Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke
Serves 12 (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups; 6 servings per casserole)

The simplicity of this dish is that it bakes in one pan and is a great use of any leftover chicken or turkey you may have. When coupled with pasta, this classic dish is truly a creamy and comforting dinner solution. A great thing about this recipe is that is involves enough ingredients to make two casseroles—one for now and one for later. This chicken recipe provides great freezing and baking instructions for prepping your second leftover casserole as well. This is the perfect family dinner dish.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, black pepper, salt, and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry; cook 1 minute.

Step 3

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Gradually add flour to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly (mixture will be thick) with a whisk. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Step 4

Add 1 ¾ cups Parmesan cheese and cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until cream cheese melts. Add pasta and chicken; stir until blended. Divide pasta mixture between 2 (8-inch-square) glass or ceramic baking dishes coated with cooking spray.

Step 5

Place bread in food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs and ½ cup Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly over pasta.

Step 6

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Remove casserole from oven; let stand 15 minutes.

Step 7

To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through Step Cool completely in refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.

Step 8

To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Thaw casserole completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 350°. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover casserole with reserved foil; bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 1 hour or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes.

Chef's Notes

This recipe was updated for the November, 2012 25th anniversary issue.

Ratings & Reviews

KarenLouis's Review

September 01, 2013
Awesome recipe. Easy and very good. A rotisserie chicken has just about 4 cups of meat so that's what I used. I cut the amount of pasta in half and added about 3 1/2 cups chopped and lightly steamed broccoli, cauliflower and red peppers. I also added fresh basil. I usually think most recipes don't have enough sauce...this one is perfect. Everyone loved it and I will make it again!

suzeedo's Review

December 04, 2013
I Love this recipe. Been making it for years,every since came I across an older Best of Cooking Light magazine at a thrift shop (actually frequently use many recipes from it). Family loves it, friends love it, love love love. Used to make a version from a pretty old, much loved cook book I have. This version is just as good, only much lighter, much easier and less time consuming

gingerbread73's Review

February 25, 2013
OMG! This is amazing! I made one for us and one to take to my neighbor who just had a baby. A very welcome dinner for her family. Be sure to use a giant pot, this dish seems to grow as you cook it. Is now part of my 'to go to list" of favorites!

Shaneorem's Review

February 25, 2013
Very tasty recipe. It is definitely worth trying! I simmer my chicken in broth before I shred it up for the casserole.

Suntuosabird's Review

November 27, 2011
I made this with turkey for Thanksgiving leftovers. My husband and I both loved it - this will become a post-Thanksgiving tradition!

randibeth1's Review

August 25, 2011
I can't tell you how many times I have made this recipe. It is go to recipe when a friend has a baby or someone is sick. I made 2 casseroles...1 for us and 1 for them! It makes much more than it calls for so I use a large casserole dish and the size it calls for. I love leftovers...very comforting. I follow the recipe.

EllenDeller's Review

August 08, 2011
It's a good solid recipe that needs extras like three garlic cloves in with the onions & celery, and a hefty shake of herbs de provence, 1/2 cup chopped marinated red bell pepper, 1/2 cup peas, and a tsp. crushed red pepper into the sauce right before mixing everything together. Used spaghetti broken in half, which was the perfect texture, and sliced almonds & panko crumbs on top instead of bread. Gave everything a spray of cooking spray over the top before baking. The mushrooms took more like 10 minutes. Proportions were perfect, and the final dish was moist and flavorful. Also leftovers made great lunch with salad. This recipe makes a lot: filled my 11x13 pan and another pan that's 5x9.

Love that it can be frozen

June 14, 2015
Time, I have little of it. So, this recipe was a time saver. Very tasty and I love that I have another meal to take out at a later date. I would have made more gravy though my family likes to add it on, the pasta really absorbs it.

Not worth all the trouble!

April 27, 2015
The recipe makes a huge amount, and if I was fixing it again, I'd cut everything in half.  And while the final product is good, it's not spectacular, and certainly not worth all the chopping and mixing.  The mixture of mushrooms, onions, celery and broth really looks disgusting, and I almost threw the whole thing away.  Don't bother.

ajvogt's Review

February 11, 2015
Chicken tetrazzini is one of my very favorite dishes and this recipe is one of the best I have seen. We followed it exactly and I will be thinking of it for days! Yum! If you think it does not have enough flavor it is because you are not crazy about chicken tetrazzini!