You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for a turkey casserole recipe to use up your leftover turkey! This leftover turkey casserole is packed with pasta, veggies, turkey chunks, all folded in with a simple, creamy, cheesy, savory sauce. Top your casserole with some buttery Ritz crackers for the perfect finish.
Leftover turkey is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it’s great to have leftovers in the fridge ready to go. On the other, it might be difficult to think of something exciting to make with your leftover turkey. Turkey Sandwiches like these delicious turkey sliders are a go-to leftover turkey meal, or you could make Turkey Soup. But what if you want something different?
This recipe for leftover turkey is a bit more exciting than sandwiches, but it’s super simple to make. It won’t feel like leftovers – It will be like you created an entirely new, delicious meal.
Try using leftover turkey in Chicken Spaghetti Casserole too! You can generally use turkey in any recipes that call for cooked chicken.
Need to know the best way to cook a turkey? My recipe for Spatchcock Turkey is the fastest way to do it! You can also roast a turkey the traditional way, grill a turkey, smoke a turkey, or make a turkey breast in the instant pot.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Uses Leftover Turkey: Don’t know what to do with leftover turkey? Make this turkey noodle casserole! It truly is my favorite way to use turkey leftovers, and it’s great with leftover chicken too.
- Hearty and Healthy: Adding turkey to pasta and veggies is a great way to get a healthy meal on the table that everyone will enjoy. Mushrooms, corn, and peas add some delicious nutrition.
- Completely Homemade: No need to pull out a can of soup for this creamy leftover turkey casserole. The sauce here is from scratch and super simple to throw together.
- Comfort Food: After a long day of holiday fun, it’s nice to have a comfort food casserole ready for dinner.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Pasta: Any type of pasta that you enjoy can be used to create this casserole. I suggest using a short pasta like shells, macaroni, or rotini to make your turkey noodle casserole easy to serve and eat.
- Turkey: 3 cups of cubed leftover turkey meat goes into this yummy dish. You can use whatever you have left, a combination of white and dark meat is perfect.
- Butter, Ritz Crackers, and Parmesan cheese: The crispy and crunch topping on our turkey casserole might just be the best part. Crush the crackers with your hands or by placing in a zip top bag and banging with a rolling pin.
- Onion and Mushrooms: These vegetables are cooked down to add savory flavor to the sauce. Cremini or white button mushrooms are perfect.
- Flour: Regular all-purpose flour works to thicken our turkey casserole sauce.
- Turkey Stock: Use your roast turkey carcass to make a delicious turkey stock. Rather not? Use boxed turkey or chicken stock instead.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese: This makes our casserole nice and creamy, plus it’s cheesy and salty.
- Frozen Peas: Trust me, this is delicious! The sweetness of the peas pairs wonderfully with the salty and savory ingredients.
How to Make Turkey Casserole
- Get Ready: Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Cook noodles according to the package directions, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, and set aside for later.
- Mix Buttered Crumbs: In a small bowl, combine the crushed crackers with ¼ cup parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Mix and set aside.
- Start Sauce: In a skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter, and sauté onion until soft and translucent. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened.
- Finish Sauce: Add flour to the skillet with the vegetables, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in stock, which and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer and cook for a few more minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Stir in the cheddar cheese and the remaining parmesan.
- Put Together and Bake Casserole: Add the turkey and peas. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a 3 ½ quart casserole dish (I used this 3.5 quart Cast Iron Le Creuset dish that I was able to use as a skillet and my casserole dish, I also love this similar dish from Lodge) Top the casserole with the buttered crumbs and bake for 20 minutes until browned and bubbly.
A squeeze of lemon juice gives this casserole a fresh, bright flavor!
Use up what you have: While cheddar cheese is delicious here, feel free to use up the leftovers from your holiday charcuterie board or any other cheese you might have in the fridge.
Add more flavor: I like that this recipe has simple flavors (it’s very kid friendly this way), but you can add herbs and spices to make it taste the way your family will like it.
Don’t overcook the pasta: Al dente pasta (with some bite to it) is best for casseroles, since the noodles will cook more during baking. Be sure to rinse them after cooking so that they don’t continue to cook while waiting to be added to the sauce.
What to Serve with Turkey Casserole
More Recipes with Leftover Turkey
Try one of these easy recipes to use up that leftover turkey! Leftover turkey is just as versatile as leftover chicken.
- Turkey and Rice Soup
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup (with Turkey)
- Cuban Sandwiches (use sliced turkey in place of the pork!)
- Cheesy Chicken Fajita Casserole (with turkey)
You get the idea! Use that leftover turkey in recipes that call for diced or shredded chicken, or even in place of pork or beef.
I love the buttery crunch of Ritz crackers, but any style of crackers can be used. Panko breadcrumbs can also be used.
Here I’m using a medium sized shell pasta. This casserole will work with any short pasta though. Try penne, rotini, or even elbow macaroni.
Peas are a super simple casserole add-in, because frozen peas barely need to be cooked, so you can just add them in. You can add any other vegetables that you want, like green beans, chopped broccoli, or even extra mushrooms. Just make sure that they are pre-cooked (tender crisp) before adding them in.
This casserole is better the next day! Store it in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave.
The easiest way to make turkey stock is to take your turkey carcass (the bones, with most of the meat removed) and place it into a large stockpot with two whole onions, two stalks of celery, and any fresh herbs that you like. Cover with cold water and season with salt if needed. Bring to a boil, and simmer for up to two hours. Strain to remove the bones and vegetables, leaving behind an amazing, simple turkey stock. Find my Turkey Stock Recipe here.
You should definitely make some Cheesy Mashed Potato Cakes!
I know that this casserole will become a tradition at your house, just like your turkey dinner. Everyone is going to love it!
- 2 cups pasta or noodles uncooked
- 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
- 4 tablespoons butter divided, plus more for pan
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan divided
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 cup cremini mushrooms sliced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups turkey stock or chicken stock
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- 3 cups cooked turkey cubed or shredded
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 ½ quart casserole dish
- Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Cook noodles according to package instructions, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the crushed crackers with ¼ cup parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Mix and set aside. That’s the buttered crumbs topping.
- In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, sauté onion until soft and translucent. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened.
- Add flour, and cook for 1 minute. Pour stock over the flour, whisk and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer, cook for a few minutes to thicken then stir in the cheddar cheese and ¼ cup of parmesan. Add the turkey, and peas. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Stir so that everything is well combined (if using a different dish to bake in, transfer to the baking dish). I used a Le Creuset 11 inch shallow casserole dish, it’s 3 ½ qt. 9×13 dish can also be used.
- Top with the buttered crumbs, and bake for 20 minutes.
- Pasta. Al dente pasta (with some bite to it) is best for casseroles, since the noodles will cook more during baking. Be sure to rinse them after cooking so that they don’t continue to cook while waiting to be added to the sauce.
- Storing. Store leftover turkey casserole in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen