While I don't host Thanksgiving, I somehow end up with an entire Thanksgiving meal in my refrigerator the day after.
Thanks to my mother's ability to overcook, every year my husband and I are sent home with Ziplock bags of leftovers. Most of the fixings I don't mind piling on my plate for a few dinners after - I, for one, can never have enough green bean casserole. But when it comes to turkey, I can only eat so much of it in sandwich form. So years ago, I set out to find the perfect casserole recipe to give my leftover turkey a second or third life on the table.
This turkey, ham and Swiss cheese casserole is a Black Friday staple in our house. It's a mild combination that can be adjusted to include any vegetables you'd like, frozen, canned or fresh. And if you don't have leftover ham (I never do) a ham steak from the supermarket does the trick.
Turkey, ham and Swiss Casserole
Serves 4 to 6
8 ounces mini fusilli or farfalle pasta, macaroni, or other pasta shapes
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced ham
3 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf marjoram or thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups diced turkey
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, optional
For the topping:
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter
Heat oven to 350 . Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain and rinse; set aside. Heat butter in a large skillet and saute the onion and celery over medium-low heat until softened. Add ham and stir in flour until well combined. Gradually stir in the milk until thickened. Add marjoram, salt, and pepper. Stir in the cheese, turkey, and peas and carrots, if using.
Add the cooked pasta and blend thoroughly. Spoon the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Combine bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter; sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbly and topping is browned.