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Kalyn's Kitchen

Leftover Turkey (or Chicken) Casserole with Brown Rice, Mushrooms, Sour Cream, Cheese, and Thyme

Leftover Turkey (or Chicken) Casserole with Brown Rice, Mushrooms, Sour Cream, Cheese, and Thyme is the perfect thing to make with leftover turkey or chicken! There’s no canned soup in this recipe that’s low-glycemic, gluten-free, South Beach Diet Phase Two, and kid friendly! Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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

It’s almost Thanksgiving day, and some of you may even be using some of my Thanksgiving Recipes for your dinner on the big feast day. I’ve shared Thanksgiving recipe ideas, but now I’m moving on to Deliciously Healthy Recipes Using Leftover Turkey. This flavorful Leftover Turkey (or Chicken) Casserole with Brown Rice, Mushrooms, Sour Cream, Cheese, and Thyme 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.

If you grew up on casseroles like I did, you’ll probably like this idea to use your leftover turkey. My casserole is missing the canned soup like the ones mom used to make, but it’s just as tasty. Yes, this leftover turkey casserole does have brown rice, although it’s lower-glycemic Uncle Ben’s Converted Brown Rice. If that’s not going to work for you, you might like my Low-Carb Turkey Casserole with Mushrooms, Mozzarella, and Cauliflower Rice. No matter which one you choose, you can’t go wrong with a casserole that has turkey, mushrooms, cheese, and thyme, right?

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

Start by cooking the brown rice; I used my much-loved Zojirushi Rice Cooker to make the rice. Cut up about 2 cups of leftover turkey or chicken. Wash, slice, and saute the mushrooms. Whisk together the stock and sour cream; then stir in the Parmesan and 1 cup grated cheese.

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

Remove mushrooms to a plate; then add a little more oil and saute the onions with the herbs. When onions are starting to brown, turn off heat, add the mushrooms and turkey and stir, then gently stir in the rice. Add the sour cream/cheese mixture and gently combine, then put that mixture into a casserole dish you’ve sprayed with non-stick spray.

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

Top the casserole with the rest of the cheese, cover with foil, and bake about 20 minutes. 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.

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

Serve hot and enjoy! 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.

Find More Tasty Casseroles:

Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker Casserole Recipes Index ~ Slow cooker or Pressure Cooker
20+ Delicious Low-Carb and Keto Casserole Recipes ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Leftover Turkey (or Chicken) Casserole with Brown Rice, Mushrooms, Sour Cream, Cheese, and Thyme

Leftover Turkey (or Chicken) Casserole with Brown Rice, Mushrooms, Sour Cream, Cheese, and Thyme is the perfect thing to make with leftover turkey or chicken!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (long grain brown rice is best; I use lower-glycemic Uncle Ben’s Converted Brown Rice)
  • 2 cups diced leftover turkey or chicken, cut in 1/2 inch dice
  • 16 oz. mushrooms, washed, thickly sliced, slices cut in half (I used brown mushrooms)
  • 2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil (or more, depending on your pan)
  • 1/2 cup turkey stock or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (You can use low-fat sour cream, but don’t use fat-free.)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup + 1 cup grated cheese (I used Four Cheese Mexican Blend; you can use any type of cheese blend or low-fat grated cheese that you like the flavor of.)
  • 1 onion, diced into small pieces
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme (or less if you’re not sure how much you like 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

Directions:

  1. Cook brown rice following package directions or using a rice cooker. (I used my much-loved Zojirushi Rice Cooker 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. Wash mushrooms and spin dry or dry with paper towels. Cut mushrooms into thick slices, then cut slices in half.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. Add thyme, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper, and cook about 2 minutes more.
  7. After onions are cooked, turn off heat, add mushrooms and diced turkey into pan with the onion-herb mixture, and stir to combine. Add rice and gently stir until all the meat and vegetables are evenly distributed in the rice. Gently stir the sour cream mixture into the rice mixture.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the casserole dish and press down to evenly distribute. Sprinkle with second cup of grated low-fat cheese.
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 20 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned and the casserole is bubbling. Serve hot.
  10. 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.

Notes:

Note about poultry seasoning: My poultry seasoning from Penzeys has 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.

All images and text ©

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 lots of low-glycemic ingredients like brown rice, mushrooms, and turkey, if you use low-fat cheese as recommended this Leftover Turkey (or Chicken) Casserole with Brown Rice, Mushrooms, Sour Cream, Cheese, and Thyme would be a good option for phase 2 or 3 of the 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 with Mushrooms, Mozzarella, and Cauliflower Rice.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more 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.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

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

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57 comments on “Leftover Turkey (or Chicken) Casserole with Brown Rice, Mushrooms, Sour Cream, Cheese, and Thyme”

  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!

  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!

  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!

  11. I made this casserole tonight with the last of our leftover turkey, and it was oh so good. My super-finicky 12-year-old daughter, who eats approximately 6 bites of food per day, actually had a full helping and said it "wasn't bad." THIS IS MONUMENTAL! My husband told me he liked it better than the actual turkey and suggested I just make this recipe for Thanksgiving next year. Thanks, Kalyn!

  12. Just made this today. It was excellent! We used leftover Turkey breast that we had injected with Italian dressing. In fact, we are making a second batch to use up more leftover turkey.

