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This turkey pasta carbonara is turkey, peas and bacon, all tossed with spaghetti in a creamy parmesan sauce. A quick and easy dinner option that’s the perfect way to use up your holiday leftovers!
One of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving is enjoying the leftovers the next day. Save some of that turkey and re-purpose it into this creamy, cheesy pasta delight. It’s sure to get rave reviews from family and friends.
Thanksgiving is almost here, and it’s time to celebrate with turkey, gravy and all the trimmings. I always make sure to cook a larger turkey than I’ll actually need so that we have plenty of leftovers enjoy for days to come. This turkey carbonara pasta is the absolute best way to use up that turkey, it’s so good that I make it all year round!
How to make turkey pasta carbonara
For this recipe, you’ll need diced cooked turkey, peas, bacon, spaghetti and parsley. Traditionally, carbonara pasta is make with a sauce of eggs and parmesan cheese. In this recipe, I’m skipping the eggs and instead creating an ultra creamy sauce with McCormick Simply Better Turkey Gravy, cream and seasonings.
I always keep a carton of McCormick Simply Better Gravy in my pantry. It comes in multiple flavors, and the turkey gravy is always on our Thanksgiving table. It’s convenient and tastes just like homemade! Be sure to save some gravy to use in this recipe, or pick up an extra carton to have on hand. The gravy forms the perfect sauce for this pasta with minimal effort – the sauce takes just 5 minutes to put together.
Turkey pasta carbonara variations
Bacon and peas are classic additions to carbonara pasta, but since we’re using up leftovers here, you can use other ingredients that you already have on hand. Here are some of my favorite variations.
- Chopped green beans instead of peas.
- Diced leftover holiday ham instead of bacon.
- Green onions instead of parsley.
Looking to make this dish year round? Simply use cooked chicken instead of turkey, and use McCormick Simply Better Chicken Gravy.
This pasta dish can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. To save time, I dice up my turkey on Thanksgiving day before I put it in the fridge. You can also use pre-cooked bacon to make things even easier. I make the sauce while the pasta is boiling, then toss everything together and serve.
This turkey pasta carbonara makes a great meal on its own, but if you’d like to add some side dishes, it pairs perfectly with a baguette and a green salad. Another option would be to serve some leftover Thanksgiving rolls on the side, simply pop them in the oven to warm through and you’ll be ready to go.
My family requests carbonara pasta after every holiday, I think they look forward to it as much as they do the actual turkey! Leftovers will never be boring again when you can create delicious meals the next day.
Be sure to visit the McCormick website for great Thanksgiving and holiday leftover recipe ideas, I see so many great ones to try this holiday season!
Turkey Pasta Carbonara
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- 6 slices bacon chopped
- 1/4 cup onion minced
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 12 ounce carton McCormick Simply Better Turkey Gravy
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 cup peas thawed from frozen
- 2 cups cooked turkey diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water according to package directions.
- Place the bacon in a large pan over medium high heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until browned and crisp.
- Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Add the onion to the remaining bacon fat in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add McCormick Simply Better Turkey Gravy and the cream to the pan. Bring to a simmer.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes or until just thickened. Stir in the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
- Drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the gravy sauce along with the turkey, peas and bacon. Toss to combine.
- Sprinkle with parsley, then serve. Top with additional parmesan cheese if desired.