this looks good but I have had about enough turkey to last me. Christmas may be roast beef!

  41. nancyc says:

    I’ve made Chicken Tetrazzini before, but not Turkey–it sounds really good!

  42. Pingback: Sunday Suppers: Leftover Magic | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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