Gourmet Chicken Tetrazzini


This gourmet chicken tetrazzini is the Cadillac of tetrazzini, with a rich homemade bechamel and no cream of anything canned soup.

Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini


This gourmet chicken tetrazzini really is the best tetrazzini I’ve ever eaten, and the secret is in the homemade bechamel. It does take a biy og extra time to make this tetrazzini, but it truly is insanely delicious.

My friend Sally, a wonderful cook, shared this recipe years ago in a Briarwood School cookbook. It has become “famous” amongst those of us Briarwood moms who’ve made it or tried it. This is a standard dish taken to new moms or shut-ins, as it truly is a gift of love from the kitchen.

Before making this, be advised that it is a bit time consuming. There are several cooking steps necessary before the dish is assembled (cooking/dicing chicken, sauteeing mushrooms, and making behamel sauce). Since bechamel can be a bit tricky, here are a few tips that will better ensure sauce success:

Tips For Making Foolproof Bechamel (White Sauce)

bechamel sauce
Bechamel Sauce
  • Measure all ingredients prior to cooking the sauce (flour, butter and cream).
  • Heat the cream before adding to the roux (to prevent lumps).
  • Utilize a good wire Whisk to remove lumps during cooking.
  • Remove pan from the heat as needed during the cooking process to prevent scorching.

Make Ahead: This dish can be partially made ahead by cooking, chopping, and seasoning the chicken and storing in a ziploc up to a day in advance. The mushrooms can also be sautéed and stored up to a day ahead.

This dish should NOT be frozen since the bechamel contains cream. It may or may not turn out, and isn’t worth the risk. For freezing, I suggest this recipe that I’ve made hundreds of time; it freezes beautifully!!!!

Note: For the white wine, I buy small bottles of Cavit Pinot Grigio that contain enough for up to a double batch of this recipe. These small bottles are perfect for those who don’t drink wine but who want to cook with it.

I served this to my family this week and they devoured it! When I went to the fridge for leftovers the next day, there were none, as my people had taken all leftovers to school/work for lunch.

I served this dish with Callie’s cheddar & chive cheese biscuits from The Fresh Market (a favorite foodie splurge) and a mesclun salad with berries, blue cheese, sugar glazed nuts and homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette.  This was a wonderful combination of flavors, textures, and colors~truly a meal you could serve to dinner guests.

If you love tetrazzini but absolutely don’t want to make béchamel, I recommend my other favorite tetrazzini. I’ve made it for years, and it is delicious. It is one of my most pinned recipes from the blog; everyone loves it.

If you try this, please let me hear how your family enjoys it. Thank you so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!

chicken tetrazzini

Gourmet Chicken Tetrazzini

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This dish gives casseroles a good name; it is to die for delicious!


  • 2 1bs boneless chicken breasts (roughly 2 large breasts)
  • 1 (12 oz) package thin spaghetti
  • 4 TB butter (no margarine)
  • 4 TB flour
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (reduced fat is fine)
  • 1 cup sour cream (reduced fat is fine)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (sauce)
  • 2 TB fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup white wine (I use small bottle Cavit Pinot Grigio)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 (8 oz) carton fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 TB butter (to saute mushrooms)
  • paprika (garnish)
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan (garnish)


  1. Simmer/poach chicken until cooked through. Dice and set aside. (May roast chicken also).
  2. Cut spaghetti pasta into 1/3's; cook until al dente. Set aside (stir in a bit of broth to keep it moist).
  3. Saute mushrooms in 4 TB butter. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Set aside.
  5. Heat whipping cream (don't boil); set aside.
  6. Heat broth; set aside.
  7. Melt butter in small saucepan.
  8. Add flour; stir until bubbly.
  9. Add cream, stir with a whisk until smooth.
  10. Add broth; stir with a whisk until smooth.
  11. Remove from heat; add mayo, sour cream, Parmesan, lemon juice, wine & seasonings.
  12. Mix spaghetti, chicken, white sauce & mushrooms together.
  13. Pour into lightly greased baking dish.
  14. Sprinkle paprika and Parmesan on top.
  15. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until bubbly.
Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 504Total Fat 44gSaturated Fat 19gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 22gCholesterol 108mgSodium 841mgCarbohydrates 11gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 15g

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  1. Hi Pam, I have baked it both ways, but I prefer covering for the first 30 minutes or so and uncovering the last 20-30 minutes. This way, the top doesn’t get too brown or dry out.

  2. Hi Julianne!!! Congrats on your pregnancy and how sweet that you are cooking for your friend too:-) I am not really sure about the ratio of alcohol that cooks off. If you are worried about it, you might substitute chicken broth or apple cider vinegar. I would suggest the broth. It should be fine. Please let me know how it turns out!!!

  3. Making this for myself and another friend, both of us are pregnant. Will the alcohol from the wine in the sauce cook out during baking? You add the wine after taking the sauce off the stove so I wasn’t sure if the alcohol burns off. Thanks,

  4. Hi Figgy! OK. I texted my friends who make this often; neither has frozen this one. I have frozen my easy one but not this one. Here is info from The Kitchn about freezing cream: Alfredo sauce is usually just butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese, but this kind of sauce doesn’t hold up well in the freezer. Instead, I took the technique used commonly in making mac and cheese and used a béchamel sauce of flour, butter, and milk that I finished with Parmesan. This kind of flour-based sauce coats the pasta well and stands up to freezing and reheating.
    SO…..I would NOT freeze this one. I suggest the other one for making ahead. It is fab also, I promise!

  5. Hi
    Thank u for the info to thaw for 24-48 hours before baking. I just wanted to check with you again. Have you ever frozen it? It has cream so just wondering if you think it will turn out? I would hate to have a flop with 10 dinner guests at the lake!

  6. Hi Figgy! If you freeze this, just let it thaw 24-48 hours in the fridge and proceed per instructions. And I let all my casseroles sit for at least 30 minutes so that they “set up” or firm up. Let me know how this turns out. It is wonderful!!!

  7. Hi, Just wondering about baking instructions if I make this ahead and freeze? Does it have to rest for an hour after baking like the version using canned chicken soup? I am hoping it would freeze well but I am not sure.
    Thank you.!

  8. Hi Kim! I am SO glad you made and loved this! I totally agree that the bechamel is worth the extra effort and not as hard as many folks think. Thanks for your feedback!!!!

  9. Just made this! So excited! Highly recommend making the extra effort making the bechamel sauce! Not hard at all! Thanks Jamie!!
    Kim Parsons

  10. I made this again for out of town family and their comments were so positive. Second and third helpings. Love this recipe. Will be a favorite.

  11. I didn’t have any trouble making the bechamel sauce.. your directions were great. Whisk!

  12. I had rave reviews from our guests. One person just called and said, “If I weren’t so full, I could just keep eating it.” Very delicious!

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