Easy Classic Turkey Tetrazzini: A Delicious and Easy One-Pot Meal
Turkey tetrazzini is a creamy, comforting casserole that is perfect for busy weeknights.
This classic recipe combines turkey, mushrooms, spaghetti, and a creamy parmesan sauce, all baked together into one delicious, crowd-pleasing dish.
This easy turkey tetrazzini is a great way to use up leftover turkey after Thanksgiving or Christmas.
But chicken or other white meat is also tasty any time of year.
With simple ingredients like canned soup, cheese, pasta, and turkey or chicken, it comes together in just one pot for an easy-baked casserole the whole family will love.
An Easy and Delicious One-Pot Meal
One of the best things about turkey tetrazzini is that it’s an easy one-pot meal that requires minimal work.
Boil the spaghetti, make the sauce, add the turkey and cheese, then transfer everything to a casserole dish and bake until hot and bubbly.
The end result is a rich, creamy, intensely flavorful dish that feels indulgent. But it’s actually relatively healthy and not difficult to make.
Just 10 minutes of active prep time is all you need for this satisfying meal.
Making turkey tetrazzini in a single pot also minimizes cleanup. And you can easily customize the recipe with ingredients you have on hand.
It’s great for using up leftover turkey or chicken.
The History and Origins of Turkey Tetrazzini
Turkey tetrazzini originated around the early 20th century. It was named after Luisa Tetrazzini, a famous Italian opera soprano.
The dish is thought to have been created by either her chef or a chef in one of the restaurants she frequented in San Francisco.
As Italian food became trendy in America in the early 1900s, turkey tetrazzini gained popularity on restaurant menus. It also became a fixture of community cookbooks.
Over the years, turkey tetrazzini recipes have evolved and changed. Some older recipes call for filled pastas like ravioli instead of spaghetti. And many recipes use a roux or egg yolk thickened sauce instead of canned soup.
This easy modern version combines thin spaghetti, cream of mushroom soup, turkey or chicken, sherry, and parmesan cheese for a quick and satisfying casserole.
Ingredients You'll Need
Turkey tetrazzini only requires 9 simple ingredients:
- 8 oz spaghetti – thin spaghetti works best in casseroles
- 2 cups cooked turkey or chicken – use leftovers or cook fresh
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 onion, diced (optional)
- 1/4 cup pimentos, diced (optional)
- 10 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1/4 cup dry sherry or chicken broth
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- Salt and pepper
That’s it! Just pasta, turkey or chicken, mushrooms, a few aromatics, cream of mushroom soup, sherry, cheese, and seasoning.
What does each ingredient bring to the turkey tetrazzini recipe?
Use this list of the ingredients that are in turkey tetrazzini, including their benefits and contributions, to see what they add to the dish:
|Spaghetti||Provides carbohydrates and texture||The pasta soaks up the creamy sauce and gives the casserole its distinctive texture when baked.|
|Turkey or Chicken||Lean protein||Turkey or chicken provides lean protein, binds the casserole together, and adds savory flavor.|
|Mushrooms||Umami flavor, texture||Sautéed mushrooms add deep, earthy umami flavor. They also provide meaty texture.|
|Onion||Aroma, flavor||Onion gives the dish aromatic flavor when sautéed.|
|Pimentos||Color, flavor||Diced pimentos add flecks of color and a subtle sweet/spicy taste.|
|Cream of Mushroom Soup||Creamy texture, binds ingredients||The cream soup thickens the casserole and binds all the ingredients together.|
|Sherry or Chicken Broth||Flavor||A splash of sherry or broth adds a boost of flavor to the creamy sauce.|
|Parmesan Cheese||Flavor, creaminess||Shredded parmesan gives the casserole a delicious cheesy, nutty taste. Melted parmesan also contributes to the sauce’s creamy texture.|
|Parsley||Freshness, color||Fresh parsley adds a pop of green color plus a bright, fresh flavor.|
|Salt and Pepper||Flavor||Salt and pepper season the casserole and enhances all the flavors.|
Is this Turkey Tetrazzini recipe easy to make?
Turkey Tetrazzini is an easy recipe that is simple enough for even beginner cooks to make. Here is an overview of the difficulty level:
Easy Difficulty Level
On a scale of easy, medium, and hard, turkey tetrazzini ranks as easy. There are several reasons why this classic casserole recipe can be considered easy to make:
Requires just 9 basic ingredients that are easy to find. There are no hard-to-find components.
Quick and easy prep with no complicated techniques. Just basic chopping and sautéing.
