A delicious leftover turkey casserole with pasta and white sauce, this easy noodle bake will become a family favorite.
This leftover turkey pasta recipe is a dish I cook very often. Not only with leftover turkey, but with leftover chicken as well. Or I cook some chicken breast just for this purpose.
It is a recipe my son once found in a magazine, he couldn't even read at the time, but he was hungry and the picture of the noodle casserole made him even hungrier.
So, I cooked that for him and I have been cooking it regularly ever since. I have changed the recipe quite a lot during this time, the recipe was too complicated for every day cooking, too many steps and too many pots to wash when finished.
- I do have quite a few recipes using leftover turkey, we eat quite a lot of turkey and not only during the winter holiday season.
- This is a leftover recipe through and through. You can make it using not only leftover meat pieces but also using already cooked noodles and any kind of cheese (or a mixture of several leftover cheese sorts) you happen to have in the fridge
- As mentioned above you can make the casserole using leftover chicken or turkey or you can cook a small chicken breast and use that.
- You can also make the dish with cooked ham or even pork roast leftovers.
- The quantity of meat you need is also not a settled matter. I use more or less 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ 1 ¼ cups chopped meat, but if you have a bit more or less is fine.
- I use any kind of noodles I happen to have, if there is an open noodle bag in my pantry, then I will be sure to use that.
- Leftover cooked noodles can also be used.
- I use mostly Gouda because that is the most common and cheapest type of cheese eaten in Germany.
- But otherwise, you can use pretty much any kind of cheese you like. I would not go for mozzarella only, for instance, because mozzarella is pretty mild in taste and you might miss the cheesy taste then.
- But you can definitely use a mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan (or another stronger-tasting kind of cheese), you can use Swiss cheese, different types of hard cheese, or any kind of cheese leftovers you have in your fridge.
- I mixed most of the grated cheese in the white sauce, which makes the sauce even creamier and tastier. I only leave a small amount of cheese to top the turkey pasta casserole, to make it golden and nice.
How to make leftover turkey casserole?
- Cook the pasta according to the packet's instructions. Drain well.
- Cook the onions and garlic and set aside.
- Make the white sauce by slightly coloring the flour in melted butter. Slowly add the milk while whisking continuously. Let bubble for a couple of minutes until slightly thickened.
- Add cheese, mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to the sauce.
- Separate the eggs. Add the yolks to the sauce.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the sauce.
- Place the cooked pasta and the cooked chopped meat into the casserole dish.
- Add the sauce, stir well, and adjust the taste.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until golden brown and heated through about 20 minutes.
How to serve?
Serve with a green salad with yogurt dressing, cucumber dill salad, red cabbage slaw or a simple white cabbage salad.
More leftover turkey recipes:
Leftover Turkey Lasagna – a healthier, lighter lasagna with cream cheese and cottage cheese, perfect to feed a crowd.
Vegetable Strudel with Turkey – you can cook another festive meal using leftover turkey.
Turkey Fricassee – our favorite way of using leftover turkey, this quick fricassee is creamy and comforting.
Turkey Risotto - a creamy risotto with leftover turkey and Parmesan.
Leftover Turkey Pasta Recipe
- 9 oz pasta 250 g, Note 1
- 2 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 medium onion about 100 g/ 3.5 oz
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk 250 ml
- 1 ½ cup grated Gouda 150 g, Note 2
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- a few gratings of nutmeg
- 1 ¼ cup chopped leftover turkey 150 g. Note 3
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt more or less to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/ 200 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease a casserole dish of about 10x8 inches/ 25x20 cm.
- Cook noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Let drain well.
- Cook onion: In the meantime, halve and slice the onion. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a non-stick saucepan. Cook the onion slices for 4-5 minutes or until golden. Add the finely chopped garlic and stir for another minute. Remove to a bowl or small plate.
- Make white sauce: Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the same saucepan. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir it for one minute. Slowly start adding the milk while whisking all the time to avoid the formation of clumps. If you do happen to have too many clumps anyway, you can save the sauce by blending it shortly with a handheld blender. Let the sauce bubble gently for about 2 minutes while stirring very often. Then, take it off the heat and stir in ¾ of the grated cheese, mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Separate the eggs. Add the egg yolks to the sauce and stir very well to incorporate. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the sauce.
- Assemble the dish: Place the cooked pasta and the chopped turkey meat into the prepared casserole dish and mix them well. Pour the sauce over the noodles in the casserole dish and mix everything together.
- Bake: Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake the noodle turkey casserole for about 20 minutes until heated through and golden.
- Rest for about 5 minutes and serve as suggested above.
- You can use any pasta you happen to have. If using spaghetti, you might want to break them once to make them shorter.
- Or any strong-tasting cheese you like. Cheddar, for instance, would be perfect as well.
- A little more or less meat would be fine. Cooked chicken or cooked ham could be used instead.
sounds delicious - thanks for sharing!
What a delicious and comforting meal! Love your vintage casserole dish too.
I love this recipe, Adina! My grandmom always made this when I was growing up, and she always varied it depending on what was in the pantry. I sometimes add garlic and pepper. If you don’t have mushrooms it's possible to use cream of chicken. Sour cream instead of milk is awesome too. Play with additions and make it your own!
Priya @currynation says
love Turkish cuisine 🙂 i never tried any casserole recipes yet but i want to try them out.. This is a perfect recipe to start with. Just need to find the egg replacement ...
have a great holidays ..
My husband smoked a turkey over the holidays and we have lots of leftovers! Thanks for this great idea to use some of them.
Wow! Smoked turkey, I have never had that! I've never smoked anything...