You’ve survived the first holiday of the season but there’s still turkey hanging out in your refrigerator. One can only eat so many turkey sandwiches so here’s a wonderful alternative for any leftovers. This is a variation of a chicken tetrazzini recipe that my Mom made for years, the handwritten recipe almost illegible from hanging out near the stove! And using turkey instead of chicken is an easy switch to create this wonderful baked pasta dish.
This dish is pure comfort food. It starts with a cheese sauce created from a buttery roux. Warm milk is whisked into the roux then a blend of cheddar and Gruyère cheese is stirred into the sauce. Adding sautéed bell peppers, onions and earthy crimini mushrooms finishes the luscious cheese sauce. If that isn’t good enough, noodles – cooked in stock for an extra touch of flavor, are added along with the leftover roasted turkey. Then it’s baked it until the cheese sauce is hot and bubbly.
This makes a large casserole. But if company has headed home and you only have a small gathering you can split it between baking dishes and freeze one for later.
It’s a comforting meal to begin the tree trimming!
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2/3 cup flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus water for the pasta water
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups milk, warmed
½ pound cheddar cheese, shredded
½ pound Gruyère cheese, shredded
1 bell pepper, chopped – about 1-1/4 cup
1 small onion, chopped – about 1-1/4 cup
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, rough chopped
16 ounces egg noodles
1 tablespoon concentrated chicken or turkey bouillon
4 cups chopped roast turkey
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large saucepan melt 8 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, kosher salt and black pepper until smooth.
Cook until the flour just starts to turn a light golden color.
Whisk in the warm milk, stirring frequently until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the shredded cheese and stir into the sauce. Set aside.
In a large skillet, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter of medium heat. Add the bell peppers and onions, cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
Toss into the cheese sauce. In the same skillet, sauté the chopped mushrooms until they are golden in color; add to the cheese sauce. Stir to combine and check for seasoning, adding more kosher salt and pepper if needed.
Fill a large stockpot with enough water to cover the noodles, add a handful of kosher salt and the concentrated chicken bouillon. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the noodles and cook for about 7 minutes. Drain but do not rinse. In a large bowl, add the noodles and the chicken. Add the cheese sauce and stir until well blended.
Pour the mixture into a large baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with a cooking spray.
Sprinkle the top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the sauce bubbles and the dish is heated through.