Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Turkey cordon bleu pasta

Use your holiday leftovers in this recipe for deconstructed turkey (or chicken) cordon bleu pasta: quick and easy to make, lighter than you'd think.

Turkey or chicken cordon bleu pasta, great use for holiday leftovers

As I promised last week, I'm continuing my Thanksgiving leftovers posts this week, despite the fact that Thanksgiving hasn't even arrived yet, because I love using up the leftovers almost as much as preparing the holiday feast. So much so that a reader suggested I make two turkeys this year.

An excellent suggestion!

Since there are only so many turkey sandwiches that you can eat before you get sick of the stuff, I like to change it up with different kinds of dishes, such as last week's turkey, apple and fennel bread salad (I'm still eating it regularly, people -- it's that good). Another great one? Today's turkey cordon bleu pasta.

Yes, pasta! You know, because nearly all my favorite comfort foods are pasta, I swear.

Now, this is not quite the same as the chicken cordon bleu you might be envisioning -- there's no pounding, no stuffing, no breading, no layering and nothing at all French-ish (even though traditional Chicken Cordon Bleu, I'm told, is all-American and has nothing to do with France or the similarly named culinary institute -- go figure). So it's more of a deconstructed chicken cordon bleu. But with turkey. And pasta.

Use your holiday leftovers to create this turkey or chicken cordon bleu pasta

You're going to love this as a vehicle for your leftover turkey. And, of course, when it's not Thanksgiving time, simply substitute leftover chicken for the turkey. Oh, and do you traditionally have a ham at Christmastime? With a side of peas? Perfect: Both are integral components of this dish as well.

Plus, even though it's hugely rich and creamy, it is a lightened recipe and uses no gloppy cream-of-whatevs condensed soup.  And it's quick and easy enough to add to your weeknight rotation.

Boy, this pasta turning out to be the ultimate use-up-the-holiday-leftovers dish!

Are you feeling my leftovers love? What's your favorite way to use up the bird or the sides? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

Use your holiday leftovers to create this turkey or chicken cordon bleu pasta

Turkey (or Chicken) Cordon Bleu Pasta

(inspired by an old Cooking Light recipe)

12 ounces uncooked curly pasta (curly shapes hold the sauce better)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups skim milk, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I use Cabot Seriously Sharp)
2 cups chopped or shredded leftover turkey or chicken
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup diced ham
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

While the pasta cooks, combine the flour and 1/4 cup of the milk in a large saucepan and whisk until smooth. Next, whisk in the remaining milk and the mustard. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and add the cheese, stirring until melted, then add the remaining ingredients and season to taste. Gently toss the sauce with the drained pasta.

-- print recipe --


  1. Yum! Awesome leftover turkey recipe. Gotta try this one!

    1. If you're like me, you've got enough turkey in the freezer to get it done. :-)