Turkey a La King
This easy Turkey à la King recipe is the perfect way to use leftover turkey from the holidays. With a savory, luxurious white cream sauce, turkey, and veggies, it’s a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Great with toast or served over biscuits!
Easy Turkey a la King Recipe
We absolutely welcome turkey leftovers, so we can make dishes like this delicious, easy Turkey à la King recipe!
Even when we don’t entertain during the holidays, we often cook a big turkey…just so we can have leftovers. We make turkey pot pie soup, leftover turkey casserole, turkey chowder with sweet potatoes, and Italian turkey tortellini soup – all of these, so tasty!
This turkey à la king recipe is total comfort, made with cooked turkey and vegetables simmered in a savory, luxurious, white cream sauce. We like to spoon it over flaky biscuits (homemade or from the can), much like chicken pot pie without the pie crust – so easy and so good!
Why You’ll Love This Turkey With Mushroom Sauce
There’s a lot to love about this turkey a la king recipe, here goes!
- Resourceful. File this recipe for when the question “What should I do with my leftover Thanksgiving turkey?” comes up. Turkey sandwiches are always a must with turkey leftovers, but turkey a la king elevates roasted turkey into something truly special.
- Quick to make. Using leftover turkey, you’ll need just 30 minutes to get this satisfying dinner on the table.
- Customizable: This dish is ultra versatile. You can change up the meat, veggies, herbs, and seasonings. Get creative and make it the perfect mix of flavors for your family. (I’ve included some variation suggestions – just scroll down later in this post.)
- Feels fancy, but it’s really easy to make! One of the reasons I like to make this recipe is because the silky cream sauce makes it feel so fancy, yet the method and ingredients list are so simple.
What is Turkey a la King?
Turkey a la King is a classic dish that combines turkey and vegetables in a creamy sauce. It gained popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when it was served in upscale restaurants and hotels.
Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to make this turkey a la king recipe.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for the exact ingredient amounts.
- Butter – I use unsalted butter, to better control the salt content.
- Mushrooms – You can use white or cremini mushrooms to make turkey a la king.
- Shallots – Shallots give a delicate yet earthy onion-y flavor to the sauce.
- Carrots – Carrots add fresh flavor and color, plus some nutrition and heft to the sauce.
- Salt & pepper – To taste.
- Flour – This helps to thicken the sauce.
- Chicken broth – Again, I like to use low-sodium broth, so I can control the salt.
- Cooked turkey – You can use leftover turkey or buy already-roasted turkey.
- Peas – Frozen peas work great for this recipe.
- Cayenne pepper – For a light touch of flavor oomph.
- Nutmeg – Nutmeg is often added to cream sauces for a little warming spice to balance out the richness of the cream. It adds a cozy aroma and flavor!
- Heavy cream – This forms the base of this luxurious sauce. I highly recommend that you not use a lighter dairy product.
- Parsley – This garnish adds fresh color and flavor.
- Chives – I also use fresh chives to garnish this dish. I like that fresh, light onion flavor!
While the classic version of this dish uses turkey, you can make this turkey la king recipe with other proteins like:
- Chicken – Chicken is a natural swap for turkey in this recipe.
- Seafood – Try shrimp or lobster instead of turkey in the cream sauce. Oh my!!!
- Ham – Cut ham into cubes and stir it into the sauce instead of turkey.
- Sausage – We’re big sausage fans. This dish would be lovely with browned, crumbled sausage – much like our favorite biscuits with sausage and mushroom gravy!
How To Make Turkey a la King
Follow along with my instructions and photos below to guide you through making turkey a la king:
- Sauté the mushrooms. In a large saucepan, sauté the mushrooms in butter, until mushrooms release their moisture. Continue cooking until moisture evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Then remove mushrooms from the skillet and set them aside.
- Sauté the shallots and carrots. In the same skillet, sauté the chopped shallots until they become translucent. Then add the carrots and continue to cook until the carrots begin to soften.
- Season with salt & pepper + sprinkle in the flour. Season the vegetables with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then sprinkle a bit of flour over the vegetables and stir to coat them.
- Add the chicken broth. Slowly pour in the chicken broth while stirring constantly. Allow the mixture to simmer and thicken into a creamy sauce >>>
- Stir in the peas. Add the frozen peas and cook until they are heated through.
- Fold in the turkey. Add the roasted turkey to the skillet, and fold to combine and heat the turkey.
- Add remaining seasonings. Add a little freshly grated nutmeg and cayenne pepper to the skillet.
