I don't love leftovers, in fact I almost never eat leftovers (who am I kidding with Lee in the house there are almost NEVER leftovers).
But when there are leftovers, I will always choose to turn them into something else, rather than eat them as is.
So a few weeks ago I had Rachel Ray on in the background while I typed away on the computer. I saw her recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini and I fell in love with the recipe. Using all of the leftovers from a Turkey Dinner . . . not just the Turkey, but ALL of the leftovers! The pea's, the cauliflower, the turkey, the gravy, the broccoli, even the leftover white wine (not that there's a lot of that around here either ;).
We've made this recipe twice now with a few changes, but for me, that's what recipes are for . . . changing and tailoring it to your own family and your own tastes.
So definitely check out Rachel Ray's original recipe, found here. But here is how we do it.
I'll cook a big turkey or chicken dinner! Then the next night we make Tetrazzini!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup Chicken broth
- 1/2 cups turkey gravy from the night before (or just another 1/2 cup broth)
- 2 cups milk
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, the fresh stuff, not the powdered stuff (trust me it makes a difference, this time).
- 1 pound cooked leftover turkey, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups cooked cauliflower (we bake ours in the oven)
- 1/2 cup peas (could be frozen if you want, or leftover from the night before)
- 1 pound cooked pasta shells.
Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the butter. Add the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock, then the gravy and milk. Let thicken enough to coat a spoon and stir in the parmesan cheese.
Add the leftover meat and vegetables, add the pasta, heat through and pour into a casserole dish. To top the casserole, I melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add about 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs, sprinkle all over the top and bake for about 30 minutes.
It is seriously good! And the funniest part is . . . I don't eat leftovers but I LOVE this casserole as leftovers. So apparently I will only eat leftovers if it's leftovers, from a meal, made of leftovers! haha I am nothing if not complicated!
I really hope you'll give it a try, we've made it with Chicken or Turkey, with roasted vegetables or frozen vegetables, either way it's amazing. Lee's in LOVE, I'm in Love, Max didn't have any but he seemed pretty enamored with it as well ;).