Easy Chicken Tetrazzini {No Mushrooms!}

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This easy chicken tetrazzini recipe is perfect whether you're cooking for just one or two people or your bigger family. Easy prep using cooked chicken, creamy prepared sauces, and comforting pasta with frozen peas makes this an easy weeknight recipe you'll use again and again.

A blue baking dish has a spoon scooping out a serving of chicken tetrazzini pasta with peas.

The best part of a pasta casserole is that you can easily adjust it to fit your family's needs.

Need a big pan of comfort food? Bake the whole chicken tetrazzini in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Need a smaller portion to feed just 1 or 2? Split it into two 8 x 8-inch pans and freeze one dish for next month.

Want to bring a meal train recipe to a friend? Double it and easily make dinner for your family at the same time.

With just a few easy ingredients, you can stir together this comforting home cooked meal for your loved ones in just minutes.

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What is Chicken Tetrazzini?

Tetrazzini is an American recipe that traditionally uses chicken, pasta, and a creamy white sauce.

This popular casserole is named after Italian opera star, Luisa Tetrazzini, who was a long-time resident of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. The chef at the hotel, Ernest Arbogast, invented the recipe sometime between 1908–1910 and named it in her honor.

There is no universal standard for the dish, so various parts are often missing or tweaked in the various recipes you'll find on the internet. 

Ingredients

While many chicken tetrazzini recipes may involve complicated lists of ingredients, my version has been modified for average busy parents who just want to get dinner on the table quickly!

The ingredients for the chicken tetrazzini are on the counter.
  • Shredded Rotisserie Chicken: Or any cooked chicken leftovers you have on hand.
  • Pot-Sized Linguine: Or you can break spaghetti or thing spaghetti in half by hand if you can't find the shorter noodle.
  • Prepared Alfredo Sauce: In a pinch, you can buy the prepared sauce from the grocery store but I highly recommend using half of this homemade alfredo sauce recipe. There are so many ways to use the leftovers another night and it tastes SO much better!
  • Cream of Chicken Soup* See my tips for flavor variations at the bottom of the post.
  • Frozen Peas
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Italian Herbs
  • Chicken Stock

How to Make This Easy Casserole

You're going to love how fast this recipe is to prep!

First, place a large pot of water over HIGH heat and bring to a boil. Cook the pasta for 4 minutes less than the lowest time listed on the package.

I was thrilled to find Pot-Sized Linguine at our grocery store. The shorter noodle is a lot easier for kids to twirl on their forks.

If you can't find it, you can always substitute spaghetti and just break the dry pasta in half before adding it to the pot.

A close-up shot of the box of pasta used for the casserole.

While the pasta cooks, add the diced cooked chicken, alfredo sauce, cream of chicken soup, just HALF of the grated parmesan, and the Italian herbs to a very large mixing bowl.

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The ingredients for the pasta recipe are about to be mixed together in a large bowl.

Cooked chicken can be quite delicate. Gently stir together all the ingredients until the sauce is smoothly blended and the chicken is coated.

Add the peas to the bowl and measure the chicken stock.

Once the pasta has cooked, drain the water and add the pasta to the mixing bowl. Pour the chicken stock in and gently stir it all together.

The pasta and peas are about to be mixed into the tetrazzini sauce.

You have two options for this pasta casserole:

  1. 1 9x13-inch Pan: You can bake the whole recipe in one dish now or freeze the whole recipe in one dish.
  2. 2 8x8-inch Pans: You can split the recipe over two smaller pans and bake one now and freeze one for later OR freeze two smaller pans for separate nights.

Spray your baking pans of choice with cooking spray and pour the pasta mixture evenly into the pan.

The chicken tetrazzini has been spread out in the blue baking dish and topped with grated parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle the remaining half of the grated parmesan over the top.

If you're baking it right now, preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the dish for 30 - 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbling.

The casserole has been baked and has a golden brown color to it. You can see peas throughout.

How to Make It Taste Even Better

I don't cook anything with mushrooms for my family. It was {an informal} part of my wedding vows.

However, I know other families love mushrooms. If you'd like to make your chicken tetrazzini taste even better than this simple version, you can consider:

  • Cream of Mushroom Soup: Swap the chicken soup with your favorite mushroom variety. You could also add a can of drained mushrooms to the sauce before stirring in the pasta.
  • Almonds: This is another traditional addition to chicken tetrazzini. You could sprinkle sliced almonds over the top or stir them into the mixture.
  • Lemon Zest / Lemon Juice: To add a little freshness to the dish, you could grate some lemon zest and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the sauce before adding the pasta.
  • Red Pepper Flakes or Cayenne Pepper: For just a subtle kick of heat, consider adding up to 1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper.

