Saturday, July 19, 2014

Turkey And Sage Cannelloni In A Bechamel Sauce

Pin It

Who would have thought that less than a pound of leftover sliced turkey would turn into a dish like this? Someone, like Lindaraxa, who hates to throw food away.

After a long weekend of guests, followed by grandchildren,  I had more deli sliced turkey and ham than I cared to see go to waste.  Turkey meat from the deli, no matter how good, tends to spoil much quicker than anything else.  I find myself throwing it away, more often than not, and I hate it.  I come from a generation that was taught to eat everything on the plate and reminded, ad nauseum, of all those poor starving children in China.  Ha! and look at them now...

I often make croquettes out of leftover turkey, chicken or ham but, sometimes, I am too lazy to go through the two day I came up with this.   For the filling I use the same recipe as the one for the croquettes, but slightly looser and along the same lines as the Picadillo Stuffed Manicotti or Pigs in A Blanket, as my children used to call this popular (at least in my house) recipe.

Manicotti are the large pasta tubes most often found in this country and appropriate for a filling like this.   Sometimes I like to fool my guests into thinking they are eating homemade cannelloni by using the no boil lasagna sheets from Barilla.  I just cook them for about five minutes in boiling water or until they are pliable, easy to stuff, fill and roll.  I sometimes find large pasta tubes made in Italy in my "wanderings" and snap them up by the truckload. I had a few in the pantry this time and they are what you see in the photos.

This recipe made enough for four with plenty of leftovers for lunch.  We each started with two to be polite and all of us got up for seconds...but just one more.   Count on three apiece if you are making the cannelloni using the oven ready lasagne cut in half.

Turkey And Sage Cannelloni In  Bechamel Sauce

Serves 6:


1/2 to 3/4 lbs cooked turkey or chicken
1 can evaporated milk
2 TB fresh sage, chopped coarsely
6 TB flour
Salt and pepper


3 TB butter
1 medium onion chopped
1 TB Worcestershire Sauce
2 TB dry Vermouth
1 TB grated lemon peel
Salt and pepper to taste

2 Cups Bechamel Sauce*
1/4 cup dry Vermouth
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated plus 3/4 cup for topping

1 Box Barilla Oven Ready Lasagne Or 12 Manicotti


 Place the chopped turkey meat, the can of evaporated milk and the flour in the blender. Blend for about a minute.  Stop, use a wooden spoon to stir around add salt and pepper to taste and turn on the motor again.  Mix until completely blended. Add the sage and turn on the blender again for about 10 seconds to mix.

Saute the chopped onion in 3 TB. butter until the onion is soft.  Add the mix from the blender and stir with a wooden spoon on medium low heat until everything comes together.  Add 1 TB Worcestershire Sauce, white pepper and salt to taste.  Raise the heat to medium, continue stirring and add 2 TB Vermouth and 1 TB lemon peel. Continue stirring until the mix thickens and begins to separate from the sides.  Remove from the heat.  Let cool.

Make two cups bechamel sauce. Add 1/4 cup Vermouth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat immediately and stir for a couple of minutes.  Add a 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano.  Remove from the heat.

Butter the bottom and sides of a  Pyrex dish large enough to hold 18 cannelloni side by side.  Add about a 1/4 cup of the bechamel sauce on the bottom and spread to cover.

Cut the lasagna noodles in half.  Place 1 tsp of the filling and roll into a tube.  Place, seam side down in the Pyrex dish.  Continue with the rest of the pasta until you have eight cannelloni on each side for a total of 16.

Pour the rest of the Bechamel Sauce on top, sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and dot with butter and more sage leaves.

Cook in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. or until bubbly and lightly broil, about 6 to 8 minutes. You want a golden color on top.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Slices of tomato with a balsamic vinaigrette or an arugula salad are great to serve alongside.

*Bechamel Sauce

For 2 cups

4 TB butter, unsalted
4 TB. flour
2 Cups hot milk

Melt the butter, add the flour, cook for about a minute stirring.   Add the 2 cups of hot milk, a little at a time.  Continue stirring until sauce begins to boil.  Immediately remove saucepan from the heat, set aside and let cool.

Recipe and photos Lindaraxa 


  1. Who would believe this came from left-overs? Not I. You were so clever to turn the turkey into a rich and creamy dish. I kept thinking of the phrase "bet you can't eat just one," and of course I know I would had to go back for seconds. How very Julia Child of you to use vermouth. Love it!

  2. It's so much easier to keep vermouth on hand than white wine. Thanks for always stopping by.


Thank you for visiting Lindaraxa. Your comments are much appreciated.

Pin It button on image hover