Turkey leftovers idea – Cheesy Turkey Penne

Hopefully everyone has long used up the turkey leftovers, or at least frozen some of the bits and pieces.

The next best thing to leftover turkey sandwiches is the little bits and chunks from the bird…lots of flavor there next to the bones.

My usual stand- by is the old fried rice or soup trick. This year found something a little different that didn’t make it into the weekly menu…was a Saturday impulse.

1-2 cups diced turkey

1 lb penne pasta, cooked

1 red onion, quartered and sliced very thin

2 Tbs butter

1/2 cup parmesan cheese – shredded or grated

1 can of Progresso Recipe Starters – creamy three cheese flavor



garlic powder to taste (optional)

dried chives for garnish (optional)

In a heavy saucepan big enough to hold all of the penne –

On low heat, slooooowly caramelize the onion with butter and a couple pinches of salt. I’m talking low, slow, and taking a good 45 minutes kind of caramelized.

Add turkey, and stir occasionally until turkey is heated. Add penne, soup, and cheese. Warm to a low simmer, do not boil. Season to taste with salt, pepper,  garlic powder, if desired. Garnish with a pinch of dried chives for color.

Once again, not a health food. I can’t even imagine putting whole wheat pasta in this. Ick. If you use a high fiber pasta, like barilla plus or white fiber, then it’s a little lower on the glycemic front. I’m not sure how the soup stacks up on the fat-control front. Didn’t look – don’t care. This one is all about the taste and using up tasty leftovers, anyway.

I didn’t try it (we were hungry and didn’t want to wait any longer) but I’m guessing if you put this in a baking dish, covered it with a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, those chives, dot it with butter, and bake it just long enough to crisp up the topping – then you would have even more YUM.

Either way, it’s the caramelized onions that get it for me. Not something you can do on a busy weekday, but makes the house smell so nice on a cold holiday weekend 🙂


3 thoughts on “Turkey leftovers idea – Cheesy Turkey Penne

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