Leftover Turkey Casserole

If there is anything we love more than a classic holiday dinner, it is the leftovers.

Leftover Turkey Casserole
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Food Stylist: Torie Cox; Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Serves 6 (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)

The "remains of the day" reheated and relished the next day is as much a holiday tradition as making your Mother's cornbread dressing. Maybe it is the sense of relaxation the next day brings; the big day is over, and you can kick your feet back and either enjoy your company or enjoy the peace and quiet.

If you didn't bag it up and give it out after the dinner, you may be wondering what you can do with leftover turkey besides make the much-loved turkey sandwiches. With a few ingredients you probably already have in your freezer and pantry, you can make this rich and creamy dish, simply called Leftover Turkey Casserole.

And if you don't have any leftover turkey, a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store works great in this homey and satisfying recipe, too. Use penne, Cavatappi, or any other cylindrical shaped pasta which is sturdy enough to handle the cream sauce.


  • 8 ounces uncooked penne

  • 4 cups diced cooked turkey

  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

  • 3 tablespoons cold salted butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter, divided

  • 2 (8-oz.) packages sliced fresh cremini mushrooms

  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion (from 1 small onion)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 4 thyme sprigs

  • 2 (10 1/2-oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 2 large garlic cloves)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • Cooking spray

  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water, and drain again. Toss together pasta, turkey, and peas in a large bowl. Set aside.

  2. Melt 3 tablespoons cold butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add mushrooms, onion, oil, and thyme sprigs; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender and mushrooms are nicely browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove and discard thyme sprigs. Stir in soup, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Pour over pasta mixture in bowl; stir to combine. Spoon mixture into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

  3. Stir together panko, Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon melted butter in a bowl; sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture in dish. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

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