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December 12, 2023

Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken tetrazzini has entered the family dinner hall of fame for so many reasons. You get so much from one dish–creamy noodles, bites of chicken and mushrooms, peas, and of course cheese!

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    chicken tetrazzini in a baking dish made with noodles, mushrooms, peas, cream sauce, cheddar, Parm and panko in a baking dish
    Photography by Gayle McLeod

    More Baked Pasta Dishes

    An Easy Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe To Cozy Up To

    Casserole, hot dish, gallimaufry–the humble baked chicken tetrazzini fits the bill when you need a cozy meal. It’s got dairy in all its best forms, noodles, mushrooms, and perfectly browned bites of chicken. We’ve got plenty of other creamy mushroom dishes for these long winter nights. Check out our Rigatoni with Mushroom Sauce, Mushroom Lasagna, and Wild Mushroom Risotto.

    chicken tetrazzini being scooped out of a baking dish made with, mushrooms, peas, cream sauce, cheddar, Parm and panko

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    What Is Chicken Tetrazzini?

    We love a dish with a good back story and the reason for why is it called chicken Tetrazzini tops the charts. It is supposedly named for Italian opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini, and was made by the chef at her hotel in the early 1900s. Chicken tetrazzini is a baked casserole made with poultry or seafood, and mixed with dairy and pasta that is topped with cheese and breadcrumbs. We include mushrooms, because that’s how our families made it growing up.

    spaghetti, chicken, butter, milk, cream, Parmesan, cheddar, peas, mushrooms and spices in prep bowls

    Chicken Tetrazzini Ingredients

    • Chicken breast tenders

    • Pasta (spaghetti, linguine, or bucatini)

    • Cremini mushrooms and garlic

    • Whole milk and heavy cream

    • Chicken broth

    • Freshly grated parmesan

    • Fresh thyme leaves

    • Garlic powder, onion powder, ground nutmeg

    • Panko breadcrumbs

    • Frozen peas

    • Shredded cheddar

    • Chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, for serving (optional)

    chicken tenders seasoned with salt being browned in butter in a skillet
    mushrooms cooking in olive oil and butter in a skillet
    milk and cream being poured into a skillet with a butter and flour rue
    cream sauce in a skillet made with butter, flour, cream, broth, thyme, garlic & onion powder, nutmeg, salt & parmesan

    How To Make Chicken Tetrazzini

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with butter.

    2. Cook the pasta until al dente.

    3. Cook the chicken. Let cool slightly, then chop into bite size pieces.

    4. Cook the mushrooms.

    5. Make the cream sauce.

    6. Make the buttery panko breadcrumbs.

    7. Bake, uncovered, until the sauce is bubbling and the panko is golden brown, about 25 minutes.

    chicken, spaghetti noodles, peas and mushrooms combined in a 9x13 casserole dish
    chicken, spaghetti noodles, peas and mushrooms covered in cream sauce in a 9x13 casserole dish
    chicken, noodles, peas and mushrooms covered in cream sauce and topped with cheddar and Parmesan cheeses in a baking dish
    chicken tetrazzini in a baking dish made with noodles, mushrooms, peas, cream sauce, cheddar, Parm and panko in a baking dish

    How to Store + Tips

    • Store any leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    • You can make chicken tetrazzini ahead of time. Just stop right before the bake, and wrap the dish tightly. Store in the freezer for up to six months. When you’re ready to eat, take out of the freezer to thaw the day before serving and bake as normal.

    • You can substitute turkey or canned tuna for chicken.

    chicken tetrazzini being scooped out of a baking dish made with, mushrooms, peas, cream sauce, cheddar, Parm and panko

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    Chicken Tetrazzini

    • Serves: 6
    • Prep Time:  20 min
    • Cook Time:  50 min
    • Calories: 806

    Ingredients

    • 8 tablespoons salted butter, plus more for greasing
    • 12 ounces spaghetti, linguine, or bucatini
    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • ½ pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups whole milk, room temperature
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon onion powder
    • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
    • ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
    • ¾ cup frozen peas (optional)
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • Chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, for serving (optional)

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with butter.

    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain.

    3. Sprinkle the chicken all over with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter melts, add the chicken and sear until browned, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let cool slightly, then chop into bite size pieces.

    4. Reduce the heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Once the butter melts, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the cutting board with the chicken.

    5. Add 4 tablespoons of the remaining butter to the same pan. Once the butter melts, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until a thick paste forms, 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk, cream, and broth until smooth, 2-4 minutes. Whisk in the thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, nutmeg, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ cup of the parmesan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 4-5 minutes.

    6. Meanwhile, place the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave, then stir in the panko.

    7. Combine the pasta, chicken, mushrooms, and peas in the prepared baking dish. Pour the sauce over top. Evenly top it with the cheddar cheese and remaining ½ cup parmesan. Sprinkle with the buttery panko.

    8. Bake, uncovered, until the sauce is bubbling and the panko is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Serve family style. Store any leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    Nutrition Info

    • Per Serving
    • Amount
    • Calories806
    • Protein38 g
    • Carbohydrates65 g
    • Total Fat44 g
    • Dietary Fiber4 g
    • Cholesterol171 mg
    • sodium879 mg
    • Total Sugars10 g

    Chicken Tetrazzini

    Questions & Reviews

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    • Jenn D

      Yes, this is such a winner. Whole family loved it. Already dreaming about the next time I make this.

      Thanks Jenn, we are so glad you loved it!