Turkey a La King

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!

turkey in a cream sauce over egg noodles on a white plate, next to a plate of caesar salad.

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! See below for more variations.

Ingredients

ingredients for turkey a la king on a white table.
  • 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.

How to make turkey a la king

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.

butter and flour in a large nonstick skillet.

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.

cream sauce in a nonstick skillet.

Whisk in the salt and nutmeg, then fold in the turkey (or chicken) and drained pimentos.

turkey a la king in a nonstick skillet with a wooden spoon.

That’s it! I love that this recipe takes less than 15 minutes to make.

Variations

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
  • Stir in a small can of sliced mushrooms (or sliced fresh mushrooms sautéed in butter or oil first)
  • Add ½ cup of frozen or canned corn
  • Sauté chopped green pepper in the butter before adding flour

How to reheat turkey a la king

Have leftovers of your leftovers? You can reheat turkey a la king in the microwave or in a skillet until warmed through.

turkey a la king over egg noodles on a white plate on a dinner table.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

turkey a la king with egg noodles on a white plate on a dinner table.

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.

You can even use leftover mashed potatoes or leftover stuffing as the base for it.

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.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

turkey a la king on egg noodles on a white plate on top of a colorful napkin.

15 Minute Turkey a La King

Published by Kate
This easy 15-minute dinner is perfect for leftover turkey or chicken!
4.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 250 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • cups milk
  • ½–¾ teaspoon salt*
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pimentos
  • 3 cups cooked turkey or chicken, chopped
  • For garnish: chopped parsley

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

*Start with ½ teaspoon salt. Complete the steps to the recipe and taste. If it needs more salt, stir in ¼ teaspoon of additional salt. The turkey may be salted and/or brined already, hence how the salt needs may vary. 
You can use whatever type of cow’s milk you have on hand. Skim, 1%, 2%, or whole will all work. 
Don’t have pimentos? Use ½ cup of peas or corn instead. Frozen or canned both work well. You can also add a small can of sliced mushrooms, or mushrooms that have been sautéed in butter or oil until soft. 

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 19gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 415mgPotassium: 288mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 452IUCalcium: 114mgIron: 1mg
Keyword turkey a la king
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a star rating and comment below!

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I tweaked it a little. I added finely chopped onion in the butter (mixed with olive oil). It came out delicious! I followed the recipe closely, adding ground pepper to the white sauce. Ladled it over broiler-browned hogie buns, halved. Everyone loved it and confirmed that it had been a long time since having this dish. Thank you for the recipe. Also, the ability to adjust the recipe for serving size made it easy!

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