Easy chicken tetrazzini
This chicken pasta bake with a creamy mushroom sauce and a cheese and breadcrumb topping uses a clever tinned soup hack. The addition of peas makes this a perfect all-in-one weeknight supper.
- 300g/10½oz dried linguine or spaghetti
- 2 tbsp cooking oil, preferably olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped, or ½ tsp dried thyme
- 400g tin cream of mushroom soup
- 400ml/14fl oz chicken stock, made with 1 stock cube
- 200–300g/7–10½oz cooked skinless chicken, cut into roughly 2cm/¾in chunks
- 200g/7oz frozen peas
- 25g/1oz dried coarse breadcrumbs (or panko breadcrumbs)
- 50g/1¾oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Lightly grease a 1.5 litre/2⅔ pint shallow ovenproof dish.
Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water over a high heat for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until only just tender.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Drain the pasta, then return to the pan. Add the fried onion mixture, the soup, stock, chicken and peas and mix together well.
Transfer to the greased dish and spread evenly. Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan together and sprinkle on top. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling. Serve with a crisp green salad.
You can use leftover cooked chicken or bought roasted chicken. Rotisserie chicken also works well if you strip the meat off the bones and remove the skin.
To use fresh chicken breasts, cut into small cubes and fry with the onion in step 3. You will need two boneless, skinless chicken breasts (around 350g/12oz).
Tetrazzini originated in America in the early 20th century; traditionally it includes mushrooms and a splash of wine. If you like, you can fry 150g/5½oz sliced chestnut mushrooms with the onion in step 3 and then add 3–4 tablespoons of dry white wine when you mix everything together.
You can use dried garlic powder or granules instead of fresh garlic, and rosemary instead of thyme. Chopped fresh parsley is good too; add when you mix the pasta with the chicken and soup.