Easy Chicken Tetrazzini

Today I’m going to share my favorite dish to use up leftover chicken, easy chicken tetrazzini, a creamy cheesy casserole that is easy to whip up for a weeknight dinner

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I stumbled across this dish nearly two decades ago. When I first started making it, I learned that chicken tetrazzini was a casserole dish from the turn of the century. Some say it dates back all the way to 1908. You might think it is an Italian dish because of the name and the fact that it has pasta, but it isn’t. It was actually named after turn-of-the-century opera Luisa Tetrazzini.

Making Chicken Tetrazzini

It was very popular in the 1940s and 1950s as a staple casserole dish. In my household, it has become one of our beloved family favorites, not just because of the delicious creamy taste, but because it is a wonderful way to use leftover chicken. I also go to this recipe if I don’t have enough chicken to make it a main course. This recipe stretches a few breasts out enough to feed a family.

Apparently, that’s why it grew in popularity. During the Great Depression, it was used to make the most of the little meat families had. Housewives also used whatever pasta they had on hand. That’s why you see it with all kinds of pasta like spaghetti, broad egg noodles, linguine, even penne, and elbow macaroni. In fact, many people even use the recipe to make turkey tetrazzini with leftover turkey. I almost always do this after Thanksgiving. During the 1940’s and 1950’s some housewives even used canned tuna along with whatever cheese they had on hand. Tetrazzini is a truly versatile dish.

It may surprise you to learn that there is no universal standard recipe for tetrazzini. It was kind of a first throw-down recipe of sorts. Earlier recipes are slightly more complicated than what I will share today. Early recipes call for sautéing your own fresh mushrooms and then creating a cream sauce with heavy whipping cream, butter, white wine or sherry, meat stock, and cheese. However, thanks to the 1950’s housewife, she used a more convenient method of using Cambell’s Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken condensed soups to quicken this recipe and that is what I am going to show you today – easy chicken tetrazzini.

Roasted chicken
Courtesy of Unsplash

Start by shredding your chicken while your pasta boils. If you prefer, you can slice your chicken or meat into bite-sized chunks. Once your pasta is drained, add it to a large bowl, combine your cans of cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom soup. Add milk, half and half, or cream. If you are using cream you need about a cup of cream. If using half and half or milk, you can use about a half cup or change until you reach your desired consistency. We like ours extra creamy and rich. If you don’t care for such a heavy sauce, you can dilute with more milk. If you don’t have milk, you can substitute a half cup of meat stock to dilute.

You’ll add in your cheese to the cream sauce. I reserve half for spreading on top. As I mentioned earlier, housewives used whatever cheese they had on hand. I prefer parmesan because it adds a lot of flavor. But I’ve used Mozzarella, Monterrey Jack, Colby Jack, Cheddar and various combinations of cheese. Some people also like to put a topping on the top. Like toasted breadcrumbs, crunchy cornflakes or fried onions like a green bean casserole. I, however, don’t do that, although you can if you want. You may notice, I’ve omitted any salt from the recipe. That’s because there is plenty of sodium in the condensed soups and cheese. So I suggest tasting before you add any salt on your own.

Easy Chicken Tetrazzini

Al dente noodles and chicken are smothered in a creamy, cheesy sauce in this easy casserole.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2-3 Large Chicken Breasts, Cooked Shredded
  • 1 ½ Cups Shredded Parmesan or other cheese Divided (two 3/4 cups)
  • 1 10.5 oz Can of Cream of Chicken Soup Preferably Campbell’s
  • 1 10.5 oz Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • ½ Lbs Spaghetti or other pasta
  • 1 Cup Heavy cream or half and half (or milk for a lighter sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely chopped (Optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Cook pasta according to the package instructions
  • While pasta is cooking, shred cooked chicken into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add one can of cream of chicken condensed soup, one can of cream of mushroom soup and cream or milk. Stir well to combine.
  • When pasta is cooked, drain well, and combine with cream sauce.
  • Add half of the divided cheese into the pasta mixture and combine well.
  • Transfer pasta to a deep casserole or baking dish.
  • Spread remaining cheese on top and bake at 375 for 30 to 40 minutes or until it is bubbly and cheese is golden.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
Keyword chicken, chicken breast, chicken casserole, easy casserole, easy recipe, family favorite, leftovers, pasta, weeknight dinner
chicken tetrazzini

Serving and Storing Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini is a heavy dish, so I like to serve with a garden salad or other green like roasted asparagus or green beans. If you have leftovers, chicken tetrazzini will keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can microwave it or warm it in the oven to reheat it. I have never tried freezing it, although pasta normally freezes okay if placed in a good quality container to protect it from freezer burn. Also, I’d probably allow some room in the container since cream tends to expand when frozen. As I said, I’ve never tried freezing it, so let me know in the comments if you try it.

chicken tetrazzini

Thank you for joining me for this recipe. I know you will enjoy it. Over the years, I’ve really grown to enjoy using older recipes because they are tried and true and women knew how to feed a large family and provide comforting home-cooked meals every day. If you are fond of casseroles, be sure to check out my Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole and Baked Ziti.

