Turkey Tetrazzini + 9 Other Recipes Equal 10 Reasons You’ll Love Your Turkey Leftovers

gluten free, dairy free, tetrazzini, casserole, turkey leftovers, Thanksgiving, holiday

Happy Thanksgiving! Over the years, Thanksgiving has become my very favorite holiday. Okay, other than my birthday … did I just say that? Hehe. Oh by the way, today is the birthday of two of my favorite blogger friends/best bloggers in the universe– Heidi (Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom) and Stephanie (A Year of Slow Cooking and Totally Together Journal). Happy Birthday ladies! I am thankful for you both, plus so many who make up the amazing blogging community—gluten free and otherwise. On Thanksgiving, sharing a meal with one’s loved ones and counting one’s blessings (past and present), and hopefully reaching out to others who could use a hand, well it doesn’t get much better than that in my opinion. Today’s Thanksgiving was as special as so many others. I hope yours was, too. Please know that I sincerely count each of you in my blessings. Thank you for being here and taking the time to give so much of yourselves to me, gfe, and other gfe readers!

As a prelude to my Thanksgiving recipe, let me give you a little comedy relief … an important quality is to be able to laugh at one’s self. I actually consider myself fairly good at that trait. I consider it a survival skill. Here’s what I posted yesterday on Facebook on my experience making this recipe:

“I’ve got a Thanksgiving Cooking Comedy of Errors going on here. Making Turkey Tetrazzini so I can share it with you all. First, the package of pasta that has an inside plastic package impresses me … until I find out it has a large hole in the end. So I lose half of it to the floor. Then I cook the other half and realize that I was supposed to cook it in chicken broth with other ingredients. (I only cook this dish once a year … I forget. Sigh.) So I then cook it properly. As I’m putting away the remaining uncooked pasta (which I’ve put in a ziploc bag), I drop the whole thing in the dog’s water dish. Blech! And water goes everywhere. What worse than expensive gluten-free pasta? Gluten-free pasta you never even get to use! A girl’s gotta laugh right? So I’m a little behind on making my recipe and getting my post done today. But it will be up later. Turkey Tetrazzini is worth the wait, believe me, and you won’t need the recipe until Friday anyway, right? Think I’m going to pull a Julia Child (the SNL version of her anyway) and start drinking wine while I cook. I don’t think I could do any worse and I will be relaxed when the next “catastrophe” strikes.”

If turkey is on your menu today, you might want to save a little for this recipe. Hubby’s review this time around: “That was delicious. I ate too much. It was so good, I’m almost speechless.” Silly man, but I eat those comments up! (Pun intended.) I also brought that Turkey Tetrazzini out for the Thanksgiving meal today. It’s different than what we usually eat, but all enjoyed it. You can make this Turkey Tetrazzini right away or freeze enough of your leftover turkey to make it on another day when you need some tasty comfort food. And if you’re not into Turkey Tetrazzini, below the recipe I give you a few more gfe ideas for your turkey (or even veggie) leftovers and even a couple more from my some favorite friends. Enjoy!

gluten free, dairy free, tetrazzini, casserole, turkey leftovers, Thanksgiving, holiday

Turkey Tetrazzini (Gluten Free with Dairy-Free Option)
(Click here for a printable version of this recipe.)


3 cups chicken broth/stock (or homemade turkey stock!)
1 ½ cups gluten-free pasta (I used gluten-free spaghetti)
1 ½ cups celery, diced
1 tbsp green pepper, diced (up to ¼ cup if you really like green pepper)
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
About 2 tbsp olive oil
About 1 cup mushrooms, some sliced and some chopped fine
2/3 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy–I recommend a thicker milk; I used a combo of almond milk and full-fat coconut milk)
¾ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (omit for dairy free or use Daiya dairy-free cheddar-style cheese shreds)
1 tbsp dried parsley
3 cups cooked turkey, chopped
2 tbsp gluten-free bread crumbs, gluten-free cracker crumbs, or almond flour mixed with some olive oil or coconut oil


Cook pasta, celery, green pepper, onion, garlic, and parsley in chicken broth for the amount of time specified in pasta cooking directions. (I emphasize the chicken broth factor, because it’s easy to get caught up in old routines and just cook your pasta in water; don’t do it.)

gluten free, dairy free, tetrazzini, casserole, turkey leftovers, Thanksgiving, holiday

While pasta mixture is cooking, sauté mushrooms in olive oil. Once slightly browned, remove skillet from stove and slowly add milk. Return skillet to stove and cooking over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, allow your mushroom sauce to slowly reduce and thicken some. Be sure to stir every few minutes.

gluten free, dairy free, tetrazzini, casserole, turkey leftovers, Thanksgiving, holiday

In a large bowl, combine pasta mixture, mushroom mixture, cheese, and turkey; mix well.