- Stir in the cream. Pour in the heavy cream, stirring to create a creamy sauce.
- Taste test. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper according to your taste.
- Stir in the parsley. Stir in 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley for a fresh flavor.
- Serve. Once the dish is heated through and the flavors are well combined, it’s ready to be served. Serve over biscuits or toast. Sprinkle freshly chopped chives and parsley over each serving for flavorful garnish.
Tips for Success + Variations
Here are a few tips that will help you make this easy and satisfying dish:
- Save your leftover turkey. This is a great way to incorporate any leftover turkey you might have. You can make it with fresh leftovers, or with cooked turkey that you’ve previously frozen. To freeze turkey leftovers for another time, just place leftover turkey in a freezer-safe baggie or container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months until you wish to make turkey a la king.
- Prep your ingredients before starting. The recipe comes together quickly and easily when you have everything chopped and diced beforehand.
- Don’t skip the mushrooms! Mushrooms play a starring role in turkey à la king, so be sure to sauté them until they’re tender and browned before adding them to the dish.
- Add different vegetables. Add some diced celery along with the shallots and carrots. Peas are lovely in this dish for their pop of sweetness and green color. But if you don’t care for peas you could try chopped baby spinach, diced red or green bell pepper, chopped green beans, or broccoli. Or omit veggies altogether!
- Change up the herbs. I absolutely adore fresh thyme in creamy sauces and gravies. A little rosemary is also lovely.
- Punch up the seasoning. To add even more flavor, sprinkle in some Old Bay or cajun seasoning.
- Add a little sherry. This adds super lovely flavor. In Step 3, just stir 2-3 tablespoons of dry sherry into the vegetables after you coat them with flour. Let the sherry sizzle for about 30 seconds before pouring in the chicken broth in Step 4.
- Use this method with other poultry or seafood. As noted above, you can use chicken in place of the turkey, or your favorite fish and seafood.
Turkey à la King is traditionally served over biscuits, toast points, rice, or puff pastry shells. The choice of accompaniment can vary based on personal preference. Here are a few serving suggestions for this dish:
- On top of biscuits. My family always votes for biscuits, so that’s how we serve turkey a la king! Touch of grace biscuits are ultra tender, while the biscuits in this recipe are more sturdy, yet still tender and flaky.
- With rice. Serve white rice with turkey a king for a simple and quick side dish.
- Make homemade bread. A fresh loaf of homemade bread is always welcome! Or you could serve turkey a la king with tender homemade Rhodes rolls or airy homemade popovers.
- Add to pasta. You can serve turkey a la king swirled into buttered egg noodles to round out your meal.
- Over toast, with a salad. The classic – and perhaps easiest! – way to serve turkey a la king is on top of toast. But I always want a bit more, which is where salad comes in. A rich main dish welcomes something crisp and fresh to balance it out. My winter apple salad, arugula beet salad, or a simple and tangy cucumber salad are nice choices.
- With mashed potatoes. Because mashed potatoes are always a winner! Choose from buttermilk mashed potatoes or easy creamy mashed potatoes.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Store leftover turkey a la king in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place leftovers in a microwave-safe dish and reheat it in the microwave at 30-second intervals until hot. Or reheat in a small saucepan over gentle heat.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups sliced mushroom (white or brown)
- 3 medium shallots, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, depending on how thick you want it
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups chopped roasted turkey
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Chopped fresh parsley and chives, for garnish
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add in the sliced mushrooms and cook until they release moisture and start to brown. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set them aside.
- In the same skillet, add the chopped shallots. Sauté until they become translucent. Then add the carrots to the skillet. Continue to cook until the carrots begin to soften.
- Season the vegetables with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour over the vegetables and stir to coat.
- Gradually pour in 2 cups of chicken broth while stirring constantly. Allow the mixture to simmer and thicken.
- Mix in 1 cup of frozen peas and cook until they are heated through.
- Add 3 cups of cubed roasted turkey to the skillet. Stir to combine and heat the turkey.
- Add a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and a pinch of cayenne pepper to the skillet.
- Pour in ½ cup of heavy cream, stirring to create a creamy sauce.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper according to your taste.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley for a fresh flavor.
- Once the dish is heated through and the flavors are well combined, it's ready to be served.
- Serve on toasted bread or biscuits.
- Sprinkle freshly chopped chives over each serving to add a finishing touch.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 513Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 175mgSodium: 272mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 37g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.