Slow cooker Pork Carnitas

Tired of your boring roast? Try this recipe for Mexican pulled pork (pork roast) – slow cooker pork carnitas.

slow cooker pork carnitas

Yummy pork carnitas – it is one of my favorite Mexican dishes. I particularly love them too because there is always enough leftovers for another meal and any night I can get out of cooking is a happy accident! Carnitas literally translates to “little meats.” But if you’ve ever wondered what it is, it’s basically just Mexican pulled pork.

Ingredients

Making Slow cooker Pork Carnitas

Here in Texas, because of the large Hispanic demographic, it’s super easy to find pork perfectly trimmed for carnitas. But don’t fret, all you need is pork shoulder or pork butt roast. Normally it weighs about 2-4 pounds. Some of that will cook down due to the high fat marbling. You will place it whole in the slow cooker, no water needed.

Juice your orange. You can substitute with store bought orange juice. About a half cup to a cup is fine. Pour over your meat. Add your spices and chopped onion.

Now to add your jalapeño If you want it more on the mild side, I recommend deveining the jalapeño. To do this, chop off the top of the pepper. Slice the pepper in half while on it’s side. Pull out all of the seeds and thinly slice the vein of the pepper off and discard both. Then chop your jalapeño as normal. Don’t be afraid to use a whole jalapeño. The pepper heat reduces a lot as it cooks.

Pro tip: Use gloves to stop the pepper oils from getting in your hand, Remember, never touch your face or sensitive areas while handling peppers.

Juice of One orange
Slow cooker pork carnitas

Serving and Storing

Your pork roast will cook on low for about 8 hours. You’ll know it’s ready when you can pull apart the meat with a fork. That’s right. Pork carnitas should be melt-in-your-mouth, fork tender when they are done.

Personally, my favorite way to serve pork carnitas is in soft tacos. There is nothing quite like warm, homemade flour tortilla tacos. I love topping them with cilantro and onion. I prefer to serve them with traditional spanish rice (yup, I have a recipe for that too) and charro beans. During the summer, I’ll often switch it up for a side of Mexican street corn. So yummy!

Store slowcooker pork carnitas in the fridge for 3 days in an air tight container.

Slow cooker Pork Carnitas

Mexican pulled pork with fresh onion, jalapeño, and orange flavors.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 2-3 Pounds Pork butt or Pork Shoulder
  • 1 Large Orange Juiced
  • 1 Large Fresh Jalapeno Deveined, deseeded, and chopped
  • 1 Small White Onion Chopped
  • Salt. Pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Cumin

Instructions
 

  • Place pork butt or pork shoulder whole in crock pot.
  • Juice one large and orange and pour over pork. May substitute ½ cup to 1 cup of store bought orange juice.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Scatter chopped onions.
  • Prepare jalapeño by cutting the top off and slicing lengthwise. Remove seeds. Cut out the pepper vein and discard. Chop remaining pepper and scatter in crockpot.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.
Keyword carnitas, crockpot, crockpot recipes, mexican main dish, mexican recipes, pork, pork roast, pork tacos, pulled pork, slow cooker, tacos

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Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

This yummy, cheesy, bacon cheeseburger casserole is easy for weeknight dinners, potlucks and makes a great left over meal.

Okay folks, today I’m sharing one of my favorite weeknight recipes. It combines three of my favorite ingredients: cheese, beef, and bacon. It also calls for a can of cream of chicken soup. Let’s be honest, all great casseroles contain this creamy can of meaty goodness.

I found a similar recipe a few years back in a magazine and I’ve tweaked it over the years and it’s turned into this yummy recipe.

Jump to Recipe

Ingredients

So I find that ground beef with a higher fat content does better with this recipe. Normally, I’m an extra lean kind of girl. But since the meat will be cooked twice, the added fat helps keep the meat juicy. Otherwise, I find the meat tougher and dryer. Therefore, I recommend using 93% lean 7% fat. You’ll be draining off the excess fat, but that fat in the meat will keep it soft and tender.

