Traditional Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe

Chicken tetrazzini is a dish that many different cooks have put their own special spin on, and recipe developer Erin Johnson is no exception. She notes that some recipes may take shortcuts with the dish, saying, "A lot of tetrazzini recipes use cream of mushroom or chicken soup," but she prefers to make a white sauce of butter, cream, and Parmesan from scratch, instead. As she explains, she feels this makes her recipe "even easier because you don't have to have [canned soup] on hand."

Chicken tetrazzini is, of course, made with chicken, with Johnson suggesting the rotisserie kind but adding that any leftover cooked chicken will do. You can, however, use a different bird to turn it into the alliterative turkey tetrazzini instead. In such a case, Johnson points out, the recipe would make "a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers." Of course, using chicken is the most classic option, so let's dive into this traditional tetrazzini recipe!

Assemble the ingredients for the chicken tetrazzini

The main ingredients of this chicken tetrazzini are noodles (Johnson favors linguine) and shredded cooked chicken cooked in a white sauce made from butter, flour, chicken broth, half and half, and Parmesan cheese. The dish includes a few vegetables, too, these being an onion, some mushrooms, and some frozen peas. It is seasoned with minced garlic, bouquet garni, salt, and pepper and topped off with breadcrumbs.

One ingredient that may cause a little confusion is the bouquet garni. While this term is often used to refer to a bundle of fresh herbs tied with twine, here Johnson is referring to a dried spice blend of the same name. She does say, however, "If you don't have bouquet garni you can use herbes de provence [another seasoning blend] or thyme."

Cook the pasta and begin sautéing the onion and mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 350 F, then boil a large pot of water. Use the water to cook the pasta according to the package directions, stopping when it's just short of al dente as it will soften up more as it bakes. Drain the pasta, then let it sit while you cook the sauce. Johnson notes that you can use different types of noodles in this dish. "I prefer to use linguine," she says, but adds "spaghetti is also very popular." She also tells us there's no need to opt for long, skinny pasta, since any shape will work just fine.

Now, to start on the sauce. First, in an oven-proof skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and add the onions and mushrooms. Allow those to soften, then add in the garlic and cook until fragrant.

Make the sauce

With the onions and mushrooms softened and the garlic smelling garlicky, go ahead and stir in the flour, then add the broth and the half and half. Add the bouquet garni, salt, and pepper, then stir in the Parmesan. Cook the sauce for 5 minutes until it thickens.

Bake the chicken tetrazzini

Stir the chicken and peas into the sauce, then melt the remaining butter and stir it into the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the buttered crumbs over the chicken tetrazzini, then put the pan in the oven and bake it for 45 minutes. When the chicken tetrazzini is done, it will appear golden brown in color.

If you don't finish the entire pan of chicken tetrazzini in one sitting, Johnson says that leftovers will hold up in the fridge "for up to 3 days."

Traditional Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
This traditional chicken tetrazzini features linguine noodles, shredded chicken, an assortment of vegetables, and a creamy sauce to tie it all together.
Prep Time
Cook Time
crumb-topped chicken tetrazzini
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • 8 ounces linguine (or noodles of choice)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 teaspoon bouquet garni (dry herb blend)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ⅓ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, then drain and set aside.
  3. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in an ovenproof pan and fry the onions and mushrooms until softened.
  4. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant but not browned.
  5. Stir in the flour, then add the broth and half and half.
  6. Season the vegetables with the bouquet garni blend as well as the salt and pepper.
  7. Stir in the Parmesan.
  8. Cook the sauce for 5 minutes or until it thickens.
  9. Stir in the chicken, peas, and noodles.
  10. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and mix with the breadcrumbs.
  11. Sprinkle the buttered crumbs over the noodles.
  12. Bake the chicken tetrazzini for 45 minutes until golden brown.
  13. Serve warm.
Calories per Serving 576
Total Fat 28.2 g
Saturated Fat 14.4 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 90.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 49.8 g
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
Total Sugars 7.7 g
Sodium 791.2 mg
Protein 30.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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