You’ve just enjoyed a fantastic holiday meal, and now you’re left with an abundance of leftover turkey. Instead of relying on the usual turkey sandwiches, why not try something different and satisfying?
This easy and comforting Leftover Turkey Casserole recipe is the perfect way to transform your holiday leftovers into a flavorful and versatile dish that the whole family will love.
Not only is this casserole recipe simple, but it also allows you to get creative with your ingredients, utilizing whatever you have on hand. It’s the ideal solution to help declutter your fridge and ensure no tasty morsels go to waste, all while providing a warm, satisfying meal. Plus, you’ll appreciate the minimal effort that it takes to prepare this hearty dish.
So if you’re looking to make the most of your leftover turkey and treat your taste buds to a mouthwatering casserole, this recipe is for you. Trust us, your family and friends will be asking for seconds, and you’ll be more than happy to oblige.
Preparing Your Ingredients
Sourcing Leftover Ingredients
After a delightful turkey feast, you likely have various leftover ingredients. The main star, of course, is the leftover turkey. Ensure you have around 2 to 3 cups of cooked turkey, either from a roast or a rotisserie chicken substitute. Other popular leftovers include stuffing, cranberry sauce, peas, green beans, and carrots. Don’t forget the roasted vegetables if you have them.
For this casserole, you’ll need:
- Leftover turkey (2-3 cups)
- 1 cup of stuffing
- 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
- 1 cup vegetables (e.g., peas, green beans, carrots)
- Pasta or rice (2 cups cooked)
In addition, gather the following fresh ingredients:
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
It is crucial to prepare your ingredients properly for the best casserole results.
Leftover Turkey: Shred or dice the cooked turkey into bite-sized pieces. This also applies to a rotisserie chicken if you choose to use that as a substitute.
Vegetables: For veggies like peas, carrots, green beans, or any roasted vegetables, chop them into small, bite-sized pieces. If using frozen peas or corn, let them thaw before using.
Pasta or Rice: Cook the pasta or rice according to the package instructions. Drain them well and set aside.
Breadcrumbs and Cheesy Topping: In a bowl, mix breadcrumbs with grated mozzarella cheese to create a delicious, crunchy topping.
Sauce: To prepare the sauce, start by making a roux. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then whisk in an equal amount of flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes before slowly whisking in the milk. Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens. Add the minced garlic, salt, and pepper to taste.
Now that your ingredients are prepared, you can confidently proceed to assemble and bake your casserole. Enjoy your dish made from delicious and satisfying leftover ingredients!
Cooking the Leftover Turkey Casserole
Steps in Cooking
To make a delicious leftover turkey casserole, start by gathering your ingredients. You will need:
- Leftover turkey
- Cheese (such as cheddar)
- Frozen corn
- Cream of mushroom soup
- Cooked rice or pasta
- Additional vegetables (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- In a large bowl, combine your leftover turkey with your choice of cheese, frozen corn, cooked rice or pasta, and any additional vegetables you’d like.
- To make your casserole creamy, mix in gravy or cream of mushroom soup. Be mindful of the amount of sodium in these ingredients, as it can impact the overall healthfulness of your casserole.
- Once combined, transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish.
Baking and Cooling
After preparing your casserole, it’s time to bake. Follow these steps for optimal results:
- Bake your casserole for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving. This will ensure that the casserole has a chance to set and the flavors can meld.
If you need to store your finished casserole, simply cover your baking dish with plastic wrap or an airtight lid and place it in the refrigerator. It will last up to 3-4 days.
Tip: To reheat your leftover turkey casserole, you can either place it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes or use a microwave on medium power, checking for warmth every 2-3 minutes.
In addition to this turkey casserole recipe, you might also try making other dishes with your leftover turkey such as turkey tetrazzini, turkey noodle casserole, or turkey divan. If you’re craving something lighter, you can also toss your leftover turkey into a salad or make a classic turkey sandwich.