Now let’s talk bacon. The recipe calls for a couple of strips of bacon. In a pinch you can buy bacon bits found in the salad section. But don’t use those God-awful fake orange ones. Use 100% real bacon. Hormel makes a decent one. Otherwise, I recommend using a couple of strips of actual bacon. No need to dirty another pan. Cut it up and add it to the meat. It also makes your meat extra flavorful. Drain off the excess fat.

bacon cheeseburger casserole

The recipe also calls for a can of condensed cream of chicken soup. You may wonder why were adding that to a cheeseburger casserole. Well something has to hold the casserole together. Condensed soup works well, even when diluted. If you prefer to use cream of mushroom, that would work too. I’ve used it when that’s all I had in the pantry! The condensed soup combined with a small amount of cheese really helps hold everything together.

Serving & Storing Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

I have a habit of serving this recipe with baked bread, particularly biscuits, but this is already a heavy meal so there is no need to do that.

Like most casseroles, this stores very well in an airtight container for about 2-3 days. That’s another reason to use the fattier beef. If you plan on warming it up again in the microwave as leftovers, the fattier meat will continue to stay juicy. I’ll be honest though, we rarely have leftovers. My entire family scarfs it down. Even my one year old!

There have been times I’ve doubled the recipe just for the purpose of leftovers if we have a busy week.

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

I love to think of this recipe of a modern day, American shepherds pie. A yummy ground beef casserole, topped with golden brown potatoes.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Skillet
  • Cutting board
  • Casserole dish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Lbs Ground Beef 93/7%
  • 3 Strips Bacon Chopped
  • Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese divided into 1/3s
  • 1 Can Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • ½ Cup Milk
  • 60 Frozen Tater Tots approx
  • ½ Small White Onion Chopped
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Minced
  • 1 Salt & Pepper To taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Cut bacon into small pieces and place in medium hot skillet with the ground beef.
  • Add garlic, salt & pepper, and chopped white onion
  • Continue frying until meat is browned and onion is translucent. Remove from heat.
  • Pour meat mixture into a casserole dish and spread evenly.
  • Take ⅓ cup of cheese (half of the cheese) and sprinkle it on top of meat mixture.
  • Place frozen tater tots in single file rows until all meat is covered.
  • Bake in oven for 35 minutes.
  • In the last five minutes of baking, sprinkle the remaining half of cheese on top tater tots and continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes.
Keyword bacon, bacon casserole, bacon cheeseburger, beef casseroles, casserole, casserole recipes, cheddar cheese, cheesy casseroles, easy recipe, family favorite, leftovers, pot luck, potato recipes, shepherds pie, weeknight dinner
bacon cheeseburger casserole

Don’t forget to try one of my dessert recipes like Banana Vanilla Wafer Pudding or Rich Fudgy Scratch Brownies. Also, be sure to PIN this post for later. Before you leave, please take a moment and subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss any recipes. I also send FREE, subscriber-only printables and recipes. Thanks for your support!

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Mini Chocolate Fudge Tarts

Today I’m showing you how to make this delicious pie-tart crossover. If you’re a decadent chocolate lover, you’re gonna love these mini chocolate fudge tarts.

mini fudge chocolate tarts

Welcome, friend! I hope you’re enjoying some of my chocolate themed recipes. The first time I ever had chocolate tarts was in France. Oh my Lord, do the French know how to do desserts. I’ve had many varieties of chocolate pies and chocolate tarts throughout the years. I’m always in the market for a new or different recipe. Today, I’m sharing my recipe for mini chocolate fudge tarts.

Jump to Recipe

Personally, I love making these for dinner parties. They seem really fancy, because tarts sound fancy. But honestly these are very easy to whip up. I love them because I can keep the frozen tarts in the freezer and if I’m called to make a dessert to take somewhere I almost always have the ingredients I need sitting in my pantry.

Ingredients

If y’all have followed my recipes in the past, y’all know I’m a sucker for dark chocolate. I know. I hear some of you out there going, “ewww!” Hear me out. I prefer using semi-sweet or dark chocolate because you can control how sweet you make it by adjusting the sugar you add. If you want it sweeter, you can add more sugar, but the secret to really rich chocolate desserts is by starting with dark chocolate.

