Warm and comforting, heat-and-eat kind of dinner, casseroles are everyone’s favorite. They are easy and adaptable like this one that works with any leftover meat. Thanksgiving is one of the holidays this recipe really comes handy because you know we’ll have leftover turkey. Hence, you’ll see turkey in the ingredients. But if you are making ham, by any means use leftover ham for this recipe. I could also tell you to use rice instead of barley but then it wouldn’t be the same recipe, although, it could totally work in case you’re not fan of barley. If you never had barley before, give it a try. Mom used to substitute barley for rice in stuffed cabbage leaves and even stuffed peppers sometimes. It was a staple in her kitchen and I too always keep a box in my pantry. Just in case you landed here looking for leftover turkey pasta casserole I have a very good recipe for that too, just click here. Now, let’s start making this kickasserole, shall we?
1 cup Pearled Barley
2 cups cooked leftover Turkey, chopped
1/3 cups white Wine
1 (8 oz.) package Mushrooms, sliced
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 cup each shredded Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheese, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Bay leaf
One twig fresh Rosemary
Salt and Fresh ground black Pepper
Tomatoes to garnish (optional)
In a medium size saucepan cook barley in 4 cups lightly salted water for 45-50 minutes. You could use instant barley to cut down on cooking time, however, it doesn’t have the same texture.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, bay leaf and rosemary leaves (discard the twig). Sauté the onions until translucent for about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic. Stir in turkey and mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Add wine and cooked and drained barley to the skillet and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a small bowl, mix together the cheeses. Put half of the barley mixture in a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup mixed cheeses. Layer with the other half of barley mixture. Top with the remaining cheese. Garnish with sliced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes, if desired.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes on 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Enjoy.
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