Transfer to a greased, average-sized casserole dish. Top with your topping of choice and a few sprinkles of Parmesan cheese (if desired).

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes. For browner top, increase temperature to 400 degrees last 5 minutes or use broiler with dish remaining low in the oven IF your casserole dish can withstand that much heat.

Adapted from recipe from Mr. GFE’s cousin Janet

Shirley’s Notes: I didn’t have quite enough parsley on hand so I also added some of the celery leaves; they often add great flavor in dishes. I used 2 tablespoons of almond flour combined with one teaspoon of coconut oil for my topping. While cheese can be omitted completely in this recipe, I like it when cheese is included much more … even dairy-free cheese.

gluten free, dairy free, tetrazzini, casserole, turkey leftovers, Thanksgiving, holiday

To make sure you have 10 ways to use your turkey leftovers, here are the other 9 recipes for you!

~ Turkey (or Chicken or Vegan) Pot Pie

~ Turkey (or Chicken or Beef) Enchilada Casserole

~ Savory Lemon-Kissed Sun-Dried Tomato Artichoke Turkey (or Chicken) Clafoutis

~ Saucy Cheesy Turkey (or Chicken) Veggie Pasta Skillet Supper

~ Turkey (or Chicken) Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

~ Crunchy Long Grain and Wild Rice Casserole

~ Tasty Tortilla Soup

~ Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Ham and Turkey (use up some of your ham and turkey)

~ Everything Soup (use up most of your leftovers, like turkey, ham, and veggies)

And when I want to venture outside the gfe recipe box and want to use turkey leftovers, specifically “cold” recipes in these two cases, I call upon some favorite recipes from my other blogger buddies:

~ The Best Mayo-Free Chicken Salad from Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom (best use of macadamia nuts EVER)

~ Pesto Chicken Salad from The Whole Gang (even my non-pesto loving husband loves this recipe!)

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


36 Responses to “Turkey Tetrazzini + 9 Other Recipes Equal 10 Reasons You’ll Love Your Turkey Leftovers”

  1. Ina Gawne on November 24th, 2011 8:58 pm

    Shirley – this sounds wonderful! A dish I have never had, can’t wait for Christmas Turkey leftovers – we are so going to have this dish! I so hear you on the bloopers in the kitchen…I have a post coming up where I actually forgot some major step in the recipe…grrrr!

    • Shirley on November 26th, 2011 2:35 pm

      Hi Ina–Wow, you’ve never had Tetrazzini? Well, I think you will fall in love, dear. :-) Another reason to look forward to Christmas! I think these kinds of bloopers (as you call them … hey, don’t folks get paid good money for bloopers? LOL) are fairly normal. We’re naive when we think they don’t happen to others. ;-) I can’t wait for your post, but I’m sorry about the boo boo!


  2. Jeanette on November 24th, 2011 9:33 pm

    I know it must have killed you to lose a box of gluten-free pasta – I hate wasting any food, especially expensive food! You just have to laugh in those situations, there’s nothing else to do. By the way, I read that celery leaves are actually supposed to be very good for you. Thanks for sharing all these leftover turkey recipes – your tetrazzini sounds wonderful, thanks for the dairy-free tips.

    • Shirley on November 26th, 2011 2:42 pm

      Hi Jeanette–The pasta loss was painful. One minute I was thinking what a great idea the inner plastic bag was and the next I was picking up pasta noodles and thinking “false sense of security”! Yes, one has to laugh. I got an email once that share a similar story and basically said that it was the higher power’s way of getting one’s attention, making one slow down, etc. So now every time that happens, I look heavenward and think, “hey, okay, I hear you.” ;-)

      I always use all my celery leaves. They’re great in chicken salad, soup, etc., but I didn’t know all their health benefits. I also use them in place of cilantro for the cilantro haters.

