Chicken tetrazzini is a hearty comfort classic dish as it combines creamy pasta, and is loaded with juicy chicken, and fresh mushrooms into a delicious and easy pasta bake ready in less than an hour! It is the perfect dish for a busy weeknight meal with the family.
Chicken Tetrazzini is one of my favorite childhood dishes growing up. I recall my mom making this and Corn Chowder almost every single week. I remember walking in the door after school and asking what was for dinner, and when my mom would say, “Chicken Tetrazzini,” I would jump for joy inside. The cheesiness of this dish with the creamy sauce and the juicy chicken was just the right flavors perfectly combined together. This dish literally melted in my mouth.
When I left home I remember this being one of the first dishes I made. I made it because it was a comfort classic that reminded me of home. As I took my first bite with the creamy sauce and melted cheese I felt like I could almost taste a little bit of home. To this day every time I make it, I am reminded a little bit of home, making this one of my absolute favorite comfort dishes. I hope it becomes yours too!
CHICKEN TETRAZZINI RECIPE
This chicken tetrazzini recipe pulls together delicious flavors as it combines butter, garlic, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese to make the most delicious creamy sauce.
CHICKEN TETRAZZINI INGREDIENTS
Spaghetti – With Chicken Tetrazzini, you will want to use spaghetti noodles broken in half. Be sure to use regular spaghetti noodles and not the thin spaghetti because thin spaghetti will cause your dish to be mushy.
Butter – Butter is your base for sauteing your onions, garlic, and mushrooms. This helps make that sauce creamy that we all know and love.
Onion – Use a sweet onion for this dish. This helps add to the flavor of this Chicken Tetrazzini recipe, but not overpower it. Be sure to chop it small so that you don’t get big chunks of onion in your dish.
Garlic clove – Garlic adds another level of flavor to the dish. If you are a garlic lover you can certainly get away with 2 cloves of garlic with this dish.
Mushrooms – Grab a package of mushrooms from the produce section. Be sure to give them a good scrubbing and then slice them about ¼” thick. This allows them to saute without breaking down and falling apart in this dish.
Flour – Be sure to not omit the flour in this recipe as it acts as a thickening agent for the creamy sauce.
Paprika – Paprika is the perfect seasoning to add a little bit of punch to this dish. It is not overpowering at all and it helps elevate this comfort classic to the next level.
Milk – When it comes to milk you can use any milk you have on hand. I like to use whole milk as it helps the sauce be a little bit thicker and creamier, but you can absolutely use skim milk if you prefer.
Chicken – Be sure to choose a boneless skinless chicken breast for this dish. You will want to precook 3-4 chicken breasts or pick up a rotisserie chicken and use the meat from that to save even more time.
Parmesan cheese – Parmesan cheese helps add more flavor to this flavorful recipe.
mozzarella cheese – Buy a block of mozzarella cheese and shred it. I know it is easier to buy it in the bag, but shredding it yourself actually helps it to melt better making this Chicken Tetrazzini dish even gooier!
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN TETRAZZINI
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees before you start making your Chicken Tetrazzini.
- Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
- Cook your chicken breasts on medium heat about 4 minutes on each side in a saute pan.
- Chop your cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Next cook your spaghetti until al dente, be sure to follow the directions on the package.
- Drain the noodles and set aside.
- Next melt 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan.
- Add your chopped onions and saute until clear.
- Add the garlic and mushrooms to the onions. Be sure you cook until tender. This should take around 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove your garlic, mushrooms, and onions from the pan and place them to the side.
- Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in the pan.
- Whisk the flour into your melted butter for about 2-3 minutes. This will make a roux.
- Whisk in the milk and add some salt and pepper to the mixture.
- Cook until thickened.
- Add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and stir until the cheese has melted and smooth.
- Mix in your mushroom mixture and chicken and stir until combined.
- Take your greased 2-quart baking dish and arrange a layer of spaghetti, then a layer of creamed chicken, and a sprinkle of paprika.
- Repeat layers until the dish is full.
- Sprinkle the dish with grated parmesan and remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until your dish is bubbly.
- Serve hot.
TIPS AND NOTES FOR MAKING CHICKEN TETRAZZINI
- You may want to place Aluminum foil over the top of your dish to help keep the Chicken Tetrazzini moist and helps it cook evenly or if the top starts to brown.
- This recipe can easily be doubled to accommodate a larger crowd.
- To add more flavor to Chicken Tetrazzini add salt and pepper when cooking your chicken.
- If you are short on time you can use already cooked chicken. Just cute in bite-size pieces.
WHAT SIDES TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN TETRAZZINI
Chicken Tetrazzini is a dish that does not need sides since it is filled with chicken, mushrooms, and pasta but if you are looking for something more to add to your serving plate try adding these sides:
- Cesar Salad
- Green Beans
- French Bread
CAN YOU MAKE CHICKEN TETRAZZINI WITHOUT CHICKEN?
Yes, you can make Chicken Tetrazzini without chicken if you prefer a meatless option. If you want to make Chicken Tetrazzini without chicken just omit it from the recipe and prepare the dish according to the directions.
CAN I MAKE CHICKEN TETRAZZINI WITH A DIFFERENT MEAT?
Technically it would not be Chicken Tetrazzini with a different meat, but lots of people substitute out the chicken for turkey around the holidays and use leftover turkey, making this dish Turkey Tetrazzini.
CAN I MAKE THIS CHICKEN TETRAZZINI AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes, you can make Chicken Tetrazzini ahead of time making it the perfect dish for a busy weeknight. Just prepare the dish as normal and after you have layered it in the pan and sprinkled it with cheese let it cool and then cover with foil and place in the fridge.
When ready, pull it out of the fridge and bake according to the recipe until bubbly. This might take a few more minutes than the recipe calls for because it will be cold.
CAN CHICKEN TETRAZZINI BE FROZEN?
Yes, you can indeed freeze Chicken Tetrazzini but you will need to prepare and cook the dish as directed before freezing. Be sure to let the dish cool completely and wrap tightly with aluminum foil before freezing. You can freeze Chicken Tetrazzini for up to 3 months in a deep freezer.
HOW DO I STORE LEFTOVER CHICKEN TETRAZZINI?
Storing leftovers is easy. Just let it cool completely and place it in an airtight container and place in the fridge. It will last for up to three days.
LOOKING FOR OTHER GREAT PASTA RECIPES? BE SURE TO CHECK THESE OUT!
- 8 oz. spaghetti broken in half
- 5 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- ½ cup flour
- 2 ½ cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups chicken cooked and chopped (about 3-4 chicken breasts)
- 2 Tablespoons sherry may substitute chicken broth or water
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 350
- Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
- In saute pan, over medium heat, cook chicken breasts about 4 minutes per side. Generously salt and pepper each side.
- Once cooked through, chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Cook spaghetti until al dente, according to package instructions.
- Drain and set aside.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan. Add onion and saute until clear. Add garlic and mushrooms. Cook a few minutes, until tender
- Remove from pan, set aside.
- Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in pan.
- Whisk flour into butter for 2-3 minutes.
- Whisk in the milk. Add salt and pepper.
- Cook until thickened. Add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and stir until melted and combined.
- Add mushroom mixture and chicken and stir to combine.
- In a greased 2-quart baking dish, arrange a layer of spaghetti, then a layer of creamed chicken, and a sprinkle of paprika.
- Repeat layering until dish is full.
- Sprinkle with grated parmesan and remaining mozzarella cheeses.
- Bake 35-45 minutes minutes or until bubbly.