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Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Tetrazzini is the classic creamy and cheesy pasta dish with mushrooms and leftover holiday turkey, but chicken works too for enjoying all year long.

Homemade turkey tetrazzini in a white casserole, baked and garnished with fresh parsley.

Turkey Tetrazzini is one of those dishes that I have known since I was a little girl in abstract. I think my stepmom might have made it a time or two while I was growing up.

When my interest in cooking became to bloom, I use to cut the recipes that were provided with coupons in the Sunday paper. Well, only the ones that looked good to me. Chicken Tetrazzini was one of those clippings and I still have it.

What is Tetrazzini?

Top have of a white casserole of baked tetrazzini with turkey, mushrooms, cheese, and parsley.

Tetrazzini is a long pasta dish in a cheesy creamy wine sauce with mushrooms, parsley, and a protein. The protein is usually chicken or turkey, but tuna is not unheard of. In fact, the eponymic tuna noodle casserole is a cousin to tuna tetrazzini.

Once the pasta has been mixed with the sauce, mushrooms, and meat, it’s often topped with cheese then baked. By this definition, this is a casserole, the most comforting of comfort foods.

Is Turkey or Chicken Tetrazzini Italian?

The casserole pan of tetrazzini that has had some portions removed.

Despite its Italian sounding name, the dish is squarely American. But the dish is generally accepted to have been created by a chef in a San Francisco for a long-term resident, the Italian opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini.

However, there is a rival for the credit, and that comes from New York and Good Housekeeping Magazine. It’s not a rabbit hole I feel like going down.

In my own files, I have put this recipe under Italian. But I am not alone TV chef Giada De Laurentiis made the chicken version on her popular show Everyday Italian.

Side close up view of the cooked with bowls on the side.

No Canned Cream Soup Tetrazzini Recipe

The recipe clipping I mentioned above, calls for 3 different cans of condensed cream of soups: chicken, mushroom, and celery. Over the years I have weaned myself from using those canned soups in my cooking. (Save my Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole, I will always use cream of mushroom for that.)

For this recipe, I didn’t go with the easy Béchamel sauce route. Oh no, I opted to keep the fat and calories high by making a base from cream cheese.

A serving of tetrazzini with mushrooms, turkey, garnished with fresh parsley in a blue bowl with the casserole in the background.
A white casserole pan of turkey tetrazzini with servings removed.

Turkey Tetrazzini

Course: Dinner/Pasta
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Tetrazzini
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 629 kcal
Author: Michelle De La Cerda

Turkey Tetrazzini is the classic creamy and cheesy pasta dish with mushrooms and leftover holiday turkey, but chicken works too for enjoying all year long.

Print

Ingredients

  • 10 oz angel hair pasta
  • cup butter divided; ¼ cup/ remaining tbsp
  • 8 oz mushrooms sliced
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 2 celery ribs diced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup white wine (or broth)
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese grated
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt +/-, to taste
  • ½ tsp black pepper +/-, to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic minced/grated
  • cups cooked turkey cubed/chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta 1 minute shy of packaged directions; drain
  2. While pasta is cooking, cook the vegetables and make the cheese sauce
  3. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1/4 cup butter and cook the onions, mushrooms, and celery
  4. Sauté for about 3 minutes or until the vegetables have begun to soften;

  5. Add the flour and stir well, making sure all the flour has been thoroughly mixed into butter and vegetables.

  6. Slowly pour in both the milk and the wine (broth); stir well

Cheese sauce

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter and cream cheese
  2. Once smooth, add the sour cream and mozzarella cheese
  3. After the cheese has completely melted and the sauce is smooth, add the thyme, nutmeg, paprika, salt, and pepper, stirring well to fully incorporate the seasonings into the cheese sauce

Assembly

  1. In a large bowl combine the pasta, vegetables, turkey, and cheese sauce; toss well
  2. Pour into a large baking or casserole dish, cover, and bake in a 375°F degree oven for 30 minutes.

  3. At time, remove cover and bake an additional 5 minutes allowing the top to brown.

  4. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley
  5. Enjoy
Nutrition Facts
Turkey Tetrazzini
Amount Per Serving
Calories 629 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 115mg38%
Sodium 567mg25%
Potassium 612mg17%
Carbohydrates 57g19%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 913IU18%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 170mg17%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post has been updated from its original November 24, 2014 publishing with new content, re-edited photos, an updated recipe card.

