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4 servings
Prep info
5 min prep + 20 min bake & prep + 15 min cook + 10 min cook + 5 min mix + 15 min bake
Prep time
Not set
Cook time
1 hour, 10 minutes
Time required
1 hour, 10 minutes
Oven preheat
Mains - Misc


  • Topping
  • 1/2 c fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/8 t table salt
  • 20 g unsalted butter (melted; 2t)
  • 15 g grated parmesan cheese (about 2T)
  • Filling
  • 42 g unsalted butter (3T, plus more for baking dish, divided: 1T (14g) + 2T (28g))
  • 4 oz thinly sliced mushrooms (1.5cups)
  • 3/4 c diced onion (120g)
  • 100 g spaghetti (strands snapped in half)
  • Sauce
  • 2 T Flour - plain (16g)
  • 2 c chicken broth
  • 1.5 T sherry
  • 45 g grated parmesan cheese (heaping 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 t grated nutmeg (fresh)
  • 1 t fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t fresh thyme leaves (minced)
  • 1 c peas
  • 2 c cooked meat (turkey or chicken, cut into 1/4" pieces)



1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350F.

2. Mix breadcrumbs, salt, and butter in small baking dish; bake until golden brown and crisp, 15-20 minutes.

3. Cool to room temperature and mix with 2T grated Parmesan in small bowl.  Set aside.


4. Increase oven to 450F. Butter an 8" square baking dish (or other shallow, ovenproof dish of similar size); set aside.

5. Heat 1T butter in large skillet over medium heat until foaming subsides. Add mushrooms and onions; saute, stirring frequently, until onions soften and mushroom liquid evaporates, 12-15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste; transfer to bowl and set aside.

6. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente.  Reserve 1oz (2T) cooking water, drain spagetti, and return to pot with reserved liquid.


7. Melt remaining 2T butter in a clean skillet over medium heat. 

8. When foam subsides, whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until flour turns golden, 1-2 minutes.  Whisking constantly, gradually add chicken stock.  Adjust heat to medium-high and simmer until mixture thickens, 3-4 minutes. 

9. Off heat, whisk in sherry, Parmesan, nutmeg, 1/2t salt, lemon juice, and thyme. 

10. Add sauce, sauteed vegetables, peas, and meat to spaghetti and mix well; adjust seasonings to taste. 

11. Turn mix into buttered baking dish, sprinkle evenly with reserved breadcrumbs, and bake until breadcrumbs brown and mixture is bubbly, 13-15 minutes.  Serve immediately.


Notes from Source:

Overcooking is the inevitable fate of many casseroles, as the contents are usually cooked twice: once on their own and once again when joined with the other casserole ingredients. We wanted a casserole with a silky sauce, a generous portion of turkey meat, and noodles cooked just till done.

We found we could cut the second cooking down to just 15 minutes by baking the recipe in a shallow dish that would allow it to  heat through quickly. Most recipes for turkey Tetrazzini call for a béchamel sauce, in which milk is added to a roux (a paste made from fat and flour that is then cooked on the stovetop). In switching to a velouté, which is based on chicken stock rather than milk, we brightened up the texture and the flavor. We also used less sauce than most recipes call for, giving the other ingredients a chance to express themselves. Still looking for brighter flavor, we spruced things up with a shot of sherry and a little lemon juice and nutmeg. Parmesan cheese provided tang and bite, and a full 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme helped to freshen the overall impression of the dish.

Tetrazzini is also great with leftover chicken. Using a shallow baking dish without a cover and a very hot oven benefits both texture and flavor. Don’t skimp on the salt and pepper; this dish needs aggressive seasoning.

SJ Note 7 Apr 2014:  Doubling the breadcrumbs worked well. Needs less pasta & more sauce & more pepper.  Have dropped pasta from 170g to 100g; upped chicken broth from 1c to 2c; upped pepper.  Will try again.