Turkey Tetrazzini is a great dish to help use up all the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it’s also a great way to pack on a few more pounds. Not this recipe! All the comfort food…and noodles, but low carb and lower fat. Yay! Tetrazzini is a noodle-based dish or casserole covered with a heavy cream sauce with mushrooms and peas, often topped with a layer of toasted breadcrumbs. We are talking serious, heavy comfort food here and we are talking serious carbs, fat, and calories too. So I thought, how can we change the impact turkey tetrazzini has on the waistline and beyond?
I’ve been dying to try a low carb noodle recipe I stumbled upon. Actually, I was shopping with a friend of mine, Amy, and she asked if I had tried the pasta made mostly of cheese. I was a little shocked I hadn’t run across it before because I have spent a considerable amount of time researching low carb alternatives to pasta since starting down this path. Thank you, Amy! 🙂 I went home and immediately began searching for a recipe and found one on Up Late Anyway, a low carb food blog written by Elizabeth Nimphius. I’ve been dying to try them in something. Let me just say, I am now one of her biggest fans! If you’re embarking on a change to a low carb lifestyle, I highly recommend you jump over to Up Late Anyway to check out all her fabulous recipes! I can’t wait to try more of her recipes. I’m looking forward to having her low carb Cookie Dough Pie later on! #Yum!
What a sweet life! I can live low carb, lose weight and feel great while getting to indulge in pizza, pasta, and desserts. My diet is full of variety, and I don’t feel like I’m deprived of anything or need to sacrifice extra money or time to make it happen. I started my very first low carb diet in 2001, I think. It was hard to maintain and expensive, and, therefore, it didn’t last very long. I had to shop at a low carb store to get certain things, and so much of it tasted, well…not good. We also didn’t have endless recipes or Amazon, where you get even the most obscure ingredients. The only dessert recipe I remember seeing was ricotta cheese with chocolate and sweetener. It certainly wasn’t something I found myself craving or dreaming about. I just find it fascinating and exciting how things have changed and how great we have it now. I don’t know how I lived without endless food blogs and Amazon.
Back on to the turkey tetrazzini. We need to make Up Late Anyway Fettuccine noodles. They are very easy to make but they do have a downside. You need to have the forethought to make the noodles in advance. I’m not much on making anything that requires me to think ahead like that, but they are worth it. I recommend making these noodles the night before or while you’re having your coffee in the morning so that they can dry for at least 4 hours. I left mine in the fridge overnight, and that seemed to work well. I made a double batch of the noodles for this dish. However, I recommend making a quadruple batch of noodles for this recipe, and I’ve updated the recipe below to reflect that change. Normally, I’d remake the recipe using the 4x noodles and then photograph and test it again before posting. However, I wanted to have this recipe up for you guys to use now. It’s a minor adjustment, anyway. I thought I was being healthy by limiting the noodles, but I realized that was just plain silly. Go big, or go home, right? Just keep in mind the photos here are from my first batch, which had far fewer noodles than the recipe calls for. 🙂
I’m thickening the sauce with xanthan gum, but the cheese also helps with thickening it. I add a little sharp cheddar at the end to give it a little zip, too but consider it optional.
Instead of breadcrumbs on top, I used a mixture of crushed pork rinds and parmesan. If you haven’t used pork rinds in your low carb life yet, don’t knock it, try it. Then you can knock it if you want. I keep a tub in the pantry and use it as a breadcrumb replacement in recipes. I also grab a couple when I have a salty, crunchy craving and it always does the job.
I cannot believe the amount of protein in a serving! According to Fitness Pal, one serving has 41 grams of protein! That really goes a long way in my goal of 100 grams per day. Unfortunately, the sat fat is also considerable, but when compared to a more traditional recipe I found online, it seems like a small amount. Each serving of this recipe has 16 g of fat, 8 of which are saturated. One of the recipes I found online has 28 g of fat, with 15 being saturated. That same recipe has 62 net carbs too! Holy Cow! It makes me feel warm and fuzzy that this recipe only has 7 net carbs.
- 4 batches of Up Late Anyway Fettuccine which requires 4 cups 2% shredded mozzarella and 4 egg yolks and about 4 hours to dry – See full recipe here
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
- ½ cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced broccoli
- 1 cup diced cauliflower
- ½ large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 7-ounce can of mushroom stems and pieces
- 3 cups diced turkey meat
- 2 cups chicken or turkey broth
- 3 ounces low-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel Cheese)
- ¼ cup dry cooking sherry or dry white wine
- 1 cup non-fat half & half
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1¼ cup parmesan, divided
- ¼ cup sharp cheddar, shredded (optional)
- ½ cup crushed pork rinds (optional)
- Heat oil or butter in a large pot. Add carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and onion and saute over medium heat until the onions are soft.
- Transfer cooked veggies to a bowl with the mushrooms and turkey.
- In the same pan, mix the broth with the cream cheese, sherry, half & half, salt and pepper. Stir frequently while bringing to a boil.
- As the liquid starts to simmer, sprinkle a teaspoon of xanthan gum over the surface and whisk in. Allow the mixture to simmer while continuing to stir. The liquid will thicken in a couple minutes. If needed, repeat the process with a little more xanthan gum, until you reach the desired consistency. Always allow a few minutes of simmering for the sauce to thicken before adding more.
- Reduce heat to low. Add ¾ cup parmesan and cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Add the bowl of ingredients back into the pot and mix, allow it to simmer on low while cooking the noodles.
- In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Drop noodles in boiling water and simmer for one minute. Do not overcook and do not overcrowd. Cook the noodles in batches, if needed. Drain the noodles in a colander.
- Add cooked noodles to sauce and veggies and gently combine. Transfer mixture to a square baking dish or 10-inch oven-proof saucepan.
- Mix remaining parmesan with the crushed pork rinds and sprinkle mixture evenly over the top of the dish. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Allow the dish to rest for a few minutes. Garnish with parsley before serving.