What is Turkey Tetrazzini?
Broadly speaking, Tetrazzini is an Italian-American dish made with poultry or seafood and pasta in a creamy sauce made with sherry or wine, topped with cheese and/or breadcrumbs and baked. These days, most Tetrazzini recipes are made with turkey and mushrooms, and it’s not uncommon to find a Turkey Tetrazzini dish on many a table right after Thanksgiving when there is plenty of leftover turkey around. It’s a perfect way to use up leftovers. While many recipes use a can of mushroom soup to make Turkey Tetrazzini, this recipe makes the sauce from scratch really easily and it pays off in the end.
Why is it called Tetrazzini?
There’s some dispute as to who was the first to make Tetrazzini, but most people accept that it was named after the opera singer, Luisa Tetrazzini who was popular in the early 1900s. I have no idea why the dish was named after her, nor does anyone else seem to know, but the name does have a nice ring to it and it’s been used so often over the years that it has definitely taken on a recognizable meaning of its own. There’s also the fun alliteration to Turkey Tetrazzini, making it fun to say!
Sauce for Turkey Tetrazzini
Tetrazzini sauce is simple to make, so it’s a shame that so many use a can of mushroom soup. Start by sautéing onion, celery and mushrooms with some thyme. Stir in flour and cook for a few minutes before deglazing with white wine, adding chicken stock and finally adding cream and letting it simmer for just a couple of minutes. Season to taste and you’re done! No reason to open a can.
What is in Turkey Tetrazzini
Then, it’s just a matter of combining ingredients – spaghetti, frozen peas, leftover turkey, the sauce and some Parmesan cheese. Toss it all together and transfer it to a casserole dish. It’s also a good idea to have saved some of the pasta water to thin the mixture at this point. The pasta will continue to absorb liquid, so give it something to absorb by thinning the mix before topping it with breadcrumbs and baking it.
Other Ways to use up Leftover Turkey
Turkey Tetrazzini is definitely one of the most popular Thanksgiving turkey leftover recipes there is, but there are a lot of other ways to use up those leftovers. You might try this Turkey Tex Mex Salad or White Turkey Enchiladas, a Turkey Mushroom Broccoli Calzone, or any number of delicious turkey sandwiches, like my favorite Spicy Turkey Panini. I’ve put ten of my favorite turkey leftover recipes in this round up for you. Who knows… if you have enough leftovers, you might just try them all!