Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini for a Crowd

This crowd favorite chicken tetrazzini makes a double portion of this Southern comfort dish that is easy, make ahead and freezer friendly.

chicken tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini is the Ultimate Southern Comfort Dish

Chicken tetrazzini is a casserole with cooked spaghetti pasta, white meat chicken, buttery mushrooms, and cheddar & parmesan cheeses baked into the ultimate Southern comfort food. If you grew up in the South, you’ve surely had a version of this dish. Some folks refer to it as chicken spaghetti.

chicken tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini Can Be Made With Canned Soup or Without

There are two versions of chicken tetrazzini in my recipe collection. This version, Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini, uses canned soup to make the sauce. My friend Sally’s Gourmet Chicken Tetrazzini has a homemade sauce (béchamel) that takes it truly over the top. I love this easy version (as does everyone who tries it), but when I want to go all out, I make the gourmet version.

Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini Makes 2 Casseroles

This recipe is perfect because it makes 2 standard size casseroles, making it easy to make one~freeze one. To prepare ahead for a party, I sometimes make this recipe and freeze both casseroles. I also love having a tetrazzini in the freezer to take to someone who might need a meal.  This is a perfect “new mommy” dish.

Helpful Tools for Making Chicken Tetrazzini

  • Large Mixing Bowl.  My fave is this stainless mixing bowl. It comes in several sizes; I prefer the 13″ because I like plenty of room toss ingredients. Note: In the video, you’ll see me using a glass bowl; this was used strictly so  that viewers could see the ingredients. It is not what I use when making this at home.
  • Adhesive Labels- Labeling freezer food is so important. I love these dissolvable labels that easily remove from nice bakeware and leave no residue. 
  • Freezer to Oven to Table Bake Ware. This Emilie Henry baking dish is a French bakeware that holds up and looks classic.  This larger Le Creuset is another favorite that will do the job beautifully as well.

How to Freeze Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini

If you want to cook this ahead and freeze for later, there are a few things that you’ll want to have on hand so that the tetrazzini will be properly wrapped and not get freezer burn. I almost always make tetrazzini several weeks before I plan to serve it, and it has never tasted one bit like it has been previously frozen.

  • Cling Wrap I lay this wrap directly on top of the assembled (but not cooked) tetrazzini and tuck lightly into the corners of the pan. This is a good first layer to prevent ice from forming on the top.
  • Aluminum Foil- After pressing Cling Wrap onto the surface of the tetrazzini, I then seal the top of the casserole pan tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil.
  • Ziploc Large and X-Large storage bags- These are optional, but I like using them to ensure no freezer burn, especially if I plan to freeze these for a few months.  After sealing the pans with cling wrap and foil, I slide each of them into an extra large freezer bag.

How to Cook Chicken Tetrazzini from Frozen

  • Best results come from thawing frozen tetrazzini in the fridge a day or two before cooking. 
  • Remove cling wrap from tetrazzini; replace aluminum foil lightly on top of casserole(s).
  • Bake covered at 300 degrees until heated through, roughly a couple of hours.
  • The last half hour, remove foil and cook until tetrazzini is golden and bubbling at edges.
  • Allow tetrazzini to rest for at least half an hour to firm up to the best consistency.
  • If tetrazzini is frozen or partially frozen, allow longer cooking time.

What to serve alongside Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini

I love to serve this tetrazzini with Baby Blue Salad or Mississippi Green Beans and your favorite yeast rolls. Finally, you can round off the meal with a sure hit~skillet blackberry cobbler.

In the video below, I am making this Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini ahead and preparing for the freezer.

I so hope you try this recipe; your family will love it! Please leave comments if you try it; we would all love to know what you think!! As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

chicken tetrazzini

Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

The ultimate comfort food, chicken tetrazzini freezes beautifully and can be a save-the-day meal when the need arises. I love to keep at least one in my freezer at all times.


  • 1 (12 oz) pkg. spaghetti pasta
  • 1 (14.5) oz can chicken broth
  • 4-5 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • one carton fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 cups grated cheddar (I recommend sharp)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground pepper
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • paprika


  1. Cook chicken (I roast at 400 covered for 45 minutes or until thermometer registers 165 degrees F). Chop and set aside.
  2. Sauté mushrooms in butter until soft. Season with salt & pepper.
  3. Cook pasta 7 minutes or until al dente. Drain, toss with a small bit of extra virgin olive oil; set aside.
  4. Mix soups, sour cream and chicken broth until well blended.
  5. Stir mushrooms into the soup mixture.
  6. Add chicken, pasta, and cheddar cheese. Stir until well combined and evenly blended.
  7. Spray pans with Pam; spread tetrazzini in each pan.
  8. Sprinkle parmesan and paprika on top of each tetrazzini.
  9. DO AHEAD: If freezing, stop here and freeze before cooking. If cooking, go to next step.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, or until edges begin to bubble.
Nutrition Information
Yield 20 Serving Size 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 486Total Fat 33gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 169mgSodium 535mgCarbohydrates 7gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 1gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 39g







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  1. Yes it freezes beautifully!!!! I cover the top with a layer of cling wrap (lay it flat on the surface. Then I put heavy foil all around. Then I place in a 2 gallon or larger freezer bag. Thaw in the fridge a day or two ahead!!! Bake per recipe!

