Sweet Potato, Mushroom, Leftover Turkey Casserole
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Leftover turkey casserole with bacon, onions, mushrooms, mashed sweet potatoes, Gruyere cheese, and a buttery cracker topping
Photography Credit:Elise Bauer
You know what happens when a few people cancel at the last minute for Thanksgiving?
Lots of leftovers, that’s what!
This is a good thing. Leftover cooked turkey is wonderfully versatile. You can put it in soups, tacos, chili, sandwiches, or make something like this, a hearty turkey casserole.
This casserole is loaded. You start with bacon and build from there. Onions, mushrooms, mashed sweet potatoes, Gruyere cheese—everything gets mixed in with the chopped up leftover turkey, spread into a casserole dish, top it with crushed saltines and butter, and bake. Yum!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Sweet Potato, Mushroom, Leftover Turkey Casserole Recipe
This recipe uses mashed sweet potatoes. You could easily substitute regular mashed potatoes for the sweet potatoes if you want.
- 1/4 lb bacon, cut into half inch slices
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups roughly chopped leftover (cooked) turkey meat (light and/or dark meat)
- 3 to 4 cups of mashed cooked sweet potatoes or garnet yams (from about 2 large sweet potatoes)*
- 1 lb of sliced cremini or button mushrooms
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated Gruyere cheese
- 20 saltine crackers
- 4 Tbsp butter, divided, plus more to grease the baking pan
*To cook the sweet potatoes, peel them, slice them into 1-inch thick disks, toss with some olive oil, place them in a single layer in a roasting dish covered with foil and roast them at 400°F for 20 minute or until fork tender. Or you can pierce the whole unpeeled sweet potatoes with a fork all over, wrap in foil and roast at 350°F for an hour or until fork tender. Or, you can peel and chop them and boil them until tender. Then mash.
1 Cook the bacon and onions: Place bacon in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Cook until almost crispy and most of the fat has rendered out, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chopped onion to the pan with the bacon. Continue cooking until the onion is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer bacon and onions to a bowl, stir in the chopped leftover turkey, and set aside.
2 Sauté mushrooms: In the same pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Heat on high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until lightly browned and beginning to give up their moisture, about 5 minutes.
3 Mix the mushrooms in with the turkey bacon onion mixture. Mix the mashed cooked sweet potatoes in with the mushrooms and turkey. Stir in 1/4 cup of water (or stock if you have some).
4 Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 8x12 baking dish and spread the turkey sweet potato mixture in it in an even layer.
5 Make topping: To make the casserole topping, place the Gruyere cheese, saltine crackers and 2 Tbsp of butter in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. (Or you can crumble the saltines with your hands and place everything in a large bowl and mix until crumbly.)
6 Spread the topping over the casserole and dot with the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter.
7 Bake: Bake uncovered at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.
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Smoked Turkey Chowder with Mushrooms and Sweet Potatoes
Most of our extended family lives 4 to 5 hours by car from us, back in South Dakota and North Dakota. Those hours on the road have often been hindrance enough for us to stay home, just us four, for Thanksgiving. Sometimes trips back to the Dakotas were cancelled due to bad weather. Other times it was because kids fell sick. But for whatever reason, we’ve never set a Thanksgiving table for more than our family of four.
Well, all that’s going to change this year, as we have family coming to stay with us for a few days over the holiday. I’ve started piecing together a menu, picking up a few bottles of wine on sale, and strategizing the seating in our small dining room. We’ll be quite cozy. And I’m so looking forward to it!
Blake has smoked a few turkeys over the past years in our Weber charcoal grill, and is now visualizing his first smoked Thanksgiving turkey from his new Big Green Egg. (Confession: I’ve never cooked a turkey in the oven. True!) Our family has come to greatly anticipate his smoked birds, but we’re especially looking forward to this year’s turkey gracing our enlarged celebratory table.
And I am awaiting those glorious smoked turkey leftovers. Ohhhhhh, what a little smoke can do to that poultry!
There’s just nothing like a big pot of Creamy Turkey and Wild Rice Soup simmering on the stove. Or a bowl of Turkey and Wild Rice Curry Salad, full of light, bright, crunchy goodness. Yes, I do love me some wild rice. And both these dishes are fabulous using smoked turkey.
This year I came up with a new dish for our post-Thanksgiving enjoyment. Smoked Turkey Chowder with Mushrooms and Sweet Potatoes . It’s loaded with shredded smoked turkey leftovers, plus a whole bunch of veggies. Lightly creamy, with extra smokiness from a little kick of chipotle pepper, this chowder is just the perfect casual bowl of deliciousness after the holiday meal.
