Not all delicious recipes are named after an opera singer… And not all delicious recipes are as cheesy, creamy, and ooey-gooey as chicken tetrazzini!
As the story goes, chicken tetrazzini was named after the Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini after winning over the hearts of a San Francisco audience and inspired chef. So even if the family loved recipe seems like an Italian dish, it is actually an American classic.
Chicken tetrazzini made its way onto dining menus with flexible ingredients from one restaurant the next. Deep into its roots, the dish often includes pasta, a cream sauce, white wine, vegetables, and some form of non-red meat that usually lends the first part of its name.
While most traditional chicken tetrazzini recipes use tablespoons of butter and heavy pours of heavy cream, our recipe scales back on the fat while including more nutrient-dense ingredients.
(We’re looking at you whole wheat noodles packed with fiber and olive oil rich in healthy fat!)
So without further ado, a healthy-ish chicken tetrazzini that is sure to have your taste buds singing!
Cheesy Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe
Yield: 8 servings
Nutrition per serving: 350 calories, 10 g fat, 25 g protein, 40 g total carb, 4 g fiber
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes
• 8 ounces whole wheat linguini noodles
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 lb chicken breast, boneless and skinless
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp black pepper
• 8 ounces white mushrooms
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 5 garlic cloves, minced
• 3/4 cup white wine
• 1 Tbsp butter, unsalted
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 4 cups reduced-fat milk
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 1 Tbsp nutmeg
• 1 Tbsp thyme
• 1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
• 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly coat a large baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl once cooked.
3. As the pasta noodles are cooking, lightly season each chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add olive oil once hot. Add the chicken breast to the skillet and cook until brown on each side, about 3 to 5 minutes, until each reaches an internal temp of 160°F. Remove from heat, rest for 5 minutes, cut into bite-sized pieces, and add to the large bowl with the pasta noodles.
4. In the same pan used for the chicken, add and sauté mushrooms over medium-high heat until the liquid evaporates, about 12 minutes. Add the onion and sauté for another 5 minutes, or until translucent, then add the minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates, about 2 minutes, then transfer the mushroom mixture to the large bowl with the noodles and cooked chicken.
5. Still using the same pan, melt butter over medium then slowly whisk in the flour to make a roux. Gently whisk in the milk, broth, nutmeg, and thyme. Increase the heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes.
6. Add sauce to the large bowl with the pasta, chicken, and mushroom mixture. Gently toss to combine until noodles are coated then transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish.
7. Stir the cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl until combined then sprinkle the mixture after the pasta. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown on top and the sauce bubbles, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Prep, Serving & Storage Tips
Want to enjoy a vegetarian-friendly tetrazzini recipe or have a delicious dinner ready to bake in a jiff? Wondering what to serve alongside the dish?
Look no further than these prep, serving, and storage tips!
Prepare a vegetarian-friendly tetrazzini.
Completely nix the chicken and animal proteins to create a vegetarian tetrazzini recipe. Plant-based protein and veggies that complement the dish well include:
• Bell pepper
If desiring an entirely plant-based and vegan option, use these quick swaps and tips:
• Swap the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
• Instead of using butter and milk, prep cashew cream and flavor with the listed seasonings.
• Add nutritional yeast for a mildly cheesy flavor (and mega nutrients!) without the actual need for cheese.
Balance the meal with favorite veggies.
While the recipe can be bulked with vegetables, it also pairs deliciously others. These favorite veggies balance out the meal and ensure daily nutrient intake:
• Roasted broccoli that is roasted to perfection and takes a quick 30 minutes!
• Italian roasted cauliflower, perfectly seasoned with onion, balsamic vinegar, and garlic.
• Side salad with fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
• Italian flat beans prepared in 15 minutes and packed with flavor!
Refrigerate or freeze for later enjoyment.
While leftovers might be scarce with such a delicious recipe, they are great to have! So if lucky enough to have any leftovers, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
The chicken tetrazzini can also be frozen for later use as, so double the recipe for a double batch. Instead of baking initially, add the prepped recipe to an aluminum foil pan so a commonly used dish is not held up. Cover with foil tightly and freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to enjoy, bake in 375°F oven for about 90 minutes, covered. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and golden in color.