  2. Can you cook the tetrazzini and then freeze it. We are going on a beach trip and I wanted to take some frozen dishes and just thaw them out down there and warm them .

  3. Hi Betsey! Absolutely!!! It is fine in the fridge for a couple of days (probably no more than 3) before baking. It is so nice to have this done a bit early when entertaining!

  4. Hi Betsey, sorry for the confusion! I sometimes make it without, but when I add mushrooms, I saute them in 2 TB or so of butter. Then when they are tender, I add the canned soups to stir all together really well. Then I remove from heat, stir in sour cream, and then add all to the chicken. Hope this helps!!!!

  5. Can the casserole be made a few days in advance and just refrigerated rather than frozen before baking?

  6. Hi Sandi! You can divide it into two “normal size” casserole pans (lasagna size) or evening do smaller portions to keep in the freezer. I’ve done one huge pan also; it just takes longer to heat through to the middle. Hope this helps!!

  7. What size pans do you use. It looks like this makes 2 pans but not sure of the size

  8. HI Kristin, just saw both of your comments! Sorry it took me awhile. Did the video answer your question? I do always mix the soups, sour cream and broth together before adding the chicken. I just mix them in a big bowl; I don’t put them on the stovetop:-) Hope this helps!! XoXo

  9. This is probably a stupid question but I’m mixing the soups etc in the stovetop and then adding in chicken etc?

  10. Hi Liz! I roast 3-4 boneless skinless breasts like this. I drizzle with EVOO and season with salt, pepper & a smidge of garlic salt. Cover with foil; bake at 400 F for 45-to an hour. Remove from oven and let sit (covered) for 30 minutes to continue cooking and let juices settle. Then cut into cubes or shred for the tetrazzini. Some like to use Costco white rotisserie meat (pulled) or rotisserie. Hope this helps!!!

  11. Hi Jamie, Can you explain more about the chicken? Roast a whole chicken? Chicken breast? Thanks!

  12. Hi Sherri, you really don’t taste the sour cream per se; it just serves as a base for the sauce. You could make a homemade bechamel or just use the cream soup instead. Hope it turns out well!!!

  13. This sounds like a delicious recipe for many, I look forward to using it for my church groups. I was look for your friend Sally’s gourmet recipe for but have been able to fine it. Can you tell me where it might be?

  14. Joy, this thrills me!!! You sound like a kindred spirit. I’ve had many a “Bible Study/Small Group” gathering where I needed a party size portion of something yummy. This is one of our faves, too. Kudos to you for tackling a crowd of 40~especially as a mama to 3 littles! You are amazing!!! If you need another recipe for a crowd, you might also love https://www.familysavvy.com/?s=ziti. It is as good as the tetrazzini, just an entirely different dish (Italian). Thank you for your feedback, and blessings to you and your family!!! XoXo

  15. Last night I chose your Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini recipe (from 10 others!) to make for our 40 Bible Study guests. This was my first opportunity as a new Pastor’s Wife to cook for a new congregation and needless to say, I was feeling the pressure!
    I heard nothing but raving reviews and requests for the recipe! My 3 preschoolers shared the leftovers today for lunch and they couldn’t stop telling me how much they loved it and kept asking for more!

    I am delighted to share with others! This will definitely be my “Go To” for future shared meals! What a blessing! Thank you for posting.

  16. Hi Lauretta,

    I am so happy that you and your family loved the recipe (and that you have a meal in the freezer for the future:-). Thank you for reaching out; blessings to you!!! XoXo

  17. Just made this recipe…..family loved it! Served it with a salad. The only change I made was that I substituted cream of mushroom soup and omitted the fresh mushrooms because my family is not crazy about them. I’m so glad this makes 2 meals…. the second one is in the freezer for another day!

  18. Hi Libby! I usually use two 11 x 13 OR for one huge amount I buy a large oversize pan at Dollar Tree. It is purely preference but I like to do 2 normal sizes. This recipe feeds between 10-12 (served with sides like salad, bread, etc…). Hope you enjoy!

  19. Hi Kim! I seldom half this recipe; I just make it as it is and either put it in one large casserole pan or divide it into two medium sized ones. Since it freezes so well, I think it makes sense to make the whole thing at once. But if you do want to half the recipe, I’d use less pasta~6-8 ounces. The pasta doesn’t have to be exact. Just adjust and add more broth if needed. The joy of this dish is that you can adjust without messing it up. I actually added a can (drained) or artichoke hearts to mine last night. We’ll see how it turns out! Hope this helps; let me know how it turns out!!! XoXo

  20. I want to make a 9×13 to freeze for a new mom. I read in the comments that that would be 1/2 of this recipe but I was wondering about only 6 oz of pasta. I want it to be really full and that seems to be a very small amount of pasta?

