Turkey a La King is a creamy, comforting main dish that everyone will love. It takes less than 15 minutes to make, and it’s perfect for leftover turkey or chicken!
Have some leftover turkey? How about 15 minutes? If so, then you can make this Turkey a La King! It has just a few ingredients, and it’s super easy to make.
This recipe is also great for leftover chicken—either chicken breasts or chicken thighs would work well. A rotisserie chicken works, too!
I personally love this in the days after Thanksgiving when I really don’t want to cook. Two days after the big day, I’ve usually had enough turkey and gravy to call it quits, so this is a great way to reinvent the leftovers into something delicious.
You can serve the dish over egg noodles, like I did. It’s also great over rice, a thick slice of toast, or puff pastry shells if you’re feeling fancy.
And you can customize the ingredients. Don’t have jarred pimentos? Add mushrooms or frozen peas instead!
- Chopped cooked turkey (or chicken) is the star of this dish. You can use either dark meat, light meat, or a mixture of both.
- Butter, flour, and milk come together to create a delicious sauce.
- Nutmeg adds a hint of flavor that makes the sauce really stand out—don’t skip it!
- Jarred pimentos can be found near the pickles at your local grocery store. I used a small 2 ounce jar.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to combine. I almost always use a nonstick skillet when I cook—I use at least one skillet from this set of three every single day.
Let the butter and flour mixture cook for one minute, then whisk in the milk. The milk can be cold when you add it—the temperature doesn’t matter in this case.
Whisk in the salt and nutmeg, then fold in the turkey (or chicken) and drained pimentos.
That’s it! I love that this recipe takes less than 15 minutes to make.
Can I use chicken instead of turkey?
Any cooked chicken will work well in turkey a la king. You can bake chicken breasts or chicken thighs, or use a rotisserie chicken. If you’re using bone-in chicken, be sure to remove the skin before chopping the chicken and adding it to the dish.
Can I leave out the pimentos?
You can omit the pimentos if you don’t have them, or don’t like them. Replace them with frozen peas (about ½ cup) for a pop of color! While not as traditional, frozen or canned corn works well, too.
How do I know how much salt to use?
Usually I put exact amounts of salt in recipes. However, since the turkey or chicken may be salted or brined already, it’s hard to tell how much you’ll need without tasting it. I recommend starting with ½ teaspoon. Complete all of the steps in the recipe and taste it. If it needs additional salt, add ¼ teaspoon at a time.
What type of milk is best for this dish?
You can use whatever cow’s milk you have on hand. I used 2%, but this would also work with skim or whole milk.
You can easily customize this recipe to your liking. Here are a few ideas:
– Use chicken instead of turkey. Rotisserie chickens are great for this dish. Discard the bones and skin and just use the meat.
– Add ½ cup of frozen or canned peas
– Add a small can of sliced mushrooms (or sliced fresh mushrooms sautéed in butter or oil first)
– Add ½ cup of frozen or canned corn
What to serve with turkey a la king
Turkey a la king can be served on top of egg noodles, rice, toast, or puff pastry shells.
If you’re using toast, use a thick slice that can stand up to the meat and sauce.
For the side, I love serving a big leafy green salad. Caesar salad is my personal pick! The bagged salad kits are great for quick meals.
Turkey a La King
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1½ cups milk
- ½–¾ teaspoon salt*
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons chopped pimentos
- 3 cups cooked turkey or chicken, chopped
- For garnish: chopped parsley
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and let cook for 30 seconds.
- Pour in the milk and whisk until combined. Let cook for 3–4 minutes, or until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Stir in the salt and nutmeg. Then stir in the pimentos and turkey. Let cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the ingredients are warmed through.
- Serve over egg noodles, rice, or on top of toast.