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Aunt Bee’s easy leftover turkey casserole with pasta and cream of mushroom soup is a quick, comforting meal that takes advantage of the extra meat from your holiday feast. With just 15 minutes of prep, you can stir together a creamy turkey noodle casserole that goes well with cranberry sauce, a simple green salad, biscuits, pumpkin muffins, or a crusty loaf of bread.

Close overhead image of a bowl of turkey noodle casserole

If you’re looking for even more cozy casserole recipes, try this dump-and-bake meatball casserole, a 4-ingredient chicken quesadilla casserole, and a dump-and-bake chicken Parmesan casserole, too!

How to Make Turkey Noodle Casserole | 1-Minute Video

Why You’ll Love this Simple Leftover Turkey Casserole

  • Easy. I’m happy to invest hours in a big holiday meal — preparing all of the sides, baking a special dessert, and making sure that the table is set. But when the feast is over? I want nothing to do with cooking…and that’s the magic of Aunt Bee’s easy leftover turkey casserole! It’s fast, it’s family-friendly, and it’s an entire meal in one pan.
  • Affordable. This simple casserole takes advantage of leftovers and a handful of kitchen staples for a budget-friendly dish that won’t break the bank.
  • Versatile. You can customize the flavors and ingredients to suit your family’s tastes. Don’t like peas? Swap them out for broccoli or other veggies. Don’t like cream of mushroom soup? Just replace it with cream of celery soup or an extra can of chicken soup. You get the idea!
Bowl of leftover turkey casserole with cream of mushroom soup

Use Chicken Instead of Leftover Turkey for this Casserole

If you don’t have Thanksgiving leftovers to use in this casserole, you can use cooked chicken instead. Here are some options:

  • Boiled and Pulled Chicken: Boil about ¾ lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs until cooked through (about 15 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken.
  • Rotisserie Chicken: This is a great shortcut! Purchase a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, shred the meat, and use in the recipe as instructed.
  • Leftover Chicken: If you have leftover grilled or baked chicken from a previous meal, put those extras to good use in this casserole.
  • Canned Chicken: Yep, even canned chicken from the pantry will work in this recipe.
Ingredients for turkey casserole

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a turkey casserole with mushroom soup. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Pasta: I use rotini, but any similar short shape will work. Try penne, rotelle, medium shells, or elbows.
  • Diced turkey: holiday leftovers are perfect, but you can substitute with cooked chicken, too. Try a store-bought rotisserie chicken or boil your own meat at home.
  • Frozen peas: no need to thaw the peas before adding them to the casserole (I told you this was easy)!
  • Condensed soup: you’ll need a total of two cans of soup. I typically use a can of cream of mushroom soup and a can of cream of chicken soup, but any combination works. Cream of celery soup is tasty, too!
  • Milk: to thin the creamy sauce.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: every good Southern casserole needs a crunchy topping!
  • Parmesan cheese: adds great flavor to the topping.
  • Melted butter: toss with the breadcrumbs to add flavor and to help them brown in the oven.
Leftover turkey casserole in baking dish before oven

How to Make Leftover Turkey Casserole

This recipe really is SO easy. If you can boil pasta, you’re good to go! You’ll find the detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  1. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water; drain.
  2. Combine cooked pasta, diced turkey, peas, soups, and milk.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish.
  4. Stir together panko breadcrumbs, melted butter, and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the casserole.
  6. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the inside is hot and bubbly.
Baked turkey casserole with serving tongs

Serving Suggestions

Aunt Bee’s classic, old-fashioned turkey noodle casserole recipe goes well with almost any of your favorite sides. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • This is a great make-ahead dinner. You can assemble the casserole up to 24 hours in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes.
  • You can freeze the casserole before baking. Wrapped tightly, the assembled casserole will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • Leftover turkey casserole will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • To reheat the casserole: If reheating an entire casserole, cover the dish loosely with foil and bake in a 350°F oven until warmed through (about 20 minutes). Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  • How to Bake from Frozen: If you’re baking the casserole directly from the freezer, double the baking time while the dish is covered (about 40-50 minutes covered). Then remove the cover and continue baking the casserole for about 10-15 more minutes so that the topping gets crispy and browned.

Recipe Variations

  • Use any combination of flavors of condensed soup that you prefer: cream of chicken, cream of celery, and cream of mushroom are all tasty in this dish.
  • For a lighter option with less sodium, feel free to substitute with the Healthy Request line of condensed soups.
  • Swap out the leftover Thanksgiving turkey and use leftover chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken.
  • Use any short pasta shape. I typically use rotini, but elbows, penne, rotelle, or medium shells will all work well.
  • Try different vegetables. I know that a lot of folks don’t love peas (my husband included!), so it’s fine to swap out the peas for other vegetables like cut green beans or broccoli. Just steam, roast, or par-boil the vegetables before adding them to the casserole so that they’re tender by the end of the cooking time. For quick-prep, you can add small broccoli florets to the boiling pasta water during the final 3 minutes.
  • Don’t have panko bread crumbs or Parmesan cheese? Substitute with crushed Ritz crackers, potato chips, crushed Corn Flakes cereal mixed with melted butter, or other buttery crackers (like Keebler Club crackers). You can also top the casserole with another cheese, such as cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese.
  • Cooking just for two? Use a 1-quart casserole dish and cut the ingredients in half. You may need to decrease the baking time to 15-20 minutes (or until heated through).

