Motherhood,  Recipes

Instant Pot Tortellini Turkey Tetrazzini


Post-Thanksgiving meals bring to mind one thing: leftovers. Now, there are only so many turkey sandwiches and Hot Browns a girl can eat before she says “enough turkey”, so I always freeze a bag (or two) of leftover turkey for when I need a fast meal and am low on ideas – and in the mood for turkey again. (Bonus points for chopping the leftover turkey before freezing it!)

Tonight was a typical Tuesday: I’m frazzled, completely “over” cooking, and staring at my pantry and my Instant Pot pressure cooker for some last-minute miracles.  Thankfully, I had moved a bag of leftover turkey from the freezer to the refrigerator, so it was thawed and ready to go.

My Instant Pot is a total lifesaver on crazy nights when I’ve forgotten (a) to put food in my slow cooker and/or (b) need to throw together dinner on the fly – and fast.


I have a great recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini, but it has a lot of steps – make a roux, cook some pasta, mix it all together and bake.  Mama didn’t have time for that.  A friend modified a recipe for the Instant Pot, and I took it a step further, building from hers with a few ingredients from my favorite recipe.

For an added boost of flavor, instead of regular pasta, this Tetrazzini recipe uses DRIED cheese tortellini, which holds up fantastically in the Instant Pot and tastes more like the tortellini I grew up with.



Instant Pot Turkey Tetrazzini

Instant Pot Turkey Tetrazzini


  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced (I substituted diced frozen onion - about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small package sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups DRIED cheese tortellini (found with dried pasta)
  • 3 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or cream cheese)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional:
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water.


  1. Set your Instant Pot to "saute" and add 2 tablespoons of butter.
  2. Dice celery, carrot and onion. (If you are super lazy like me, throw in the equivalent amount of frozen onions.)
  3. Add diced veggies to the IP and saute for about 2 minutes, then add 8 oz of sliced mushrooms and saute for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add 3 cups of dried cheese tortellini, 3 cups diced cooked turkey, and 32 ounces of chicken stock.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of thyme.
  6. Make sure that all of the pasta is submerged in the broth, then cook on "Manual" for 9 minutes.
  7. Defrost (don't cook) 1 cup of frozen peas.
  8. When the Instant Pot timer goes off, quick release the pressure.
  9. Stir in 1 cup thawed peas, 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 c. Sour cream (or cream cheese), and freshly ground salt and pepper to taste.
  10. If you would like the sauce to be thicker, in a separate bowl combine one tablespoon cornstarch with a bit of cold water to make a roux, then add to the Instant Pot.
  11. Stir GENTLY for a few minutes until the mixture thickens.
  12. Serve with more Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
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Add a tossed salad and some crusty bread and you’ve got a filling meal for cold days. This was incredibly easy, fast, and the boys gobbled it down – and we’re looking forward to the leftovers already. Since it all cooks in one pot, clean up is a snap, too.

And no complaints about (more) turkey!

Have you made Tetrazzini with turkey leftovers?

What’s your favorite recipe with leftover turkey?


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