Leftover Turkey Alfredo Skillet Meal is the answer for your Post-Thanksgiving leftovers. Turkey, bacon, peas, and penne pasta are coated in a creamy alfredo sauce. Made in a single pan and ready in 30 minutes.
You look forward to that Thanksgiving turkey all year long. When it’s passed, somehow you have a heap of leftovers staring you down.
My leftover turkey alfredo skillet meal is the answer. Add pasta, bacon, and a creamy sauce, and you’ll forget that you’ve eaten turkey sandwiches three days in a row.
The best part about this skillet meal, aside from using up your leftovers, is that it’s made in a single pan. Less cleanup in the kitchen? I’m all for it.
How to Use Leftover Turkey (and other leftovers!)
Using up leftover turkey doesn’t have to be a pain. For this recipe, you’ll need one pound of leftover turkey. If you don’t have leftover turkey on hand, you can also use a pound of rotisserie chicken instead.
Did you also have ham for Thanksgiving? You’re welcome to substitute the bacon and/or turkey in this recipe with ham instead. You’ll also want to add a tablespoon of butter if you won’t be utilizing the bacon grease.
Serve a giant bowl of peas, green beans, or corn for Thanksgiving? No worries, toss them into your skillet meal in place of the peas that are called for.
If you’re looking for more ideas, you can also substitute chicken with turkey in my other skillet meal recipes. Simply skip the chicken cooking step and toss in your cooked turkey instead:
Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese – Turkey mac and cheese? I think so.
Cajun Chicken Noodle Soup – Turkey noodle soup, perfect for cold December evenings.
Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits – Turkey Pot Pie! Yum. Also a great recipe for adding in leftover veggies.
How to Make Leftover Turkey Alfredo Skillet Meal
First, gather your ingredients.
For this recipe, you’ll need: parmesan cheese, chicken broth, leftover turkey sliced into bite size pieces, salt and pepper, bacon, onion, penne pasta, peas, heavy cream, and minced garlic.
In a saute pan, cook your diced bacon. Drain all but one tablespoon of the bacon grease and remove the bacon from the pan. Add your diced onions and cook until they begin to brown. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
Next, add your chicken broth, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and penne pasta. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook according to your penne pasta’s package directions for al dente pasta.
This should be about 10-11 minutes for a typical dried pasta, unless you’re using a quick cook or fresh pasta – then the time will be less. Always consult your pasta’s package directions for this step.
At this point, there will still be some liquid in the pan. This is normal. Add your parmesan cheese, leftover turkey, frozen peas, and bacon to the pan. Give everything a stir, and continue stirring until your cheese is melted.
Next, remove your pan from the heat and allow it to set for 5 minutes, undisturbed. This allows your sauce to thicken. Then – serve and enjoy!
Leftover Turkey leftovers?
Do you have leftover turkey alfredo skillet meal … leftovers? Here’s the thing about dairy based sauces – they do not generally reheat well.
Yes, this dish will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, but the sauce will likely separate when reheating. It will still taste good, but won’t look as pretty as it did fresh off the stove.
Dairy based sauces also do not freeze well, so I do not recommend freezing this dish for later.
This recipe was originally published in November 2018. I have updated the recipe as of September 2019 with a few minor changes.
First, I added diced onion to the recipe. Onion adds a ton of flavor, and I’m not sure why I didn’t include it in my original version.
The original recipe called for cooked bacon. I instead incorporated cooking the bacon into the recipe to utilize the bacon grease and additional flavor it adds to the dish.
Because of this change, I omitted butter from the recipe completely.
Did you try my recipe with your Thanksgiving leftovers? Please tell me how you liked the dish in the comments below – don’t forget to leave a star rating with your thoughts!
Leftover Turkey Alfredo Skillet Meal
- 4 slices bacon chopped
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 and 1/4 cups penne pasta uncooked
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound leftover turkey cubed
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2/3 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- In a saute pan over medium heat, add chopped bacon. Once cooked through, remove bacon and drain excess bacon grease, keeping about 1 tablespoon in the pan. Add diced onion and cook until lightly browned. Add minced garlic and saute for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add chicken broth, heavy cream, pasta, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until pasta is barely al dente (check page directions of pasta).
- Uncover and add turkey, bacon, peas, and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until dish is warmed through and cheese is melted.
- Remove from heat and allow to set for 5 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it stands. Serve and enjoy.