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By: Chef Laura Bonicelli  Chicken Tetrazzini is an American dish. It’s unclear which chef, but a chef, created it in honor of Italian opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini when she debuted as Gilda in Rigoletto in San Francisco in 1905.  Buy your ingredients at your favorite Farmers Market! 

chicken tetrazzini casserole

About Chicken Tetrazzini

Even with its glamorous origins, Chicken Tetrazzini has many simplified recipes as it became an ordinary casserole in the 1950s. You’ll find turkey, shrimp, and even scallop tetrazzini recipes. A breadcrumb topping is standard, as is a cream base.

The Chicken

I cook the chicken first, shed it, and set it aside. If you have leftover chicken or turkey from a roast, here’s an excellent opportunity to use it. In my house, Chicken Tetrazzini is a frequent day-after-Thanksgiving dinner. I’d venture to say we enjoy the day after dinner just as much as the grand event!

The Mushrooms

Mushrooms are always in Chicken Tetrazzini. I cook them with onion, garlic, and fresh thyme. Adding and cooking off the wine gives the dish its signature richness.

The Bechamel

In my Chicken Tetrazzini, we are using a classic bechamel sauce made with milk and cream. I also sneak some chicken stock into the mix for extra flavor. The sauce starts with a roux made of butter and flour. Add the liquid in slowly to ensure the sauce is smooth. You’ll see it begin to thicken as you stir. The bechamel may seem thin when you mix it with the pasta, but don’t worry; the starch from the pasta will help thicken it when it bakes.


tetrazzini ingredients
tetrazzini with butter

When you finish all of the Chicken Tetrazzini elements, the chicken, the mushroom mixture, and sauce, it’s time to put it all together. I add some fresh parsley and thawed frozen peas. Finally, I top it with a mixture of bread crumbs and Asiago and dot the top with butter. Bake the Chicken Tetrazzini until golden brown and bubbly. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

I’ve highlighted a few other dishes that might complete your menu. I hope you love this recipe! If you do, please rate it below.

Buon Appetito!

Step by Step Instructions

chicken tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini

© Chef Laura Bonicelli
Chicken Tetrazzini is an American dish. It's unclear which chef, but a chef, created it in honor of Italian opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini when she debuted as Gilda in Rigoletto in San Francisco in 1905.
5 from 1 vote

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Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dinner, Main Dish - Pasta, Pizza, Sandwich, Rice, Main Dish - Poultry, MM-Blue
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 380 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon butter -- for pan


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound crimini mushrooms -- sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion -- finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic -- minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 3/4 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley


  • 1 cup grated Asiago
  • 1/4 cup dried Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter


  • Preheat oven to 450º F.
  • Spread one tablespoon of butter in a 9-inch X 13-inch baking dish. Melt one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of oil in a deep large frying pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot pan and cook until lightly browned and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool slightly. Coarsely shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Put the chicken in a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, add one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of oil to the same pan. Add the mushrooms and sautÈ over medium-high heat until the mushrooms' liquid evaporates and the mushrooms are lightly brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme; sautÈ until the onion is translucent, about 7-8 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl with the chicken.
  • Melt three tablespoons of butter in the same pan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, cream, stock, nutmeg, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Increase the heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, frequently whisking, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a handful of salt and the linguine. Cook until it is al dente, occasionally stirring, about 8 - 9 minutes. (Check the package for their timing recommendation.) Drain well. Add the linguine, peas, parsley, and sauce to the chicken mixture. Toss until the sauce coats the pasta and the mixture is incorporated.
  • Transfer the tetrazzini to the prepared baking dish. Stir the Asiago and breadcrumbs together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the tetrazzini--dot evenly with the three tablespoons of butter. Bake, uncovered, until golden and bubbly, about 25 - 30 minutes. Tent the top with foil if the top is getting too brown.

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Chef Laura Bonicelli


Calories: 380kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 20gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 662mgPotassium: 521mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 559IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 231mgIron: 1mg
Keyword bechamel, linguini, mushrooms, Pasta
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