Tag Archive for Casserole

Turkey Tetrazzini for a Crowd

I made this turkey tetrazzini for the retired folks at my church. We were having an amazing speaker so we had a nice crowd of close to 60. Turkey Tetrazzini worked well for a large crowd and for the confined space I had to serve in. I adapted this recipe from a couple of different ones but the predominant recipe was from The Pioneer Woman (Rhee Drummond).

Turkey Tetrazzini for a crowd

Difficulty: Medium due to large quantity

Time: If doing the pasta like I did the night before in smaller batches then about 6-7 hours.

Ingredients for 75:

8lbs spaghetti
20T butter
2 heads garlic
3 onions, diced
3T thyme
6 lbs mushrooms
3 t salt
1 bottle white wine
1 1/2 cups flour
20 cups chicken broth
40oz cream cheese
15 cups cooked turkey or chicken (poached is good, I bought deboned, rotisserie style from my favorite warehouse store to save a bit on time for such a large crowd)
7.5 cups frozen green peas
1 1/2 pounds bacon, cooked and chopped
24 oz grated Monterey jack cheese
20 oz cups grated parmesan cheese
20 oz panko bread crumbs

How to make turkey tetrazzini for a large crowd (75 people)

Cook pasta until almost done. Drain, rinse and set aside. For such a large crowd, I did this the night before in 8 different batches, drained, rinsed, let cool and put in Ziploc bags.

In a really big (industrial size) pot, heat butter over medium-high heat and sauté onion and garlic until tender.  Add the quartered mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms begin to get soft but are not complete. Add the thyme and wine and cook until reduced by half.

Add the flour slowly and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes then add the chicken broth. Cook until the mixture thickens. This will take a while when cooking for such a large crowd. While you are getting that to thicken, cut up the cream cheese into smaller cubes so it will melt easier.

When the mixture begins to thicken, add the cream cheese and stir it until it mostly blends with the mixture. Add the other cheeses and stir. Then add the chicken/turkey, peas, and bacon. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Place 1/4 of the pasta in a large industrial style cooking container. Add 1/4 of the mixture and stir to incorporate. Top with Panko bread crumbs. Repeat for the remaining pasta and mixture for a total of 4 large casserole dishes.

Turkey Tetrazzini for a crowd

Bake the dishes at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes until the sauce bubbles and the bread crumbs are toasted.

Turkey Tetrazzini for 75

Meal Idea

I served this with a large mixed green salad with toasted pecans, feta cheese, craisins and a raspberry walnut vinaigrette and a piece of garlic bread. A perfect meal.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

What’s Thanksgiving without an amazing sweet potato casserole! I grew up with the marshmallow topping and love it but what I love even more is this pecan topping. OMG! It is to die for! This dish could almost be dessert.

My other favorite part of this recipe is that I use fresh sweet potatoes and not the canned ones. I’m a little squeamish about those (like Denise touching raw chicken fat!).

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 1 hr (mostly baking the potatoes); Cook Time – 45 min

Ingredients for about 12-14 servings:

7 large sweet potatoes (about 6 lbs worth)

5 large eggs, beaten

1-2t salt

5 T brown sugar

1 1/2 t cinnamon

1 t ground ginger

1 t freshly grated nutmeg (please do the whole nutmeg and grate with a microplane)

1/2 t freshly cracked black pepper

6 T butter, melted

Cooking spray or butter to grease your pan (13×9 dish that you are proud enough to serve out of)

Pecan Topping:

1 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup flour

2/3 cup melted butter

2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped


Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven at 425 degrees for about 40-45 minutes. Be sure to poke a couple of forks into the potatoes so they don’t explode. The last thing you need to do during the busy holidays is clean an oven!

While those are cooking, you can get the other ingredients together.

When the sweet potatoes are cooked, remove from the oven. Let cool enough until you can handle them. Cut them open and squeeze out the insides into a bowl and discard the skin. Mash the sweet potatoes until they are as lump free as possible.

Add the other ingredients (not the pecan topping stuff yet). Mix together until the mixture looks fairly smooth.

Place in a 350 degree oven. It will take about 45-50 minutes to bake.

While that gets started, you can mix the ingredients for the pecan topping. About 15 minutes into the baking process, remove the casserole and gently put the pecan topping on. Return to the oven for the additional 30 minutes. If for some reason the pecans start getting a little too toasty, gently set a piece of aluminum foil on top.

NOTE: If you like marshmallows instead, put those on during the last 10 minutes of cook time instead of the pecans. My family likes both so we often will do 1/2 and 1/2 on the same casserole dish. If you choose to do that, you’ll need 1/2 of the pecan topping ingredients above too.

Important Tips:

Cook until it is getting puffed up a bit like a soufflé. Depending on the depth of your dish, the size of your potatoes, that might take a little longer than 45 minutes. This dish is best if served soon after removing from the oven. It is one of the last things we put in the oven to cook. Other Thanksgiving items hold better when there is limited oven space.


See note above about topping changes.

Broccoli Casserole

broccoli casserole with cheez-its

I generally make this old-fashioned broccoli casserole only 2X a year – Thanksgiving and Christmas. But when one of my babies asked for it the other day, I thought, ‘Why not!”. So – here it is.

Level of Difficulty: Easy Time Required: Prep Time – 20min; Cook Time – 20 min

Ingredients for 8+ servings:

2 1/2 lbs broccoli (cut into equal size florets)

6 oz cheez-its

12 ozs freshly grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup

1 t salt

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:


Preparing Broccoli Casserole:

Steam the broccoli until VERY CRISP tender. This should take a short amount of time. When the broccoli turns bright green it is probably done. Remember it will cook for a bit in the oven too.

broccoli casserole with cheez-its

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

When the broccoli is just steamed add to the casserole dish. Stir in the can of cream of mushroom/chicken soup. Add the salt. Add the freshly grated cheese. Crumble the cheez-its and add to the top.

Cook at 450 degrees until hot through about 20 minutes.

broccoli casserole with cheez-its