Chicken Tetrazzini is a cozy chicken pasta casserole dish with chicken and noodles swimming in a creamy, cheesy sauce topped with a crispy breadcrumb topping.
This Chicken Tetrazzini will be an instant family favorite! It's a cozy casserole made with chicken and noodles in a creamy, cheesy sauce then topped with a crispy breadcrumb topping.
Chicken Tetrazzini is a great way to use up leftover chicken. Plus, it's super easy to make, can be made ahead and even frozen. It's the perfect hearty family meal!
Where Does the Word "Tetrazzini" Come From?
The name tetrazzini is from the famous Italian opera singer, Luisa Tetrazzini, who the dish is named after.
It's widely believed, but not proven, that the dish was invented by a chef at Palace Hotel, where Luisa made her American debut in Rigoletto.
What to Serve with Chicken Tetrazzini
Chicken Tetrazzini packs a big hearty punch. It's filling with protein from the chicken. I like to serve it with a simple green side salad.
Some warm side options include green beans with shallots, steamed broccoli, or homemade rolls.
What Kind of Pasta Should I Use?
The flavor is going to be the same no matter what pasta you use, so in a pinch, you can use almost anything.
Traditionally, spaghetti is used. I would recommend substituting another long noodle, like linguine. You can also use any gluten free, lentil, or chickpea pastas as well!
Can I Make Tetrazzini without Mushrooms?
The best thing about making your own food at home is being able to make it exactly how you like it! So yes, if you hate mushrooms, go ahead and leave them out.
How to Cook Chicken for Chicken Tetrazzini
Most of the time I will use leftover chicken of any kind from grilling, baking, or any other method of cooking. I also will use a rotisserie chicken. Both of these are the fastest, easiest ways.
If you need to cook it from scratch, cook times will depend on the cut and thickness of the chicken. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place chicken in a large casserole dish. Coat lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven, uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165°F.
Variations on Chicken Tetrazzini
Here are some ideas to personalize this dish and make it your own!
- Gluten Free: Use gluten-free noodles, cup-for-cup flour, and gluten-free bread crumbs. I have tested these modifications, and the family couldn't even tell the difference from the norm!
- Topping: Instead of a breadcrumb topping, just add more cheese on top. You can also sub butter crackers instead of breadcrumbs.
- Veggies: Add some extra veggies for extra nutrition, such as sliced zucchini or chopped bell pepper.
- Cheese: Any cheese will work in the recipe, so choose your favorite!
- Chicken: Ground chicken, turkey, or pork can also work here (but not sausage, as that will add a different flavor).
- Bacon: Add some crispy crumbled bacon on top because why not?!
Can Chicken Tetrazzini be Made Ahead of Time?
Yes, this dish is very easy to make ahead of time and even freeze. Make as instructed, but instead of baking, cover the casserole tightly with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove from fridge and add about 15 minutes onto the baking time to account for the cold dish.
More Recipes You'll Love for Leftover Chicken
- Chicken Pot Pie - easily the most popular recipe on the site, and my family's absolute favorite meal.
- Copycat Chicken Gnocchi Soup - a copycat from a restaurant favorite that's even better than the original!
- Chicken Alfredo Lasagna - creamy and rich lasagna made with chicken, tomatoes, spinach, and homemade alfredo sauce.
- Ritz Cracker Chicken Casserole - this chicken casserole is hearty and delicious served over rice or noodles.
- Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas - a zesty chicken enchilada recipe with cheesy sauce
Chicken Tetrazzini Video
- 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- ⅓ cup butter
- 1 small onion chopped
- 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 1⅔ cups chicken broth
- 1½ cups milk
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- 8 ounces cream cheese cubed and softened
- ⅔ cup shredded mozzarella
- ⅓ cup shredded cheddar
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3 cups cooked and chopped chicken
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Cook spaghetti to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse to stop cooking, and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
- When vegetables are tender, stir in flour and allow to heat up, about 1 minute.
- Begin slowly stirring in broth, about ¼ cup at a time, to prevent lumps.
- Stir in milk and wine. Continue cooking and stirring until thickened.
- When mixture is hot and thick, stir in cream cheese until melted.
- Stir in mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan until combined.
- Add Italian seasoning, chicken, and peas, and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in prepared noodles. Then transfer mixture to a 9"x13' baking dish. Set aside.
- For the topping, add all topping ingredients to a medium mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Spread evenly over noodles.
- Bake in a 350°F for about 25 minutes, until top is golden brown, and sauce is bubbly and hot all the way through.
- Wine: To omit, just add an extra ½ cup broth.
- Crunchy Topping: I love the added texture from the topping. In a time crunch, you can exclude it and just top with some more mozzarella and parmesan.
- Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in individual servings in the microwave.
- Freezer Directions: Prepare according to directions. Do not bake. Allow to cool to room temperature before covering and freezing for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bake for an additional 10 minutes to account for the cold dish.
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This chicken tetrazzini is the best comfort food dish! Love the bread crumb topping that gives it a bit of crunch.
TAYLER ROSS says
I made this pasta for dinner last night and it was delicious! Perfectly creamy and easy to make!
This meal was so good! Love how it all came together! So delish!
Amanda Wren-Grimwood says
Total comfort food. I had forgotten how good tetrazzini is and this recipe is totoally delicious.