This Chicken Tetrazzini is easy, creamy, cheesy, delicious and loved by everyone! It’s classic comfort food and a perfect dinner for the entire family. Great make-ahead meal and freezer-friendly, too.
What is Chicken Tetrazzini?
Chicken Tetrazzini is a pasta bake casserole made with diced up chicken or turkey (or even seafood), mushrooms, and a buttery, cream based sauce. The popular American dish was created by chef Ernest Arbogast in honor of the Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini, who debuted at his San Francisco hotel in the 1900’s.
Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe
Chicken Tetrazzini is one of those dishes that when you make it for the very first time, you’ll think to yourself “what a strange combination of gloppy ingredients.” But then it cooks up all cheesy and bubbly, you take a bite, and you are all in. For life. HA. It’s one of the few meals I can remember passing the picky-eater test when my kids were very little, and they still love it today.
- Pasta – we use thin spaghetti, but you can really make this with any kind of noodles you have. It’s important to cook them al dente, because they will continue cooking as the casserole bakes and you don’t want the noodles to end up mushy.
- Chicken – I season and bake chicken breasts and then dice or shred them up, but rotisserie chicken is great, too. Light or dark meat are both delicious. (Also great with leftover turkey!)
- Sauce – this is one of the few recipes I make that calls for cream of canned goods. I’ve actually made a completely from scratch version and honestly, I don’t like it as much. Go figure. And this way is quicker! You’ll also need low-sodium chicken broth, melted butter, and sour cream.
- Seasonings – salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Cheese – a trio of shredded mozzarella, cheddar, and Parmesan is delish!
- Peas – I love sweet peas in this casserole or frozen peas and carrots for added flavor and color. You can leave them out, if you prefer.
Pasta, chicken, sour cream, butter, and cheese…what’s not to love!
How to Make Chicken Tetrazzini
This dish only has a few simple steps and the prep is super easy. (Scroll down for the detailed printable recipe card.)
- Start by baking and dicing up the cooked chicken (or simply use rotisserie chicken.)
- Cook up the pasta according to package directions, al dente.
- Combine the sauce ingredients and spices until fully incorporated. Mix in the chicken, pasta, and peas.
- Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13 casserole dish, sprinkle with the cheeses.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 15.
- Let is rest for 5 minutes or so and dig in!
Make Ahead and Storing Leftovers
Can Chicken Tetrazzini be made ahead of time? Yes! This is a fantastic make-ahead meal. 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.
How to freeze Chicken Tetrazzini: Prep according to the recipe in a freezer-safe casserole dish, cover tightly in plastic wrap and again in foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then bake accordingly.
How to store leftovers: allow any leftovers to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Not only is this a great family meal, but also a sure winner when you need to bring something to a potluck or for a friend who’s just had a baby – she’ll be grateful!
Watch it Being Made
What to Serve with Chicken Tetrazzini
Some of our favorite sides for this dish include:
Easy Chicken Tetrazzini
- 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup
- 10 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1/2 cup butter , melted
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 pound seasoned cooked chicken , chopped or shredded
- 1 pound thin spaghetti , cooked al dente
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh chopped parsley , for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
- In large bowl whisk together both soups, sour cream, butter, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder until combined.
- Stir in the peas, chicken, and spaghetti; toss to combine until fully coated.
- Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the cheeses.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking for another 15 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole is hot throughout.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley. Let stand 5-10 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!