- 2 Cups mashed cooked peeled sweet potato
- 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/3 Cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 Cup Swanson® Chicken Broth or Swanson® Chicken Stock
- 1 small onion, minced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup(Regular or 98% Fat Free)
- 3 Cups cubed cooked turkey
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 1/4 Cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Stir the potatoes, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and milk in a medium bowl. Spoon the potato mixture around the inside edge of a 10-inch round casserole to form a ring.
Heat the broth and onion in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook until the onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the soup, turkey and water. Cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Spoon the turkey mixture into the center of the potato ring.
Bake at 350°F. for 30 minutes or until the turkey mixture is hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with the walnuts and parsley, if desired.
Sweet Potato Ice Cream
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream with the delicious flavors of sweet potato pie! Use an ice cream maker to prepare this unique fall treat that's made with cooked sweet potatoes, baking spices, and classic ice cream ingredients.
Creamy Turkey Noodle Casserole
You can use any short pasta that you'd like for this cheesy turkey, pasta and asparagus casserole. Our recipe gives you room to leave a few ingredients out and bring others in. The meat can be turkey or ham, while the peas can be swapped out for just about any veggie. Use broccoli instead, or add a tangier cheese like Asiago – there's no mistake in making this dish your own. Just don't skip the cream of mushroom soup.
With total cooking and prep time of just 40 minutes, this pasta casserole is easy and convenient. Warm-up some potato rolls, make a broccoli cauliflower salad, and dinner is served!
Leftover Turkey Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole
If you are a new to Hungry Hobby (welcome!), you may not know this about me, but I despise Thanksgiving food. This year we aren’t hosting very many people, so I’m not doing any cooking, pretty sure we are going to order from Whole Foods or something. (But, if you are looking for healthy-ish (real food, not low calorie) Thanksgiving recipes here is my usual menu along with a round-up of all HH Thanksgiving recipes!)
In contrast, Mr. Hungry could eat it all day every day for the rest of his life. Like I wish Boston Market had a rewards program that’s how much he likes it. That’s okay though because Mr. Hungry’s family introduced me to the Leftover Turkey Enchiladas leftover tradition almost ten years ago and since then I have something to look forward to when it comes to Thanksgiving food!
Basically, they had this little tradition of always making enchiladas out of their turkey leftovers. If you know me, you know that Mexican food is hands down my favorite food next to pizza. So, I can survive a day of cornbread stuffing to get to the enchiladas!
I’ve kept this tradition alive in our house and here at HH by posting a slightly different turkey enchilada recipe every year. PS all these recipes could be made with rotisserie chicken as well, so you don’t have to be limited to just the holidays!
And now for the newest addition to the best leftover tradition EVER… Leftover Turkey Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole!
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How to make a breakfast casserole without bread
This is just a brief overview to accompany the step-by-step photos. Scroll to the recipe card for ingredient quantities and detailed instructions.
- Step 1: Add the turkey, apple sauce, maple syrup, garlic, thyme, sage, salt and pepper to a greased skillet.
- Step 2: Cook until the liquid from the apple sauce and maple syrup has burned off and the turkey is fully cooked.
- Step 3: Add in the spinach and mushrooms and cook until the spinach is wilted.
- Step 4: Spoon the turkey mixture into a greased baking dish.
- Step 5: Add the sweet potatoes and mix everything together.
- Step 6: Whisk together the eggs and almond milk and pour over the sweet potatoes and turkey, ensuring everything is coated. Top with cheese.
- Step 7: Bake on 350F for 45-55 minutes, or until the egg has set and the sweet potato is fork tender.
The feast may be complete but the refrigerator is still packed with Thanksgiving leftovers like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and so much more. While it's easy to recreate a full plate of holiday favorites the following day, it's even more exciting to create an entirely new dish out of bits and pieces from the mains and sides. One delicious example? Our Thanksgiving Leftovers Pie, which is pictured here.
Start Black Friday with Thanksgiving leftovers for breakfast: Layer leftover turkey (or shredded, pre-cooked chicken should your family have finished the bird) on a tortilla along with mashed sweet potatoes, sautéed onions, and a fried egg for the ultimate Turkey Breakfast Taco. It's easy to prepare a big batch of these if you have family and friends staying over, too. If you're still feeling full from Thanksgiving dinner and can't imagine consuming anything beyond coffee or tea for breakfast, prepare a dessert made with leftovers in the morning to enjoy it later in the day. Swirl cranberry sauce into a classic vanilla cheesecake or create individual Cranberry Curd Tartlets that use a double whammy of leftover pie crust and leftover cranberry sauce. Their miniature size makes them perfect for having just a small sweet bite at the end of the day.
