Kalyn's Kitchen

Leftover Turkey Casserole

Leftover Turkey Casserole has brown rice and mushrooms, and uses sour cream, cheese, and thyme to make a creamy sauce with no canned soup! This post also has lower-carb ideas for leftover turkey if that’s what works for you.

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Leftover Turkey Casserole with Brown Rice and Mushrooms finished casserole in baking dish

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and you may be using some of my Thanksgiving Recipes for your dinner on the big day. But now I’m moving on to Healthy Recipes Using Leftover Turkey or Chicken. This flavorful Leftover Turkey Casserole is one of my favorite things to make with your leftover turkey, or make it with chicken if you’re not cooking a turkey this year. And if you grew up on casseroles like I did, you’ll probably like this idea to use your leftover turkey.

My turkey casserole is missing the canned soup like the ones mom used to make, but it’s just as tasty. This leftover turkey casserole does have brown rice, but the casserole doesn’t have that much rice, and there are 16 net carbs in a serving you decide whether it’s too much of a splurge. If that’s not going to work for you, then make my very-popular Low-Carb Turkey Casserole that uses cauliflower rice but has similar flavors! No matter which one you choose, you can’t go wrong with a casserole that has turkey, mushrooms, cheese, and thyme, right?

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

What brown rice do I use?

Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice (affiliate link). You can read about why I prefer Uncle Ben’s Converted Brown Rice if you’re curious.

Want Low-Carb Ideas for leftover turkey?

Low-Carb and Keto Recipes for Leftover Turkey or Chicken or Low-Carb and Keto Turkey Soup Recipes to see lots of low-carb options using leftover turkey.

Leftover Turkey Casserole with Brown Rice and Mushrooms process shots collage

How to make this Leftover Turkey Casserole:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Start by cooking the brown rice; I used my much-loved Zojirushi Rice Cooker (affiliate link) to make the rice.
  2. Cut up about 2 cups of leftover turkey or chicken.
  3. Wash, slice, and saute the mushrooms.
  4. Whisk together the stock and sour cream; then stir in the Parmesan and 1 cup grated cheese.
  5. Remove mushrooms to a plate; then add a little more oil and saute the onions with the herbs.
  6. When onions are starting to brown, turn off heat, add the mushrooms and turkey and stir, then gently stir in the rice.
  7. Add the sour cream/cheese mixture and gently combine, then put that mixture into a casserole dish you’ve sprayed with non-stick spray.
  8. Top the casserole with the rest of the cheese, cover with foil, and bake about 20 minutes.
  9. Then remove foil and bake about 20 minutes more, or until the cheese is starting to lightly brown and the mixture is hot and bubbling.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy!
  11. This will keep well in the fridge and can be reheated in a microwave or in a pan on the stove. The casserole also freezes well.

Leftover Turkey (or Chicken) Casserole with Brown Rice, Mushrooms, Sour Cream, Cheese, and Thyme found on KalynsKitchen.com

Find More Tasty Casserole Recipes:

Casseroles Recipe Index ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Casserole Recipes Index ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
My Favorite Low-Carb and Keto Casserole Recipes ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Leftover Turkey Casserole with Brown Rice and Mushrooms finished casserole in baking dish

Leftover Turkey Casserole

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

This tasty Leftover Turkey Casserole has brown rice and mushrooms, and it's the perfect thing to make with leftover turkey or make it with chicken if you don't have any turkey!


  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (see notes)
  • 3 cups diced leftover turkey, cut in 1/2 inch dice
  • 16 oz. brown mushrooms, washed, thickly sliced, slices cut in half
  • 2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil (or more, depending on your pan)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups Four Cheese Mexican Blend
  • 1 onion, diced into small pieces
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground poultry seasoning (see note after the recipe if you don’t have poultry seasoning)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Cook brown rice following package directions or using a rice cooker. (I used my much-loved Zojirushi Rice Cooker (affiliate link) to make the rice).
  2. Preheat oven to 375F/190C and spray a glass or crockery casserole dish with non-stick spray. (I used an 8.5 inch X 12.5 inch dish, but it could have been slightly smaller.)
  3. Dice up enough leftover turkey or chicken to make about 2 cups.
  4. Wash mushrooms and spin dry or dry with paper towels. Cut mushrooms into thick slices, then cut slices in half.
  5. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in heavy non-stick pan and saute mushrooms until they’re starting to brown and all liquid has evaporated. Remove mushrooms to a plate.
  6. While the mushrooms cook, whisk together sour cream and chicken stock (or turkey stock), then stir in coarsely grated parmesan cheese and 1 cup grated low-fat cheese.
  7. In same frying pan where you cooked the mushrooms, add 1 tsp. more olive oil and heat, then add onions and saute 3-4 minutes until onions are softened.
  8. Add thyme, Poultry Seasoning (affiliate link), salt, and pepper, and cook about 2 minutes more.
  9. After onions are cooked, turn off heat, add mushrooms and diced turkey into pan with the onion-herb mixture, and stir to combine.
  10. Add rice and gently stir until all the meat and vegetables are evenly distributed in the rice.
  11. Gently stir the sour cream mixture into the rice mixture.
  12. Spoon the mixture into the casserole dish and press down to evenly distribute. Sprinkle with second cup of grated low-fat cheese.
  13. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  14. Remove foil and bake about 20 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned and the casserole is bubbling.
  15. Serve hot.
  16. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for several days and can be reheated in a microwave or in a pan. This casserole also freezes well.


