Easy Leftover Turkey Pasta Bake (or Chicken!)
Creamy leftover turkey pasta bake is the perfect casserole to make with your leftover Thanksgiving turkey or chicken! Twirling a fork in a garlicky cream sauce with peas is just the kind of meal you want to have after Black Friday shopping!
Turning Thanksgiving leftovers into something other than Ross’ turkey moist maker sandwich.
And what’s better than a big bowl of leftover turkey pasta bake when you get back home from a day of shopping? Noodles laced with ricotta cheese and alfredo sauce that we totally hacked into a luxuriously creamy semi-homemade sauce and topped with all American white cheddar cheese. It’s the kind of stuff that comfort food dreams are made of.
The part I love the most is that most of the ingredients are pantry staples so other than the turkey, all you really need to grab it a bit of ricotta and a couple of jars of your favorite store-bought alfredo sauce and you can make this simple turkey pasta bake in no time.
We’re hosting Friendsgiving this year and always look forward to leftover turkey. Anees and I are definitely planning on turning some of the leftover turkey into a moist-maker sandwich. But when you know you’re going to hit day three of turkey you need something else. Today’s leftover turkey pasta bake totally gives me chicken tetrazzini vibes. So, we’re not using the breadcrumbs on top, but it’s definitely got the soupy, cheesy, noodle casserole thing going on. But guess what?
As always, there is no cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup cans in my cheesy turkey casserole. However, we do use store-bought alfredo sauce because hello, it’s the day after Thanksgiving and there’s no way I’m making sauce from scratch after cooking all that food(!!!) even though it’s quite possibly the easiest sauce to make. Of course, you can totally rock it out and make homemade alfredo sauce if you wish.
I won’t judge you if you won’t judge me 😆
What do you need to make leftover turkey pasta bake?
- egg noodles
- prepared alfredo sauce
- shredded or diced turkey (or chicken)
- chicken or turkey stock
- ricotta cheese
- white cheddar cheese
Tips to make the best leftover turkey pasta bake:
- Don’t overcook the noodles: Make sure to undercook the noodles a bit so that when you bake them off with the sauce, veggies, and turkey, they don’t end up becoming mushy!
- Use ricotta: the ricotta cheese adds the best creamy rich flavor. It changes the flavor of the store-bought alfredo sauce entirely and makes it taste as if you just got done preparing it yourself.
- Use leftover turkey or a shredded rotisserie chicken: I get that not everyone prepares a turkey for Thanksgiving. Luckily this recipe work just as well if you use pre-cooked shredded chicken breasts or a shredded rotisserie chicken from the store.
- Shred your own cheese! Pre-shredded cheese is often sold coated with things like potato sauce to keep the cheese from sticking together. It almost always doesn’t melt as well as freshly grated or shredded cheese.
- Use garlic powder – to make the flavors a bit bolder and to cut down on prep time, my trick is to use garlic powder to flavor the alfresco sauce. It gives the sauce such a robust, garlicky flavor!
And that’s it! Keeping it short, sweet, and totally easy like this simple leftover turkey pasta bake. My midwestern heart can’t pass up the opportunity to share a good turkey noodle casserole recipe especially one with mushrooms and cream sauce. And I totally love that I didn’t have to make it all from scratch.
Enjoy forkfuls of that creamy cozy noodle bake!
- 12 ounces cooked egg noodles or pappardelle (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ jar (22 ounces total) prepared alfredo sauce
- 1 ½ cups turkey or chicken stock
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 2 teaspoons EACH: garlic powder AND dried basil
- ⅛ - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup defrosted peas
- 2 cups shredded or diced turkey or chicken
- 1 ½ cup shredded (or diced) white cheddar cheese
- PREP: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray a nonstick 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
- SAUTE: Heat the butter in a large saucepan and saute the mushrooms over medium-high heat until they brown; about 7-9 minutes. Then, stir in the alfredo sauce, chicken stock, and ricotta cheese. Season with garlic powder, basil, and red pepper flakes. When the sauce is smooth and heated through, stir in the peas and turkey (or chicken.) Then, fold in the prepared egg noodles and stir to combine.
- BAKE: Add the prepared turkey pasta mixture to the baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake the turkey pasta bake for 15-18 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown on top. You could also give it a minute under the broiler at the end to help it along. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley on top if desired and serve!