Cheesy noodles, hearty mushrooms and a rich and creamy sauce make this gluten free chicken tetrazzini a pasta lover’s dream. The recipe includes both dairy loving and dairy free versions, both of which are dang delicious. It’s destined to be a dinnertime favourite!
What is tetrazzini?
Tetrazzini is a baked pasta dish that often includes poultry (chicken or turkey) or seafood and mushrooms. The noodles, meat, and mushrooms are drenched in a creamy sauce, covered with cheese, and baked until bubbling. Sounds delicious right? I’m getting hungry just typing that out!
Why this recipe is so great
This gluten free chicken tetrazzini is great because it’s such a satisfying meal. It’s also incredibly versatile. Sure, the title says chicken tetrazzini, but you can mix it up and add in cooked turkey, or skip the meat entirely if you want a plant-based dish.
Love dairy? Perfect, this is full of it. Dairy free? Also perfect - there are alternative options for you! Both versions are a huge hit in our house!
The versatility of this recipe doesn’t just include ingredients - there are ways to make gluten free chicken tetrazzini without spending a ton of time at the stove. (Check out the section on how to make this recipe easier.) Delicious doesn’t have to be draining!
Here’s what you need to make this recipe:
- Gluten free spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine: corn, rice, chickpea, quinoa, lentil - there are so many alternatives to wheat-based noodles on the market.
- Cooked chicken breast: Baked, boiled, or barbequed! Choice is yours.
- Button mushrooms: sliced or quartered, they amp up the hearty texture of this meal. White or cremini work well.
- Yellow onion
- Garlic cloves
- Extra virgin olive oil: or sub in avocado oil, if needed.
- Chicken broth: ensure labelled gluten free, or substitute with vegetable broth if needed.
- Gluten free flour: used as a thickener for the sauce. Your favourite all-purpose blend will do!
- Black pepper
- Milk: or sub in a mild-tasting non-dairy alternative such as cashew or rice milk.
- Mozzarella cheese: or a dairy-free substitute.
How to make gluten free chicken tetrazzini
Start your gluten free chicken tetrazzini by cooking the gluten free pasta 1-2 minutes less than the package directions. This ensures you don’t have a mushy noodle mess after baking.
While the noodles are cooking, warm the olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan. Add in the onions and mushrooms and cook until softened. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant, and then remove the onions, mushrooms and garlic from the pan and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400℉ while you start to make the sauce. In a large measuring glass or bowl, combine the gluten free flour and chicken broth and whisk until no lumps remain. Add this mixture to the same skillet or saute pan you previously used and heat over medium-high heat for approximately 4-5 minutes. Stir the sauce frequently, to prevent burning while it thickens. Add in the salt, pepper, and milk to the sauce and continue to heat.
Once the sauce is thickened, turn off the heat, add in the onions, mushrooms, garlic, cooked chicken and noodles. Mix in 1 cup of cheese and transfer it to a 9x13 casserole dish. Top the tetrazzini with the remaining cheese and bake it in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes until deliciously bubbly.
Ways to cook the chicken
Since this recipe uses pre-cooked chicken, here are a few suggestions on how to do it…
- Boil it. Place the chicken breasts into a pot of boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes and check for doneness. Add a bit more flavour by boiling in chicken broth, and add salt and pepper to the mix.
- Bake it. Add some olive oil to a baking dish, place the chicken on top and cook in an oven preheated to 400℉. Bake the chicken for about 25-ish minutes, before checking for doneness.
- BBQ it. Coat the chicken in olive oil and add to the grill. Cook for each side for about 5-10 minutes and check for doneness.
- Get someone else to do it. Purchase pre-cooked chicken from the grocery store. Convenience for the win!
Ways to make this recipe easier
This blog is all about making gluten free cooking simple. Here are a few suggestions on how to make this gluten free chicken tetrazzini recipe the easiest it can possibly be!
- Cook your chicken the day before and keep it in the fridge overnight until you need it. Or buy a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store!
- Assemble the tetrazzini the day before and keep it in the casserole dish in the fridge overnight. The next day, all you have to do is pop it in the oven!
- Freeze the tetrazzini before baking. You can even make the tetrazzini weeks in advance, freeze it, and bake it later. Pop it right into the oven the day you want to eat it, but monitor the cook time and it will likely need to be extended to warm through fully.
- Make double and freeze one. Have some time to make this recipe all at once? Make it easy by making TWO and freezing one of them for later. Future you will be grateful!
- Don’t bake it at all. Sure, tetrazzini is meant to be baked, but some rules are also made to be broken! If you don’t have the time to bake, follow the recipe right up to the baking step (but skip oven preheating), mix in all the cheese instead of just half, and serve immediately.
What to serve with gluten free chicken tetrazzini
Since this tetrazzini is so hearty, I’d recommend serving it with a side of vegetables, which are much lighter in comparison. Steamed broccoli, cooked green beans, or peas are great options, and so is a fresh garden salad, filled with cucumbers, grape tomatoes, chopped carrots and radishes.
Gluten Free Chicken Tetrazzini
- 1 package (340g/12oz) gluten free spaghetti, linguine, or fettucine
- 1 pound cooked chicken breast sliced
- 4 cups button mushrooms sliced or quartered
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ⅓ cup gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup milk dairy free: cashew milk
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese or dairy free alternative
- In a medium-sized pot, cook the pasta 1-2 minutes less than the package directions. This is to make sure the noodles are al dente before baking in the oven (and don't become soggy after baking).
- While the noodles are cooking, add olive oil into a large skillet or saute pan and warm for 30 seconds over medium-high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook until softened, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, making sure it doesn't burn.
- Remove the mushrooms, onions, and garlic from the pan and put into a bowl off to the side for later use.
- Preheat the oven to 400℉.
- To make the sauce, whisk together the chicken broth and gluten free flour until no lumps remain in a large measuring glass or medium-sized bowl.
- Add the chicken stock + flour mixture to the skillet or pan you previously used and heat over medium-high heat for approximately 4-5 minutes. Stir continuously and scrape the bottom of the pan to ensure nothing clumps and burns. If you end up with clumps, whisk the sauce vigorously to break them up.
- Add in the milk (dairy or non-dairy), salt, and pepper to the sauce. Heat on low for approximately 3-4 minutes. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cooks. Turn off the heat once done.
- Add in the cooked chicken, mushrooms, onion, garlic, and noodles to the sauce in the skillet/pan. Mix well and add in 1 cup of whatever cheese you are using.
- Transfer the tetrazzini to a 9x13 casserole dish and top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes until melted and bubbly.
- To make vegan: omit the cooked chicken, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and use dairy-free options in the ingredient listing.
- Make ahead: Cook and assemble the tetrazzini and store in the fridge (or freezer) until ready to bake.
- Storage: keep cooked tetrazzini and an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.