Long grain brown rice is best for this recipe; I use lower-glycemic Uncle Ben's Brown Rice (affiliate link). This is great made with homemade chicken stock (or turkey stock) but make with chicken broth from a can if you don't have that.

Poultry Seasoning (affiliate link) usually has ingredients like sage, white pepper, red and green bell pepper, lemon peel, savory, rosemary, dill weed, allspice, thyme, marjoram, and ginger. If you don’t have it, just use a pinch of what you have.

Recipe created by Kalyn.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 393mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 22g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Leftover Turkey (or Chicken) Casserole with Brown Rice, Mushrooms, Sour Cream, Cheese, and Thyme found on KalynsKitchen.com

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
With ingredients like brown rice, mushrooms, and turkey, if you use low-fat cheese as recommended this Leftover Turkey Casserole would be a good option for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet and should work for other low-glycemic eating plans. If you want a low-carb casserole with these flavors, try my Low-Carb Turkey Casserole that uses cauliflower rice.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Casseroles to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index  to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2009. It’s been popular through the years, and the recipe has been updated with better photos. In 2021 the post was updated with more information.

Pinterest image of Leftover Turkey Casserole

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    57 Comments on “Leftover Turkey Casserole”

  1. Even finicky husband said “make this again” (wow!).  I changed it up a bit: used ground turkey, sautéed with the onions & some garlic.  Didn’t have fresh mushrooms, but used this nifty mushroom powder (nom nom paleo’s “magic mushroom powder) instead.  This recipe goes in the permanent file :).  Good job! And, thank you.

  2. I too was googling what to do with leftover turkey and found this recipe which was just what i was looking for. However, in case any of your other readers had this question, I didn’t see a temperature at which to bake the casserole so I baked it at 375 (the same as I’d do for a lasagna) and it came out great!

    • It says in the recipe “Preheat oven to 375F/190C and spray a glass or crockery casserole dish with non-stick spray.” So you were right on!

  3. I don’t comment on recipes often, but this was really tasty! The only thing I would note in the recipe would be to use a 10 to 12 inch skillet. I ended up having to transfer a lager vessel as I didn’t review the recipe well enough before starting. Haste makes waste! Definitely 5 Stars from me!

  4. Pingback: Leftover Turkey Recipe Ideas -

  5. This is my favorite recipe from your site, I make it quite often! How do you think this would fare using cauliflower rice? Thinking of trying it tonight!

    • Laura, you might want to check out this similar turkey casserole that uses cauliflower rice to see how I adapted it. Definitely you would want less liquid in the sauce because the cauliflower rice won't absorb any liquid the way rice does. Let me know how it works! I may have to try this one myself.

    • Perfect, thanks Kayln! I'll let you know how it turns out!

  6. Could you use quinoa instead of rice? If I have no leftover chicken or turkey, would raw sliced chicken work?

    • I wouldn't use raw chicken; I'd cook briefly in stock or water and then cut it up. I'm not sure how quinoa would work since I've never made it that way. I think the cooking time might be a bit long for pre-cooked quinoa, but that's only a guess.

  7. Made a double-batch of this and followed the recipe almost exactly. I used Asiago cheese instead of Parmesan since that's what I had on hand. I also used Cheddar instead of a blend because that's also what I had on hand. I might have added a bit extra turkey.

    It's delicious. Creamy. Tasty. Comforting. I packaged it in portion-sized bags, vacuum sealed, and freeze for future easy meals!

  8. Nancy, what a good idea, so glad you enjoyed it!

  9. Hi! Just made this! Used the mushroom water from sautéing instead of stock. AMAZING! Thank you!!!!

  10. Samantha, I love hearing it was such a hit! Now I wish I had made this with my own leftover turkey!