Tips for the Best Turkey Noodle Casserole Recipe

  • Add herbs and other seasoning! Aunt Bee’s original recipe is very simple (and easy!), so I often jazz it up with some extra flavor. Try rosemary, sage, parsley, chives, thyme, basil, oregano, onion powder, or garlic powder.
  • Cook the pasta just until al dente (with a firm bite). It will continue cooking in the oven, so you don’t want to end up with mushy pasta.
  • Add extra milk, as necessary, to thin the sauce until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • Bake the casserole just until it’s heated through. All of the ingredients are already cooked, so you just want to warm it in the oven until bubbly. Don’t bake it for too long or it may dry out or get burned on top.
Overhead image of healthy turkey casserole in a bowl with a fork

More Leftover Turkey Recipes to Try

Square overhead shot of leftover turkey casserole in a bowl.

Aunt Bee’s Leftover Turkey Casserole

5 from 15 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 234 kcal
Aunt Bee's easy leftover turkey casserole with noodles and cream of mushroom soup is a quick, comforting meal that takes advantage of holiday extras!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups (4 ounces) uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 ½ cups cooked, diced turkey
  • 10 ounces (2 cups) frozen peas, not thawed (or sub with other vegetables liked parboiled or steamed broccoli)
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup, not diluted (I used Campbell's Healthy Request)
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, not diluted (I used Campbell's Healthy Request)
  • ½ cup milk, or more as needed

For the Topping:

  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs (or sub with regular breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 2-quart (about 8-inch square) dish; set aside.
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions for al dente. Drain.
    Box of rotini pasta
  • Combine cooked pasta with turkey, peas, condensed soups and milk. Add a little bit of extra milk, if necessary, to thin the sauce to the desired consistency. This is also a good time to taste the mixture and add any extra seasonings that you might like (salt and pepper, rosemary, thyme, parsley, chives, garlic powder, etc.). Transfer pasta mixture to prepared dish.
    Turkey noodle casserole in a baking dish before baking

For the Topping:

  • In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan and melted butter. Sprinkle over top of casserole.
    Buttered panko breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese in a glass bowl
  • Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through and golden brown on top.
    Side shot of leftover Turkey Noodle Casserole recipe on a wooden table.

Video

Notes

  • Add herbs and other seasoning! Aunt Bee’s original recipe is very simple (and easy!), so I often jazz it up with some extra flavor. Try rosemary, sage, parsley, chives, thyme, basil, oregano, onion powder, or garlic powder.
  • Cook the pasta just until al dente (with a firm bite). It will continue cooking in the oven, so you don’t want to end up with mushy pasta.
  • Add extra milk, as necessary, to thin the sauce until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • Bake the casserole just until it’s heated through. All of the ingredients are already cooked, so you just want to warm it in the oven until bubbly. Don’t bake it for too long or it may dry out or get burned on top.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the casseroleCalories: 234kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 15gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 511mgPotassium: 814mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 620IUVitamin C: 18.9mgCalcium: 104mgIron: 1.3mg
Keyword: leftover turkey casserole, leftover turkey casserole recipe with noodles, leftover turkey casserole with cream of mushroom soup, Turkey Casserole, turkey noodle casserole
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This post was originally published in November, 2016. It was updated in November, 2018.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Kristy from Southern In Law says:

    This looks deliciouss! Pasta bakes are one of my favourite comfort food meals and for some reason peas always make them taste better, haha!

    1. Blair says:

      I agree, Kristy! That little bit of sweetness from the peas adds such great flavor and texture! Thanks, friend!

  2. Lindsay Cotter says:

    What a great way to use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving! It’s nice to have a versatile recipe like this where you can use whatever veggies you like and leftover turkey or chicken.

    1. Blair says:

      Exactly! Thanks, Lindsay!

  3. Ruwani says:

    Hi Blair ,

    Another recipe from Aunt Bee. The casserole looks delicious and easy to make. I love all the casserole recipes you post. It’s been a while since I visited and I love the new look on the website.

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Ruwani! The site is brand new, so I’m glad that you stopped by!

  4. Maria Keller says:

    You said you use two cans of soup but recipe calls for one. Did you double recipe or did you like it with extra soup?

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Maria! The recipe calls for 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and 1 can of cream of chicken soup — so 2 cans total. Does that help to clarify? Enjoy! 🙂

    2. barbara moore says:

      It calls for 2 different cans of soup.

  5. Marina says:

    5 stars
    Great but needs a bit of black pepper, cayenne pepper, or paprika.

  6. Cindy says:

    Can you substitute frozen vegetables for can vegetables?

