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Easy, cozy, comfort food at its finest! This turkey noodle casserole is creamy, cheesy, and finished with a buttery Ritz cracker topping. Serve the dish with a simple side salad, a skillet of cornbread, a basket of buttermilk biscuits, or a pot of Southern-style green beans for a simple weeknight supper. It’s a great way to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, or you can substitute with chicken!

Overhead shot of turkey casserole with egg noodles in a white dish on a wooden table

Turkey Casserole with Egg Noodles

This turkey and noodle casserole is the ultimate in family-friendly dinners! The creamy, cheesy, dish takes advantage of simple ingredients for a flavorful meal that you can assemble in advance. It’s a basic supper that can be tweaked in a variety of ways to suit your family’s taste preferences and schedule. Use leftover turkey from a holiday meal, or swap out the turkey for a store-bought rotisserie chicken, boiled chicken, or baked chicken — anything goes. The kids will go crazy for the comforting meal that’s finished with a crunchy Ritz cracker crumb topping!

Overhead shot of a plate of turkey and noodle casserole

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a simple turkey noodle casserole. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Noodles: I use egg noodles in this dish, but you can substitute with 8 ounces of spaghetti, penne, rotini, or other pasta.
  • Turkey: you’ll need cooked, shredded or diced turkey, so Thanksgiving leftovers are ideal for this recipe. If you don’t have cooked turkey on hand, substitute with an equal amount of cooked chicken instead.
  • Condensed cream of mushroom soup: substitute with other flavors of condensed soup if you prefer. Good alternatives include cream of celery soup or cream of chicken soup.
  • Milk: to thin the creamy sauce.
  • Sour cream: thickens the sauce, and adds richness and a slightly tangy flavor.
  • Garlic powder and onion powder: for savory flavor. You can use sauteed onion and fresh garlic cloves if you prefer, but these dried seasonings are a nice shortcut.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the dish.
  • Cheese: use grated Colby Jack cheese, or substitute with cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, mozzarella, or another good melting cheese.
  • Frozen peas: these are optional, since I know some folks don’t love peas in their casseroles. You can omit them completely, or substitute with frozen mixed vegetables, corn, a jar of drained diced pimentos, a can of drained diced tomatoes, a can of drained green beans (or frozen green beans), or steamed or parboiled broccoli florets.
  • Ritz crackers and butter: toss the cracker crumbs with the melted butter to form the flavorful, crunchy topping.
Egg noodles in a colander

Do you cook noodles before adding to casserole?

While it’s possible to make a casserole with uncooked pasta, this specific recipe calls for boiling the egg noodles before adding them to the casserole. The baking time in the oven is shorter, since you’re just heating everything through. This also ensures that the pasta is cooked perfectly, and doesn’t get overdone.

Stirring together filling for turkey noodle casserole

What if I don’t have leftover turkey?

If you don’t have cooked turkey on hand, you can substitute with an equal amount of cooked, diced (or shredded) chicken. Pick the most convenient option for you:

  • Boiled and Pulled Chicken: Boil about 1 lb. of boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs until cooked through (about 15 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken into bite size pieces. You’ll need a total of about 2 cups shredded. I find that 1 lb. of raw chicken breasts yields about 2 cups of pulled chicken, but there’s some flexibility here — it doesn’t need to be exact.
  • 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. One large rotisserie chicken should yield about 3-4 cups of meat, so you might have some extra to use in a different dish.
  • 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, you can even use canned chicken in this casserole.
Adding cracker crumbs on top of a casserole

How to Make a Turkey Noodle Casserole

This cheesy, creamy turkey and noodle casserole comes together quickly and easily. Assemble it in advance for even faster weeknight dinners!

  1. Boil the noodles in a large pot of salted water. Drain.
  2. Stir or whisk together the turkey, soup, milk, sour cream, seasoning, and some of the cheese in a large bowl.
  3. Add the cooked noodles and the frozen peas, then stir to combine.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a greased 3-quart baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the casserole.
  6. Combine the cracker crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Add the buttered crumbs over the top.
  7. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated oven at 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly.
Square overhead image of turkey noodle casserole on a wooden table

Serving Suggestions

Serve the turkey casserole with egg noodles alongside any of these additional dishes:

Front shot of a plate of turkey noodle casserole

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat the casserole in a 350°F oven, covered with aluminum foil, just until warmed through (about 20 minutes). You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave for about 30 seconds – 1 minute.

Make Ahead Turkey Egg Noodle Casserole

This is the ultimate prep-ahead meal to get dinner on the table quickly and easily — even on busy nights. Assemble the casserole, wrap tightly, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before putting it in the oven.

How to Freeze

Freeze the casserole before baking. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, cover with foil, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, allow the dish to come to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes, and then bake according to recipe instructions.

To bake from frozen, cover the dish with foil for the first 30 minutes, and then continue baking for about 30-45 more minutes (uncovered), or until heated through.

