This update on the classic casserole is lighter, leaner, and loaded with wholesome vegetables. It’s a complete meal that can be made in advance and freezes well.
If you have leftover Thanksgiving turkey, tetrazzini is a perfect way to enjoy it in a whole new way. If there are no leftovers to speak of, it’s worth cooking a little extra—even a rotisserie chicken will do. (As an option, Slow Cooker Turkey Breast or Slow Roasted Whole Chicken are two easy recipes that will provide the leftovers.)
This recipe is a bit like lasagna, requiring several steps yet rewarding you with enough food to feed a crowd. Alternatively, you may divide the tetrazzini between two separate dishes; enjoy one now and freeze one for later.
I have remade this dish into a lighter version of the traditional tetrazzini with its deliciously creamy sauce. Olive oil is used in place of butter and 2% milk in lieu of cream. The addition of mushrooms and kale adds color, flavor, and nutrients and makes this a perfect one-dish meal. That said, I personally think a side of peas compliments this recipe quite nicely!
Once you have completed the first step and added the cooked poultry, you essentially have creamed chicken or turkey, which can be a dish unto itself or used in a pot pie or casserole. You may also serve it over pasta, on crusty toast, or in puff pastry shells.
Adding greens makes this meal feel more complete while packing a nutritional punch. Spinach may be substituted for the suggested kale. You could even use the greens from a fresh bunch of beets or turnips. Although a whole bunch of kale may seem like too much, the greens wilt down to a fraction of their original size.
My younger son doesn’t care for the mushrooms, but I never omit them. They are my favorite add-in, so I’m always happy to eat his share!
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- ⅓ cup (42g) all-purpose flour (gluten-free if needed)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1½ cups 2% milk (could substitute whole milk; non-fat makes the sauce a tad watery)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- 2 tablespoons sherry (optional)
- 4 cups cooked turkey or chicken (about 1¼ lbs or 680g)), shredded or cut into bite-size pieces
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced or quartered
- 1 small or ½ a large bunch kale (5-6 ounces), tough stems removed and coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces spaghetti (gluten-free if needed*)
- ⅓-½ cup slivered or sliced almonds
- ⅓ cup (27g) grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400℉.
Heat the ¼ cup olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk or stir until smooth, about a minute. Add the chicken broth and stir until smooth again. Pour in the milk, increase the heat to medium, and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly. Simmer for 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in the optional sherry and nutmeg, the turkey or chicken, and salt and pepper to taste. (I add about ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper at this point.)
In a separate skillet over medium-high heat, cook the mushrooms in the remaining tablespoon olive oil until tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped kale, in batches if necessary, and toss until just barely wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in salted water according to the package directions and drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
Stir the cooked spaghetti, the reserved cooking liquid, and the mushroom/kale mixture into the turkey mixture and toss until just combined.
Transfer the mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish and sprinkle with the almonds and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly and the cheese is golden brown. (Make-ahead tip: you may prepare up to the baking point, and then cover and refrigerate. In this case, you will need to add approximately 10 more minutes to the baking time.
*I recently used Banza spaghetti, which is a pasta made from chickpeas, in this casserole. Nobody noticed any difference in flavor, and I liked that this pasta didn’t break as easily as many gluten-free spaghetti noodles.
A few more things…
•This recipe may also be baked in two 9-inch cake pans, two 9-inch deep dish pie plates, or two 8-inch square pans－or a combination. Freeze one for later use, enjoy leftovers later in the week, or surprise a friend with a ready-made meal!
•The sherry and nutmeg add great flavor but, if you don’t have them on hand and would not use them in other recipes, there is no need to make a special purchase.
And now to the Blog Hop… For delicious Thanksgiving meal planning, I have joined with a group of talented bloggers to cover all the holiday bases. From sweet potatoes to pumpkin pie and everything in between, we have lots of crowd-pleasing options.
Maple – Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage | Five Heart Home
Turkey Tetrazzini w/ Mushrooms and Kale | The Fountain Ave Kitchen
Orange Balsamic Glazed Ham | Cherished Bliss
Turkey Soup | Carmel Moments
Cauliflower Gratin | Love Grows Wild
Creamy Cheese Corn Casserole | Five Heart Home
Cranberry Citrus Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans | Delightful E Made
Sautéed French Green Beans | Cherished Bliss
Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie | Cooking with Curls
Apple Pie Waffles | Club Narwhal
Raspberry Pie | Dessert Now Dinner Later
Triple Layer Chocolate Pie | I Should be Mopping the Floor
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Pecan Pie | Lemon Tree Dwelling
No Bake Brown Sugar Cheesecake w/ Spiced Pears | Baking a Moment
Nutella Kahlua Truffles | Kleinworth & Co
Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Cupcake Diaries
Cream Filled Coffee Cake | Tastes of Lizzy T
Cranberry Orange Mulled Wine | Wine and Glue
Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake | Maison De Pax