Keep in mind the nutritional content of your casserole: turkey is a good source of protein, potassium, and iron, while cheese contributes calcium. Enjoying these casseroles as occasional meals within a balanced diet can be a satisfying way to repurpose your leftover turkey.
Nutritional Facts and Serving Suggestions
Understanding Nutritional Facts
This Leftover Turkey Casserole recipe is a great way to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers while providing a balanced and nutritious meal. Here is a brief overview of the nutritional facts per serving:
Keep in mind that these values may vary depending on the specific ingredients you use and the portion size you serve.
For a delicious and well-rounded meal, consider the following serving suggestions:
- Serve your Turkey Casserole on a bed of al dente whole grain pasta or over a bed of steamed rice.
- If you prefer a lighter option, pair your casserole with roasted or steamed vegetables, such as green beans or broccoli.
- Include a salad with fresh greens, chopped veggies, and a light dressing to complement the flavors in the casserole.
Variations: Customize your turkey casserole recipe by adding or substituting ingredients according to your preferences. For example:
- Substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes for added nutrients and a slightly sweeter taste.
- Add walnuts or other nuts for extra crunch and healthy fats.
- Incorporate frozen peas, corn, or other veggies for added color and nutrition.
- If desired, replace mozzarella cheese with a different type of cheese.
Meal Prep: Save time during busy weekdays by preparing your Leftover Turkey Casserole in advance. Simply assemble the casserole and refrigerate for up to two days before baking. You can also freeze the unbaked casserole for up to three months.
Tips: Keep an eye on your casserole as it bakes to ensure it doesn’t become dry. If the top layer becomes too brown before the casserole is fully heated through, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some healthy options for a leftover turkey casserole?
To make a healthy leftover turkey casserole, consider using whole grain pasta or brown rice as your base. You can also add plenty of vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers to increase the nutrients in the dish. Choose low-fat dairy products and avoid heavy cream and excess cheese to reduce the fat content.
How can I make a turkey and stuffing casserole with gravy?
To make a turkey and stuffing casserole with gravy, first prepare your preferred stuffing recipe. Then, layer the bottom of a greased casserole dish with the stuffing. Top the stuffing with leftover turkey and pour your homemade or store-bought gravy over the top. Finish by sprinkling some breadcrumbs or grated cheese on top and baking in the oven until heated through and bubbly.
What are some diced turkey casserole ideas?
There are many ways to use diced turkey in a casserole. You can try a turkey pot pie with a flaky crust, mix diced turkey with pasta and a cream sauce for a delicious tetrazzini, or combine it with a mixture of vegetables and a cheese sauce to create a turkey divan. Another idea is to create a Mexican-inspired casserole by topping diced turkey with salsa, cheese, and tortilla chips.
Are there any recipes for turkey breast casserole?
Turkey breast casserole is a great way to showcase leftover turkey. One option is to make a creamy turkey casserole with a mixture of rice, canned creamed soup, and vegetables. Another idea is to create a turkey enchilada casserole using turkey breast, enchilada sauce, cheese, and tortillas. You can even try a turkey and noodle casserole using turkey breast, egg noodles, and a light cream sauce.
How can I make a turkey casserole with stuffing?
To make a turkey casserole with stuffing, first prepare your favorite stuffing recipe. In a greased casserole dish, layer the stuffing on the bottom, followed by leftover turkey and any additional vegetables or ingredients you’d like to add. Pour a mixture of chicken or turkey broth and a canned creamed soup over the top to keep everything moist. Bake in the oven until heated through and bubbly.
Can you recommend a turkey casserole recipe by Jamie Oliver?
Jamie Oliver’s turkey and leek pie is a delicious casserole-style dish using leftover turkey. The recipe involves cooking leeks and turkey in a creamy sauce and then topping it with puff pastry before baking to create a golden, flaky crust. You can find the full recipe on Jamie Oliver’s website by searching for “turkey and leek pie.”