Cajun Smoked Turkey Pasta with Kale & Andouille Sausage

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Transform your leftover smoked turkey into a mouthwatering meal with this Cajun Smoked Turkey Pasta recipe featuring Andouille Sausage and Kale. This dish packs a punch of bold flavors and is incredibly simple to prepare, making it the ideal choice for a hectic weeknight. With the inclusion of nutrient-dense ingredients such as kale, you can relish a satisfying and wholesome meal. Get ready to savor a delectable pasta dish that is both effortless and delightful!

Cajun pasta with leftover smoked turkey

Why We Love This Recipe

  • It’s yummy: This dish is bursting with bold and savory flavors thanks to the smoked turkey, andouille sausage and Cajun seasoning. It’s balanced with a touch of sweetness from the diced tomatoes and richness from the heavy cream.
  • Easy to make: This recipe comes together very quickly and easily, making it a great option for busy weeknights or when you’re short on time.
  • Versatile: This recipe is a great way to use up leftover smoked turkey, but it can also be made with chicken or other proteins. You can also adjust the level of spice to your liking by adding more or less Cajun seasoning.
  • Comforting: This dish is warm and comforting, making it a great option for a cozy dinner at home or for feeding a crowd. Plus, the leftovers make for a delicious lunch the next day! But you may need a nap right after!

What is Smoked Turkey

Smoked turkey is cooked by smoking it over wood chips or other wood sources, which gives it a distinctive smoky flavor. The process of smoking turkey involves slow-cooking the bird at a low temperature for several hours until it is fully cooked and infused with that notorious smoky flavor. Smoked turkey is often used as a flavorful ingredient in many dishes including sandwiches, salads, soups, stews, and casseroles. It can be purchased pre-cooked at many grocery stores, or it can be smoked at home using a smoker or a grill.

Whole turkey grilled outdoors. Two roasted turkeys in sauce

Ingredients Needed to Make Cajun Smoked Turkey Pasta

  • Pasta: We used angel hair pasta because that’s what we had on hand. Your favorite pasta will work in this dish, especially penne pasta or bowtie pasta.
  • Smoked turkey leftovers: You can certainly buy smoked turkey just to make this dish. We developed this recipe specifically to make use of leftovers.
  • Andouille sausage: The spicy sausage adds heat and depth of flavor. It is a mainstay Cajun and Creole cuisine.
  • Kale: You can use other types of greens such as spinach, swiss chard and beet greens.
  • Avocado oil: Feel free to use other oils such as olive oil or non-gmo canola oil.
  • Cajun seasoning: The Cajun seasoning provides a blend of spices that are commonly used in Cajun cooking, adding a bold and spicy flavor to the dish.
  • Fresh garlic cloves: The garlic adds a pungent, savory flavor to the dish and is a staple ingredient in pretty much everything we make here at Gimme From Scratch.
  • Diced tomatoes: The tomatoes add sweetness and acidity to the dish, helping to balance out the spiciness of the Cajun seasoning. We used fresh tomatoes but you can opt for canned diced tomatoes.
  • Heavy whipping cream: The heavy whipping cream adds richness and creaminess.
  • Chicken broth: Water also works if you don’t have chicken broth on hand.
  • Grated parmesan cheese: The parmesan cheese adds a salty and nutty flavor to the dish and helps to thicken the sauce.

How to Make Cajun Smoked Turkey Pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente or follow the package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain and keep the pasta warm.
  2. Dice the smoked turkey into bite-sized pieces and slice the Andouille sausage.
  3. Separate the kale leaves from the stems and tear them into smaller pieces. Rinse under cold, running water and let drain. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced turkey and sliced sausage to the skillet, along with the Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the sausage begins to brown. Remove the meat from the pan and set it aside.
  5. Using the same skillet, sauté the onions in the remaining avocado oil over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the chopped kale and sauté until it’s wilted, which should take about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30-60 seconds, until it becomes fragrant. Next, add the diced tomatoes and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Pour in the heavy whipping cream, chicken broth, remaining Cajun seasoning, and Parmesan cheese. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then season to taste, if needed.
  7. Add the smoked turkey and cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing until it’s well combined. If you desire a thinner sauce, add the reserved pasta water. Finally, serve with freshly grated Parmesan, green onions or chopped parsley.
Cajun pasta with leftover smoked turkey and kale

Ingredient Substitutions

We love this dish because it can be customized with ingredients you have on hand. Here are a couple of suggested substitutions.

