American Chicken Main Course Pasta Precooked Ingredients Recipes

Chicken Tetrazzini

This delicious casserole is made with pre-cooked chicken, pasta and vegetables. It’s baked with cheese and a mushroom cream sauce and topped with more cheese. | Share

Updated 12/28/2023

Don’t let the name fool you, Tetrazzini not really a traditional Italian dish. It was actually conceived by an American chef in honour of a famous Italian prima donna of the early 1900s.

The celebrity behind the dish
Opera singer, Luisa Tetrazzini 1871-1940. Photo: Public Domain

At the height of her career as a sellout draw at opera houses wherever she performed, soprano Luisa Tetrazzini found herself in legal difficulties and blocked from performing under terms of a contract in New York. She declared,

“I will sing in San Francisco if I have to sing there in the streets, for I know the streets of San Francisco are free.” 

Luisa Tetrazzini

And, so it was, on Christmas Eve 1910, Tetrazzini serenaded an estimated three-hundred thousand San Franciscans on Market Street under clear skies. The performance was legendary, and her fame helped bring notoriety to this dish.

An inspiration to top chefs

Chef Ernest Arterrbogast is often considered to be the first to introduce this dish at San Francisco’s prestigious Palace Hotel where the opera star was a long-term resident. Naming it Tetrazzini for the beloved coloratura soprano was both a fitting tribute and good marketing.

However, this dish’s origins are up for debate. That’s because, it was a common practice of chef’s, in the day, to use celebrity caché when naming the dishes they created. Some sources claim that this dish is based on Turkey Tetrazzini that appeared on menus at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City. Others attribute the renowned French chef and restauranteur Auguste Escoffier as being the inventor of the dish.

Regardless of which venue first put this dish on their menu, it appears that Miss Tetrazzini knew good food and inspired the best chefs of her day.

Learn more: Tetrazzini: the diva who inspired top chefs


Chicken Tetrazzini

Kevin Lamoureux
This hearty casserole of diced chicken, pasta and vegetables is baked in a mushroom cream cheese sauce and topped with cheese.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 724 kcal


  • 8 oz uncooked pasta (spaghetti, linguini or penne)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • ½ red pepper diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushroom
  • 3 cups cooked chicken breast cut into bite sized cubes
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup dry sherry, or Marsala white
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley


  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Spray a 13×9 inch (3 quart) glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bring water to a boil in a large pot and add the pasta, broccoli. Add the peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Cook until pasta is tender (according to package instructions), drain in a colander.
  • Meanwhile, sauté the onions, red pepper in butter until tender. Stir in the mushroom and cook for about a minute.
  • Stir in the condensed soup and gradually stir in the milk.
  • Add the pasta, chicken, seasonings, soup mixture, wine, parmesan cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese to the baking dish and stir well.
  • Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Allow to stand for about 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley and extra parmesan cheese


Garnish with fresh parsley and a wedge of lemon.
Per serving
Calories: 724kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Iron: 3mg
Keyword casserole, chicken, leftover, tetrazzini

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