Leftover Turkey Casserole

Leftover Turkey Casserole made with leftover turkey, cheesy gravy, and cornbread is the PERFECT way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. It’s fast, easy, and ready in under 45 minutes!

We’re REALLY excited for the Thanksgiving holiday that is quickly approaching, and if you take a look in our kitchen you’ll find a lot of things going on like Easy Roasted Turkey ThighsCrispy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast, and this Slow Cooker Thanksgiving For 2!

Thanksgiving Turkey Casserole
LEFTOVER TURKEY CASSEROLE

We always have a TON of leftovers after Thanksgiving, and Leftover Turkey Casserole is exactly how to use them up in the best way possible. It’s creamy and indulgent, totally filling, and reminds you that the holidays aren’t quite over until all of the food is gone.

We’re also excited that McCormick Spices has generously sponsored this post, as we use their products all the time ad we’re happy to be working together with them again (we also worked together on my Gingerbread Cheesecake, another seasonal favorite.)

Most great casseroles start with something called a roux – a mixture of flour and butter.  Here, serving the function of the roux, we’ve added McCormick Simply Better Turkey Gravy and mozzarella cheese to create a really creamy and flavorful base for our casserole. This gravy holds everything together and makes it something that your family will request every single year.

Besides the turkey, gravy is the star of the show here, adding a TON of flavor and texture to the dish. McCormick Simply Better Turkey Gravy has no MSG, artificial flavors, or colors added, so I feel good serving it to my family. It’s also gluten free, so those of you who have stayed away from gravy because of the flour base can enjoy this gravy with no worries. You can even use it for the actual holiday, if you want a great gravy that you don’t have the think too much about!

If you’re looking for a dry alternative too you can also use the powdered mix McCormick has which has no MSG, no artificial flavors or colors added. It’s as easy as adding water and bringing to a boil. When Thanksgiving is over I feel like we have piles of all the leftovers except gravy. Now you can remedy that and keep Thanksgiving going full steam ahead clear through the weekend!

Leftover Turkey Casserole

HOW TO MEAL PREP LEFTOVER TURKEY CASSEROLE

  • Casseroles are really easy to meal prep. Just assemble your ingredients up until the baking part.
  • Cover the casserole tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day, until you’re ready to bake.
  • You can also assemble and freeze this casserole. Take it out of the freezer the day before to defrost and refrigerate, then bake as directed when you’re ready.

CAN YOU MAKE LEFTOVER TURKEY CASSEROLE WITH NOODLES?

If you don’t have cornbread, it’s really easy to make leftover turkey casserole with noodles. Cook your pasta to al dente. Make the recipe as is, and instead of adding the cornbread, add the noodles and stir to combine before you bake the casserole.

You can also certainly use dried bread as you would for a classic Easy Apple Sausage Stuffing.

You can also do this casserole with cooked rice. I used cornbread in this recipe because it’s what I have leftover from Thanksgiving. But it’s not mandatory, as long as you have a starch in there. Use cooked rice, because uncooked will soak up most of the moisture when you bake it.

Easy Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole Recipe

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO WITH THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS?

HOW LONG IS LEFTOVER TURKEY GOOD FOR?

Leftover turkey will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, or 2-3 months in the freezer. If we have a lot of leftovers, I like to freeze the turkey and use it for recipes later in the month.

WHAT CAN I SERVE WITH LEFTOVER TURKEY CASSEROLE?

Serve leftover turkey casserole with Easy Cranberry Sauce for the full Thanksgiving leftovers experience. Add a Classic Wedge Saladwhich is great way to start a meal with a heavier dish like leftover turkey casserole. Plus it’s an added veggie!

TIPS FOR MAKING LEFTOVER TURKEY CASSEROLE

  • The point of a Thanksgiving leftover casserole is obviously to use up the leftovers from Thanksgiving, so don’t feel limited to this exact recipe. If you have Brussel sprouts, cut them up and use them instead of green beans. If you don’t have cornbread, use stuffing. You get the idea.
  • If you want to make this casserole another time of the year, you can easily swap out the leftover turkey for chicken in this recipe. I’ve even made this with leftovers from my slow cooker rotisserie chicken before!
  • Uncovering the dish for the last 10 minutes of bake time is important to achieve a nice golden brown on top. You can also turn on the broiler for 2-3 minutes, but watch it closely and don’t go too long.
  • Preheat your oven before adding the casserole, or you may have to add some cook time.

Turkey Gravy Casserole Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Leftover Turkey Casserole

Leftover Turkey Casserole made with leftover turkey, cheesy gravy, and cornbread is the PERFECT way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. It's fast, easy, and ready in under 45 minutes!
Yield 9 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 4 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • 1 cup McCormick Simply Better Turkey Gravy
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup mozzarella shredded
  • 3 cups cornbread cut into 1" chunks
  • 3 cups chopped turkey meat cooked
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped frozen green beans

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and add the butter to a medium sized saucepan melting it on medium heat.
  • Add the flour to the pan and whisk well together for 1 minute before adding in the gravy, milk and mozzarella, whisking until smooth.
  • Add the cornbread, turkey, peas, carrots and green beans to a 9x13 pan and cover with the gravy before cooking for 20-25 minutes covered, followed by 10 minutes uncovered.