Make Ahead and Freezer Tips

If you want to make this dish ahead of time and freeze it, your instructions are very easy:

  1. Let Cool: Once you've filled the baking pan(s), allow the casserole to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Wrap Tightly: Cover the dish in aluminum foil and label the date with a piece of tape/label. If you're delivering this as part of a meal train recipe, be sure to label the dish with cooking instructions, too.
  3. Freeze: Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  4. Thaw: Let the casserole thaw in your fridge overnight before you bake it.
  5. Bake as Directed: You can bake the thawed casserole just as directed.

To Bake from Frozen

If you forget to thaw it overnight, you could also bake the casserole directly from the freezer. Simply loosen the aluminum foil but keep the dish covered.

Add an additional 10 - 15 minutes to the baking time, uncover the dish and continue to cook until it is hot and bubbly.

A plate of pasta has a fork twirling the next bite of tetrazzini.

What to Serve with Chicken Tetrazzini

The beauty of this easy chicken tetrazzini recipe is that it is an all-in-one meal.

If you'd like to add additional sides, you could consider serving it with a green salad with a bright lemon parmesan vinaigrette. Roasted air fryer green beans are perfect because they don't affect your oven temp.

And lastly, warm garlic bread is always a hit with a pasta dinner!

📖 Recipe

A blue baking dish has a spoon scooping out a serving of chicken tetrazzini pasta with peas.

Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole

4.86 from 7 votes
This rich and creamy easy chicken tetrazzini casserole is a big hit with kids. Creamy pasta with shredded chicken and sweet peas is a freezer-friendly casserole you'll make over and over. A “mommy meals” staple.
TOTAL TIME 40 minutes
PREP TIME 10 minutes
COOK TIME 30 minutes
YIELD 10 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (16 oz) box of spaghetti, noodles broken in half
  • 3 cups cooked chicken chopped
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese divided
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (16 oz) jar of prepared Alfredo sauce
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and place a large pot of water to boil over HIGH heat.
  • Boil the pasta for 4 minutes less than the lowest time listed on the package. This will keep it firmer so the pasta stays firm once baked. Drain the noodles and set them aside.
  • Meanwhile, gently stir together the cooked chicken, just half of the parmesan cheese, can of cream of chicken soup, Alfredo sauce, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and pepper.
  • Fold the pasta into the chicken and sauce. Add the peas and stir to combine.
  • Spoon the casserole filling into a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Or you can split it into two 8 x 8 inch pans so you can bake one now and freeze one for later.
  • Sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top and bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until bubbly.

Recipe Notes

FREEZER MEAL TIPS:
Store the prepared casserole covered in aluminum foil in your freezer. To bake it, you can choose:
1. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge and then bake as directed.
2. Bake directly from frozen: Keep the casserole lightly covered in foil for the first 15 - 20 minutes and add an additional 10 - 20 minutes to the total baking time. The mixture should be hot and bubbly.
COURSEPasta
CUISINEAmerican

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The photo collage shows the chicken tetrazzini with no mushrooms in the casserole dish and on a white plate being served for dinner.
Dump and Go Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole to quickly stock your freezer

3 Comments

  1. I've been making this for more than 30 years and I want to let you know that if you split the recipe and use glass 8x8 pans rather than metal, cook them both the first time, just take one out of the oven at the half way point and then freeze it. By starting the cooking process and then freezing, when you are ready to have it you can put it in your microwave to finish it off and serve it hot without having to run your regular oven all over again. If you should do it this way, when you reheat this pan, use half power for 20-30 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave oven, up to power level 70 for a bit less time. I always just check it by the obvious method of sticking my clean finger into the middle of the pan to see how hot it is. And if its feeling somewhat warm with some cold spots, I grab my spoon and give it all a bit of a turn over and reset the timer for a few more minutes at what ever temp I had it set on. This technique was taught to me in one of my many home ec classes many many moons ago as a way to cut down on cooking time and energy conservation.

  2. This was really tasty! I added mushrooms back in but otherwise followed your recipe exactly. Mine turned out a little salty, so next time I'll use some reduced-sodium items, especially if using rotisserie chicken like I did this time.

  3. I always forget about the 8x8 pan when my hubby is out of town. This recipe sounds like a dish that would be a hit here. Thanks for sharing!

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