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Scalloped Turkey Casserole

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6 slices bacon
1/3 cup butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
3 tablespoons butter
7 cups dried cubed oatmeal bread
1-1/2 cups dried cranberries
5 cups cubed cooked turkey or chicken
1/4 cup heavy cream

Scalloped Turkey Casserole

Scalloped Turkey Casserole, or Thanksgiving in a dish, is a delicious one dish version of the holiday meal.

  • Serves 6
  • Easy

About This Recipe

This recipe for Scalloped Turkey Casserole, also known as Thanksgiving in a Dish, is a super easy way to enjoy all the flavors of the traditional holiday meal with much, much less work. It combines turkey and stuffing in a casserole dish, in a creamy flavorful sauce, with dried cranberries for color and pop. All you need to add is some crispy smashed potatoes and a cool salad, and you get all the tastes of Thanksgiving.

This is a great recipe to make if you just don’t feel like struggling with a turkey, stuffing, and gravy. And it’s even great for a small family, since leftovers are delicious.

To get the cooked turkey, I like to buy boneless, skinless cooked turkey breast from the deli. Just ask the deli person to slice the turkey as thick as they can; about one inch would be perfect. Sometimes you can buy a cooked boneless skinless turkey breast half. To get five cups, you need about 1-1/2 pounds of the cooked, boneless, skinless bird. (Buy extra, since they make great leftover recipes.)

This is a long ingredient list, but it all goes together quickly. You make the white sauce with mild and chicken stock, then add the turkey, onion, celery, and garlic. Then the bread cubes and cranberries are mixed in, and the whole thing is piled into a baking dish. Bake until golden brown and crispy on top and dig in.

How to make the best Scalloped Turkey Casserole

  • You can use cubed cooked chicken instead of the turkey. If you don’t tell anyone, they will probably think it’s turkey.
  • If you can’t find oatmeal bread, using a light wheat or whole grain bread. Let the bread stand out on a wire rack for a few hours so it dries out a bit. That way it will absorb some of the sauce and will be tender.
  • You can add anything you’d like to this recipe. Stir in some corn, or green beans. Omit the celery and add some sliced summer squash. It’s up to you!
  • You can make this recipe ahead of time. Just prepare the casserole, then cover and refrigerate. When you’re ready to eat, bake for 45 to 55 minutes until hot and bubbling and a food thermometer registers 165°F.

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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13-inch by 9-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.


In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp, turning frequently. When the bacon is crisp, remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Crumble and set aside.


Drain all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat from the skillet. Add 1/3 cup butter and heat over medium heat until the butter sizzles.


Add the onion, garlic, and celery and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the flour and cook and stir for 3 minutes.


Add the chicken stock, milk and 1/2 cup cream. Cook and stir with a wire whisk until the sauce thickens, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the poultry seasoning, salt, thyme, and marjoram. Taste the sauce. Add more salt, if necessary, tasting constantly, until the flavor blooms. Turn off the heat.


In a very large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add the bread cubes and cranberries; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup cream and continue cooking, stirring gently, until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the turkey and reserved bacon.


Now layer the ingredients in the prepared pan. Put 1/2 cup of the sauce down first, then the turkey mixture. Pour the rest of the sauce over all and stir gently.


Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling and the top is golden brown. Serve.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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