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Cindy! I didn’t use canned vegetables — just the frozen peas. You can substitute with a different type of small frozen vegetables (such as frozen mixed vegetables), or you can use canned vegetables. Any of them will work! 🙂

      1. Susan says:

        If canned veggies can be used, already cooked (refrigerated) veggies could be used then? I have a TON of greenbeans and corn left from Thanksgiving!

  7. Karen says:

    Would love to make this but I’m trying to control my sodium intake. Do you have a suggestion to replace the cream soups? Even the low sodium soups are still way to high for me. Thanks so much!

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Karen! I’ve had a lot of readers use their own homemade condensed soups in this type of recipe. You can google a homemade cream of mushroom soup recipe and pick the one that looks best to you (I know there are many options out there, but I’ve never tried making them myself). If you create your own condensed soup, then you can omit or control the sodium. 🙂 Enjoy!

  8. Laurie Stahl says:

    5 stars
    This was a snap to put together! I did use a variation from the tips provided, I didn’t have a bag of frozen peas, so I used a bag of frozen mixed veggies. I found that the cook time needed to be extended by 15 mins (a total cook time of 45 mins) to get the casserole heated all the way through and to begin to brown on top. It wasn’t creamy at all inside, a bit dry, would make again, but I would add more milk or can of cream soup so it would be moist.

  9. Susan says:

    If canned veggies can be used, already cooked (refrigerated) veggies could be used then? I have a TON of greenbeans and corn left from Thanksgiving!

    1. Blair says:

      Absolutely! The leftover veggies will be perfect! 🙂

  10. Brandon says:

    If I substitute the pasta for rice would I pre cook rice or put the dry rice in mix and place in the dish ?

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Brandon! You’ll want to use cooked rice, just like you would use cooked pasta. If you use uncooked rice, you would need a lot more liquid for the rice to absorb (and it would take a lot longer in the oven). Enjoy!

  11. Muzzy James Behning says:

    5 stars
    This was very good! I used mixed vegetables, I don’t like peas, and added some salt and pepper! IT was great, I loved the crust. I had no parmeseean so I used Mexican mix, awesome and very easy!

  12. Bill says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe. I used frozen mixed veggies & penne rigate noodles instead 0f rotini. I also used Romano cheese. This is a delicious recipe I will definitely use again.

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Bill! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to leave me a note. 🙂

  13. Pamela says:

    Can I use ground turkey? If so how should I cook it? Thanks

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Pamela! Absolutely! I think it would work well with ground turkey, too. I would cook about 1 pound of ground turkey in a skillet until it’s no longer pink. Drain off the fat, and use it in the recipe just like you would use regular turkey. Enjoy!

  14. Erin Collins says:

    5 stars
    This was good. It is a super versatile recipe. I added more milk (whole milk, by about 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup extra) to make it creamier, which was probably a good thing since I had about 2 cups of turkey and more noodles than called for. I sauteed some shallot in olive oil, tossed in the panko, seasoned with salt and pepper, then off the heat, added about 1/4 cup of the parmesan. The shallot was perfect— added extra flavor. Next time I would add some tarragon or sage; I think it needs some fresh herbs to brighten it up a little. Or, I bet a 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar mixed into the soup mixture would be great— turkey mac-n-cheese! My panko did not get very brown with the standard 1/2 hour at 350; so I threw it under the broiler for a couple minutes to get it nice and golden. Overall, the perfect thing to throw together with leftover turkey when you are very short on time.

    1. Judy W. says:

      5 stars
      I made this casserole after thanksgiving and loved it. Just made it with chicken for tonight. I’m sure it will be just as as yummy. Thanks for the receip e

      1. Blair says:

        Thank you, Judy! Yes — it’s great with chicken, too. 🙂

  15. Natalio Castillo Jr says:

    5 stars
    Tasty and very easy to prepare.

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Natalio! So glad that you enjoyed it!

  16. John says:

    Can I substitute chicken broth for the milk?

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, John! Yes, that will work fine. Enjoy!

  17. Daryl Vincze says:

    Hi there, I look forward to making this recipe however, I only have wide egg noodles on hand, can I use those instead?

    1. Blair says:

      Hi, Daryl! Yes, those should work fine! Enjoy. 🙂

  18. K.Peterson says:

    5 stars
    Delish, comfort food casserole dish, easy and enjoyable to prepare… I look forward to making this recipe as a go to for future dinners/ pot lucks and Meal Train opportunities… wanted to say that your photographic presentation of the completed casserole is beautifully done and has great eye appeal.

    1. Blair says:

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate your kind note. 🙂

  19. Grace says:

    5 stars
    This recipe turned out better than expected. I used fresh brocolli florets, string beans and frozen corn. I only had one can of cream if chix soup, but added an envelope of turkey gravy made with water. It all turned out really well.

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank you, Grace!

      1. Linda says:

        5 stars
        Aunt Bee’s recipe for leftover turkey was enjoyed by my family. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

        1. Blair Lonergan says:

          Thank you, Linda!