Simply Homemade: Chicken Tetrazzini

Did this recipe title snag your attention and make you think back to the good ol’ days when this used to be a household staple meal? As I flipped through ideas of meal plans for my household this week (AKA opened my overflowing binder of printed out family recipes), I came across this gem. My first thought was that I’m absolutely making this for the upcoming week. And my second thought was wondering why no one makes this anymore?

Seriously, why don’t you ever hear people saying they made a dish like this for dinner just the other night? Is it because casserole type dishes aren’t “in style” anymore? Is it because this original version of the recipe calls for (wait for the shudder) cream of chicken soup? Or, is it more basic than all those and simply a matter of people not taking the effort to make homemade meals thinking that they can’t or it will be too hard? Whatever the reason, I’m here to dispel it and remind you all how comforting this dish is and that you can (and really should) make this!

For anyone of you reading this and internally saying that casseroles were sooooo 2003, let me remind you that casserole was really just a catchy phrase years ago and it really only means easily thrown together meal if you ask me! If you simply cannot be caught saying you made this chicken casserole why don’t you jazz it up and say you made this simple twist on an old fashioned Italian dish named after an opera singer called Tetrazzini. Sounds way fancier, right? Look at you, you trendsetter you!

Speaking of trendsetting, it’s almost becoming a social faux pas to use cream of anything soup or canned goods. In this all-organic time, people are leery of anything processed. I totally get this and would love to say I always have time to make my homemade substitute for cream soups but I’d be lying. If you have the time and want to put just a little extra effort into this recipe you can absolutely sub out the offending ingredient(s). Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and homemade chicken broth or cream of chicken soup work great! No excuses for not making this dish allowed. Just because it didn’t start out as a health conscious recipe doesn’t mean you can’t add healthy tweaks to your version of it!

Since we are talking about excuses now, what’s your excuse for not putting a homemade meal like this on your table? Too expensive? I think not; use leftover chicken from another meal or purchase chicken breasts in bulk for a lower cost per pound. The rest is crazy cost effective! Too difficult for your novice cooking skills? You did see that the only cutting is of the cooked chicken and then you dump that in with everything else after boiling noodles in water, right? Still too hard? Buy already cooked chicken and you seriously cook the noddles, dump, stir, and bake! No time? Make it ahead and save the baking time for a night when you have an extra hour (tops) before eating!

Now that I’ve crushed all your excuses and you’re considering the fact that this sounds like a truly simple recipe, let me tell you how great it is! This is a super kid friendly dish because the base is spaghetti noodles and the protein is chicken – picky eaters, have no fear! Sub out the chicken for turkey or make it sans protein (just be sure to cut down on the chicken broth amount so it’s not soupy). Someone snubbing the spaghetti? Swap it out for a different noodle, there are no real rules here folks! Love the end result but want it geared more towards adults? Add red pepper flakes, a little pesto, or some prosciutto and, voila, dinner party ready! Since this is a pasta dish it feeds far more than expected and reheats wonderfully too. Did I mention you can throw it together ahead of time? Automatic win for a weeknight meal!

Get your salads and garlic bread and wine ready folks…chicken tetrazzini (NOT casserole) is coming to your table soon!

Bon appetit!

Chicken Tetrazzini

  • Servings: Approximately 10-12
  • Print

Comfort food at its simplest and most satisfying!


-16 ounces spaghetti noodles (highly recommend the Pot Perfect version)

-1 can (10.5 ounces) cream of chicken soup

-1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth

-1 cup sour cream

-1 teaspoon garlic powder

-1 teaspoon salt

-1/2 teaspoon pepper

-1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

-3-4 cups cooked chicken, cubed

-2 cups shredded Italian cheese, divided

-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray and set aside a 9×13″ pan.

2) Bring a medium pot filled halfway with salted water to a boil then cook spaghetti noodles approx 10 minutes until al dente. Strain noodles well.

3) Cook chicken or use already cooked chicken such as rotisserie style and cut into cubes.

4) Put cubed chicken in large mixing bowl with remaining ingredients except noodles (reserving half the shredded Italian cheese for topping later) and mix together.

5) When noodles are cooked al dente and strained, add them to the large mixing bowl and combine well with everything.

6) Pour contents of large bowl into the sprayed pan and top with remaining shredded cheese then cover with aluminum foil.

7) Place pan in preheated oven and bake for half hour then remove foil covering and bake an attritional 10minutes or until cheese on top is melted.

Gotta love a dump it and stir it kind of recipe!

How does spaghetti always seem to multiply? Have no fear, this is the correct amount for the recipe, I promise!

This is screaming, “Top me with cheese and toss me in the oven already!”

Pot perfect size spaghetti noodles=genius! Long enough to be fun for the kids but short enough to make this an acceptable adult meal without it turning into Lady & The Tramp with the never-ending noodle!

De-to-the-licious bowl of comfort!


  1. Jo Prusha says:

    Yes!!! A favorite my mom and dad had for us kids! Turkey tetrazzini! They also added mushrooms and red pimentos! I like yours more kid friendly!


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