turkey tetrazzini recipe: A Classic Comfort Food Dish

turkey tetrazzini recipe

Are you looking for a comforting and delicious meal that is perfect for family dinners or special occasions? Look no further than turkey tetrazzini, a classic dish that has been enjoyed by generations of food lovers. This rich and creamy casserole features tender turkey, pasta, and a savory sauce that will leave your taste buds satisfied and your stomach full.

In this article, we will explore the history of turkey tetrazzini, provide a step-by-step recipe for making this delicious dish at home, and offer some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your turkey tetrazzini experience. So, let’s dive in!

The History of Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey tetrazzini is named after Italian opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini, who was a well-known performer in the early 20th century. The dish is said to have been created in her honor by chef Ernest Arbogast, who was working at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco at the time. The original recipe featured chicken instead of turkey, and it quickly became a favorite among hotel guests and diners.

Over time, the recipe evolved to include different ingredients, including mushrooms, cream, and Parmesan cheese. Today, turkey tetrazzini is a classic American comfort food dish that is enjoyed by people of all ages.

Making Turkey Tetrazzini: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you know a little bit about the history of turkey tetrazzini, let’s get to the good stuff – how to make it! This recipe serves 6-8 people, so it’s perfect for family dinners or small gatherings.


  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups cooked turkey, shredded
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.
  5. Add the heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the sauce. Stir until well combined.
  6. Add the shredded turkey, mushrooms, onion, celery, and parsley to the sauce. Stir until everything is well coated in the sauce.
  7. Add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce and stir until everything is well combined.
  8. Pour the mixture into a 9×13 inch baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly.
  9. Let the turkey tetrazzini cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Tips and Tricks for Making the Best Turkey Tetrazzini

Now that you have the recipe, here are some tips and tricks to make sure your turkey tetrazzini turns out perfectly every time:

  • Use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or Christmas for an extra-special twist on this classic dish.
  • Add some frozen peas or broccoli to the mix for some extra color and nutrition. Simply add them to the boiling pasta water a few minutes before the pasta is done, then drain and add to the tetrazzini.

Don’t overcook the pasta. It’s important to cook the pasta al dente, or slightly firm, so that it doesn’t become mushy when you bake it with the sauce.

Make your own breadcrumbs. Homemade breadcrumbs are easy to make and add a delicious crunch to the top of your tetrazzini. Simply pulse a few slices of bread in a food processor until they are finely chopped.

Don’t skimp on the cheese. The cheese is what makes this dish so decadent and delicious, so make sure to use plenty of it. Parmesan and mozzarella are both great choices, but you can also use any other type of cheese that you like.

Let it rest. Once you’ve baked your tetrazzini, let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the sauce to thicken up a bit and make it easier to serve.

Experiment with different seasonings. You can customize this recipe to your liking by adding different herbs and spices. Thyme, rosemary, and sage all work well with turkey, but feel free to get creative and try other flavors.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make a delicious and satisfying turkey tetrazzini that everyone will love. Whether you’re using leftover turkey from a holiday meal or cooking up a fresh batch of poultry, this classic dish is sure to become a family favorite.

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