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Turkey Tetrazzini: The Comfort Food Classic

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.

close up of Turkey Tetrazzini

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:

SpaghettiProvides carbohydrates and textureThe pasta soaks up the creamy sauce and gives the casserole its distinctive texture when baked.
Turkey or ChickenLean proteinTurkey or chicken provides lean protein, binds the casserole together, and adds savory flavor.
MushroomsUmami flavor, textureSautéed mushrooms add deep, earthy umami flavor. They also provide meaty texture.
OnionAroma, flavorOnion gives the dish aromatic flavor when sautéed.
PimentosColor, flavorDiced pimentos add flecks of color and a subtle sweet/spicy taste.
Cream of Mushroom SoupCreamy texture, binds ingredientsThe cream soup thickens the casserole and binds all the ingredients together.
Sherry or Chicken BrothFlavorA splash of sherry or broth adds a boost of flavor to the creamy sauce.
Parmesan CheeseFlavor, creaminessShredded parmesan gives the casserole a delicious cheesy, nutty taste. Melted parmesan also contributes to the sauce’s creamy texture.
ParsleyFreshness, colorFresh parsley adds a pop of green color plus a bright, fresh flavor.
Salt and PepperFlavorSalt 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.

spaghetti on a fork

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:

IngredientCalories (per serving)
8oz spaghetti, cooked220 calories
2 cups cooked turkey, diced280 calories
8oz mushrooms, sliced40 calories
1/2 onion, diced15 calories
1/4 cup pimentos30 calories
10oz can cream of mushroom soup510 calories
1/4 cup dry sherry80 calories
1/2 cup grated parmesan220 calories
1 tsp parsley1 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:

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…

Turkey Tetrazzini: The Comfort Food Classic

Recipe by Chris Cooper
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy




Total time



This easy turkey tetrazzini recipe is a creamy, comforting one-pot baked casserole with turkey, pasta, mushrooms, and a savory parmesan sauce. Perfect for weeknights or using up Thanksgiving leftovers. Only requires 9 ingredients and comes together in just one pot and 45 minutes for a crowd-pleasing family dinner.


  • 8 oz 8 spaghetti

  • 2 cups 2 cooked turkey or chicken

  • 8 oz 8 mushrooms, sliced

  • 1/2 1/2 onion, diced (optional)

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 pimentos, diced (optional)

  • 10 oz 10 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 dry sherry or chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 grated Parmesan

  • 1 tsp 1 parsley

  • Salt and pepper


  • Cook the Spaghetti
    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Cook the Protein
    If using leftover turkey or chicken, chop or shred into bite-size pieces. If starting from raw, sauté 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts over medium heat until cooked through, then let cool and dice or shred.
  • Sauté the Vegetables
    In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add onions and pimentos (if using) and sauté 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
  • Make the Sauce
    In a small bowl, whisk together the condensed cream of mushroom soup and sherry or chicken broth.
  • Combine Everything
    Add the cooked spaghetti, turkey or chicken, mushrooms, sauce, Parmesan, parsley, and salt and pepper to the skillet. Gently toss together until combined.
  • Transfer to Casserole Dish
    Pour the tetrazzini mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish. Top with extra Parmesan cheese and parsley.
  • Bake
    Bake uncovered at 350°F for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  • And enjoy this creamy, comforting turkey tetrazzini! The ingredients meld together into a delicious baked casserole.


  • Thin spaghetti works best in casseroles
  • Use leftovers or cook fresh turkey

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Turkey Tetrazzini in a white dish

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