Green Chili Turkey “Tetrazzini”

With an Italian-sounding name, you may be surprised to learn that this dish originated in America. It is said that in the early 1900’s when Italian opera star, Luisa Tetrazzini, came to perform at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco the chef created this dish and named it after her.

Turkey Tetrazzini is essentially a casserole made with diced, roasted turkey in a creamy, cheesy mushroom sauce with peas and a crunchy topping of panko breadcrumbs and Parmigiano cheese.  But after eating turkey dinner, followed by the typical leftovers (sandwiches, pot pie, soup), I am ready for a change.  This Green Chili Turkey “Tetrazzini” is a variation of the traditional Turkey Tetrazzini; it has a completely different flavor profile with the addition of fire roasted green chilies, peppers, and pepper jack cheese.

The basic recipe is the same – the base is a rich and cheesy made-from-scratch sauce.  I like to use a blend of mushrooms, but any one type is just fine.  Tetrazzini is typically made with spaghetti or bucatini noodles, but you can use any pasta shape you prefer.  A sturdy pasta made for collecting sauce such as penne, cavatappi, or casarecce are some of my favorites.  You can use any type of cheese you like.  Pepper jack is a delicious complement to the roasted chilies and peppers. The casserole can be made ahead and popped into the oven when needed.  Green Chili Turkey Tetrazzini – make leftover turkey taste delicious again! 

Cheers to surviving another holiday!!

Green Chili Turkey “Tetrazzini”

Diced roast turkey in a creamy, cheesy mushroom sauce with fire roasted green chilies, peppers and a crunchy topping of panko breadcrumbs and Parmigiano cheese.
Author Rosalie D’Amico



  • 8 ounces pasta, cooked al dente
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced (about 2+ cups)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ red bell pepper, small diced
  • ½ poblano pepper, small diced, or ½ finely diced jalapeño pepper, more or less to your taste
  • ½ orange bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 3 cups diced roasted turkey


  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups turkey or chicken stock, heated
  • 2 cups half and half or whole milk
  • 4 ounces fire roasted green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano
  • cups grated pepper jack cheese

Panko Topping

  • ½ cup panko
  • ¼ cup parmigiano
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter



  • Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cook the pasta al dente (usually about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside in a large bowl.
  • In a large sauté pan (I use a 12”) or deep skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and sliced mushrooms. Season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and have started to brown.
  • Add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes before adding the garlic, peppers, and oregano. Stir together and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Deglaze with the white wine and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the turkey and remove from the heat. Transfer to the bowl with the cooked pasta. Use the same pan to make your sauce.


  • Melt 5 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When butter is bubbling, add flour and cook, whisking continuously, for at least 2 minutes.
  • Add hot turkey stock (I heat in the microwave. Adding hot stock will avoid lumps in your sauce.) Bring to a simmer and add half and half.
  • Return to a bubbling simmer and cook, whisking continuously) for about 3 minutes until sauce has thickened.
  • Stir in chilies and stir just until melted.
  • Add sauce to bowl of pasta and filling ingredients along with cilantro, Parmigiano, and pepper jack cheese.  Stir to combine.

To Finish

  • Combine Panko Topping ingredients and set aside.
  • Transfer filling and sauce to prepared baking dish. 
  • Cover with foil and bake in a 400° oven for 15 minutes. Uncover.
  • Sprinkle Panko Topping evenly over the top.
  • Continue to bake until bubbly and brown, about 25 minutes.