An Easy Way to Use Up 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.
- 12 ounces dried pasta (such as macaroni, chiocciole or ditali)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 pinches freshly ground nutmeg
- 3 pinches ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
- 3/4 cup onion, minced
- 3/4 cup celery, minced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup half and half
- 8 ounces white aged cheddar cheese, grated
- 3 ounces parmesan, grated
- 3 cups leftover diced turkey meat (chicken works beautifully as well)
- 1 cup blanched peas (frozen are fine)
- 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
Cook pasta fully 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 nutmeg, cayenne and parsley. Cook for a few minutes, making a nice roux.
Add the onion and celery, and cook for 5 minutes. Add stock in thirds, whisking continuously to make sure the roux is fully incorporated. Next, add the half and half.
When it simmers and thickens, add cheddar and two-thirds of the parmesan. Whisk well, and stir in turkey with a spoon. Add peas and pasta, season with sea salt and ground white pepper. Spill the turkey mixture into buttered casserole pan.
Mix breadcrumbs with melted butter and remaining parmesan. Cover casserole with breadcrumb mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees until bubbling and hot and top is crispy, about 25 minutes.
Photographs by Madeleine Hill.