I love a good baked pasta! This chicken tetrazzini is a big, comforting dish of creamy noodles, lots of shredded chicken, and a crispy-salty parmesan cheese topping. And even though it doesn’t have cream-of-anything soup, it still comes together quickly and is customizable to your tastes! It also makes a great freezer meal (see the recipe notes for details).
Start by boiling water for the pasta and slicing up some mushrooms – or, if you’re not into mushrooms, I’ve also used a jar of roasted red peppers or frozen peas, either of which you just throw in at the end without any prep!
Sauté the mushrooms in butter while the pasta cooks. I usually use either whole wheat angel hair or rotini, but this fun curly cavatappi is much more photogenic! Drain the pasta and set it aside.
Now it’s time to make the creamy sauce. Melt some more butter (I use the pasta pot, because one.less.dish). Whisk in flour, then add chicken broth and half-and-half. I usually sprinkle in some garlic powder and onion flakes at this point to add some more flavor to the sauce. Let the sauce thicken and begin to bubble, then stir in cooked, shredded chicken, sherry or white wine, and the sautéed mushrooms (or frozen peas or roasted peppers). I had leftover chicken in my freezer from making this chicken noodle soup, but a rotisserie chicken is a great shortcut, too. Or you can make quick shredded chicken using this method from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe!
Lightly grease a 9×13 pan and dump in the noodles. Pour the sauce over the top and gently mix it together.
Now you need a bunch of grated parmesan cheese! I often have the pre-grated kind around, but we had a block in the fridge so I shredded it up myself. A little sprinkle of paprika brightens things up (or is just quintessential casserole?).
The chicken tetrazzini bakes for 20 minutes until it’s bubbly and brown on top. Rather than forming a melty blanket of cheese like a lasagna, the parmesan adds a nice crunchy texture to the top of the pasta.
Yum. Jay and I love this! In the interest of full disclosure, our three-year-old…well…sometimes you win, and sometimes you rinse some noodles in the sink and dump on jarred marinara to maintain dinner table peace!