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Saturday 1 August 2015
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Creamy Barbecue Turkey Pasta Lets Leftover Turkey Shine

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When the fabulous #SundaySupper crew shared all their delicious ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers I was completely inspired. Not only did I make my first turkey ever, I planned ahead to ensure I had enough leftovers to get a little creative myself.

My family loves the actual turkey day meal of all the fun sides, so of course the first meal of leftovers was just that…a repeat of the original meal.  For the second meal I created this smoky, Creamy Barbecue Turkey Pasta.

Barbecue sauce is used like ketchup in my house.  We eat it on everything. I love the smoky sweet flavors of my favorite brand, but I wasn’t sure how I could make it into a creamy sauce.  I began searching out a few recipes online.  I knew I could make a heavy cream sauce, but this is a leftover dish, I wanted easy convenience.  I found a recipe using sour cream and decided to give it a whirl.

Ingredients:
3 Cups diced cooked turkey
16 oz cooked rotini pasta
1 Cup sour cream
1 1/2 Cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
2 Cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 Can of corn or 12 oz pkg steam in bag

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
2. In large pot, cook pasta according to package directions
3. In large mixing cup/bowl combine sour cream and barbecue sauce. Mix thoroughly.
5. Drain cooked pasta and return to warm pot
6. Mix pasta with sour cream and barbecue sauce mixture, add corn, diced turkey and shredded cheese
7. Pour Mixture into 9×13 baking dish and place in oven
8. Bake 20-30 minutes until heated through
9. Remove from oven and let stand 5-10 minutes before serving

Hindsight being 20/20, I probably would have served the pasta mixture right out of the pasta pot. It was a wonderfully creamy, cheesy texture and would have worked fine going right into bowls for serving. However, since I planned dinner based on the included casserole baking time, I loaded it up into the baking dish and popped it into the oven.

Optimal baking time in my oven would have been about 20 minutes, just long enough to melt the cheesy goodness on top. My casserole was in longer than I planned and it ended up drier than I would have preferred. It was a quick fix by adding a little extra barbecue sauce on top, but it did lose some of it’s original creaminess. Next time I will make sure to remove it from the oven on time.

Overall the dish was exactly what I pictured in my mind for a simple way to use up turkey leftovers with a barbecue twist. I will definitely be trying this dish again in the future with chicken.

What’s your favorite recipe to use leftover turkey?