Thank you for sharing!

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37 Comments

  • Reply
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets
    November 24, 2014 at 6:52 am

    My famiy loves tetrazzini, and I’m pretty sure this will be happening with our leftover Thanksgiving turkey!!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 24, 2014 at 9:24 am

      It’s really a great way to use those leftovers up!

  • Reply
    christine
    November 24, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Mmmm, sounds like a great way to use up that leftover turkey!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 24, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Exactly! Rich, cheesy pasta, what’s not to love?

  • Reply
    The Food Hunter
    November 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    this is making me very hungry!

  • Reply
    Sandi Gaertner (@sandigtweets)
    November 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    This is perfect for all of that left over turkey!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 24, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Yes, easily done with GF noodles too.

  • Reply
    Serena | Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
    November 24, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Such a wonderful dish and I love that you used leftover turkey! Delish!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 24, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      Thank you Serena! It’s cheesy good.

  • Reply
    Faith (An Edible Mosaic)
    November 24, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    This looks wonderful – I know what I’m making to help use up some of those turkey leftovers! Mushrooms are a great addition too.

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 24, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Thank you Faith, mushrooms tend to make lots of things better! Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Reply
    Dionne Baldwin
    November 24, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    This looks like a great recipe for turkey leftovers. I’d even use chicken after the turkey is gone.

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 24, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      Chicken would be perfect.

  • Reply
    Linda (Meal Planning Maven)
    November 25, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Love finding new dishes that use leftover turkey and yours looks yummy! Great comfort food as well!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 25, 2014 at 9:54 am

      Thank you Linda, it truly is a great comfort food, pasta, protein and cheesy goodness.

  • Reply
    Mandy @Mandy's Recipe Box
    November 25, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Oh this looks like the perfect use for leftover turkey! And I love the mushrooms in it!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 25, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Thanks Mandy, the mushrooms really make the dish.

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats
    November 25, 2014 at 8:09 am

    I am so making a rendition of this with spaghetti squash and coconut milks 🙂

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 25, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Oh let me know when you make that, that sounds great.

  • Reply
    Cate @ Chez CateyLou
    November 25, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Turkey Tetrazzini is always on the Christmas menu at my aunt’s house and I absolutely love it! Yours looks so delicious and creamy – can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks Xaiver 🙂

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 25, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Thanks Cate! It’s a great dish and Xavier was pleased too. 😉

  • Reply
    Debra Clark
    November 25, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Man talk is a very complicated language, sounds like you’ve mastered it…and tetrazzini! 🙂 Recipe looks wonderful, yum!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 25, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Oh I’ve far from mastered it…it’s a tough one. But the recipe is yum, thank you.

  • Reply
    Marie @https://citronlimette.com/
    November 25, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Always a favorite at our house. Beautiful reicpe

  • Reply
    Nicole Neverman
    November 25, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    To me, this dish is the PERFECT way to use up those leftovers! What a fantastic, easy, delicious dish. I could see myself wanting seconds, and thirds!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 25, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      It’s an easy dish to overeat with, that’s for sure.

  • Reply
    Healing Tomato
    November 26, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Xavier sounds like a nice person. I am obsessed with Miso too and I would try all the miso recipes you put out.

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 26, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Xavier is one of the nicest people ever, truly kind. 🙂 I did a miso dish the other day…a soup, but not how you imagine! 🙂

  • Reply
    Debra Clark
    November 26, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Such a great use of leftover turkey and chicken – one of my fav meals!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 26, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      Ah thank you Debra! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • Reply
    Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas
    November 29, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    […] Turkey Tetrazzini by The Complete Savorist […]

  • Reply
    Mike Benayoun
    November 30, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Love discovering new recipes but most of all new words. Didn’t know about tetrazzini until today. Thanks a lot Michelle!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      November 30, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Ah, a fellow logophile! I love words too.

  • Reply
    Tara
    February 8, 2015 at 10:00 am

    5 stars
    I have not had turkey tetrazzini forever and it is a great way to use leftover turkey. I have to try your recipe soon, YUM!!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      February 8, 2015 at 10:58 am

      Thank you Tara, hope you enjoy it.

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