  21. Hi Nikki! You can use two 9 x13 (lasagna size) pans. I have also used an oversized pan. The pan size doesn’t have to be exact, it just determines bake time. Hope this helps!

  22. How many pans and what size pan is needed for this recipe. It’s a bit confusing to figure out. Thank you!

  23. Hi Kayla! If you want one lasagna dish, just cut this in half. I will say though, that while you are going to the trouble of making this, since it freezes well, you might consider making two and freezing one. Let me know how you like it!

  24. I’m still confused on how much this serves. I want to make one lasagna dish of it. Do I cut the recipe in half or leave it as is? Thanks.

  25. Hi Cheryl, I usually easily serve 10-12, but it depends on sides and whether you have lots of men (who eat more). Hope you enjoy it!!!

  26. Hi Colleen! The tetrazzini recipe shouled serve 13 for one meal….likely few if any leftovers. If using 2 11 x 13 (or similar) size pans, I just divide by two (it is about 3-4″ deep). If using a jumbo oversize pan, I put all of the tetrazzini in that one pan. Just remember to allow a day or two in the fridge to thaw; it cooks better than if from frozen. Please let me know how it turns out!!!

  27. Hi Jamie,
    I am having family stay for a long weekend and always try to do as much ahead as possible. I will have at least 13 adults for dinner (several nights). Your Chicken Tetrazzini recipe looks like a perfect family meal. I am confused as to how many you think this will serve. How “thick” do you have the casserole in a pan. I think that would determine the cooking time. Like you mentioned I will serve a veggie, salad and bread so I think making one recipe should be enough.
    Thanks and Love this recipe.

  28. Hi Tiffany! If you don’t want to wait an hour after you return from your event to eat, I’d suggest cooking it before you leave and leaving in a warm oven while gone. If you do this, I’d cook it just until the edges start to turn golden but then stop~even in a warm oven it will continue to cook. Hope this helps! Let me hear how it turns out!!!

  29. Hi I want to prepare this before attending an event and come back about 3 hours to eat. What’s the best suggestion for cooking and reheating? Don’t want to wait an hour.

  30. Hi Katharine! I use the casserole/lasagna sizes most often but have also used the super large (and made all in one pan). As long as the pan is more wide than deep (so that it will thaw well and warm throughout when baking), you will do fine. Please let me hear how it turns out!!! XoXo

  31. Hi Jessica! Sorry to be just now replying (I hope you haven’t already had the party)! For 37 people, I would make 4 pans of this (double this recipe). Better safe than sorry, and this dish goes quickly. Folks devour it. Please let me know how it turns out!!!

  32. Hi Jamie,
    How many people does your Chicken Tetrazzini feed? I am interested in making it for a party. I see that it fills 2 lasagna pans or one very large casserole dish. Trying to decide whether to double the recipe to feed 37 people.

    Thank you,


  33. I made this twice now. Didn’t change a thing on the recipe. Tastes great! Sharp cheddar cheese is a must.

  34. Hi Cathy! Even when I omit the mushrooms, I still add the EVOO and butter. It makes the soup taste more “homemade” like bechamel…..really adds flavor!

  35. This sounds delicious! We don’t care for mushrooms, so if I leave them out, should I add a small amount of EVOO and butter to the mixture?

  36. Hi Sandra! I think it would be fine to bake, freeze in individual portions, and then microwave. I would suggest thawing as much as possible before microwaving to ensure even heating. Let me know if this works; I’d love to hear!

  37. Do you think this would microwave well ? Would I bake before freezing if it were going to be microwaved out of freezer? My husband works out of town and only has a microwave to cook with.

  38. Hi Natasha! The soup cans are the standard Campbells soup can size~roughly 10 oz. You can use all chicken, all mushroom, or half of both. I use one can of each, but it is according to preference. YOU can’t go wrong~the end result is always yummy!!! Please let me know how you like it!!! Blessings to you!

  39. Hey Jamie,
    What size cans did you use for the cream of chicken soup…Also can you use 1 cream of chicken soup & 1 cream of mushroom soup if your family is not a fan of mushroom

  40. Hi Nancy,
    I made this for a group of very picky eaters and it was a HUGE hit. Thanks for sharing!

  41. Hi George! Wow…..that is a huge crowd! Honestly, I am not sure how to do the math on that one……but when you figure it out, please let us know!!!! You are savvy to cook for that many folks; I think that I would cater:-)

  42. Hi Nancy, in my experience, each pan feeds 8-10. I always serve this with sides and bread, which makes a difference in how much folks eat of the tetrazzini. Let me know your experience, as I may need to adjust that number. Thanks!!!

  43. There is no way this recipe would serve 20 people. 1 box of spaghetti is 1lb and serves 8 2 oz portions.

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