Recipe Variations

  • Swap out the egg noodles and use a different shape of pasta. Spaghetti is a great option, but shorter shapes like penne, elbows, and rotini will all work, too.
  • Use chicken instead of turkey.
  • Try different veggies in lieu of the peas (or omit the veggies altogether). Good options include frozen mixed vegetables, corn, canned or frozen green beans, drained canned diced tomatoes, steamed or parboiled broccoli florets, or drained diced pimentos.
  • Instead of the Ritz cracker crumb topping, try a different crunchy topping — such as buttered Corn Flakes crumbs, buttered panko breadcrumbs, or crushed potato chips.
  • Try different types of cheese instead of the Colby Jack. Other good options include sharp cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Colby, Mozzarella, or Gruyere.
  • Swap out the cream of mushroom soup and use a different flavor of condensed soup, such as cream of chicken soup or cream of celery soup.
  • Jazz up the dish and make it spicy by adding a dash of cayenne pepper to the creamy sauce, or garnish individual servings with crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Season the casserole with fresh herbs or dried herbs, such as sage, parsley, thyme, basil, rosemary, oregano, or chives.
Square overhead image of turkey casserole with egg noodles

Tips for the Best Turkey Noodle Casserole Recipe

  • Don’t overcook the pasta. Boil the egg noodles just until they’re al dente (or 1 minutes less), so that they still have a firm bite. The noodles will continue to cook in the oven, and you don’t want to end up with mushy pasta in your casserole.
  • Use well-salted water to boil the noodles. This is your only chance to really season them.
  • 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. Don’t bake it for too long or it will dry out and the noodles will get mushy. You know a casserole is done when the filling is hot and bubbly and the topping is toasted and golden brown.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired, just before serving.
  • To serve a larger group, double all of the ingredients and bake the casserole in a deep 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.
Overhead shot of turkey egg noodle casserole on a table
Square overhead image of turkey noodle casserole on a wooden table

Turkey Noodle Casserole

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 560 kcal
A great way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey, or try it with chicken instead!

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces uncooked medium egg noodles (or other noodles of choice)
  • 2 cups cooked, diced turkey
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Colby Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 cup frozen peas, optional
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed Ritz crackers
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 3-quart baking dish with butter or cooking spray; set aside.
  • Cook the noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water for 1 minute less than the package directions for al dente. Drain.
  • In a large bowl, combine turkey, condensed soup, milk, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of the cheese. Add the cooked noodles and frozen peas to the turkey mixture; stir to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Transfer the turkey and noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of grated cheese over top.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and the melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly.

Notes

  • Swap out the egg noodles and use a different shape of pasta. Spaghetti is a great option, but shorter shapes like penne, elbows, and rotini will all work, too.
  • Use chicken instead of turkey.
  • Try different veggies in lieu of the peas (or omit the veggies altogether). Try frozen mixed vegetables, corn, canned or frozen green beans, drained canned diced tomatoes, steamed or parboiled broccoli florets, or drained diced pimentos.
  • Instead of the Ritz cracker crumb topping, try a different crunchy topping — such as buttered Corn Flakes crumbs, buttered panko breadcrumbs, or crushed potato chips.
  • Try different types of cheese instead of the Colby Jack. Other good options include sharp cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Colby, Mozzarella, or Gruyere.
  • Swap out the cream of mushroom soup and use a different flavor of condensed soup, such as cream of chicken soup or cream of celery soup.
  • Jazz up the dish and make it spicy by adding a dash of cayenne pepper to the creamy sauce, or garnish individual servings with crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Season the casserole with fresh herbs or dried herbs, such as sage, parsley, thyme, basil, rosemary, oregano, or chives.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the casseroleCalories: 560kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 38gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 1034mgPotassium: 513mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 714IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 426mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: turkey and noodle casserole, turkey casserole with egg noodles, turkey egg noodle casserole, turkey noodle casserole
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
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. 5 stars
    Was looking for a Turkey Noodle Casserole today to use up some left over Thanksgiving Turkey. So glad I found this recipie. I love all the options and substitution suggestions given. I was able to pull from my pantry and create a wonderful casserole this evening. I am TOTALLY SAVING this recipie. I used cream of chicken soup, sauteed fresh onion, a mild diced anahiem chilli, and fresh garlic in some butter. Steamed some fresh broccoli flourettes in place of the peas. Which was one of her substitution suggestions. We know broccoli and cheese go together. I had fine shred mixed cheese ( chedar, jack, colby, mozzarella) so I used that. Followed directions and 30 min later I had a master piece casserole. Thank you!!!

  2. I love your blog, Blair! I plan to have company soon and would like to make your Turkey Noodle Casserole. How long should I cook the one pound of boneless chicken breasts?

    Thanks and Blessings!
    Nancy

    1. Hi, Nancy! Thank you! Depending on the size of your chicken breasts, they will likely need to boil for about 15-20 minutes. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, or you can cut into the chicken and make sure that the inside is not pink. Hope that helps, and enjoy!

  3. 5 stars
    Oh my!! This recipe was delicious!! I’ve never made a casserole with sour cream and divided cheese! Clearly i needed to find your recipe to up my hodge podge method! Thank you!!