      Turkey Tetrazzini is a real treat. :-) And there’s already reader rave review on the df version … love that!

      Thanks, dear!

  3. Alta on November 24th, 2011 11:12 pm

    Shirley, this seems comforting and something the kids would enjoy. (and hubby) I remember really liking turkey tetrazzini, but I haven’t had it in many years. What brand of pasta do you prefer? I have typically used Tinkyada, but it seems so heavy. I’ve found Lundberg seems to be more true to “gluten-y” pasta in texture, but it’s harder to find. Thoughts? :) Hope your Thanksgiving turned out well.

    • Shirley on November 26th, 2011 2:52 pm

      Hi Alta—I think you all would enjoy this dish. :-)

      I can’t recall the Lundberg products right now, although I know I’ve enjoyed some in the past. I agree with you on Tinkyada’s heaviness, but it still seems to be the pasta I use the most. I was pretty happy with Goldbaum’s pasta, too, but don’t know that it was necessarily less heavy. I don’t like corn pasta. There are a few other pastas that I’ve heard good things about that seem to merit a full review in the future. Some are fairly expensive though and I don’t like expensive. ;-) I was surprised at how easy making one’s own pasta was when I did it. I have some lasagna in my future and I plan to make my own for that. So easy to just make big sheets … no need for individual noodles. With enough liquid, one doesn’t have to cook the noodles ahead of time. ;-)

      Thanksgiving was wonderful; hope yours was, too! :-)

    • Shirley on November 26th, 2011 3:03 pm

      Alta–One more thing I thought of … I also love the rice stick noodles from the Asian market. We use them in pasta dishes, chicken noodle soup., etc. They are very light and don’t have much flavor on their own, so I often find them perfect for my needs in taking on the flavor of the sauce or other ingredients. And, last, but not least, they are very inexpensive–love that! While they are not certified gluten free or even labeled gluten free (at least not most of the time), I’ve never had an issue with them.


  4. Zoe on November 25th, 2011 3:04 am

    Happy Thanksgiving, Shirley! I have those moments on a regular basis, laughing at myself for some reason or other. I often make fun of situations as well; not to mock or anything malevolent, just to lighten the mood if necessary. Anyway, enough about me and my sense of humour – this recipe looks good and I love seeing recipes that make use of leftovers. :) I really want to do more in that area, at some point. I do feel sorry about the pasta, though – but, like you said, if you can laugh about it, it’s not so bad. :)

    P.S. Just wanted to add in response to Alta’s comment, we bought some Lundberg brown rice noodles (elbow noodles) when we were in the States last, and it was so good! We loved the texture and chew. I’m hoping we find it somewhere here, maybe at our Whole Foods.

    • Alta on November 25th, 2011 10:15 am

      Zoe – I’ve only found them by ordering through Azure Standard, and not everyone has that option (and I might not for much longer!). I haven’t tried looking at Whole Foods though (no idea why), so I’ll have to check as well!

      • Zoe on November 26th, 2011 3:12 am

        Yes, forgot to mention that we found them at Whole Foods in Tustin, California.

    • Shirley on November 26th, 2011 3:00 pm

      Hi Zoe–Thank you, dear! I’m so glad you are clued into the “real” Joy of Cooking! ;-) I’m happy to help folks out with leftover ideas. Sometimes we simply can’t think of anything new when admiring out stash of food, but tired of the same meal. Speaking of which, I loved your potato pancakes. Now those are comfort food!

      Thanks, too, for answering Alta’s inquiry on pasta, so we’ll all know about your success with Lundberg elbow noodles! :-)


  5. Kay Guest on November 25th, 2011 6:45 am

    Hey Shirley!
    Expensive gluten free pasta in the dog’s water bowl, you really make me laugh, but I’m afraid I would have said ?!+_@#$#!
    This recipe looks wonderful, as always!