Or balance out all of the heavy carbs with a light salad that uses shredded turkey, chopped celery (leftover from your crudité board, perhaps?), and cranberry sauce as a component of a very bright, tart dressing. It's a great lunch to enjoy over the weekend.
All of our ideas for using up Thanksgiving leftovers are sure to inspire (and will help you clear out your refrigerator in the process, too!).
The Best Turkey Tetrazzini
Turkey Tetrazzini is such an easy and delicious meal, it is the perfect way to use some leftover turkey. This casserole can also be made with chicken and you can pack it with your favorite veggies.
This is an extra savory and creamy pasta dish that is ideal to serve year-round. Baked spaghetti is soaked with turkey, mushrooms, and cheese for an easy weeknight family meal. Everything is baked until hot and bubbly. So yummy and delicious!
Traditionally, this casserole is done with canned cream of mushroom soup, but I am also including a homemade version for you. The casserole is easy to fix and you can also freeze it, which makes it perfect for planning in advance. Hearty and full of flavor, this makes for a perfect dinner and very delicious leftovers.
What is Turkey Tetrazzini?
This is basically a turkey and pasta casserole dish that is rich, creamy, and bubbly. It is done by mixing turkey meat, with pasta, cream of mushroom soup, veggies, and cheese. The casserole later is baked and until bubbly and golden brown.
TURKEY TETRAZZINI CASSEROLE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
- Can you make this casserole with whole wheat pasta: Yes, you can. You can also make it with spaghetti or other types of noodles.
- Are other cheeses OK to use, besides Pepper Jack cheese: Yes, you can. I have tried this casserole with mozzarella cheese and also yellow cheddar cheese, it tastes amazing.
- Are mushrooms necessary: You can skip the mushrooms in this recipe or you can replace them with bell peppers.
- Can you make this casserole with chicken: Yes, absolutely, you can make this casserole with chicken, to save time, use rotisserie chicken.
- What other veggies can I use in this casserole: You can also use bell peppers and broccoli. Chopped zucchini are great and use spinach if you are looking to add more greens.
- Can you prep this casserole ahead of time: yes, you can. Follow all the instructions and assemble the casserole fully. Then, cover with plastic food wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
WHAT IS CONDENSED CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP?
Condensed soup is a canned variety of soup that is prepared with a reduced proportion of water. A liquid, like water or milk, is added to the soup when heated up. Condensed soup is used often to add more flavor and creaminess in many recipes.
CONDENSED CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP SUBSTITUTE:
Don&rsquot worry, if you are not from the US and can&rsquot get your hands on Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, or simply want a homemade, more wholesome version.
You can use the below recipe to make a quick homemade version, which will make roughly about 3 cups of soup. That is enough to replace 2 (10 1/2 oz each) cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup. Use it to make this delicious turkey tetrazzini recipe.
Easy Turkey Tetrazzini :Turkey Leftovers
This Easy Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe is a perfect use for all of your leftover turkey. Made with a cheesy sauce, earthy mushrooms with noodles, this turkey casserole is a great way to eat turkey another day and not think you're eating the same meal! #thanksgiving #leftoverturkey
- 2 cups shredded turkey
- 1 pound egg noodles
- 16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup peas
- 2 tablespoons onions, minced
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup flour
- 5 tablespoons butter
- pinch nutmeg
- 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- parsley garnish, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 325°
- Cook the egg noodles according to the package directions. I suggest cutting the time to the lower end or 2 minutes less than the package recommends. The dish gets baked at the end, and this will make it so the pasta does not go mushy.
- Strain out water when done and set aside.
- In same pan melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and sauce the onions and mushrooms for 10 minutes until mushrooms are softened. Remove from pan and set aside in a bowl.
- Bring pan to medium high heat. Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter then sprinkle in the flour and whisk quickly to completely combine. Cook for 2 minutes to get rid of the flour taste and bring out the nutty flavor.
- Add in milk and whisk until combined. Then add the half and half slowly and whisk until well blended. Raise heat to high, bring to a boil and let cook for about 10 minutes until sauce starts to thicken.
- Once sauce has thickened, add in the cream cheese and let it melt completely. Remove pan with sauce from heat. Add in nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add turkey, peas, mushrooms/onion and noodles to pasta and stir to mix well.
- Place into 9X13 casserole dish.
- Melt last tablespoon of butter in microwave. Toss bread crumbs in the butter. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top of the casserole.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the breadcrumb topping is golden brown and the noodles are heated throughout.
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