For you next dinner party, wow your friends with this simple yet elegant dish: Chicken Tetrazzini. This is an American-based dish with Italian flair that is chock full of noodles, a creamy sauce and plenty of chicken and vegetables. This dish pairs well with a side salad and a refreshing glass of white wine or chardonnay. This dish may seem sophisticated, but in truth, it is so easy to make and won’t take you much time at all.
The ingredients within this dish are so simple that you may even have them on hand in your refrigerator and pantry. This is a hearty dish that will satisfy even your hungriest guests and it is also ideal to serve to picky eaters like children. With so much to love, all you have to do now is try this great recipe out for yourself.
Lighter Italian Fare
You may think of incredibly heavy sauce- and cheese-laden dishes when you think of Italian food, but realistically, the cuisine from the Mediterranean and surround areas are light, with a light sauce and plenty of fresh vegetables. This Chicken Tetrazzini dish, while a bit on the less complex side, offers plenty of flavor without too many calories and hassle. This dish strays away from the customary tomato or marinara sauce with pasta and lets the chicken and delicate vegetables be the star of the show.
While more common Italian dishes such as lasagna or spaghetti use a thick or heavy tomato-based sauce, this pasta casserole uses a can of cream of chicken soup as the base. To brighten this dish even more, add a squeeze of lemon to the sauce to bring in some citrusy notes that will both tantalize the tongue and make the dish more vibrant.
What to Pair this Dish With
This Chicken Tetrazzini dish would pair well with a delicious garden salad, some fresh breadsticks or French bread, and some white wine. You can stick with this light Italian and Mediterranean theme by adding a platter of fresh grilled vegetables or by accompanying this dish with a light gazpacho or tomato soup to start with. This dish is incredibly versatile, so you can really pair it with a lot of different things. If you prefer a Caesar salad, for example, you can easily use that kind of salad instead of a garden salad.
With any pasta dish, casseroles included, it’s always best to serve with a crusty bread to help sop up the sauce. While this dish may taste sophisticated, feel free to use your bread as a scooper when it comes to this delicious sauce. Table manners not needed when it comes to a dish this delicious. French bread or even bread sticks will work nicely with this pasta dish as there will be so much sauce to use for dipping.
Ingredients you’ll need for Chicken Tetrazzini:
- 8 oz spaghetti noodles
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup onion, chopped
- ¼ cup green bell pepper, chopped
- ½ cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tablespoon pimientos
- ¼ cup black olives, chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cups cooked chicken, shredded
- ½ cup milk
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
How to make the Chicken Tetrazzini:
Step 1: Preheat
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure to wait until your oven is fully heated before using it for this dish. If you don’t, it can cause your food to cook unevenly.
Step 2: Sauté
Sauté the onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, pimientos, and black olives in the butter until the onion is translucent and the vegetables begin to get fragrant. This step will take no more than 5 to 6 minutes in total, but make sure to watch it and cook to your pretense.
Step 3: cook pasta
Cook the noodles in the chicken broth according to package instructions and drain. A good al dente pasta only takes about 7 minutes, but if you prefer more tender pasta, a good 10 minutes should be the perfect amount of time.
Step 4: mix together
In a large bowl, stir together the noodles, sautéed vegetables, chicken, milk, soup, garlic powder, salt & pepper and ½ of the grated cheese until well combined – this mixture should be quite moist. Make sure to mix well as to be sure that all ingredients are incorporated well.
Step 5: bake
Pour into a casserole dish and bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbly. After about 30 minutes of cooking, keep an eye on your casserole. If you prefer a more toasty or bubbly top, keep it in for 10 minutes more. If you like it even more toasty, then about 5 more minutes should do the trick, but this is also up to your personal preference.
Step 6: enjoy
Top with remaining cheese and return to oven just until cheese is melted. Serve immediately and enjoy!
See how easy this dish is to prepare? No wonder it’s a weeknight staple for so many families. And, on top of this benefit, this dish is so fast yet so elegant, so you can either use it for your family during the week or make it on a weekend at a dinner party. The possibilities with this dish are truly endless.
What’s even better about this Chicken Tetrazzini recipe is that you can easily and effortlessly put in your own substitutions. If you don’t like green pepper, for example, use red or even yellow to brighten up this dish even more. Or, add some extra veggies such as spinach and artichoke hearts to really bring in those bold flavors of the Mediterranean. If you have picky eaters at home who don’t like certain things within this dish, feel free to omit them and add in plenty of the things that they do like. It’s an easily accommodating dish that can take most of the add-ins you’d want to try.
Best yet, this dish doesn’t have to be made with chicken. Because the sauce is so light and flavourful, you can easily substitute the chicken for turkey, sausage or even seafood. A flakey white fish such as cod or even shrimp or scallops would transform this dish into a delectable seafood bake. It’s entirely up to your pretense and your taste profile.
While this dish can be a bit heavy with carbs and calories, there are easy ways to make this dish a bit lighter. For example, instead of butter, try a lighter oil such as olive or canola. You can also substitute the cream of chicken soup for fat free or reduced calorie cream of chicken soup and you can do the same with the shredded cheese. There are plenty of low fat or non-fat shredded cheeses out there in today’s markets, so you are sure to find substitutions that will make you feel better when it comes to caloric intake. Also, you can’t go wrong with the fresh veggies, so make sure to incorporate plenty of these as you prepare this dish.
Do you have to use spaghetti noodles?
Nope! You can virtually use any kind of pasta that you prefer, including farfalle, linguini, spirals, or even zucchini or sweet potato noodles. This aspect of the dish is entirely up to you and you can easily format this dish to meet your tastes.
What could I garnish this dish with?
This dish would be beautifully garnished with some fresh diced parsley, some red chili flakes or even a slice of lemon. The lemon will definitely help brighten up the dish, and the red chili flakes could make a welcome accompaniment to that person that loves all things spicy.
How long will this dish last in the refrigerator?
You can easily store this dish in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. If you’d like to freeze the leftovers and eat them later, you can divide the remaining pasta into freezer safe containers and freeze until you are ready to heat it up again.