Make the most of Christmas leftovers with this easy to make, economical, filling and delicious easy turkey and ham pasta bake. It’s a great dish for preparing ahead of time for a hearty meal in minutes after a Christmas walk.
Leftover Turkey Pasta Bake
Properly cooked turkey is delicious; especially as the message about not roasting it for hours and hours is getting out. A shorter roasting time – that still leaves the bird properly cooked – gives a juicy and tasty result. I am greatly in favour of spending a little more on a slowly-reared turkey, and then making sure that we use every possible morsel.
Here’s a great way of making 500g of turkey and 100g of ham feed four hungry people. It’s economical, too, which I find really very helpful after Christmas excess.
How to make Turkey and Ham Pasta Bake
Step 1 – assemble the ingredients.
Step 2 – make a white sauce. First, melt the butter, add the flour and cook for a few minutes.
Step 3 – Mix the milk and stock together, and slowly add to the saucepan, stirring the whole time.
Step 4 – the white sauce is ready when it evenly coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Step 5 – cook the pasta shapes according to the packet instructions. Reserve a little of the pasta water.
Step 6 – fry the onion in oil until translucent, and then add the mushrooms and cook until soft.
Step 7 – Transfer the mushroom and onions to a plate; in the fryin pan, cook the ham and turkey until slightly browned – about 10 minutes.
Step 8 – add pasta, onions and mushrooms and ham and turkey to the saucepan holding the white sauce, and mix together. If the mixture is too stiff, add a little of the pasta water that you kept back.
Step 9 – transfer to an oven-proof dish, top with breadcrumbs and then cheese,
Step 10 – bake at 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4 for about 12 minutes until piping hot and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Our Top Tips for Turkey and Ham Pasta Bake
If you need to loosen the sauce a little to give a really creamy result, add a little of the pasta water. The starch in the water makes a really smooth sauce.
You can make this ahead of time, then keep in the fridge for a day or two before baking in the oven. Make sure that the dish is piping hot all the way through before serving – it will take a few more minutes in the oven. A probe thermometer is very useful here for checking temperature.
For variety, leave out the mushrooms and add peas and corn instead – perfect for children! Or for a more grown up version, use chorizo rather than ham, and blue cheese instead of cheddar. Or add a generous dollop of cranberry sauce.
Easy Leftover Turkey Recipes
Here are some more ideas for using that leftover turkey – remember that you can also substitute turkey in any recipe that uses leftover chicken!
- Leftover turkey curry
- Leftover turkey biryani
- Leftover turkey stuffed baked potatoes
- Leftover turkey soup
- Leftover turkey pies
- Leftover turkey frittata
- Leftover turkey croquettes
- Leftover turkey slaw
Recipe: Turkey Pasta Bake with Ham & Mushrooms
- 25 g butter
- 25 g flour
- 100 ml chicken stock
- 300 ml milk
- 15 ml olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion ((chopped))
- 100 g mushrooms ((sliced))
- 500 g turkey ((cut into small cubes))
- 100 g cooked ham or bacon ((cut into small cubes))
- 200 g pasta shapes
- 1 slice bread ((crumbled into breadcrumbs))
- 50 g cheddar ((grated))
- Salt and pepper ((to taste))
- In a medium saucepan melt the butter, stir in the flour and cook over a gentle heat for a few minutes.
- Slowly add stock and milk a little at a time, stirring as you do so to stop lumps forming. Allow to gently simmer and thicken for 10 minutes taking care to scrape the bottom of the pan.
- Boil the pasta in a large pan until cooked. Drain, reserving some of the water, and return to the pan.
- Place the oil in a non stick frying pan and fry the onion on a medium heat for a few minutes until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Transfer the onions and mushrooms to a plate.
- Add the turkey and ham to the pan and fry for 10 minutes until cooked.
- Add the sauce, onions, mushrooms, turkey and ham to the pasta and mix well. Add in some of the pasta water if needed to loosen.
- Transfer to an oven proof gratin or lasagna dish, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, and top with the chees.
- Bake at GM4 / 180C / 350F for about 12 minutes until piping hot and the cheese has melted.
- Serve immediately with your choice of vegetables.
- Omit the mushrooms and add peas and corn to the bake.
- For a more grown up version add chorizo in place of the ham and top with blue cheese.
For more recipes using turkey leftovers you may like my
This recipe was originally commissioned in 2012 by commissioned by Lean on Turkey. Republished with new photos in 2018.
kate @veggie desserts
Pasta bakes are such a great way to use up leftovers!
I love pasta bakes. So useful and adaptable.
It looks amazing, perfect comfort food for any season… and healthy as well.
We love a good pasta bake!
That pasta looks delicious. I use turkey during the year – its a nice, healthy alternative.
Thanks Heidi, it is an old one but a good one.
1stock cube but how much ? Mine was very dry obviously I didn’t add enough stock but then sauce would have been too thin.
Hi Marilyn, I’ve gone back in and editted the recipe. I usually add it all to the baking dish and then add some of the pasta coking water if needed to loosen it. If you slightly under cook the pasta the thin sauce doesn’t matter as the pasta absorbs it.
Pasta bakes are great for family meals, always popular and very tasty.
I really like using turkey as a main protein source. It’s relatively cheap for meat, low in fat and I find it much tastier than chicken. Turkey is not just for Christmas. Ideal recipe suggestion for a delicious supper.
I dont think we ever have turkey apart from christmas. I never think of using it otherwise. Pasta bakes are always really tasty, this is definitely something I would enjoy.
I’m not a huge fan of turkey, I find it quite dry. But imagine it would be very good in a pasta bake.
Pasta bake is one of those comfort foods that is just right for a Friday night, with a glass of wine and Netflix.
This looks really tasty Helen, I’ve not used turkey for a pasta dish before. Must give it a go.
Always a favourite in our house, so easy to make and easy to adapt. Really good dish.
I like a meal that can be prepped earlier in the day because of the time I get in from work. This is ideal and looks really tasty.
I do like a good hearty meal that doesn’t break the bank. Very tasty and easy to make.
Turkey is a really good addition to a meal, and certainly something we should use more often.
Charlie @ The Kitchen Shed
This looks so comforting! My boys love any kind of pasta bake and I know they would absolutely love this! Im always cooking with turkey so will look forwards to testing this recipe out with my leftovers!
I love a good pasta bake – and or course this would work wit chicken as well as turkey!