As I’ve mentioned in previous recipes, you want to use a good quality dark chocolate like Ghirardelli, but there is certainly nothing wrong with using Nestle Toll House morsels of whatever you have on hand. Chocolate should always be melted in a double broiler. A double broiler is just one pot stacked inside another. The bottom pot holds water. This allows chocolate, butter and other sensitive ingredients to melt slowly and reduces the risk of scorching. They sell double broilers in stores, but you can just as easily make your own using nested pots.

Also, if you want, you could also make your own tart shell. I have some great pastry and tart shell recipes, but for this recipe which calls for mini shells, I typically use frozen ones. It cuts a lot of time and expense out.

pie shells

Serving and Storing Mini Chocolate Fudge Tarts

If you want to keep these tarts extra fresh, I recommended storing in the fridge or a cool, dry place. Chocolate and heat don’t do well together.

When you are ready to serve, I recommend them being at room temperature. There are lots of ways you can serve these tarts.

  • Whipped Cream
  • Sprinkle confectioner’s sugar
  • Caramel drizzle
  • Caramel drizzle & sea salt
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Fresh strawberries

I kept it simple for the purpose of taking photos. I wanted you to be able to see the tarts themselves, but you can dress these tarts up with any garnish you want.

mini chocolate fudge tarts

Mini Chocolate Fudge Tarts

Mary Lentz
Fudge meets pie in this delicious, personal sized, chocolate tart recipe.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Chill 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Tarts

Equipment

  • Double Broiler
  • Spatula

Ingredients
  

  • 12 oz Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 oz Butter
  • 8 Mini Tart Shells Such as Dutch Ann
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Place frozen tart shells on light colored baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. You can prepare the chocolate while the tarts are baking.
  • In a double broiler, on medium heat, melt butter.
  • Add cream and vanilla.
  • Slowly add the chocolate chips, stirring well as they melt.
  • Once chocolate is completely melted, stir in sugar.
  • Remove shells from oven. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • While still warm, pour chocolate mixture into tart shells.
  • Place the tarts in the fridge for 1 ro 1.5 hours until they firm up.
  • Enjoy with whipped cream, sea salt, or caramel drizzle.
Keyword baked goods, chocolate, chocolate dessert, chocolate desserts, chocolate fudge, chocolate pie, chocolate tart, dark chocolate, easy desserts, fudge, fudgy, mini pies, mini tarts, pastry, personal pies, pie, pie crust, tarts

If you’re a chocolate lover, you need to take a look at some of my other recipes like The Best Crockpot Hot Chocolate and Rich Fudgy Scratch Brownies.

Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later and as always, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, so you never miss a post or a recipe. Thanks for reading!

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Creamy Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy green chili chicken enchiladas? Yes, please. Learn how to make this simple weeknight recipe in all it’s cheesy, creamy goodness.

I’m Hispanic. I don’t care what’s inside an enchilada – it’s the best and it’s hard to get it wrong! I love chicken enchiladas. Bu these creamy green chili chicken enchiladas are my favorite. Over the years, I’ve used this recipe to make different variations of my favorites. That’s what makes this recipe great. You can swap out the chilies for seasonal ones.

For example, one of my favorite things about the late summer here in Texas, is that Hatch Chilies are in season! They’re hot, but oh my goodness, they are wonderful roasted! Our local HEB grocery store, even fire roasts them for you in August.

I also love using poblano peppers at times. Poblano peppers are kind of a wild card though. Every now and then, you get some real hot ones!

Making Creamy Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

I love this recipe because it can be a great use for left over baked or rotisserie chicken. My local grocery store actually sells shredded rotisserie chicken that is already shredded for you. They even separate white from dark meat if you want it. Come on, it can’t get easier than that. HEB has totally spoiled me.

I make this recipe for weeknight dinners. It’s about 20-30 mins of prep time, with a 30 min cook time. But I’ll tell you a secret, if you are in a pinch with time you can create an enchilada casserole instead. You’ll need the same ingredients, but instead of rolling the enchiladas, you later them. A layer of tortillas, followed by chicken and cheese, then sauce, then continue layering. Top with cheese. The cook time is the same. It’s just as good but you can cut the prep time to about 10 mins or less.

shredded c

Serving

I love to pair this dish with other Mexican staples like charro beans and Spanish Rice. In a prior post, I provide my family’s recipe for Perfect Spanish rice. I also love to top this dish with pico de gallo.

If you’re worried about it being too hot with the pico, simply leave out the jalapeños and just make it with tomato, onion, and cilantro.