  • Angel hair pasta: You can use other types of pasta, such as spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, or penne. Gluten-free or whole wheat pasta can be used as well.
  • Smoked turkey: If you don’t have smoked turkey, you can use leftover cooked turkey or chicken.
  • Andouille sausage: If you can’t find andouille sausage, you can use other types of spicy sausage, such as chorizo, Italian sausage, or kielbasa.
  • Cajun seasoning: You can make your own Cajun seasoning by mixing together paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and oregano.
  • Diced fresh tomatoes: You can use canned diced tomatoes, or substitute with tomato sauce.
  • Heavy whipping cream: Half-and-half, whole milk or coconut milk will all work! Just note, that if you use coconut milk the flavor profile will be slightly different than using the other substitutions.
  • Chicken broth: You can use vegetable broth, beef broth or simply use water.
  • Grated parmesan cheese: Great alternatives to parmesan cheese are pecorino Romano and asiago cheese.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

What to Serve with Cajun Smoked Turkey Pasta

  • Garlic bread: Serve some warm, crusty garlic bread on the side to sop up the creamy sauce.
  • Side salad: A simple green salad with a tangy vinaigrette can help balance out the richness of the pasta and provide some freshness and crunch.
  • Roasted vegetables: Serve a side of roasted vegetables such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or carrots, to add some color and extra nutrition to the meal.
  • Cornbread: A classic Southern side dish, cornbread pairs well with the spicy and smoky flavors of this pasta.
garlic ciabatta bread
Stuffed Garlic Ciabatta Bread

How to Store Leftovers

  1. Let the pasta cool to room temperature.
  2. Transfer the pasta to an airtight container.
  3. Store the pasta in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  4. When you’re ready to reheat, transfer the pasta to a microwave-safe dish and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Cajun Smoked Turkey Pasta FAQs

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.

Can I freeze this cajun pasta?

Yes, you can! Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Can I make this recipe vegetarian or vegan?

Yep! You can make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the meat and using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. To make it vegan, use non-dairy milk or cream and omit the cheese.

Can I use different type of greens?

Yes, you can use other types of greens instead of kale, such as spinach, Swiss chard, or collard greens.

This Cajun Smoked Turkey Pasta is a delicious and flavorful dish that combines smoky turkey, spicy andouille sausage, and nutritious kale with a creamy and savory sauce. While the recipe calls for specific ingredients, there are several substitutions you can make to accommodate your preferences or what you have on hand. Experiment with different types of pasta, sausage, or cheese to make the dish your own. With its bold Cajun flavors and hearty ingredients, this dish is sure to satisfy your cravings and impress your family and dinner guests.

Cajun Smoked Turkey Pasta with Kale & Andouille Sausage

Cajun Smoked Turkey, Kale and Andouille Sausage Pasta

Posted by Dee
Transform your leftover smoked turkey into a mouthwatering meal with this Cajun Smoked Turkey Pasta recipe featuring Andouille Sausage and Kale. This dish packs a punch of bold flavors and is incredibly simple to prepare, making it the ideal choice for a hectic weeknight.
5 from 42 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cajun
Servings 6 servings
Difficulty Easy

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz angel hair pasta
  • 2 cups smoked turkey, diced
  • 1 cup andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp cajun seasoning, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup chicken broth or water
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve half a cup of pasta water, then drain and keep the pasta warm.
  • Dice the smoked turkey into bite-sized pieces. Slice the andouille sausage.
  • Separate the kale leaves from the stems and tear them into smaller pieces. Rinse under cold, running water and let drain. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shredded turkey and sliced andouille sausage with one tablespoon Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook for about five minutes or until the sausage begins to brown. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  • Using the same skillet, saute the onions in the remaining avocado oil over medium heat for about two minutes. Add the chopped kale to the skillet and sauté until wilted, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Then, add the diced tomatoes and saute for an additional two minutes.
  • Pour in the heavy whipping cream, chicken broth, remaining Cajun seasoning, and parmesan cheese. Bring the mixture to a simmer and season to taste if needed.
  • Add the shredded turkey and cooked pasta to the sauce and toss until well combined. Add reserved pasta water, if desired, to thin out the sauce. Serve with freshly grated parmesan, green onions or chopped parsley.
Keyword leftover smoked turkey pasta
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Meet Dee

Meet Dee

I love to share recipes with real ingredients that are both sweet and savory (especially sweet:) My mission with Gimme From Scratch is to inspire you with recipes that will bring your families together in the kitchen. I'm introverted at heart but know how important socializing can be for maintaining good relationships, when writing not only am looking forward to sharing information - It's also building connections between readers who love good food as much as I do!

12 Responses

  1. This looks absolutely amazing, and your presentation is gorgeous! My hubby loves to grill and smoke meats, so I’m showing him this smoked turkey idea. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Oh man! This Cajun smoked turkey sounds amazing. I love trying new dishes so I’ll be adding this to the list.

  2. 5 stars
    Dish pasta dish was super tasty! Might have even been better the next day for leftovers! Thanks for the recipe share!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow! This pasta dish looks amazingly delicious and very yummy! Plus it’s a great dish that used leftovers which is very economical! Loving this already plus we can never go wrong with pasta!

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! This has the best mix of flavors and is such a great way to use leftovers to make a completely new meal. Thanks for the great recipe!

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