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Leftovers they'll love

December 2, 2013 - 3:12pm

Turkey Tetrazzini With Butternut Squash Sauce

This is a lightened-up, guilt-free version of traditional turkey tetrazzini that calls for cooked, white meat turkey and lots of vegetables including mushrooms, peas, onion and butternut squash.

The sauce, made from the squash, skips the usual butter and cream yet it provides flavor and a velvety texture throughout.

Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Make ahead: The baked casserole can be refrigerated for up to two days. For optimum food safety, use a food thermometer to make sure leftovers are reheated to 165 degrees. From Elaine Gordon, a master of public health professional and a master certified health education specialist, is creator of the healthy recipe site


Kosher salt

5 ounces dried brown rice or whole wheat spaghetti

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup diced sweet onion

6 white button mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and sliced (a scant 1 cup)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 or 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 medium shallot, coarsely chopped

1 cup cooked butternut squash pieces

1/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk (may substitute other dairy milk substitute)

1/4 cup dry white wine (may substitute sherry)

1/4 cup no-salt-added chicken broth

1 cup frozen peas

2 cups cooked, cubed white meat turkey

1 cup diced red bell pepper (optional)

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a medium casserole dish with cooking oil spray.

Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Add a generous pinch of kosher salt and the pasta; cook according to the al dente package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion, mushrooms, half the sea salt and half the black pepper, stirring to coat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; the onion should be translucent and the mushrooms should have released their juices. Remove from the heat.

Combine the garlic (to taste), shallot, squash, almond milk, wine, broth and the remaining sea salt and black pepper in a food processor. Pulse until well incorporated. With the motor running, gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil, to form a smooth, emulsified sauce.

Transfer to the saute pan with the onion-mushroom mixture; add the cooked pasta, peas, turkey and red bell pepper, if using, stirring to incorporate and coat evenly. Spoon into the casserole; sprinkle with the cheese on top, if using.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned on top.

Serve right away.

Nutrition information per serving (based on 6): 320 calories, 18 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 14 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar