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silver fork digging into pasta on white plate with basil and pine nuts blurred in background
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5 from 5 votes

Leftover Turkey Pasta

This pasta is the most delicious and stress free way to use up leftover turkey. It's quick, easy and only uses 5 main ingredients!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Leftovers, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2
Calories: 912kcal
Cost: £2.50 / $3


  • Small Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • Medium Pot & Colander
  • Medium Sized Mixing Bowl & Spatula
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Fine Cheese Grater


  • 7oz / 200g Pasta of Choice
  • 1 cup / 125g Leftover Turkey, chopped into small bite sized pieces (can sub chicken)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup / 80-120g Pesto (see notes)
  • 6 Sun Dried Tomatoes, finely diced
  • 4 slices of Bacon, finely diced
  • dash of Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper, as needed
  • Parmesan, to serve


  • Pop pasta in salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve a cup of starchy pasta water just before draining.
  • Meanwhile add bacon to a dash of oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry until it begins to brown/crisp then add in sun dried tomatoes and leftover turkey. Fry for a couple of minutes to heat through then remove from heat.
  • Add drained pasta to a mixing bowl. Add pesto and a splash of starchy pasta water then give it a good stir. Mix in bacon/sun dried tomato/turkey and keep stirring until the pesto coats the pasta, using your starchy pasta water to thin out as needed. Season with a pinch of black pepper.
  • Serve with a good grating of parmesan and enjoy!



a) Can I use different Pestos? - Sure! Here I use basil pesto, but for inspiration check out my full range:
b) Starchy Pasta Water - Important to season the water with a hefty pinch of salt, just so you don't dilute the flavour. Also important to scoop the water out JUST before draining the pasta to ensure a) it's still hot and b) it's nice and starchy. 
c) Perfect Consistency - You don't want the pasta swimming in sauce, pesto should just cling to the pasta nicely without drowning it. Only start with a splash of pasta water and increase little by little as needed. Much easier to add more than take it out! The starchy water helps emulsify the oils in the pasta and create a thin sauce.
d) Storage - Tightly cover in the fridge (length of time dependent on how old your turkey is). Bring back to room temp to eat. Don't reheat or you'll burn the basil in the pesto and cause the sauce to greasy.
e) Calories - based on using 1 tsp olive oil for frying bacon, 1/3 cups pesto, no parmesan and shared between 2.


Calories: 912kcal | Carbohydrates: 84.08g | Protein: 37.59g | Fat: 48.68g | Saturated Fat: 4.772g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.576g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15.988g | Trans Fat: 0.016g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 693mg | Potassium: 989mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 3.02g | Vitamin A: 672IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 2.9mg