turkey noodle casserole
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’tis the season, leftover season that is. this turkey noodle casserole is a family favorite
my parents have been making a version of this casserole for as long as i remember. it’s a great way to use up that leftover thanksgiving or christmas turkey when you simply cannot eat another sandwich. for us this casserole came after the sandwiches and before the soup, and was always my favorite leftover dish.
stella just made the high school basketball team. in folsom that is a big deal as they take their sports very seriously. i was just thrilled she was willing to try-out and honestly didn’t think she would make the team. yes, she is very tall. taller than pretty much anyone in the freshman class. but having never played for more than just fun i was cautiously optimistic. we got the news friday morning, along with the practice schedule. 2 hours practices 6 days a week PLUS games. we’re pretty much going to be living at the basketball court this winter.
thank goodness for easy to make meals like this turkey noodle casserole. i am all about a meal that can be made ahead of time, especially when it involves lots of cheddar cheese sauce. and cheese means the kids may actually eat the broccoli.
if you happen to be feeding a crowd this holiday season and don’t end up with enough leftover to make a turkey noodle casserole, this jennie-o oven ready turkey breast is a terrific substitute. it could not be any easier to prepare. the pre-seasoned turkey breast can be made in the oven or the slow cooker; i love using my slow cooker, and it doesn’t even need to be thawed. i had my turkey cooking first thing in the morning, made a few sandwiches for lunches and then shredded the rest for turkey noodle casserole.
turkey noodle casserole
- 3-4 cups of shredded cooked turkey
- 1 package frozen broccoli
- 1 lb pasta (i used rigatoni)
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 4 Tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk (i use whole milk)
- 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- salt to taste
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs combined with 1 Tbsp melted butter (for topping)
- preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
- cook pasta according to package - adding the frozen broccoli to the water for the last 5 minutes of cooking time
- drain and set aside, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water
- in a large skillet or dutch oven melt butter
- stir in the flour and cook 1 minute
- gradually whisk in the milk, and cook until the sauce thickens whisking occasionally (this should take about 5 minutes)
- remove sauce from the heat and stir in the cheese, season to taste with salt
- add pasta and broccoli to the cheese sauce adding reserved pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce, and then stir in the shredded turkey
- sprinkle with the bread crumbs and bake until bubbly and golden brown (25-30 minutes)
if you’ve got kids, chances are your schedule is as busy as our is. casseroles are the perfect answer to a quick and easy weeknight meal, and the leftovers make a great lunch the next day.