When you need to get dinner for the whole family on the table quickly, make this no fuss One Pan Chicken Tetrazzini! An easy dinner that doesn’t lack on flavor.
In our house the most commonly asked question is, “What’s for dinner?” When I don’t know what to make I lean on my library of one pan dinners.
This this Chicken Tetrazzini recipe is a perfect one pan dinner because it is creamy and delicious, but also filling and satisfying with the protein from the chicken. You can even use leftover chicken, turkey or vegetables that you already have on hand to make this meal even simpler!
History of Chicken Tetrazzini
Chicken Tetrazzini is said to have been created in San Francisco in the early 1900s in honor of the Italian opera singer, Luisa Tetrazzini . This noodle and chicken casserole has changed over the years since its creation, but the basic idea remains the same: bake noodles with chicken, veggies, and a creamy cheese sauce.
It was originally made with thin spaghetti noodles and you can still make it that way, but I prefer to use smaller noodles that hold onto the sauce. Egg noodles are my favorite for this dish because they are very soft and delicate.
- Cooked egg noodles – You can also use any other noodle that you like for this recipe! Some of my favorites for this dish are fusilli, penne, shells, and bowtie pasta.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts – You can also use chicken tenderloins or chicken thighs, thighs are dark meat and will produce the most juicy chicken, but breast give tender chicken as well if cooked correctly- see our notes.
- Yellow onion, mushrooms, and green peas – I prefer to use frozen peas for this recipe because it is less work!
- Butter, flour, heavy cream and milk – Mix these together to make the base of the creamy cheese sauce. Many old school recipes cut corners by using cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup or sour cream, but we like to use the real stuff.
- Parmesan cheese – Shredded parmesan cheese for mixing into the cheese sauce and placing on top
- Bread crumbs – Sprinkle these on top of the one pan chicken tetrazzini prior to baking
Pro Tip: Use leftovers like sliced turkey or rotisserie chicken!
Chicken tetrazzini is a great recipe for using up leftovers (or just trying to hide veggies from your family)!! You can use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or pieces of chicken from either baked chicken breast or a rotisserie chicken.
You can even replace the sauteed vegetables with leftover cooked veggies that you might have in your fridge.
How to Make One Pan Chicken Tetrazzini
The steps are pretty simple, but let’s walk through them step by step! If you don’t have cooked pasta, do that before getting started. Make sure it is al dente according to package directions, if it is cooked too much in advance, it will cook even more when baked with the creamy sauce and get mushy.
You’ll need a fairly large skillet or cast iron pan- make sure it is oven safe before you get started! If not, make it in a large pot and then transfer to a casserole dish before baking.
- Sear Chicken Breasts. Searing the chicken ensures that it will stay moist. So first season the chicken breast on all sides with the the salt, pepper and garlic powder. then in a cast iron skillet or something similar (and oven safe) heat the olive oil and then cook the chicken breasts for 4-5 minutes on each side.
- Sauté Veggies. Now onto the veggies! In the same pan, add more oil and sauté the onions first as they take a little longer. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until they are soft and fragrant. Next add in the mushrooms and cook those for another 3 minutes. And finally add the frozen peas and cook for another 2 minutes. If at any time you need more oil, feel free to add it to the pan.
- Shred the Chicken. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set to them to the side. Turn off the heat on the stove and shred the cooked chicken breast into bite sized pieces with two forks.
- Prepare the Chicken Tetrazzini Cheese Sauce. Next comes the good stuff- the sauce! Heat the same pan you’ve been using over low heat and place the butter in the pan. Once melted and starting to bubble, mix in the flour with the butter until it forms a paste. Slowly pour in the heavy cream as you stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. Then pour in 1 cup of the parmesan cheese and stir until just melted.
- Mix Together and Bake. Combine the cooked egg noodles, shredded chicken, and sautéed vegetables into a prepared baking dish with the cheese sauce and toss to coat everything well. Top with the remainder of shredded parmesan cheese and the bread crumbs who doesn’t love crunchies?
All that’s left to do is bake, serve and enjoy!
You know I am all about customizations! Here are some great ideas to make your easy pasta dish special:
- Add drained sundried tomatoes to the peas and mushrooms (I’m totally doing this next time!)
- Saute breadcrumbs in melted butter with garlic before topping.
- Add a splash of white wine to the cheese sauce- a dry one works best.
- Swap out 1/2 cup of the milk for chicken stock to lighten it up a tad.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder with the garlic powder.
- Swap out parmesan for mozzarella cheese.
- Add 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning to the cheese sauce.
- Swap chicken for turkey, hello turkey tetrazzini!
What to Serve it With
The beauty of chicken tetrazzini is that is a one-dish meal, but you feel compelled to pair it with something, garlic bread is a good choice. Green beans seem to be a classic pairing, as is a nice leafy, green salad.
Storage, Reheating & Freezing
You can store the leftovers in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to four days. For best results, reheat this chicken tetrazzini in an oven safe container in the oven over low heat until it is warmed through.
Chicken tetrazzini is a freezer friendly casserole recipe, so why not make two when you are at it? Simply cover with foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, place in the oven at 350°F while still frozen and covered, bake for 45 minutes then remove foil and continue to cook for other 15-20 minutes or until the center has reached an internal temperature of 165°F.
More classic pasta dishes:
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Easy Chicken Tetrazzini
- 12 ounces broad egg noodles , cooked al dente
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt , divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 1/2 yellow onion , chopped
- 2 cups baby bella mushrooms , sliced
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups milk , whole or 2% preferred
- 2 cups parmesan cheese , shredded and divided
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Combine 1 teaspoon of the salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Season chicken breast on all sides with the seasoning mixture. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large oven safe skillet over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is warm, place the chicken in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, cooking until the chicken is just cooked through (165°F). Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to cool. When cooled, shred the chicken using 2 forks.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan if needed. Saute the onion in the pan and toss it frequently until soft and fragrant, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Finally, add the frozen peas along with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and saute for another 2 minutes. Vegetables should be soft. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.
- Reduce heat to low and add the butter to the pan. When the butter is fully melted and starts to bubble, add the flour and mix into a paste. Slowly pour in the heavy cream as you stir the mixture with a wooden spoon.
- Keep stirring as you pour in the milk in small increments. You should be left with a smooth creamy mixture. Pour in 1 cup of the parmesan cheese and stir until just melted.
- Add the cooked egg noodles, shredded chicken and sautéed vegetables into the pan with the cheese sauce and toss to combine. Top the mixture with another cup of shredded parmesan cheese and the bread crumbs.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 375°F. Top with fresh parsley and serve warm.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!