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Turkey Tetrazzini with Almond Parmesan Crust

Turkey Tetrazzini with Almond Parmesan Topping. An intensely flavourful, very satisfying comfort food idea for leftover turkey or chicken. Heck, I’d even roast an extra chicken on a Sunday,  just to have this on Monday!

Turkey Tetrazzini with Almond Parmesan Crust

Turkey Tetrazzini with Almond Parmesan Crust

With Thanksgiving on the horizon for our American friends, my mind turned again to leftover turkey ideas and after a little research, this Turkey Tetrazzini recipe was the result. It’s one more to add to our growing collection of 22 Leftover Turkey Recipe you can find here.

So where did this tetrazzini idea come from, I wondered. Wikipedia says, “The dish is named after Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini. It is widely believed to have been invented circa 1908–1910 by Ernest Arbogast, the chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California, where Tetrazzini was a long-time resident.

However, other sources attribute the origin to the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City. Good Housekeeping published the first reference to turkey tetrazzini in October 1908, saying readers could find the dish of cooked turkey in a cream sauce, with spaghetti, grated cheese, sliced mushrooms, and bread crumbs on top, at “the restaurant on Forty-second street.”

Browning pancetta for Turkey Tetrazzini

Browning pancetta for Turkey Tetrazzini

As a kid growing up in the 70’s and 80’s we never had turkey or chicken tetrazzini but the first simple recipe I ever saw had canned cream of mushroom soup in it. Anyone who knows me  or my choice of ingredients well, will tell you that ain’t happening around here any time soon!

I was intrigued by reading that original versions had parmesan and/or almond topping, instead of just bread crumbs. I liked the idea of that. I thought the almonds would add a little bit of extra flavour and a bit more of a textural element to the dish.

Turkey Tetrazzini prepping the ingredients

Turkey Tetrazzini prepping the ingredients

Both Spouse and I loved it and our friends who sampled it thought it was a great topping too. The whole thing was very flavourful and even I went back for seconds, which is quite unusual.

This is another one to put on your list for after the Holidays this year, but don’t wait if you don’t want to, try it with chicken after a Sunday roast dinner. Heck, I’d even roast an extra chicken on a Sunday, just to have this on Monday!

Turkey Tetrazzini with Almond Parmesan Crust ready for the oven

Turkey Tetrazzini with Almond Parmesan Crust ready for the oven

Like this Turkey Tetrazzini recipe?

You’ll find hundreds of other great ideas in our Quick & Easy Dinners Category and even more in our Chicken Recipes Category.

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Turkey Tetrazzini with Almond Parmesan Crust image with title text

You can find the colourful set of Corningware baking dishes that I used then making this casserole at my affiliate link here, or by clicking the photo below. For Canadian readers, this item (as of today’s date) is less expensive to purchase through Amazon US. Instead of clicking on the following link, copy & paste it into your browser address bar:

Be sure to check out our entire collection of leftover turkey recipes, all of which are just as good for leftover chicken as well.

25 Outstanding Leftover Turkey Recipes image with title text for Pinterest.

5 from 1 vote
Turkey Tetrazzini with Almond Parmesan Crust
Turkey Tetrazzini with Almond Parmesan Topping
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 25 mins
Turkey Tetrazzini with Almond Parmesan Topping - an intensely flavourful, very satisfying comfort food idea for leftover turkey or chicken. Heck, I'd even roast an extra chicken on a Sunday, just to have this on Monday!
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Servings: 6 or more servings
Calories: 538 kcal
Author: Barry C. Parsons
  • 1/2 pound dry fusilli pasta or other pasta of choice
  • 3 cups diced leftover turkey
  • 1/4 cup finely diced pancetta or bacon
  • 1 whole sweet pepper finely diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
For the sauce
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup turkey or chicken stock
  • tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dry oregano
  • pinch of salt to season
For the topping
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  1. Start by cooking the pasta to al dente (or slightly under). Drain and set aside.
  2. Finely dice the sweet pepper and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan or small dutch oven, brown the pancetta until a little crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add the mushrooms and sauté them until they get some good brown colour. Set them aside with the pancetta and peppers.
For the Sauce
  1. In the microwave, scald the milk and turkey stock almost to boiling
  2. In the saucepan or dutch oven that you cooked the pancetta and mushrooms, melt the butter and add the flour, black pepper, salt, nutmeg & garlic.
  3. Cook together over medium heat for 2 minutes until foamy.
  4. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in scalded milk and stock mixture in about three additions, allowing the sauce to thicken and come back to a simmer after each addition.
  5. Continue to cook for 2 more minutes stirring constantly.
  6. Butter an 8-10 cup casserole dish.
  7. In a large bowl, stir together the pasta, turkey, pancetta, mushrooms, bell pepper and sauce.
  8. When well combined stir in the 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese.
  9. Pour into the prepared casserole dish/
To cook the Tetrazzini
  1. Mix together the ground almonds and the other half cup of finely grated Parmesan.
  2. Sprinkle on the topping over the pasta mixture.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until bubbling well.

  4. Allow the tetrazzini to sit for 15-20 minutes before serving. This allows the pasta to absorb any excess moisture and thicken the sauce.

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Recipe Rating

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Monday 7th of September 2020

Made this for guests with leftover turkey this Labour Day weekend. I was looking for a good way to use up leftovers because I had so much from an anniversary dinner. The weather was feeling late summer/fall like and a creamy baked dish seemed appropriate. I used to make a different turkey tetrazzini with peas and bread crumbs but I wanted to try a new recipe. Glad I chose this one because it was a hit! Everyone loved it and the kitchen smelled wonderful as I was cooking. I used half and half cream instead of milk, but that was the only substitute I made. The almond topping was a really nice touch. Thank you Newfoundland from Northern Ontario! This will be a regular recipe for my turkey leftovers in the future.

Duckworth Elisabeth

Monday 31st of December 2018

Hello Barry, I have just made the turkey Tetrazzini; it is baking in the oven as we speak. I have one question about the diced bell pepper. There is no mention of it being sautéed before adding it to the pasta, etc. I gave it a quick sauté with the pancetta, but I wonder if yiu meant it to be added raw to the pasta. Much thanks. (The house smells delicious right now,, I must say. The sauce spoon tasted good, too, 😉

Barry C. Parsons

Sunday 6th of January 2019

Either way is fine.


Thursday 2nd of November 2017

This dish sounds amazing, makes my mouth water jsut by reading the whole recipe.. :D


Sunday 29th of October 2017

I plan on making this dish after the Thanksgiving holiday - I usually add carrots in with the mushrooms. I've even made Shrimp Tettrazini - that's delicious as well.

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