I love Thanksgiving leftovers, but after all that cooking, the last thing I want is to clean up more pans that weekend. So, when I created this recipe, I made sure it could be made entirely in one pot. This has all the hallmark elements of a classic tetrazzini–chunky turkey, creamy sauce, tons ‘o mushrooms, pasta, and a good glug of sherry. The family will love it, and you’ll love how easy it is to make.

david caricature

Why Our Testers Loved This

The testers were delighted that this classic turkey tetrazzini could be made in a single pot and loved the rich creamy sauce and crunchy panko topping. They’re describing it as “classic winter comfort food,” “insanely good,” and “a hug in a bowl.”

What You’ll Need to Make This

Ingredients for turkey tetrazzini--egg noodles, leftover turkey, peas, Parmesan, mushrooms, aromatics, stock, cream, panko, Dijon mustard, and sherry.
  • Egg noodles–This recipe was designed to be made with thin egg noodles. You can substitute thick egg noodles, but you will likely need to add more stock to achieve the right consistency as the noodles will absorb more liquid.
  • Peas–You can use fresh or frozen peas. If frozen, you don’t need to thaw them before using.
  • Turkey–This is a fantastic way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey, but will also work with roasted chicken. If you don’t have cooked turkey on hand, I recommend making a roasted turkey breast to get the right amount of meat.

How to Make Turkey Tetrazzini

A person sautéing mushrooms in a Dutch oven, then onion in the same Dutch oven, with the mushrooms removed.
  1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven and cook the mushrooms until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the onions and sauté until softened.
Garlic being added to sautéed onions in a Dutch oven, then the Dutch oven being deglazed with sherry.
  1. Add the garlic to the onions and cook for a minute. Add them to the bowl with the mushrooms.
  2. Deglaze the Dutch oven with sherry and let the mixture boil for a minute.
Stock being poured into a Dutch oven with egg noodles, then cream being poured into the mixture.
  1. Stir in the noodles and stock and cook until the noodles soften.
  2. Pour in the cream and cook until the noodles are tender. Add more stock, if needed.
A person stirring an egg noodle mixture and panko, Parmesan, and seasoning in a glass bowl.
  1. Stir in the mustard and season to taste.
  2. Mix the cheese, panko, and oil in a small bowl.
Turkey, peas, and sauteed mushroom mixture on top of egg noodles in a Dutch oven; the mixture being topped with panko topping.
  1. Mix the mushrooms, onions, turkey, and peas into the noodles.
  2. Top with the panko mixture. Bake in a 400°F oven until bubbly, then broil for a few minutes to brown the top, if desired.
david caricature

What is Turkey Tetrazzini?

Turkey tetrazzini is a baked casserole that’s made with cooked turkey and pasta that’s mixed in a creamy mushroom sauce and often topped with breadcrumbs or cheese. It’s believed to have originated in San Francisco in the early 1900s and has become a popular way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

A portion of turkey tetrazzini on a plate with a fork next to it.


  • Turkey is the classic meat in this dish, but when I’m craving this dish, and it’s not Thanksgiving, I use chicken. Sometimes, I pick up a rotisserie chicken at the market, and dinner is on the table in no time.
  • Don’t like egg noodles? Use your favorite pasta shape.
  • For a creamy tanginess, stir in 1/2 cup sour cream in the pot along with the mustard.
  • Want to add more veggies to the dish? consider using a frozen mix of vegetables, such as peas, carrots, and corn.

Common Questions

Can I make this in advance?

Sure. You can prepare the turkey tetrazzini through step 9 in the recipe up to 1 day before serving. Don’t top it with the panko mixture until you’re ready to bake. Cover the baking dish and stash it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it.

Can you freeze turkey tetrazzini?

Yes. Prepare the recipe through step 9, but keep the filling and topping separate. Once the noodle mixture has cooled completely, wrap the casserole dish tightly in plastic and stash it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store the topping separately in a sealed bag or container.

When you’re ready to cook it, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Top with the panko mixture and bake as directed in the recipe. The cooking time will be longer for a chilled casserole.

What else can I make with leftover turkey?

When I tire of turkey sandwiches, I love to pile all of my Thanksgiving leftovers into a pie plate, top it with a crust, and bake until golden. Some other great options include using turkey as a filling for easy enchiladas, or stuffed peppers, or stirring the leftover meat into your favorite soup or chili recipe.

A serving spoon resting inside a Dutch oven filled with turkey tetrazzini.

Helpful Tips

  • Because the noodles are cooked in the stock, and pasta water is always well-salted, don’t use low or no-sodium stock. You want the pasta itself to have flavor.
  • This dish comes together quickly, so I recommend doing all of your vegetable prep work before beginning to cook.
  • Leftover turkey tetrazzini can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 days. To reheat, warm it on the stovetop over low heat, adding extra stock and/or cream to loosen the sauce.
A spoonful of turkey tetrazzini.

More Great Comforting Pasta Recipes

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

A portion of turkey tetrazzini on a plate with a fork next to it.

Turkey Tetrazzini

5 / 8 votes
This turkey tetrazzini casserole is made with cooked turkey, creamy mushroom sauce, egg noodles, and a crispy panko-Parmesan topping. It's easy to prepare, uses only one pan, and is a great way to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers.
David Leite
Servings6 servings
Calories853 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour


For the tetrazzini

  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) butter, plus more if needed
  • 10 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large (7 oz) yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • 12 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 4 to 5 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ cups peas
  • 1 ½ pounds leftover turkey, coarsely chopped

For the topping

  • 1 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup panko
  • Olive oil


Make the tetrazzini

  • Crank the oven up to 400°F (204°C).
  • Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Scoop them from the pot and into a bowl.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. If the Dutch oven is dry, add another tablespoon or two of butter. Dump in the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer the onions and garlic to the bowl of mushrooms.
  • Splash in the sherry and scrape up any stuck-on bits with a wood spoon. Let the booze boil for 1 minute.
  • Add the noodles and 4 cups of the stock, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: The noodles won't be fully covered, but fear not. All will be fine.