Creamy Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy green chili chicken enchiladas? Yes, please. Learn how to make this simple weeknight recipe in all it’s cheesy, creamy goodness.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 20 Enchiladas

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz Sour cream
  • 1 Lb Shredded chicken
  • 20 Corn tortillas
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 10oz Can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 3.5 Cups Bag of Mexican shredded cheese perferably Kraft
  • 1 4oz Can of diced green chilies
  • 1 15 oz Can of Verde (green) enchilada sauce
  • 1 Cup Pico de gallo optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350. Lower the racks down so that the dish will be in the center.
  • In a large bowl, combine cream of chicken soup, verde enchilada sauce, and sour cream . Whisk well until fully blended.
  • Spray a large baking dish (9×13) with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • In a large bowl, add shredded chicken. Drain green chilies and add to chicken. Blend well and set aside.
  • Separate 2 cups of shredded cheese. Set the rest aside.
  • On a work surface, lay a tortilla flat. Sprinkle a small amount of cheese lengthwise. Then add the chicken mixture. Carefully roll the tortilla and place it seam side down. The cheese will help hold the enchilada together as it cooks.
  • Continue with all the tortillas until finished. If you’re using a smaller dish, you can add a second row on top.
  • Pour the cream enchilada sauce mixture all over the enchiladas. Top with the remainder of the cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and thoroughly cooked.
  • Serve with charro beans and spanish rice. Garnish with pico de gallo, if you wish
Keyword chicken enchiladas, creamy enchiladas, enchiladas, green chili, poblano enchiladas, weeknight dinner
creamy green chili chicken enchiladas

Storing & Reheating

You can prepare the enchiladas for advance. This is particularly great for dinner parties. Roll the enchiladas, but store in the fridge without the sauce. When you’re ready to heat, pour the sauce and pop in the oven.

These enchiladas store fairly well. You can even freeze them in a good, air tight container suitable for freezer storage. I recommend keeping the enchiladas for no longer than three days in the fridge. They warm up better in the oven than in the microwave though.


I hope you enjoy this recipe! It’s one of my favorites. Don’t forget to e-mail subscribe for more recipes and freebies!

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Broccoli Slaw

This yummy blend of shredded broccoli, carrots and red cabbage is a new take on an old favorite. Learn how to make zesty, crunchy, Broccoli Slaw.

Broccoli Slaw

This post, Broccoli Slaw, may contain affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through one of the links I provide, a may receive a small percentage at no cost to you. I only link to things I love.

Yummy coleslaw! Who doesn’t love it? Well… me! Yup, you read that right. I was never a huge fan of it. As I’ve grown older, I certainly like it more than I used to.

But it’s a staple in the summer. You’ll find it at every BBQ and summer picnic or potluck. I don’t know if it’s regional, but here in the South, you’ll also find it often paired with fried catfish and other seafood.

Broccoli Slaw Ingredients

The Slaw

I’m a cheater! It’s true. I cheat a little with this recipe. My local store already has the basic broccoli slaw starter. It comes in a 14 oz bag and all you have to do is mix in your dressing. If you aren’t as lucky as me you’ll have to shred the raw broccoli, carrots and red cabbage.

That being said, I make my own dressing and it’s super easy. Honestly, I can’t believe they actually sell bottled coleslaw dressing. Because this whole salad takes less than five minutes to whip up if you already have the vegetables shredded.

The Dressing

Traditionally, coleslaw dressing is made up of white vinegar, lemon juice and granulated sugar mixed with mayonnaise . I hate vinegar, with balsamic as the exception. So I did a slightly different take. After all, I’m Hispanic, so I tend to cook with lime juice. That’s what makes this recipe different. I mix fresh cilantro with lime juice. I cut the sugar down by half the amount so it is more zesty than sweet. Then I add mayo and stir to a perfect creaminess!

Broccoli Slaw

Try this new take on an old favorite. This new recipe substitutes cabbage for broccoli and adds zesty lime juice and fresh cilantro.
Course Salad
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
  • ½ Cup Fresh Cilantro Shredded
  • 12-14 oz Broccoli Slaw Prepackaged
  • 1 Cup Mayo
  • 1 Tbsp White Sugar
  • Pepper To taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl add the broccoli slaw. 
  • Mix sugar in lime juice, then pour over broccoli slaw and toss well
  • Mix in shredded cilantro and toss well
  • Add mayonnaise and fold in until fully combined.
  • Add light pepper if desired.
Keyword broccoli, cabbage, coleslaw, lime juice, mayonnaise, picnic, potluck, salad, summer
Broccoli Slaw

I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipe, Broccoli Slaw. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments!