turkey tetrazzini
Main Dish

Wishing for a New Idea for Leftover Turkey?


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turkey tetrazzini

Wish you had a new idea for that leftover turkey? Well, your wish has been granted!


A classic recipe with a colorful history

Luisa Tetrazzini was born in Florence, Italy in 1871 and was famous for her extraordinary operatic vocal technique that enabled her to surmount any vocal challenge with ease. She also possessed an amiable, zestful and vivacious personality. This dish is named after her, created by a chef in San Francisco, the city she loved and where she spent most of her career. She was adored by  hundreds of thousands who thrilled to hear her perform!

My personal history with this dish is Turkey Tetrazzini was one of my first culinary adventures. I think I’ve mentioned I started cooking about the time I could see over the stove. This one goes way back to the early 1960’s when I was a Camp Fire Girl. Our troup was AO-wa-Kiya and our leader was Fran Lane. Mrs. Lane wanted us to learn to cook and we served this dish at a luncheon for our mothers. Oh heavenly days, we really thought we were big stuff in our little aprons!

Today, many versions of this tasty casserole abound but here’s how I first was taught to make it!

Here’s the recipe from about 1962

Turkey Tetrazzini

A far more creative way to serve leftover turkey than in a plain old sandwich! Thought to have originated in San Francisco, named after a famous opera singer of the early 1900s—Luisa Tetrazzini.  This recipe really sings!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 ½ cups dry spaghetti break into about 4” pieces
  • 2 cups or more cooked turkey diced or shredded
  • 2 T diced pimento chopped (optional, for color)
  • cup frozen peas
  • 1 small can mushrooms about ¾ cup undrained
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 tall can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook and drain spaghetti, put in greased baking dish.

    Saute onion in butter until transparent, add to spaghetti.

    Top with turkey and peas.

    Combine mushrooms, soup, milk, pimentos and seasonings and pour over the spaghetti/chicken mixture.

    Add cheeses and bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes.

    Great way to use leftover turkey or make with rotisserie chicken for a quick week night dinner!

There you have it! Maybe this will be your new post-Thanksgiving favorite. Bet your family will love it. I’d love to hear what you came up with the make it your own! Do share- I get so excited when you talk food to me!

If you enjoyed this recipe today, please share it on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I’d sure be tickled and ever so grateful, thank you! 😊 If you haven’t already, check out my Facebook page where I’ll be posting easy, delicious and family-friendly recipes every week!

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