Chicken Tetrazzini Lightened Up

I’m always happy to come across a lightened up comfort food recipe! 

Here’s a mouth-watering tetrazzini casserole, minus the traditional heavy ingredients of cream, butter, and a plethora of cheese:  translating, 420 calories, versus nearly 700 per serving.

The creamy key to holding this dish together is the light béchamel sauce of evaporated low-fat milk, light cream cheese and Parmesan.  I substituted Activ spread for butter, then tossed it all with chicken, lots of veggies and pasta for savory goodness.

This is a Cooking Light recipe, which suggests poaching a few chicken breasts, if you don’t have leftover chicken ~ that’s exactly what I did.

The recipe calls for a topping of torn pieces of a French bread baguette ~ I crumbled a few crisp croutons for the job.

It added ½ cup white wine; I omitted it, and raised the chicken stock from 2½ cups to 3 cups. 

It included 2 (8-ounce) packages sliced mushrooms, I used canned instead.

This is a great delicious twist on tetrazzini.  We really liked it and I hope you give it a try and like it also! 

It’s a keeper!

Chicken Tetrazzini                  



10 ounces linguine

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (15-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained

1 cup chopped onion

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon thyme

2 tablespoons Promise Activ light spread

¼ cup flour

3 cups unsalted chicken stock

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated low-fat milk

2.5 ounces grated Parmesan, divided

1 ounce 1/3-less-fat cream cheese

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon seasoned pepper

3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

1 cup frozen green peas

Cooking spray

1/3 cup crushed croutons


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain well, set aside.

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add mushrooms, onion, garlic and thyme, sauté 3 minutes.

Remove to a small bowl and set aside.

Melt butter in the saucepan.

Stir in flour, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk.

Gradually add stock and milk, bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, salt and pepper.

Combine mushroom mixture, milk mixture, chicken and peas, and cooked pasta, tossing to combine.

Spoon all into a 13” x 9” baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine crouton crumbs and remaining Parmesan, sprinkle over pasta.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

6 servings



  1. One of my comfort food favorites. Love this lightened version, Pam!

  2. Pam... Looks good to me! Of course I'd eliminate the mushrooms (my wife loves them) and I'd probably forget the light part. This is a true comfort dish... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  3. I don't have time to comment on this delicious-looking dish because it is 53 degrees outside. I'm going to put the top down and go for a drive. Well, that is if I had a convertible. Instead, I'll roll the window down. Hope you are enjoying this "heat wave" as well.


  4. Hi Pam , just delicious good , love all the ingredients , they blend together so well . Thanks for sharing :)

  5. This is a dish that definitely needed lightening. Great job.

  6. Yummy! Yummy!

    I like the reduced calorie count
    for sure.

    M : )

  7. I just finished eating dinner, so there is no way I could be hungry...However, this dish makes my taste buds open up....looks so good.

  8. I haven't had chicken tetrazzini in years.. my mom used to make it all the time when I was a kid and I loved it!! I am definitely going to give this version a try!!

  9. This looks so good. It's great to be able to get the flavor and to eat more healthy food.

  10. Pam look so tasty and delicious and Im hungry!! (still I dont lunch)

  11. Dear Pam, Sounds wonderful, especially with the cold leaving us I think lightening up the recipes is a good idea! lol
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  12. I like this "lightened" version, Pam! It's great to enjoy a lower calorie chicken dish. It was a treat to enjoy 60°F and a walk today!

  13. What a delicious, lightened version, Pam! Pure comfort without all of the guilt.

  14. One of our favorites but our son at home doesn't like it. I'm not sure if he's really mine (ha ha).

  15. A lightened up comfort food ... sounds perfect.


  16. Hi Pam. Why do I always reserve tetrazzini for Thanksgiving left over turkey. It's a delicious dish and this version sounds great. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  17. Hi Pam - I like what you've got going on here. Good stuff. Good eats.


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