Healthy Chicken Tetrazzini is a lightened-up version of your favorite comfort food. Bursting with tender chicken, crunchy celery, and savory mushrooms, this dish is flavorful, wholesome, and comes together in under an hour!
Who else has been craving comfort food lately? From this Air Fryer Chicken Parmigiana Recipe to these 36 Leftover Meatloaf Recipes, I have slowly but surely been recreating all the recipes I once loved as a kid.
Therefore, it was only a matter of time until I concocted this Healthy Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe.
This healthy pasta dish has all the wonderful flavors you know and love, yet none of the guilt.
Made with fresh veggies, tender chicken, and whole wheat pasta, this is an easy, flavor-packed dinner that you can feel good about. Let’s dive right in!
Ingredients You’ll Need
To make this healthy pasta dish, you will need the following key ingredients:
- Chicken. This recipe works best with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I prefer to cook my chicken (though you can use pre-cooked or frozen options).
- Butter. Essential for any thick and creamy sauce. Feel free to opt for low-fat butter if you’d like. (For an ultra-wholesome version, swap butter for canola oil.)
- Sherry. Sherry is a classic ingredient in Chicken Tetrazzini, and its subtle nuttiness makes this dish drool-worthy. Pro tip: purchase your sherry from the liquor store – you’re looking for high-quality, dry sherry.
- Mushrooms. For optimal results, I recommend using portabella or cremini mushrooms. However, any of your favorite shrooms should do the trick.
- Celery. A handful of chopped celery gives this Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe a fabulous crunch.
- Onions and garlic. They are ideal for enhancing the flavor of this casserole dish.
- Flour. I use all-purpose flour to thicken the cream sauce. Feel free to swap gluten-free or almond floor if that’s what is available.
- Chicken stock or broth. Because this is a Healthy Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe, I like to use the low-sodium version.
- Milk. 2% milk has always been my go-to. However, feel free to use whatever kind of milk you have on hand.
- Pasta. In my opinion, Chicken Tetrazzini tastes best with wide, long-stranded noodles. For this recipe, I went with whole-wheat spaghetti. However, feel free to switch things up and use your favorite!
- Cheese. Traditionally, Chicken Tetrazzini is made with sharp cheddar. I opted for a low-fat version to keep this dish on the lighter side.
- Spices and herbs. This dish requires salt, pepper, and parsley for garnishing.
How to Make Chicken Tetrazzini
Rest assured, busy moms and college students, this Healthy Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe comes together in just a few simple steps:
Step 1: Cook the chicken. Season the chicken with plenty of salt and pepper, then add some butter to a skillet. Once the butter has melted, add the chicken. Then, cook it through (about 2-3 minutes per side).
Step 2: Cook the veggies. Remove the chicken from the skillet and add the mushrooms. Once they have browned, add the garlic, onion, chopped celery, and green onion. Sprinkle a bit more salt and pepper, then cook until softened (about 2-3 minutes).
Step 3: Make the sauce. Whisk the dry sherry and flour into the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Then, slowly whisk in the milk and chicken stock. Bring the entire thing to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. (Note: the sauce thickens faster if the milk and chicken stock are hot when added.)
Step 4: Cook the pasta. While waiting for the sauce to thicken, cook the pasta. Make sure you cook it less than al dente since it will continue to cook in the oven.
Step 5: Assemble your casserole. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it. Then, transfer the sauce, chicken, and pasta to a baking dish. Add about half of the cheese, then use tongs to toss everything together. Of course, season with salt and pepper.
Step 6: Bake. Cover the casserole with the remainder of the cheese, then bake at 350°F until it’s hot and bubbly. After about 15-20 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and garnish with parsley. Let it sit 2-3 minutes before serving.
Ready to bring your Chicken Tetrazzini dreams to life? Here are my top tips and tricks:
- Heat your broth and milk. The sauce will thicken faster if you preheat your milk and chicken stock before adding them to the veggies.
- Use the same pan. To soak up all the scrumptious flavor, I recommend cooking your veggies in the same skillet that you used to cook your chicken.
- Brown your mushrooms first. While you might be tempted to cook all your veggies at once, resist the urge. Cooking the onions and garlic first releases the moisture in the mushrooms, causing them to steam instead of brown.
- Cook the pasta just under al dente. As mentioned, the pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so you don’t need to cook beyond al dente (aim for a bit before).
Chicken Tetrazzini Variations
Looking to jazz this dish up and make it your own? Lucky for you, these variations make it easy:
- Go vegetarian. Meatless Monday, anyone? You can easily make this dish vegetarian by swapping your chicken for cooked tofu. Looking to go vegan? Just swap butter for vegetable oil, opt for nut milk, use vegetable broth, and substitute dairy-free cheese. Easy-peasy!
- Switch up your veggies. Not a huge fan of celery? No problem. You can exchange celery for sweet peas, green pepper, or broccoli in a pinch.
- Use different cheese. While sharp cheddar is classic for this dish, mozzarella, parmesan, or cantal cheese would all make great alternatives. Can’t decide? Use a combination of all three.
- Swap egg noodles. Feel free to use whole wheat egg noodles, linguini, or fettuccine if that’s what you have available.
Can You Make Chicken Tetrazzini Ahead of Time?
Yes! To prepare this Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe in advance, simply follow instructions #1-5. (Just make sure your pasta is extra undercooked.) Then, instead of popping the casserole into the oven, cover it with foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to bake, follow instruction #6.
In case you were wondering, leftover Chicken Tetrazzini is unbelievably scrumptious. Seal up your leftovers in an airtight storage container or bag, then refrigerate for up to 3-5 days.
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.