Whether it’s actually just after Christmas or Thanksgiving, or you just have leftover turkey and brussels sprouts, keep it simple and delicious with this delicious turkey pasta bake. You could call it Christmas macaroni!
The perfect solution for your turkey leftovers
How do you feel about leftover turkey? Sick of the sight of it, or eager to use it all up in some fancy (but not too tricky) way? Well, if you’re up for making something with it, that’s just great because I’ve got a wonderfully easy turkey bacon pasta bake recipe for you today.
Here’s why you’re going to love it:
- Like a creamy baked pasta dish the world over, it’s comforting (a true winter warmer)
- It’s quick and easy to make. You’ll need less than half an hour to make it, and just 20 minutes in the oven.
- It’s versatile. Throw in however much meat and veggies you have left, and all the better if there’s a bit of stuffing left over too. I’ve added a pork stuffing before, and it added a really great hit of extra flavour.
- Use whatever grated cheese you have hanging around (leftover cheese board, anyone?). I often just use a simple 200 gram bag of grated cheddar (about 2 cups), just because it’s easy, but any mixture of tasty cheese works well.
Ingredients you need
Pasta: I often use macaroni for my leftover turkey bake, but really any kind of pasta works.
Butter or olive oil: for frying the bacon. Yum!
Bacon: For loads and loads of yummy flavour.
Flour, milk and cheese: For a classic creamy cheese sauce.
Cheese: 2 whole cups of any kind of grated cheese you have.
Leftovers: turkey, brussels sprouts and stuffing, if you have it. I sometimes use another vegetables or buy more brussels sprouts if I only have leftover turkey.
How to make it
There are really only five main steps to this delicious leftover turkey pasta bake.
Step 1: Cook pasta.
Step 2: Cook bacon.
Step 3: Make sauce.
Step 4: Stir cheese into the sauce. Then stir in all the other ingredients (cooked pasta and leftovers).
Step 5: Pour everything into a baking dish and bake for around 20 minutes.
Ways to vary it
Of course, any dish made with leftovers should be versatile. In other words, you should be able to throw in whatever you have!
Got a different kind of meat? Use that instead. Got different vegetables? Add those. Want to throw in some herbs or a tablespoon of mustard? Go ahead.
Want to be wicked and sprinkle parmesan and panko crumbs on top? Why not?
How to serve it
You can eat a pasta bake with bacon and brussels sprouts all by itself in a cosy bowl, of course. The point is to make a simple meal with what you have i.e. leftovers, after all!
If you want to make it look pretty and fancy and add a bit more nutrition, though, you could serve it with a simple green salad on the side.
Can you reheat it?
To be honest, I wouldn’t. Since you’re already using leftovers, it’s best to eat this pasta bake all in one sitting. You don’t want to reheat the turkey and vegetables twice.
Unless you want to eat it cold the next day. You can probably slice it up and eat it like a piece of pie!
Another similar recipe for you…
This creamy turkey, bacon and brussels spouts linguine is a similar recipe but it’s arguably even easier to make.
And if you’re a fan of macaroni cheese…
Why not try this Greek macaroni cheese too? Stuffed with the flavours of Greece, and easier to make than your standard macaroni cheese!
More recipes that I always make at Christmas
- These amazing cheesy roasted cauliflower mashed potatoes (the BEST mashed potatoes!)
- These simple mini cranberry walnut cheese truffles for the cheese board.
- These incredible Greek Christmas honey cookies, called melomakarona in Greece. Make them once and you’ll make them every year too!
- These crispy mushroom filo triangles. They happen to make a great party appetizer. Make them ahead and freeze.
- Or browse all my Christmas recipes.
IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE, LET ME KNOW HOW YOU GET ON BY LEAVING A COMMENT AND RATING BELOW… AND DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP TO RECEIVE ALL MY NEW RECIPES BY EMAIL!
Leftover turkey, bacon and brussels sprouts macaroni cheese (Christmas macaroni!)
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
- 2 cups macaroni
- 1½ ounces butter
- 6 slices bacon
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2¾ cups milk
- 2 cups cheese grated (I used tasty cheddar cheese, but a mixture of whatever you have is great)
- 5½ ounces leftover turkey a good couple of handfuls, or however much you have!
- 7 ounces leftover cooked brussels sprouts halved
- leftover stuffing optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C / 390F.
- Cook the macaroni in salted boiling water for about eight minutes. If you’re cooking your brussels from scratch, add them into the water after four minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium to large saucepan and cook the bacon until starting to crisp (8 to 10 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving behind the butter and juices.
- Add the flour to the pan and cook, stirring, for a minute or so. Take off the heat and very slowly add the milk. Heat and stir until simmering.
- When the sauce is smooth and thickened somewhat, add about two thirds of the cheese, followed by the macaroni, turkey, brussels, bacon, and stuffing (if using). Stir in well, and season.
- Tip into a medium-sized baking dish, and scatter with the rest of the cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes until bubbling and golden.