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My friend reintroduced me to Tetrazzini last summer when she and her family brought dinner over one night.  We sat out on the deck and enjoyed a huge salad, a heap of gooey Tetrazzini, and crusty bread.  (Wow, there’s so much to love about that sentence.)

I, of course, asked her for her recipe and have made it a few times since.  I decided her recipe (she got it from Taste of Home) was so good it was worth making a few tweaks to make it my own (most importantly, no canned soup).  This casserole can be made ahead and popped in the oven as needed.  It is comfort food, so it makes a great dish to drop by a new neighbor or new mom’s house.  My daughter even said “yum!” which, trust me, is a feat (especially for casseroles).

Oh, and I almost forgot the best part – it’s another great recipe to add to a week when you cook a whole chicken in the crock pot.  Chicken and veggies one night, Emily’s enchiladas one night and presto, the rest of the chicken for Tetrazzini one night.  Variety and thriftiness.  You’re welcome.  And did I mention, this is also a great way to use up that leftover Thanksgiving turkey?

Let’s get started.

Leftover Chicken Tetrazzini
Cuisine: American
Author: Good Not Perfect Kitchens
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
A better-for-you recipe for chicken tetrazzini that uses leftover turkey or chicken and no canned soup. It’s classic comfort food with lots of gooey cheese, and (whole wheat) pasta.
  • 1 package spaghetti, broken in half
  • 2 cups leftover chicken or turkey
  • 1 cup celery (about 2 stalks), finely diced
  • 1 small onion
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 2 TB shredded parmesan reggiano
  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and place in a greased 11×7 baking dish. Top with the meat; set aside.
  2. Combine poultry seasoning, mustard, pepper, salt; set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the celery and onion in butter until tender.
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to coat the vegetables, and let the flour cook (careful not to burn), for ~2 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the vegetables, then slowly add milk while continuing to whisk.
  6. Gently bring milk to a bubble while stirring frequently. Allow the milk to thicken a bit, about 3 minutes, until it is the consistency of a thick gravy. Then, stir in the shredded cheddar cheese a handful at a time.
  7. When the cheese is melted, pour the mixture over the turkey and pasta in the casserole dish. Carefully fold mixture into pasta to coat.
  8. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and parmesan.
  9. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until heated.
Variation: Instead of celery use 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms.



Congratulations.  You no longer need “Cream of Anything” Soup!  One more thing to cross off the grocery list and lighten up those pantry shelves.

Today, I did my assembly in the morning, when my house is less crazy, and stuck it in the fridge for later.


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Bon appétit,

Laura Sig


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