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Turkey Tetrazzini (after many years of waiting for leftover turkey!)

30 comments /
I'm gonna be honest with you.  This is the first year EVER that I've had enough turkey left over to make a whole separate dish.  Two, actually!  We cook a big bird every year, too...and often an extra breast.  We like to eat.  Plus, there's a bunch of us.  I mean sure...we usually have enough left to make a couple of good sandwiches, but this year...  I probably shouldn't be excited about it.  The whole reason we had so much turkey left over was because my brother and one of my sisters, niece, and nephew weren't able to make it to our family Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Don't worry, we sent them leftovers.  That said, I AM excited.  I can't help it!  They get me, though...so I know they're not offended that I'm happy about extra turkey at their expense.  I have been saving a recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini from Saveur Magazine for 4 years (that would be 37 issues ago) in hopes of making it with leftover Turkey Day turkey.  I'm sure you're wondering why I didn't just make some turkey so that I could make the dish.  I'm weird like that.  It just wouldn't have been the same. 

I know some of you may look at this recipe and balk at the ketchup...but seriously...it wouldn't be the same without it.  It adds this oddly addicting complexity.  It's one of those things that makes you cock your head and squint your eyes a bit in wonder while it's teasing its way across your tongue.  You're trying to make up your mind whether or not you're down with it.  So, after you've made your way through that first serving...you just go ahead and dish up another...because you must be thorough in your decision making.  I'm a believer- it is so good.  The kids loved it.  The grown-ups loved it.  I will be sure to make extra-extra turkey every year from here on out, so that making this Turkey Tetrazzini becomes an after-Thanksgiving tradition!


Turkey Tetrazzini
adapted from Saveur #97

2 Tbs. butter, divided, at room temperature
7 c. turkey stock/broth (or chicken)
1 red bell pepper, seeded & diced
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
sea salt 
freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. (uncooked) whole grain spaghetti
4 c. (~1 lb) cooked, shredded turkey
2 c. peas, thawed if frozen
1 c. ketchup (homemade or your favorite, I like Simply Heinz)
7 oz. sautéed mushrooms (or a drained 8 oz. can)
2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a deep casserole dish (~9x13") with 1 Tbs. of the butter. Combine broth, peppers, onions, and garlic in a large pot; bring to a boil and then salt the water. Add the spaghetti in uneven-ish broken pieces (~1/3's).  Cook until just al dente (time varies by brand- check your package). Turn off heat, then gently stir in remaining butter, turkey, peas, ketchup, and mushrooms.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour into buttered casserole dish and spread cheese evenly over the top.  Cook for ~30 mins, or until cheese is melted and liquid is bubbling.

Let the Turkey Tetrazzini cool a bit before serving.  There are juices that come out into the pan...but this is a good thing!  Once we ate our initial serving, I let it cool in the pan, then refrigerated it.  After it is completely cold, it is SUPER easy to cut into servings for reheating later (just use a thin-edged spatula to cut into large squares and transfer to smaller containers).  The pasta and other goodies soak up that "extra" liquid and keep the leftovers plenty moist. 

Do you have any must-have turkey left over dishes?  I'd LOOOOVE to know what they are...leave me a link in the comments if you've posted it!

*This post is linked to:
Ruth (creator of PPN) of Once Upon A Feast is hosting Presto Pasta Nights this week...

30 comments

  1. This looks great to me...my daughter and I go through a 64 oz. jar of ketchup about every 3 weeks. I wish I had some leftover turkey.

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  2. I haven't made tetrazzini since I've been married..sigh...but, I do love it. Ketchup doesn't bother me, in fact, foods that are dipped into ketchup are only methods of conveyance. I'd eat it with a spoon if it didn't attract weird looks..

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  3. I have a whole gallon ziploc bag of leftover turkey that has this recipe written all over it! Thank you.

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  4. You sound a little two excited...=) I love this dish. A favorite.

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  5. A great way to use leftovers...I would do the same for Christmas :D

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  6. I neve seem to have leftovers either... but if I did... yes - I would be excited about this. And who knows? Maybe Christmas Eve? Bookmarked!

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  7. Now I'm wishing we had made a bigger turkey! This looks so good, and I can understand why you would want to hold onto the recipe for so long. I'm now going to do the same! Thank you for sharing! Have a great Thursday.

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  8. Never had it with the ketchup....sounds like something I am going to have to try.

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  9. That sure is a long time to hold onto a recipe. Glad you finally got to try it out :)

    It definitely looks worthy of a yearly repeat or a new Tday tradition!

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  10. You crack me up. I actually don't get to make the Thanksgiving turkey because that is someone ELSE'S job in the family. So, I never get leftovers, either. Several years ago, I started having "Fakesgiving" at my house a week or so ahead of time, JUST so I could have eftover turkey to make turkey and noodles with.

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  11. I wish I could afford turkey here...

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  12. love..love..love Turkey Tettrazini. Making some tonight. :-)

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  13. I NEVER get leftovers either because my parents keep them all! Guess I'll have to wait until I get married and host my own Thanksgiving. So that will be in...oh...an infinite number of years? Love the sound of this!

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  14. That looks really good! I'm picky about my pasta, it has to be full of flavour. I am totally bookmarking this one to try!
    I feel the same as you about leftover turkey, in fact I just did a post about it w turkey pozole ( i feel for pozole as you feel for tetrazini! ;)

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  15. looks tasty um i love soup with leftovers

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  16. There might be ketchup in here, but that doesn't bother me one bit - considering how INCREDIBLE that dish looks! Amazing! I don't have any turkey because I was told not to cook (by my mother in law - long story), otherwise, I'd be all over there. Maybe i'll just have to settle for chicken as a substitute? Thanks for the recipe!

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  17. Glad you finally got the chance to have enough left overs to make this mouth-watering dish. I'm drooling just looking at it.

    Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

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  18. Mmm, great way to use your leftover turkey!

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  19. This looks wonderful! I'd love to try it. I love ketchup, too. Yum.

    When I do eat turkey, I bypass having it altogether on Thanksgiving with gravy and such, and use the breast to make turkey snadwiches. On whole wheat, with lettuce, roma tomato, a little mayo, sea salt and cracked black pepper. It's one of my favorite things ever! =)

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  20. Such good comfort food!

    I try to make things out of leftover turkey but I have to stop myself from eating it with leftover stuffing and gravy first. ;-)

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  21. One of my favorites from childhood but we never ate it at my house, only my friend's! I dont have any left over turkey, but I do have some chicken and might try this this weekend~

    :) hugs! Alex

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  22. There are just some dishes that you'd want to have leftovers for something else! That pasta looks great!

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  23. Turkey tetrazzini is a holiday favorite for me but we didn't get any this year, sadly. I think the ketchup adds a good color to it, the version we make is awfully anemic looking.

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  24. What a great way to use leftovers. I have linked to this post from my blog as I am hosting Magazine Mondays this weeek :)

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  25. Looks totally delicious - a perfect way to use up turkey leftovers. So glad you finally got enough to make your dream come true :-)
    Sue

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