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Creamy Lemon Turkey Casserole with Crunch

Updated on March 20, 2017
Ilonagarden profile image

Cooking, eating, entertaining, having a good time... it's why I collect recipes and share them. Plus I'm half Hungarian,that explains alot.

Get Out Your Casserole Dish and Bake This Tonight

Casserole baked in an old style Pyrex baking dish.
Casserole baked in an old style Pyrex baking dish. | Source

My Family's Favorite Comfort Casserole

Many years ago, a dear friend sent over a meal after I had given birth to my second son. It could be frozen for later or eaten that night.

Indescribably delicious to this nursing mother, whose appetite was ravenous!

When I asked for the recipe, was pleasantly surprised at how simple it was. Consisting of just a few common ingredients, it can be thrown together and simply heated through: a home cooked meal with almost instant preparation time.

This turkey dish became a staple at my house, a favorite of all my children, and a company dish as well. I passed on the kindness when I, in turn, made this dish for the families with new arrivals in the following years.

It is the kind of meal where an addition of a simple salad, some steamed green beans, and a homey apple pie for dessert is just about the perfect All American meal.

You can also use this as a base for variations. Try adding some chopped, cooked onion, some steamed broccoli florets, or steamed medley of vegetables. Serve it over mashed potatoes or stuffing, if you don't care for noodles, or make it with the addition of rice and some sauteed garlic. There are many ways to vary this, but my favorite has always been its yummy, basic self.

This is the perfect dish for sharing, as well as good comfort food for your family on a winter's evening. As if that weren't enough, it is the ideal way to use up leftover turkey from the Thanksgiving feast.

If you were wondering what to take to the potluck or wanted a good recipe for a buffet repast, start with this easy, economical, casserole dish.


Try Any Poultry

Not just for turkey- it is equally delicious with chicken.

Family Style, From Oven To Table

Corningware French White III Oval Casserole with Glass Cover, 1.5-Quart
Corningware French White III Oval Casserole with Glass Cover, 1.5-Quart

Use a good looking casserole dish to serve what is sure to become one of your favorite recipe. This white covered dish is a classic, making any food look great on the table or buffet.

I've used Corningware for years and they keep their good looks and work hard for you family cooks! Easy to clean, and bake up a casserole in superb style.

This is the baking dish I would use for Lemony Turkey Casserole.

 

What I Love About This Recipe

  • It is easy.
  • It tastes delicious.
  • It uses economical ingredients.
  • Everybody has loved it.
  • You can make it for two or for twenty.
  • You can choose what to serve it with: noodles rice, over toast, with potatoes.

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 40 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour
  • Yields: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked and diced turkey meat
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1/2 pint of sour cream
  • Juice of one fresh lemon (about 3-4 T)
  • 1 package Ritz crackers
  • zest of lemon, optional

Instructions

  1. Mix the soup, lemon juice, optional lemon zest, and sour cream in a large bowl; add cooked turkey.
  2. Pour into oven-proof casserole dish.
  3. Crumble Ritz crackers ( I use a rolling pin to crush them) and cover the top of the turkey mixture.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until heated throughout in a moderate oven. Heat at 325 degrees F.
  5. Serve over cooked noodles.
  6. Tips:
  7. Medium width egg noodle is good for getting the sauce along with the turkey in delicious forkfuls.
  8. Healthier substitutions for condensed soup include making a "white sauce" with chicken broth base.
  9. Thin down and create more sauce with a splash of milk before adding to the chicken.
  10. More calories? Pour a bit of melted butter over the cracker crumbs.
  11. Directions for white sauce if you find the condensed soup too processed for your taste. Good substitution for Cream of Chicken soup.

You Will Love This Recipe

Cast your vote for Comforting Turkey Casserole

Suggested Variation and Sidedishes

Because this is a favorite of my family, I plan to freeze some ahead for the busy week before Christmas. It is an ideal casserole to make ahead and have ready to pull out of a freezer and heat up in the oven on a busy evening. Add some green beans or a salad, cook up noodles, and it is all ready in about 30 minutes.

____________


Sometimes I use the zest from the lemon to add a little more lemon flavor, and will often reduce the amount of sour cream and add a little milk to make a lighter sauce. This is a very forgiving recipe, and the sour cream could be completely replaced by yogurt for a much lighter version.

Elegant Buffet Dish for a Crowd

Cuisinart 7BSR-28 Stainless 11-Inch Round Buffet Servers
Cuisinart 7BSR-28 Stainless 11-Inch Round Buffet Servers

Because this recipe is ideal to make in large quantities to serve a crowd, this server is the ideal way to keep it warm. It is an exceptionally elegant way to serve the humble casserole.

 

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    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 20 months ago from New York

      I wish I had seen this while I still had leftovers! It sounds wonderful! I will pin it to my Pinterest "Left Over Turkey" board for the next turkey I roast.

    • Kazee LM profile image

      Kay Collier 3 years ago from Australia

      I too cook a variation of your Comforting Turkey Dish...I'm going to try yours, but I'll have to wait until Boxing day, as unfortunately we don't celebrate Thanksgiving...I wish...

      Enjoyed your lens.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 3 years ago

      I like your white sauce option. I will try this. Thanks, d

    • Ilonagarden profile image
      Author

      Ilona E 3 years ago from Ohio

      @tonyleather: Exactly! The fact that it is so easy makes it perfect for busy December days, too.

    • Ilonagarden profile image
      Author

      Ilona E 3 years ago from Ohio

      @Elsie Hagley: Their flavor and crunch helps set this recipe apart.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice easy interesting dish, like the idea of Ritz crackles crumbled over the top.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      Casseroles are always welcome meals on cold winter days!

    • Scotties-Rock profile image

      Clairissa 3 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Sounds very good and easy!

    • Ilonagarden profile image
      Author

      Ilona E 3 years ago from Ohio

      @kristalulabelle: It is! And can be frozen for later.

    • Ilonagarden profile image
      Author

      Ilona E 3 years ago from Ohio

      @RinchenChodron: Extremely. which makes it a great homecooked meal.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 3 years ago

      Yes, very easy!

    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 3 years ago from Wisconsin

      Sounds like a great way to use up that leftover turkey after Thanksgiving!