Got leftover roast turkey? Want a really delicious and really easy way to use up your turkey leftovers? Make this easy peasy Turkey Macaroni Cheese! (No leftover turkey? No problem! This can also be made with bought pre-cooked turkey or pan-fried fresh turkey pieces.)
Got leftover roast turkey? Make mac n cheese!
So you’ve enjoyed a wonderful roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings… but now you have loads of leftover turkey. Whatever you do, don’t throw it away! There are tons of great things you can do with turkey leftovers… but one of my absolute favourites has to be Turkey Macaroni Cheese.
A super simple recipe…
If you’ve spent hours in the kitchen the day before cooking up a big turkey dinner, the last thing you want to do is spend hours the next day turning the leftovers into something delicious. Fortunately, that’s not a problem with this easy peasy turkey mac and cheese recipe… it only takes 20 minutes to make… and only 10 minutes of that is hands on time!
All you have to do is cook the macaroni and make my very easy cheese sauce. Next, stir the pasta and turkey into the cheese sauce, then tip the macaroni cheese into a shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle over more cheese. Finally bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes. Easy peasy!
No leftover turkey? No problem!
You have a couple of options here. You can usually buy cooked turkey from the supermarket, so that is the easiest option. Another option is to buy some fresh turkey pieces, steaks or breast fillets. Quickly pan fry the fresh turkey – until just cooked, then follow the recipe as written.
(You can also use chicken instead of turkey if you prefer!)
What to serve with Turkey Macaroni Cheese?
My favourite thing to serve with this Turkey Macaroni Cheese recipe is a simple green side salad. You could also add some garlic bread, if you are feeling extra hungry.
Another alternative is baked beans… this goes down especially well with children. My son would be devastated if I did not serve baked beans with macaroni cheese!
What to drink with Turkey Macaroni Cheese?
This turkey version of macaroni cheese is very wine friendly. Good options include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc, if you prefer white. Or, if you prefer red, go for Merlot, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or Sangiovese.
Make it your own!
This Turkey Macaroni Cheese is very easy to adapt. You could:
- Add leftover pigs in blankets, leftover ham, leftover veg – even leftover brussels sprouts – instead of, or as well as, leftover turkey
- Use leftover cooked chicken in place of the leftover cooked turkey
- Fry up some bacon and stir it into the macaroni cheese at the same time as you add the turkey
- Fry up a sliced leek and stir it into the macaroni cheese at the same time as you add the turkey
- Stir some frozen peas into the macaroni cheese at the same time as you add the turkey
- Any combination of the above!
Can you reheat Turkey Macaroni Cheese
Technically you should not reheat food – especially meat – more than once, so I would not advise you to reheat this dish or use this as a make ahead recipe.
(However, if you make this with pan-fried fresh turkey, then yes you CAN reheat this recipe.)
Can you freeze Turkey Macaroni Cheese
Again, I would not advise freezing this dish as you should not reheat food – especially meat – more than once.
(However, if you make this with pan-fried fresh turkey, then yes you CAN freeze and reheat this recipe.)
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Turkey Macaroni Cheese
- 300 g macaroni (not the quick cook macaroni, which really doesn’t work in this recipe!)
- 30 g butter
- 25 g flour
- 500 ml milk
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard or to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 200 g mature cheddar or to taste, grated
- 350 g cooked turkey or chicken, cut into bitesize pieces
- Preheat the oven to 220C / 200C Fan / Gas Mark 7.
- Cook the macaroni until it’s a bit less done than normal – a couple of minutes less than you would usually do. The brand I use takes 10 minutes normally, so I give it 8 minutes for macaroni cheese.
- While the macaroni is cooking, make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a medium sized pan on a low heat. When the butter is foaming, add the flour and stir until it’s mixed in. Then keep cooking for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. It takes guts to do this. It looks like something is going to go wrong but it doesn’t!
- Very gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Make sure each bit of milk is incorporated before adding the next bit. If you do this slowly on a very low heat, you should end up with a perfectly smooth cheese sauce with no lumps and no need to whisk. However, if it does go wrong for some reason, you can always use a whisk to beat out the lumps.
- When all the milk is incorporated, add the mustard, salt and pepper. (N.B. I use salted butter, so I don’t add any extra salt here.) Then add half the cheese, stir to combine and turn off.
- When the pasta is done, drain it, retaining a little bit of the cooking water.
- Tip the pasta and a couple of tablespoonfuls of the cooking water into the cheese sauce and stir.
- Add the cooked turkey to the macaroni cheese and stir again.
- Pour the macaroni cheese into a shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. The top should be brown, but the bottom should still be saucy and the macaroni should be perfectly cooked.
- No leftover roast turkey? No problem! You have a couple of options here. You can usually buy cooked turkey from the supermarket, so that is the easiest option. Another option is to buy some fresh turkey pieces, steaks or breast fillets. Quickly pan fry the fresh turkey – until just cooked, then follow the recipe as above. (You can also use chicken instead of turkey if you prefer!)
- Not suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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