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!Print
- 8 oz pasta (such as angel hair, rotini, or cavatappi – whole wheat is good!)
- 8-10 oz sliced mushrooms (or a jar of roasted red peppers, or frozen peas…)
- 6 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2 cups chicken broth (or 2 cups water + 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon)
- salt and pepper, garlic powder, & onion flakes
- 3-4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 1/4 cup dry sherry or white wine
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Paprika, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 425. Boil water for the pasta and clean and slice mushrooms. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. In a skillet, melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter and saute mushrooms with a pinch of salt until golden, 5-10 minutes. Drain pasta and set it aside. Using the pasta pot, melt the remaining 4 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, stirring for one minute. Whisk in half-and-half and chicken broth and cook, whisking occasionally, until it begins to bubble and thicken, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and a sprinkle of garlic powder and onion flakes. Stir in chicken, sherry, and cooked mushrooms (or roasted peppers or peas) and heat through. Place pasta in a greased 9×13 pan and pour on sauce. Stir it lightly to mix and top with Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of paprika. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
This recipe is from my friend, Jessica Britt! It does very well in the freezer – I often split it into two 8×8 pans and freeze one unbaked. Cool the prepared tetrazzini and cover with plastic wrap and a tight layer of foil. Refrigerate until it’s completely cold, then freeze. Don’t forget to label it! To use the freezer meal, thaw overnight in the fridge and bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes or until heated through. (A half pan is enough for dinner for us and leftovers for one for lunch the next day!)