Chicken Tetrazzini is a comfort food for sure. Perfectly cooked spaghetti noodles, a creamy mushroom sauce, Rotel tomatoes, and tons of cheese all baked together with lots of seasonings. It’s a great dish to make when you want to have leftovers (and avoid doing dishes for awhile.) Let’s get into the recipe!
If you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner or a unique Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving dish to bring, look no further than my tasty Chicken Tetrazzini!
Chicken Tetrazzini (and we do not call it Chicken Spaghetti here, that’s something completely different!) is a creamy, cheesy pasta bake. The main stars are juicy shredded chicken thighs, sautéed mushrooms, and spicy Rotel tomatoes. Spaghetti noodles get doused in a homemade cream sauce, and everything is baked in the oven for about 20 minutes. This dish is simply divine!
- Chicken Thighs -We use boneless, skinless chicken thighs as our main protein. These are super juicy and can withstand essentially being cooked twice (once on the stovetop, then finished baking in the oven.) The juices from the chicken thighs also help us make our cream sauce!
- White Mushrooms – Sliced white mushrooms are the base of our homemade cream of mushroom sauce. Be sure to clean your mushrooms before cooking.
- Rotel Tomatoes – Rotel tomatoes are an essential part of this dish. Get the spicy kind if you can; they have so much flavor!
- Cheddar Cheese – You can’t have chicken tetrazzini without some cheddar cheese! I used mild cheddar and shredded it from the block; that way it melts more evenly than the bagged stuff.
- Milk & Heavy Cream – No canned cream of mushroom needed; The combination of all purpose flour, milk, heavy cream, mushrooms, and our seasoning blend creates a beautiful homemade cream sauce that tastes SO much better than the canned kind!
Tips to Make an Easy Chicken Tetrazzini
A few keys to success here:
- You can shortcut the recipe by using shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken, etc. But this is one of the few times I say to take the longer route! My recipe cooks the mushrooms and creates the sauce in the same pot as the chicken; so you use the tasty bits from the meat to get a much better depth of flavor.
- Also, the reason that we cook the noodles first is to allow them to cool down before adding the sauce. When noodles are hot, they swell in the oven and absorb everything that touches them (aka our cream sauce!) By using cooled noodles, we avoid a dry pasta bake – and no one likes that.
- Don’t be afraid of the “hot” Rotel tomatoes – your mouth won’t be on fire, I promise! I also wrote the recipe so you can taste your sauce and adjust the seasonings before adding in the chicken (since we slightly undercooked the chicken before it finishes in the oven.)
This recipe makes for plenty of leftovers, but I’m sure you’ll have people going back for seconds (my boyfriend actually went back for a 3rd plate, no joke!) Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever had Chicken Tetrazzini, and if so, what do you call it in your neck of the woods?
More Tasty Pasta Dishes You’ll Love!
- 16 oz. spaghetti noodles
- 3 ct. chicken thighs skinless and boneless
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb. white mushrooms sliced
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp chicken bouillon
- 1 tsp ground oregano
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 can Rotel tomatoes (hot) drained
- 1 cup shredded cheese Colby Jack or cheddar, plus more for topping
- Cook the package of spaghetti noodles in salted boiling water for about 6 minutes. You want them slightly underdone since they will continue to cook in the oven.
- Drain the pasta and rinse with cool water. Drain again, and set noodles aside to cool.
- In a large pot or dutch oven, add the chicken thighs. Season with 1 tsp. of the salt and 1 tsp. of black pepper.
- Cook for about 15 minutes, flipping once. Rest for 5 minutes, then chop or shred into small pieces. The chicken will be slightly underdone and will finish cooking in the oven.
- In the same pot, add your mushrooms to the juice created from the chicken thighs; sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and minced garlic and stir until the veggies are covered.
- Pour in milk, heavy cream, remaining salt, chicken bouillon, oregano, onion powder, and drained Rotel tomatoes. Let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes, until it begins to thicken. You should be able to lift your spoon and draw a line in the sauce that fills back up.
- Preheat your oven to 325°F.
- Stir in the shredded cheese and let cook for another few minutes until fully incorporated. Taste the sauce, and add any additional seasonings to your preference.
- Once everything tastes good, stir in the shredded chicken.
- Pour in the cooled noodles into a 9×13 baking dish and cover with the chicken/cream sauce. Mix until everything is evenly distributed. Top with extra shredded cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!
The Coined Breakdown
- Total Cost per serving: $1.22
- Total Cost (8 servings): $9.78
- Those Other Guys: $14.99 per serving