This chicken tetrazzini is classic American comfort food! A delicious baked noodle casserole made from scratch that’s extra creamy, and cheesy, and loaded with pasta and chicken.
With a recipe that’s been around that long, there are bound to be variations. The important part is that chicken, pasta, and a creamy sauce combine to make magic. This is my absolute favorite version of my favorite casserole.
There’s no shame in using a can of creamed soup—but just wait til you taste the difference of making this tetrazzini from scratch.
Homemade, rich, luxurious, and well worth the effort. If you want a quicker version of this recipe, try my Grandma’s chicken noodle casserole.
Why Is It Called Tetrazzini
There are often multiple origin stories of how classic dishes came to be. I love the version that Chicken Tetrazzini is named after an early 1900s Italian Opera Star named Luisa Tetrazzini and first made around 1908 here in California. Try my Ham tetrazzini when you have leftover ham!
What Is The Difference Between Alfredo and Tetrazzini?
Both of these Italian-American pasta dishes have similar ingredients but mainly differ in their type of sauce. They consist of pasta and a creamy sauce. Chicken tetrazzini is more of a casserole and it is coated in a béchamel sauce.
A béchamel sauce is made with a roux of flour and butter then milk is added. An Alfredo doesn’t have a béchamel sauce, it has a sauce made of cream that has been thickened with parmesan.
Chicken Tetrazzini Ingredients
- Butter: Use salted or unsalted.
- Olive Oil: You can use any neutral-flavored vegetable oil.
- Chicken: This is a great recipe to use Rotisserie chicken in.
- Mushrooms: I like either white or cremini mushrooms.
- Onions: I use yellow onion.
- Garlic: Mince your garlic fresh. The stuff in the jar had a weird taste.
- Thyme: I use fresh thyme because it’s always growing fresh in my garden. Use dried if you don’t have fresh.
- White Wine: This adds great flavor to the sauce. If you don’t want to use alcohol you can use chicken broth.
- All-Purpose Flour: This will mix with the butter and oil to form a roux and thicken the sauce.
- Milk: I like to use whole milk. It gives the sauce the perfect richness.
- Cream: Heavy cream. Makes the sauce velvety.
- Chicken Broth: Adds more liquid to the sauce and great chicken flavor as well.
- Nutmeg: Adds a warm slightly nutty flavor to the sauce.
- Linguine: I like the way the flat noodles catch the sauce. You can switch it up and use spaghetti instead. I like the brand, Barilla.
- Peas: I like to use petite peas.
- Parsley: Adds nice color and freshness to the casserole.
- Mozzarella: The perfect ooey-gooey cheese for this casserole
What to Serve with Chicken Tetrazzini
My family, of course, always loves a side of bread! They like this with garlic and herb Parker House Roll (seriously these are outta this world delicious!!) super quick Bisquick biscuits, or my buttery crescent rolls.
Storing + Freezing + Make Ahead
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? This chicken casserole lasts in the fridge for up to 4 days. Store it in an airtight container
- Can You Freeze This? Yes, and this can last up to 2 months in the freezer. Keep in mind the pasta will be significantly softer and a lot of the sauce will be absorbed into the pasta after freezing.
- Make-Ahead Tips: The chicken can be cooked ahead of time and any ingredients that need chopping can be chopped a day early.
- Food Safety: If you’d like more food safety info check out this article.
How To Make Chicken Tetrazzini
- Butter the baking dish.
- Saute the mushroom.
- Stir in the onion, garlic, and thyme. Saute.
- Stir in the wine. Transfer the mushroom mixture in a bowl.
- Sprinkle flour over the melted butter, whisk.
- Remove from heat and slowly whisk in milk, cream, and broth. Stir in seasonings. Simmer.
- Add cooked chicken, onion mixture, pasta, peas, and parsley.
- Mix until well-coated and transfer to the baking dish.
- Top with cheese. Bake.
See the full instructions below.
More Yummy Chicken Casseroles
- Crack Chicken Casserole
- Chicken Stuffing Casserole
- Chicken And Rice Casserole
- Chicken Lasagna
- Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Mexican Chicken Casserole
- Chicken Tortilla Casserole
- Chicken Tater Tot Casserole
- Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits
- Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
- Dorito Chicken Casserole
- 9 tablespoons butter~divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil~divided
- 4 cups cooked chicken, cut into cubes
- 2 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 1/4 teaspoons black pepper, divided
- 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk, at room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 12 ounces linguine
- 3/4 cup frozen petite peas, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2-3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Butter a 13x9x3-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter or spray generously with a nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
- In an 8-quart stockpot, add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in mushrooms (1 pound) and cook over medium-high heat until the mushrooms are golden brown and the liquid has evaporated.
- Stir in the onion (1), garlic (1 tablespoon), and thyme (1 tablespoon) and continue to cook until the onions are translucent about 6-8 minutes. Stir in wine (1/2 cup) and cook until it evaporates about 2 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl.
- Add 3 more tablespoons of the remaining butter to the same stockpot with the heat on medium-low. Sprinkle the flour (1/3 cup) over melted butter and whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes to remove flour taste. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in milk (4 cups), heavy cream (1 cup), and broth (1 cup) until smooth.
- Stir in nutmeg (1/8 teaspoon), remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and remaining 3/4 teaspoons black pepper. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and continue to cook, whisking often, until the sauce thickens, about 9-11 minutes.
- Cook the linguine (12 ounces) according to package instructions, in well-salted water (2 tablespoons salt), until al dente. Drain well.
- Add the cooked chicken (4 cups) and onion mixture and drained linguine to the sauce along with the peas (3/4 cup), and parsley (1/4 cup). Mix well until the sauce coats the pasta and the mixture is well blended.
- Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and dot with butter and bake in the preheated oven, uncovered, for about 25 minutes or until heated through and golden brown on the top.
- Sprinkle top with parsley (2-3 tablespoons) to garnish and serve.
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