NORTHWOODS COOKS: Tasty turkey casseroles

Turkey tetrazzini is one way to make good use of leftover Thanksgiving turkey in a hearty casserole dish. The recipe can be varied by adding leftover vegetables and mushrooms. (Adobe Stock) -

Once Thanksgiving is past, the leftover turkey often lingers. These tasty recipes to use come from the “10 Leftover Turkey Casseroles” page on

Turkey Tetrazzini

16-oz. package uncooked spaghetti

1/2 cup butter


1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken broth

2 cups milk

1-2/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese

4 cups chopped cooked turkey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and place spaghetti in the prepared baking dish.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour. Mix in chicken broth and milk. Cook and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Stir in about 1-1/3 cups Parmesan cheese and remove from heat.


Mix chicken broth mixture and turkey with spaghetti. Top with remaining cheese. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven until the surface is lightly browned.

Thanksgiving in a Dish

1-1/2 cups hot water

1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces

6-oz. package chicken-flavored dry stuffing mix

3 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup chopped celery


1/2 cup chopped onion

3 cups diced, cooked turkey

1/2 tsp. celery seed

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

3 cups prepared mashed potatoes

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, stir together the seasoning packet from the stuffing, hot water, and 1/4 cup butter until butter is melted. Stir in stuffing just until moistened. Let stand for 5 minutes.


Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion; cook and stir until tender. Mix in the cooked turkey, and season with celery seed, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Spread a layer of stuffing over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with the turkey mixture, then spread a layer of mashed potatoes over everything. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until heated through.

Wild Rice and Leftover Turkey Casserole

10.75-oz. can cream of mushroom soup

2-1/4 cups boiling water

2 cups cubed cooked turkey


6-oz. package wild rice

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup chopped onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cream of mushroom soup, water, turkey, wild rice, milk, and onion together in a 2-quart casserole dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes. Remove foil and cook until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Turkey Leftover Stuffed Shells

18 jumbo pasta shells


1-1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp. turkey broth

2 cups turkey gravy

1/4 cup dry sherry

1/2 cup turkey broth

1-1/2 cups shredded cooked turkey

1 cup prepared stuffing

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup finely shredded Swiss cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1 extra large egg, beaten

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook shell pasta in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain.

Whisk flour into 3 tablespoons of turkey broth in a bowl until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps; transfer to a saucepan. Whisk turkey gravy, sherry, and 1/2 cup turkey broth into the flour mixture and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook until thick, about 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.

Process turkey and stuffing in a food processor until finely ground, about 1 minute. Add ricotta cheese, Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese to the food processor and blend until filling is thoroughly combined, about 1 more minute. Add egg and pulse 1 or 2 times to combine. Transfer turkey and cheese filling to a bowl and gently stir in 1/2 cup more mozzarella cheese and chopped parsley.

Pour about 1/4 of the turkey gravy mixture into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and swirl to coat the bottom. Stuff shells with about 1-1/2 tablespoons of the turkey filling and arrange in the baking dish. Pour remaining turkey gravy over the shells and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese over the gravy. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake in the preheated oven until the filling is set, the casserole is bubbling, and the cheese topping has melted, about 45 minutes.

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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