This chicken tetrazzini is spaghetti, mushrooms, peas, chicken and cheese, all tossed together in a homemade creamy sauce and baked to perfection. The ultimate comfort food classic that’s perfect for feeding a crowd!
Chicken and pasta are always a winning combination in my book. Whenever I have leftover chicken on hand, I put it to good use in this creamy, cheesy chicken tetrazzini.
Why is it called chicken tetrazzini?
Chicken tetrazzini is named after the Italian opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini, but is actually a dish that originated in America. This recipe features chicken and pasta in a creamy sauce, often with the addition of mushrooms and sometimes peas. The dish is finished off with either a layer of breadcrumbs or melted cheese.
How do you make chicken tetrazzini?
Start by cooking onions, mushrooms and garlic with butter. Whisk in flour, then add half and half and chicken broth to form the base of the sauce. Next, stir in cream cheese and parmesan cheese, along with some seasonings. Place spaghetti in a bowl along with chicken, the mushroom sauce and peas. Toss until everything is well combined, then place the pasta mixture in a baking dish. Add a layer of buttered breadcrumbs, then bake until everything is hot and the sauce is bubbly. Add a sprinkling of fresh parsley, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for the perfect pasta dish
- You can use any type of cooked chicken in this recipe – diced roasted chicken, shredded chicken, leftover chicken or even rotisserie chicken. They all work just fine!
- This casserole can be assembled up to 8 hours before you plan to bake it. Store the covered pan in the fridge, then bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to compensate for starting with a cold dish.
- While I typically use button mushrooms, other varieties also work such as cremini, portobello or chanterelle. Buy pre-sliced mushrooms to save on prep time.
- No need to thaw your peas before you mix them into the pasta, they’ll cook through in the oven.
- This dish will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and can be frozen for 2 months. Reheat any leftovers covered in the oven, or heat individual portions in the microwave.
This is a classic version of chicken tetrazzini, but you can absolutely add other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.
- Protein: Instead of diced chicken, try ground chicken, sliced steak, turkey or sliced smoked sausage.
- Pasta: Spaghetti is traditional in this dish, but you can also use linguine, fettuccine, penne, farfalle or even macaroni.
- Add-Ins: You can add a variety of ingredients to this recipe such as sauteed bell peppers, green beans, bacon, kale, spinach or olives.
- Toppings: Instead of Italian breadcrumbs, try panko breadcrumbs, or skip the bread and add a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese instead.
Chicken tetrazzini is a popular dish for good reason – it’s loaded with flavor and is always a hit!
More pasta dishes to try
Chicken Tetrazzini Video
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- 6 tablespoons butter divided use
- 3/4 cup onion finely diced
- 12 ounces button mushrooms sliced
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups half and half
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 4 ounces cream cheese cut into small pieces
- 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups cooked chicken diced or shredded
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9"x13" pan with cooking spray.
- Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted water according to package directions.
- Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are browned and tender.
- Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly add the chicken broth and half and half to the pan, whisking constantly.
- Bring the milk mixture to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes or until just thickened.
- Remove the sauce from the heat, and mix in the parmesan cheese, cream cheese and Italian seasoning. Stir until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain the spaghetti and return it to the cooking pot or place it in a large bowl. Add the chicken and peas to the pasta.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat evenly.
- Place the pasta mixture into the prepared pan.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour the butter into the breadcrumbs and mix to combine. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the pasta.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until casserole is bubbly and breadcrumbs are browned. Sprinkle with parsley, then serve.