  13. No problem; I never mind as long as there is a link to the inspiring recipe on my site. Thanks!

  14. Hi Kalyn – I made a version of this delicious dish. Would you mind if I posted it on my blog – giving you full credit of course!

  15. Super yummy n inviting….

  16. So glad you are enjoying it!

  17. I made this after Christmas and I'm making it for supper again tonight! So delicious.

  18. Trying this tonight with leftover turkey I confescated from my MIL's Christmas dinner last night. 🙂 I'm not a fan of mushrooms, so I'm subbing in Broccoli instead. THANKS for the idea, just what I needed. 🙂

  19. So glad you enjoyed it!

  20. Delicious recipe!!! Made it last night and it was a hit! Only change I made was that I used the converted rice since that's what I had on hand. Will be making it again, for sure. Thanks, Kalyn!!

  21. So glad you liked it. And good to know that the canned mushrooms are good in this; I always have those on hand.

  22. Another winner, Kalyn! I have made this twice with great success. Husband and I both wanted to eat the whole thing. I made it a little lower fat this time than last – lower fat cheeses and sour cream – and it's still great.

    Like another commenter, I used a jar of mushrooms once and fresh once. Frankly, both were great.

  23. Shannon, glad you liked it and good to know that canned mushrooms will work for this.

  24. I found your recipe through OAMM's December menu and made it last night. It was quite yummy! My only variation was that I did not have fresh mushrooms so I used canned (and I used shredded chicken I already had in my freezer, not leftover turkey). I would make it again! Thanks!

  25. So glad people are liking this! Thanks for all the nice feedback.

  26. I googled turkey leftovers and came across this. Thank you so much I love it! It hit the spot for dinner, I'll post it soon with a link to you.

    Thanks!

  27. I searched your recipes for ground turkey. This recipe came up and I used my ground turkey instead of the diced bird. It is so delicious. Thanks for all the awesome recipes.

  28. It so cold here in Georgia today and a yummy casserole it just the thing for dinner. Hope mine turns out looking as delish as yours does.

    Thanks for all you do!

  29. This was sooooo good!!! I made it for dinner last night and am having it again right now for lunch; I love it! I added a small amount of frozen peas (microwaved first) to it for a little green. I also omitted the thyme (not a fan) and poultry seasoning because I thought I had some at home while shopping, and found out I was wrong! Either way, it was still delicious! Thank you!

  30. this looks great, thanks..

  31. Just found your blog on a random internet search for leftover turkey recipes. This looks tasty!

  32. Kady thanks! I like the idea of using brown and wild rice in this! Glad it was a hit.

  33. I made this using a wild rice-brown rice mixture that I like a lot. The casserole was yummy. Not as quick as Mom's cream-of- something soup method, but far tastier. And more nutritious, for sure! And DH liked it, too. Thanks, Kalyn. It's a keeper.

  34. I just had some leftovers but this blog item and the pictures got me hungry for turkey all over again! Can't wait to try this…

  35. Now this is how to enjoy those leftovers! Baked with cheese!

  36. Oh no! Now I'm hungry, just before bed! This looks fabulous =D.

  37. DeAnn, your chicken looks great!

    TW, I hope you got some good leftovers (and pie!)

    Mother Rimmy, I liked it a lot. Still have some in the freezer; I think it will freeze well too, will report back.

    Katerina, I think it would be great with leftover rotisserie chicken.

    Tobias, thanks!

    Daisy, I love Penzeys and The Spice House too (brother/sister).

    Lydia, like I said, rotisserie chicken!

    Joanne, thanks. I agree, casseroles are so comforting.

  38. Now I kind of wish I'd made the big turkey…. alas, no leftovers. But this casserole looks like a keeper, so I'm bookmarking.

  39. Delicious! If I'm adventurous enough tomorrow, I might check out the Penzey's outlet store near our mall.

  40. You can send your leftovers right over. they look great!

  41. I am a sucker for a good casserole, and this would be good all year round.

  42. I'm going to bring a leftover container or two to my brother's dinner so that I can give this a try! Happy Thanksgiving, Kalyn!

  43. Looks delicious. I'm sure I'll be trying this recipe very soon. Lots of left over turkey.

  44. Oh, that looks SOOO good. I'm making a Sticky Chicken (http://www.cyber-kitchen.com/recipes/Foolproof_Sticky_Chicken.htm) instead of turkey and it has strong spices, but I may still try this recipe with the leftovers. Normally DH likes me to make Chicken Noodle Soup with it, but this time maybe I won't. 😉

  45. Ashley, thanks.

    Deb, You are so kind. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

    Winnie, same to you. I had fun having leftovers before the main meal!

  46. I adore casseroles. There's something about a one-pot meal that is just so satisfying. This sounds delicious. Great way to use up extra poultry!

  47. Another leftover goodie!
    I love mushroom casseroles, and this looks delish.
    Happy Tday Kalyn!

  48. Another great recipe Kalyn! I like the combination of ingredients and cant wait to try it. This year I am VERY THANKFUL for your wonderful South Beach blog and inspiration!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
    Deb

  49. looks delicious! great way to use up that leftover turkey!

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