    • Shirley on November 26th, 2011 3:06 pm

      Hey Kay–I knew you’d get a kick out of my story. It was such a good one, that I just had to share, you know? Believe it or not, I didn’t curse. Well, maybe I said “crap,” which some folks consider cursing. ;-)

      Thanks re: the recipe! :-) Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving! xoxo,

  6. Heidi @ Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom on November 25th, 2011 10:55 am

    Thank you for the birthday shout out Shirley! I had not idea it was Steph’s birthday too until she called me yesterday to say Happy Birthday (seriously, I just want to put her in my pocket and carry her around with me, LOL!).

    Thank you for sharing your comedy of errors, I really needed that laugh as I was having a small one of my own yesterday. I left an empty skillet on a flaming burner for who knows how long yesterday – and didn’t realize it until I picked it up with my hand. OUCH!! I quickly put it down on my John Boos wood chopping block (not cheap mind you) and when I went to move it some 20 minutes later…I discovered that I now have a huge, PERMANENT black circle on my cutting board!

    Much love my dear, dear friend!


    • Shirley on November 26th, 2011 3:10 pm

      You bet, Heidi! I know you guys will always remember your shared day from this point on. ;-) And yes, Steph is both the cutest and the best! :-)

      Wowser on leaving the burner on and “tattooing” your chopping block … so sorry! Still I’m glad that you don’t have any permanent marks on your hand (hope not anyway!). Don’t stress over it … chopping blocks need some character. If you decide you need a new one though, ship that one to me. I love castoffs. ;-)

      Love and hugs for your birthday, Thanksgiving, and always,

  7. Kalyn on November 25th, 2011 11:43 am

    I’ve had a few cooking days like that where things just keep going wrong, but it looks like your dish still turned out great! I love Turkey (or chicken) Tetrazzini, need to make it again sometime.

    • Shirley on November 26th, 2011 3:15 pm

      Hi Kalyn–I think those days are inevitable for any of us who spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen … it’s just the odds, right? ;-) Yes, treat yourself to some Turkey or Chicken Tetrazzini in the future. It’s one of those dishes that most of us enjoy so rarely, so we fall in love with it all over again. :-)

      Having your Roasted Green Beans with Garlic, Ginger, and Red Bell Pepper as part of our leftover dinner—just love that dish!


  8. Gretchen @gfedge on November 25th, 2011 12:58 pm

    OK, you got my attention – tetrazinni it is. But I’ll be making it low carb with shiritake noodles because ’tis the season of way too many carbs! My leftover vegan gravy will be the sauce.

    • Shirley on November 26th, 2011 3:17 pm

      Hi Gretchen–LOL … Tetrazzini can definitely get one’s attention. ;-) Using your leftover vegan gravy is a great idea! Hope your version turned out sufficiently low carb, but creamy enough to make you happy. :-)


  9. Cindy on November 25th, 2011 2:58 pm

    OMG! It’s good to hear an experienced cook like yourself, Shirley, has moments like those. I also had one of those yesterday. I decided to make an chocolate torte that I read about on a blog – last minute – so I was going fast and my normal bowl (with a handle) was dirty from making my pumpkin pie so I grabbed a metal pan – and dropped the entire thing into the bowl with eggs -splattering it all over. But I was not going to waste it so I salvaged what I could. The torte turned out to be AMAZING! My kids – who are picky about gf food – loved it. The only thing gf about it was the pecan/shortbread crust. Glad you had a great Thanksgiving.

    • Shirley on November 26th, 2011 3:21 pm

      Hi Cindy–You made me chuckle, dear. I’m no different than anyone else, but thank you! And boy does that chocolate torte sound amazing. Pecan shortbread crust alone would make me happy! Did you find the recipe on another blog? I’d love to check it out, although mine not turn out as well as yours because happy accidents are hard to repeat. ;-)

      I’m imagining your beautiful family gathered round you eating that delicious torte … what a wonderful Thanksgiving scene! Hugs,

  10. Tiffany on November 26th, 2011 11:51 am

    Made this for dinner last night and even my non-gluten/dairy free husband had 2.5 helpings! He couldn’t believe that something dairy/gluten free could be so creamy and delicious! Thanks!! :)

    • Shirley on November 26th, 2011 3:33 pm

      Wooohooo, Tiffany!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your success with us all. :-) When we can make a dish that makes those without food intolerances happy as well, it’s a wonderful thing! All gluten-free, dairy-free dishes should be that way IMHO … otherwise, why would we want to eat them? ;-)

      Thanks again, dear! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! :-)

  11. Megan @ MAID in Alaska on November 26th, 2011 3:29 pm

    This looks like something my entire family will enjoy, Shirley! Thank you! :)

    ps- I’m sorry you lost your pasta!!

