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Turkey Tetrazzini

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1 pound box spaghetti pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (8 ounce) package button mushrooms, sliced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
4 cups chopped cooked turkey
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 (16 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 cup milk
2 cups grated Havarti cheese
6 slices bacon, crispy cooked and crumbled
1 (10 ounce) package frozen baby peas
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Turkey Tetrazzini

This classic recipe is updated with lots of veggies and creamy cream cheese.

  • Serves 8
  • Easy

About This Recipe

Turkey Tetrazzini is a classic Italian recipe that is the perfect dish to use up Thanksgiving leftovers or for leftover chicken or turkey any time of the year. There are many varieties of this wonderful recipe; this one is my favorite. It is definitely not authentic, but it is absolutely delicious.

I use my patented method for making a cream sauce: combine cream cheese with milk and heat in the microwave oven until the cheese melts. This is a perfect substitution for the classic white sauce in just about any recipe, and it has more flavor than that typical recipe. Plus it’s so easy!

This Turkey Tetrazzini recipe is packed full of veggies for color, texture, flavor, and nutrition. You can substitute your own favorite vegetables if you’d like, of course, but try this recipe my way first.

This recipe makes a huge amount of food; too much for the typical 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish. I use the roasting pan I use to cook the turkey. You could put some into a 9″ x 13″ dish and the rest in a 9″ baking dish if you’d like. Refrigerate the smaller dish and refrigerate or freeze it to bake another day!

Tips for the best Turkey Tetrazzini:

  • Don’t overcook the cream cheese and milk mixture. It should be heated until it’s steaming; don’t boil it. Use a wire whisk to turn the mixture into a thick and smooth sauce.
  • And don’t overcook the pasta. The only way to tell if pasta is properly cooked is to taste it: it should be tender but still a bit firm in the center.

Why this recipe works:

  • Melting together cream cheese and milk is the easiest and most foolproof way to make a cream sauce that tastes delicious. The amount of milk you use will determine the thickness of the sauce.
  • Turkey Tetrazzini usually isn’t made with veggies, but I add them for color, interest, flavor, and texture. Use any vegetable you like in this easy recipe.
  • And bacon makes every recipe better.
  • This recipe reheats well the next day. Just put individual portions into the microwave for a couple of minutes and dig in.

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Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 3 quart roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.


Meanwhile, heat a very large skillet over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. When the butter melts, add the onion and garlic.


Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Then add the mushrooms; cook, stirring, for another 4 minutes.


Add the red bell pepper, turkey, and tomatoes to the skillet. Add the Alfredo sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer while you cook the pasta and make the rest of the sauce.


Cook the pasta in the boiling water until it is almost al dente. Drain.


While the pasta is cooking, combine the cream cheese and milk in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the cream cheese melts, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir with a wire whisk until the sauce is thick and creamy.


Stir the drained pasta, the cream cheese mixture, the Havarti cheese, the bacon, and the peas into the skillet with the turkey mixture and blend well.


Pour this mixture into the roasting pan. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling and the top is starting to brown.


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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