    Stir frequently to prevent the noodles from sticking and cook until the noodles begin to soften and the stock begins to thicken slightly, 5 to 9 minutes.
  • Pour in the cream and continue stirring until the noodles are al dente, 2 to 4 minutes more. If the mixture is too thick, stir in the last cup of stock, 1/4 cup at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Stir in the mustard and season with salt and pepper and taste.

Make the topping

  • Mix the cheese and panko In a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle in enough olive oil to moisten the panko. Toss. Taste and season more, if needed.
  • Add the mushroom-onion mixture back to the Dutch oven along with the peas and turkey. Stir well, being mindful not to tear the noodles. Top with the panko mixture.
  • Slide the pot into the oven and bake until the sauce is hot and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Heat the broiler and brown the top for 3 to 5 minutes, if needed. Serve directly from the Dutch oven.


  1. Prep first–This dish comes together quickly, so I recommend doing all of your vegetable prep work before beginning to cook.
  2. Stock–Because the noodles are cooked in the stock, and pasta water is always well-salted, don’t use low- or no-sodium stock. You want the pasta itself to have flavor.
  3. Storage and reheating–Leftover turkey tetrazzini can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 days. To reheat, warm it on the stovetop over low heat, adding extra stock and/or cream to loosen the sauce.
  4. Freezing–To freeze the casserole, prepare the filling and topping, but do not bake. Let the filling mixture cool completely, then wrap your casserole dish tightly in plastic and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Keep the topping separate. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking.


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 853 kcalCarbohydrates: 65 gProtein: 57 gFat: 39 gSaturated Fat: 18 gMonounsaturated Fat: 12 gTrans Fat: 0.3 gCholesterol: 242 mgSodium: 757 mgFiber: 5 gSugar: 10 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Photos © 2023 David Leite. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

A red bowl filled with turkey tetrazzini with a crispy browned topping.

I’ve loved turkey tetrazzini since I was a little kid. One of my favorite components was always water chestnuts, so I was a bit concerned that they weren’t in this recipe. My concern was unfounded.

The cream, sherry, and Dijon mustard are lovely with the garlic, onion, and mushrooms. The peas add a touch of brightness to this rich dish. It’s a classic winter comfort food: a hug in a bowl.

I’ve not made this dish in decades. It was always a post-Thanksgiving Sunday brunch item at my Gran’s, and this recipe really brought back a lot of memories. It’s funny how food reminds me of the “good ol’ days”!

My Gran also used to include sliced celery in her version, which added a bit more texture, but the panko Parmesan topping provides a nice savory crunch. This will easily serve 6 and is great the next day as a leftover for lunch!

I live in the Midwest, and when the outside temperatures dip into the single digits, it’s a good time to fire up the stove and oven! This one-pan turkey tetrazzini served a dual purpose: It created a lovely, warm kitchen and was a perfect comfort food for dinner.

The casserole is a meal for all ages. It was delicious but not too exotic for a child’s palette. The recipe combined the right amount of meat, noodles, and veggies, all covered in a rich, creamy sauce. I did use chicken instead of turkey, which I think doesn’t dramatically change the flavor. Although the name is rather fancy, the dish is not. In this part of the country, it would be called a turkey casserole or a turkey hot dish.

This recipe for tetrazzini is focused rightly on developing the sauce. Substituting rotisserie chicken for turkey, it easily serves twelve as part of a dinner with salad and side dishes.

Thicker “farmer-style” egg noodles stood up to three nights of reheating, and adding an extra cup of chicken broth and cream each time kept the casserole moist.

Tetrazzini is one of my husband’s favorite childhood meals, so making this recipe was a no-brainer decision, especially since it could be made in one pot! And he asked for seconds!

I loved the layer of crunchy panko blanketing the creamy, umami-rich chicken-and-noodle casserole underneath. You might be tempted to finish it with some fresh herbs, such as parsley, but it didn’t need it–this dish was perfect.

Comfort on a plate. That’s what this easy turkey tetrazzini felt like on a snowy, cold day. Creamy and mild, yet not lacking in flavor, it was insanely good.

I was a little worried when I added the noodles to the pot and saw that they weren’t completely covered by the stock, but with stirring, they cooked up just fine. I served this with a simple salad and a glass of red wine.

This one-pan turkey tetrazzini recipe came together in perfect harmony. There was a smooth and balanced flavor with just the right undertones from the dry sherry. In addition, the cheesy panko breadcrumbs added the desired crunch to balance the softness of the other ingredients. The recipe is well-balanced in both texture and taste.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is a delicious recipe for leftover turkey. I really like the addition of the dijon mustard and the idea of making it in one pot!

    1. Thanks so much, Carolyn. The one-pot aspect of the meal made it a clear winner for our testers, too.

  2. 5 stars
    This is perfect comfort food! I forgot the peas at the store but I had broccoli and carrots, so I gave them a quick blanch and stirred them in. I also increased the stock and cream for a more luscious sauce. Noodles, veggies, and turkey in a creamy sauce with a crunchy topping — nothing better for a raw Sunday night!