• Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Turkey Tetrazzini


What to do with turkey leftovers

By Andrew Zimmern

I always make a Thanksgiving turkey because I love the leftovers turned into sandwiches, soups, and my son’s favorite, turkey tetrazzini. I use up my last scraps of meat and the salty kiss of some killer parmesan with this creamy pasta casserole. On a cold fall day, this is exactly what I’m craving.

Turkey Tetrazzini


  • 12 ounces dried pasta (such as macaroni, mezzi paccheri or ditali)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 pinches ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 pinches ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup onion, minced
  • 3/4 cup celery, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 3 cups leftover diced turkey meat (chicken works beautifully as well)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 8 ounces white aged cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 ounces parmesan, grated
  • 1 cup blanched peas (or frozen and thawed)
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted



Bring a large volume of salted water to a rapid boil. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and reserve.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Once it’s melted, add the flour, stirring to incorporate. Add the cayenne and nutmeg. Cook for a few minutes, making a nice roux.

Add the onion, celery and parsley, and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the leftover turkey and wine. Let the wine come to a boil and then pour in the chicken stock. Stir to make sure the roux is fully incorporated. Next, add the half and half.

When it simmers and thickens, add cheddar and half of the parmesan. Whisk well, then add the peas and pasta. Season with sea salt and ground pepper. Spill the turkey mixture into a buttered casserole pan.

Mix bread crumbs with the remaining parmesan and melted butter. Cover casserole with breadcrumb mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees until bubbling and hot and top is crispy, about 25 minutes.

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