A creamy and comforting pasta bake loaded with vegetables that uses up leftover turkey. This Turkey Pasta Bake is a family favourite way to use up Christmas or Thanksgiving leftovers and easy to adapt too. Don't let any of those leftovers go to waste!
About this turkey pasta bake
Nothing goes to waste here at Christmas time and a pasta bake is the perfect way to use leftovers, as pretty much everything goes into it. This Christmas pasta bake has turkey, cheese and vegetables packed into it.
Ready in around 30 minutes, this turkey pasta bake can be adapted with whatever you have that needs using up and it's a totally fool-proof recipe, as you just throw everything together. This is a boxing day favourite in our house.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Pasta - Any pasta shape goes here. We recommend using a pasta shape, rather than spaghetti.
- Turkey - It's a must in a turkey pasta bake. You can use leftovers from our Slow Cooker Turkey Crown, Air Fryer Turkey or Roast Turkey Breast.
- Butter - This is what the vegetables are cooked it.
- Vegetables - leeks, mushrooms, spinach
- Creme fraiche - This is what gives the turkey pasta bake the creamy sauce. You could swap it for cream cheese if you prefer.
- Cheese - We used cheddar and Parmesan. Any melty cheese will work though and mozzarella is a good addition.
- Mustard - A little Dijon adds a lovely flavour.
- Basil - Sprinkle some fresh basil on just before serving.
- Salt and pepper - Generously season.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make a turkey pasta bake - Step by step
Prep: Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C(fan)/400°F/Gas 6.
One: Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
Two: Heat the butter in a pan and add the mushrooms and leeks. Cook over a low heat for 6-8 minutes, until softened.
Three: Add the spinach and continue to cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
Four: Add the turkey, half the cheddar, Parmesan, creme fraiche and mustard.
Five: Mix well and continue cooking until the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes.
Six: Drain the pasta, reserving some of the water. Add the drained pasta and pasta water to the pan. Mix well to coat the pasta in the sauce.
Seven: Transfer it all to a baking dish.
Eight: Cover with the remaining cheddar and bake for 20 minutes.
Meat - We used leftover turkey, but you could use leftovers from a roast chicken. If you have leftovers from our Slow Cooker Gammon recipe, then chop that up and add in here too. Some chopped leftover Air Fryer Pigs in Blankets are amazing in this too.
Vegetables - A pasta bake is always a good opportunity to add some extra vegetables. We added leeks, mushroom and spinach but you can add any of your leftovers vegetables like roasted sprouts, carrots and parsnips or some broccoli and peas.
Cheese - This turkey pasta bake is SO cheesy. That's what Christmas is all about, right? We used a mixture of cheddar and Parmesan to give it a nice crispy top.
But this pasta bake with turkey is a great opportunity to use leftovers from the cheeseboard. You can add some chopped Brie, Stilton or a flavoured cheddar like onion and chive.
Garlic bread is the best side dish for pasta. Either buy some ready made, or make your own easy garlic bread by cutting up some French stick and spreading it with a mix of butter, crushed garlic and dried herbs.
You could also keep it simple with a big green salad. The key to an epic green salad is to use a variety of greens, like romaine, spinach, kale and rocket. You want leafy greens, but crunch too.
Frequently Asked Questions
As this already uses leftovers, you should eat it right away. However, we have reheated it again before and it was fine. Just make sure it is piping hot when reheated.
Yes, you can easily double the recipe and it won't change the cooking time. Just make sure to use a dish big enough.
As long as you use your favourite brand of gluten free pasta and make sure there there is no cross contamination, then this can be a gluten free dish.
You can assemble the pasta bake a day in advance and then keep it in the fridge. Then put it in the oven to cook. It may need an extra 10 minutes in the oven if coming straight from the fridge.
More pasta bake recipes
Turkey Pasta Bake
- 280 g (10 oz) Pasta shapes
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 2 Portobello mushrooms - diced
- 1 Leek - sliced
- 60 g (2 cups) Spinach
- 240 g (8.5 oz) Cooked turkey - diced
- 50 g (0.5 cups) Parmesan - grated
- 75 g (0.66 cups) Cheddar - grated; for the filling
- 75 g (0.66 cups) Cheddar - grated; for the topping
- 200 ml (0.75 cups) Creme fraiche
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- 1 pinch Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 g (0.5 tablespoon) Fresh basil - finely chopped
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C(fan)/400°F/Gas 6.
- Cook 280 g Pasta shapes according to the packet instructions.
- Heat 1 tablespoon Butter in a pan and add 2 Portobello mushrooms and 1 Leek. Cook over a low heat for 6-8 minutes, until softened.
- Add 60 g Spinach and continue to cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Add 240 g Cooked turkey, 75 g Cheddar, 50 g Parmesan, 200 ml Creme fraiche 1 pinch Sea salt, 1 pinch Black pepper and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard.
- Mix well and continue cooking until the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes.
- Drain the pasta, reserving some of the water.
- Add the drained pasta and paste water to the pan. Mix well to coat the pasta in the sauce.
- Transfer it all to a baking dish.
- Cover with 75 g Cheddar and bake for 20 minutes.
- You can make a vegetarian version of this by using leftovers of your favourite meat free roast.
- For some added freshness, add some slices of cherry tomatoes on top when adding the cheese.
- If you want to make this leftover turkey pasta bake really crispy, then you can put it under the grill/broiler for a couple of minutes before serving. You could also mix some breadcrumbs in with the cheese for extra crispiness.
- Reserve a little pasta water to add to the sauce to make it really silky and smooth.
- For some added spice, you can add some red chilli flakes.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.