    • Shirley on November 26th, 2011 3:37 pm

      Hey Megan–I’m chuckling here … “lost your pasta” sounds a whole lot like “lost your cookies”! And it makes just losing some through the hole in the pasta bag seems like a much more pleasant thing. ;-) Anyway, I know I’m being silly, but that’s how it hit me. LOL And I do think you would all enjoy this tetrazzini!

      Now I must know … with moose in your driveaway and all around, do you ever eat/prepare dishes that include moose?


  12. Megan @ MAID in Alaska on November 26th, 2011 6:51 pm

    Hi Shirley,
    LOL… I guess it could also sound like “she’s lost her marbles!” If you ever tell me that you’ve, “lost your pasta” I’ll know what you mean! ;p Too funny! Thanks for the laugh, Shirley! It’s been a rough week… nice to have a bit of a laugh.

    If we had the moose meat, I definitely would prepare meals with it. It’s very tasty – my hubby is just not a hunter. I have some black bear in my freezer though! A very nice man (he knows my parents and knows of my health problems) gave me some extra meat he had. I’ve been wanting to do a post on it, but it’s not bad cooked all day in the crock pot with Penzey’s Bavarian seasoning on it. Tastes a lot like roast beef!

    Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

    • Shirley on November 30th, 2011 3:01 pm

      Megan–Delayed response (I’ve been away and too busy when I’m home … bad Shirley!), but I’m so sorry you’ve had a rough week, dear! I’m happy to give you a chuckle any time. My hubby is not a hunter either, but we have other family members who are.

      Bear that’s “not bad” didn’t sound too great until you mentioned that it tastes like roast beef. I’ve never heard of the Bavarian seasoning, but know most of the other Penzey’s seasonings. Will have to check it out–thanks!

      We had a nice long weekend with a little getaway even … now I’m back at work though! ;-)

  13. Stephanie on November 28th, 2011 4:14 pm

    Shirley – This sounds amazing!! I cannot wait to attempt it! In fact I am planning on making this (or some variation of it – you know me can’t leave anything alone). I noticed that in the directions you mention onions, but it doesn’t say hoe much in the ingredient list :(

    • Shirley on November 30th, 2011 3:02 pm

      Hey Stephanie–Thanks so much for the heads up on the discrepancy! Per our discussion on Facebook, I’m so glad that you used a small amount of onion that was pleasing to both of you. Most importantly, I’m glad you really liked the recipe! :-)


  14. Carol, Simply Gluten-free on November 29th, 2011 10:04 am

    You get Thanksgiving cards?!? No one ever sends me Thanksgiving cards, I am jealous! This dish sounds wonderful. And thanks for the laugh – you know I am laughing with you, right?

    • Shirley on November 30th, 2011 3:03 pm

      Hi Carol–Well, I must rectify that next year, dear, and send you a Thanksgiving card, because I am thankful for you! :-)

      Turkey Tetrazzini is quite pleasing. :-)

      Sure … laugh with me or at me any time! ;-)


  15. Dave on February 18th, 2014 3:03 pm

    The recipe turned out fine for my wife & I, Thanks!
    As a veteran Midwest chef, I found the instructions vague in regards to cooking the pasta. How many steps on the “package” were supposed to be followed? Packages say to rinse well, but there were no instructions in that regard, so I partially drained it, as the mushroom sauce didn’t appear to be enough for the casserole.

    • Shirley on February 18th, 2014 4:01 pm

      Hi Dave–Welcome to gfe! :-) Sorry you found the instructions insufficient, but I did say to follow the pasta instructions only in regard to cooking time. Since you’re cooking the pasta (plus celery, green pepper, etc.) in the chicken broth which I emphasize in the recipe, you don’t drain the pasta. Did you cook your pasta in water instead? Not sure what happened, but I’ve always had plenty of sauce for this recipe and I’m glad that in the end the resulting casserole pleased you all. ;-)


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