Minimal active cooking time. Much of the time is hands-off as the pasta cooks and the casserole bakes.
Only dirtying one pot, a skillet, and a baking dish keeps cleanup easy.
Instructions are straightforward. Make the sauce, stir everything together, and bake.
Flexible substitutions make it accommodating for different tastes and dietary needs.
This is the kid-friendly recipe most children will eat.
Freezes well for leftovers, so it can be made in advance.
Novice or beginner cooks should be comfortable executing this recipe successfully. As long as you follow the instructions, it is pretty foolproof.
With mainly pantry staples and basic cooking methods required, turkey tetrazzini is one of the easier classic American casserole recipes to master.
It’s a great meal for even those new to cooking to gain confidence in the kitchen.
Calorie count and nutrition information
Here are the calorie counts for each ingredient in Turkey Tetrazzini, as well as the nutrition information for the full recipe:
|Ingredient||Calories (per serving)|
|8oz spaghetti, cooked||220 calories|
|2 cups cooked turkey, diced||280 calories|
|8oz mushrooms, sliced||40 calories|
|1/2 onion, diced||15 calories|
|1/4 cup pimentos||30 calories|
|10oz can cream of mushroom soup||510 calories|
|1/4 cup dry sherry||80 calories|
|1/2 cup grated parmesan||220 calories|
|1 tsp parsley||1 calorie|
|Total (makes 6 servings)||1396 calories|
The full Turkey Tetrazzini recipe makes 6 servings, with each serving containing about 340 calories.
The total prep and cook time is about 45 minutes. Here is a timeline:
- Cook spaghetti: 10 minutes
- Cook turkey and sauté vegetables: 10 minutes
- Make sauce: 2 minutes
- Assemble casserole: 5 minutes
- Bake: 30 minutes
- Rest: 5 minutes
- Total time: 45 minutes
So in just 45 minutes, you can have a creamy, comforting Turkey Tetrazzini casserole on the table to serve six people.
It’s perfect for busy weeknight dinners with the family.
Tips for Making the Best Turkey Tetrazzini
Follow these tips for creamy, flavorful turkey tetrazzini every time:
Don’t overcook the pasta – Cook it al dente so it doesn’t get mushy when baked. Let it finish cooking in the casserole.
Use fresh mushrooms – The flavor really shines through. Don’t use canned.
Toast the mushrooms – Sautéing them until browned adds tons of deep, savory flavor.
Use real Parmesan – It makes a difference in flavor over pre-shredded cheese.
Flavor the sauce – The sherry adds a subtle sweetness. Chicken broth works too.
Prevent drying out – Cover the baking dish with foil if the top browns too quickly.
Rest before serving – Letting it stand for 5 minutes allows the sauce to thicken.
With these simple tips, you’ll have the creamiest, most delicious turkey tetrazzini every time you make it.
Variations and Substitutions
Turkey tetrazzini is highly adaptable to different tastes and dietary needs. Try these variations:
Use chicken, ham, shrimp, or leftover roast beef instead of turkey
Substitute rice or egg noodles for the spaghetti
Use reduced-fat cream of mushroom or celery soup
Add peas, broccoli, or roasted red peppers
Use Greek yogurt or cashew cream for lower-fat
Make it vegetarian by using mushrooms, spinach, and beans
Try gluten-free pasta and skip the soup for gluten-free
For low-carb, use zoodles instead of pasta
You can easily give this classic dish your own spin. Play around with different add-ins and ingredients depending on what you have available.
More Classic Thanksgiving Recipes
Why not try these other classic comforting recipes next:
Elegant Brie en Croute – Baked brie wrapped in puff pastry.
Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip – Creamy spinach and artichoke dip are perfect for parties.
Warm Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Dip – Sweet and savory warm butternut squash dip.
Easy Turkey Pot Pie Recipe – Classic comforting turkey pot pie with peas, carrots, and flaky crust.
These comforting classics are all easy to make and full of flavor.
From its origins with opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini to modern iterations using canned soup and turkey, tetrazzini remains a favorite American comfort food casserole.
This easy recipe comes together in just one pot. A creamy mushroom sauce binds spaghetti, turkey or chicken, mushrooms, and cheese into a rich, indulgent casserole.
Boil the pasta, make the sauce, bake, and you have dinner for the whole family.
With minimal prep and simple ingredients, turkey tetrazzini is great for busy weeknights. It also makes an excellent way to use Thanksgiving leftovers.
Check out our other Thanksgiving recipes for easy recipes perfect for family appetizers, dinners, desserts, and drinks…
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