Notes

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 551mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2855IU | Vitamin C: 5.5mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 1.2mg
Keyword: leftover turkey casserole

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. Very good! The leftovers were getting a bit dry so I put all that was left in a pot and added some chicken broth …and made soup! And it is incredible! Thank you for the recipe!

  2. Loved the flavor of the recipe but the green beans weren’t as cooked through as I would’ve liked. Made it harder for my little one to eat. My husband devoured it, ate two helpings. I think leftover cooked green beans/green bean casserole might work better.

  3. I substituted green beans with fresh mushrooms, sautéed the carrots and mushrooms in butter. I used left over turkey stuffing instead of cornbread, Doubled the gravy after reading another comment. Will enjoy it for tonights dinner.

  4. Subbed green beans with broccoli, used frozen peas and carrot blend. Also used Jiffy cornbread mix. Otherwise followed recipe exactly. For 13×9 baking dish, 1 cup of gravy isn’t enough. Recommend doubling gravy or casserole will be dry. It turned out good, however; not great.

  5. I’ve got it in the oven and I just realized you have ½ teaspoon salt in the ingredients but you left it out of the instructions. Oops. Guess we’ll salt it after it comes out.

  6. Great Idea! It looked and tasted wonderful. Our sauce topping came out a bit different looking because we used a smaller dish and had a thicker layer on top of the casserole – it looked like chicken pot pie. This is a perfect recipe to use up the leftovers – especially green beans and stuffing (which I hate) & convert them to something delicious.

  7. Prepared it almost exactly and it was perfect. Used honey corn bread and closer to 4 cups. 2nds for all. Thank you for this recipe.

  8. I made exactly following the measurements. I had suspected the carrots needed to parboiled, but followed the recipe.
    Flavor is great, carrots were hard and there wasn’t enough gravy to cover the 9 x 13 dish. I do plan to make again with parboiling the carrots and doubling the gravy recipe.

  9. Yummy. This is so easy to make and so good. I did share a little with our two dogs for a treat in their dry food. Oh my, they loved it too.

  10. I cut back the amount of turkey by 1/2c and cut the cornbread to 2 c and increased the veggies to make it a healthier recipe. Added more peas and carrots, sautéed onion, celery and garlic and used my own homemade turkey gravy plus added salt and pepper as needed.

  11. This came out much more delicious then expected! I did crumble 3 pieces of bacon on top and added some Bells Seasoning to the gravy mixture for added flavor. The turkey was incredibly moist. Definitely will make again.

  12. I never made it before tonite. It is unbelievably amazing! I’ll be making turkey dinner more often so I can have this the next day. So good!

  13. I discovered this recipe to use leftover turkey frozen. It seems a little bland to me also. I like the tip of crispy onion on top.
    I also forgot the salt and pepper.
    My other confusion involved the gravy. Is this a divided portion? Gravy goes in saucepan with milk and cheese in step 2.
    Then gravy is to be poured over the top before placing in the oven. Nevertheless it is a good recipe and I may use a couple of tweaks

    1. Judy, I believe if you add “gravy mixture” to step 3 that will help any confusion.
      I loved this recipe and that it’s so versatile. Stuffing, salt, pepper and crispy onion were loved in my kitchen 🙂

  14. The dish was good. Used a lot of leftover turkey, but the carrots were not done for the baking time listed. Had to cook alot longer. Also, didn’t have in the instructions when to add the salt and pepper, but remembered to add at the end after going over the recipe again.

  15. We all loved this!
    I used leftover cornbread stuffing, and cooked some frozen mixed veggies since I had none left from thanksgiving dinner, which added a lot of color under the sauce. A tasty finishing touch – scatter some French-fried onions on top of the sauce during the last 5-10 minutes of heating in the oven – nice and crunchy!

  16. This was recipe was great. Kind of like a turkey pot pie filling. My kid wasn’t a fan, but it used up a lot of left overs and the adults liked it. I used stuffing instead of cornbread and a onion gravy. Don’t forget to add the salt and pepper. It’s not listed in the instructions and as a person who has to follow the recipe I forgot to add it because it wasn’t in the instructions (no one noticed).

  17. I made it, but I Stacefied it… subbing all vegetables with leftover mashed potatoes & some of the leftover dressing and added another cup of milk to offset the moisture the potatoes & corn bread might soak up…it was amazing! Also served it with a side of Corn Bread Casserole.

  18. Made this today amazing used cheddar instead of mozzarella and stuffing and noodles and put a pillsbury croissant top to make it more pot potpie ish
    Thanks for the recipe

  19. This casserole turned out very well. I used leftover turkey gravy from Thankgiving. I didn’t have mozarrella so I used gruyere. I used lactose free milk with a little lactose free evaporated milk added to make a cup. I didn’t have these frozen veggies, so I used a blend of Asian frozen veggies. Even with all these changes, the dish was very satisfying.

  20. I love that this is made with cornbread instead of stuffing. Sounds like a delicious variation! Can’t wait to try it out on my family. 🙂