Light Chicken Tetrazzini takes a little time to prepare, but if you are a fan of chicken (or turkey) tetrazzini, this lighter, healthier version is definitely worth the extra time. It has all of the deep, rich, creamy goodness of classic tetrazzini with much less fat and far fewer calories. I always use peas when making my tetrazzini (because I am one of those few, strange people who actually like them!!) but I had a friend ask for a “lower carbohydrate” version – hence the pimentos. You can try it both ways, or split them up and use half peas and half pimentos for a different twist.
Light Chicken Tetrazzini
- 1 large nonstick skillet
- 1 small bowl
- 8 ounces whole wheat angel hair pasta (or other similar thin pasta)
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter (or margarine)
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ cup green onions, sliced thin
- 1 can fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth (14 ounces)
- 1 cup skim milk (divided)
- ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper (black pepper will work fine if you do not have white)
- 2 tablespoons sherry (cooking sherry works fine)
- 2 ounces jarred pimientos, drained and chopped (or 1 (10 ounce) package of frozen peas)
- ¼ cup low fat grated parmesan cheese, divided
- ½ cup fat free sour cream
- 2 cups cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta according to the package directions (omitting the salt); drain and set aside. Melt the butter (or margarine) in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook (stirring frequently) until the onions are tender.
- Add the chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk and the sherry to the onion mixture. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup milk into a small bowl; add the flour, salt, nutmeg and pepper to the milk and whisk very well. Slowly whisk this mixture into the skillet.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium-low; stir in the pimientos (or peas) and 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese. Stir in the sour cream and blend well.
- Add the chicken and the pasta to the skillet and mix until everything is combined.
- Lightly coat casserole or baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the mixture from the skillet evenly into the dish and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Cooking Light Chicken Tetrazzini involves a delicate balance of flavors and textures. To help you achieve the best results, we offer a range of tips and tricks that will elevate your cooking skills. Additionally, we’ll share insights on common mistakes to avoid, ensuring that every bite of your Light Chicken Tetrazzini is a culinary delight.
Offer tips and tricks to ensure the best results:
- Use Homemade Chicken Broth: Making your own chicken broth from scratch adds depth of flavor to the dish. Simmer chicken bones, vegetables, and herbs in water for a rich and flavorful broth that will elevate your Light Chicken Tetrazzini.
- Cook Pasta Al Dente: When boiling the pasta, cook it al dente, which means it should have a slight bite to it. This prevents the pasta from becoming mushy when it bakes in the oven with the creamy sauce.
- Season Generously: Don’t be afraid to season your chicken tetrazzini generously with salt, pepper, and any additional herbs or spices of your choice. The flavors will meld together during the cooking process, so it’s important to season adequately.
- Properly Drain the Pasta: After cooking the pasta, be sure to drain it well to remove excess water. This prevents the dish from becoming watery and ensures the flavors of the sauce are well distributed.
- Allow for Resting Time: Once you’ve removed the Light Chicken Tetrazzini from the oven, let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to settle and the dish to set slightly, making it easier to serve and enjoy.
Share insights on common mistakes to avoid:
- Overcooking the Pasta: Be mindful not to overcook the pasta before baking the dish.
The Best Ways To Serve And Enjoy Light Chicken Tetrazzini
Now that you’ve successfully prepared a delectable Light Chicken Tetrazzini, it’s time to think about presentation and accompaniments. In this section, we’ll provide detailed recommendations for sides, garnishes, and beverages that complement the flavors of this dish. We’ll also suggest different ways to serve it, so you can create a memorable dining experience for yourself and your guests.
Recommend sides, garnishes, or beverages that complement the flavors:
To enhance the flavors of your Light Chicken Tetrazzini, consider serving it with a variety of complementary sides, garnishes, and beverages. Here are a few recommendations:
- Garlic Bread: The warm, crispy slices of garlic bread are a perfect companion to the creamy and savory chicken tetrazzini. The garlic-infused buttery goodness pairs well with the flavors of the dish.
- Fresh Salad: A refreshing salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette dressing provides a contrast in textures and adds a vibrant touch to the meal.
- Roasted Vegetables: Roasting vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper adds a delightful earthy flavor that complements the richness of the chicken tetrazzini.
- Lemon Wedges: Squeezing a fresh lemon wedge over the dish right before serving can provide a burst of citrusy tanginess that cuts through the creaminess, balancing the flavors.
- White Wine: A crisp and light white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, pairs well with the creamy chicken tetrazzini. The acidity and fruity notes of the wine complement the dish without overpowering it.
Suggest different ways to serve the dish:
While Light Chicken Tetrazzini is delicious on its own, you can also explore different ways to serve it to add variety to your meals. Here are a few suggestions:
- Individual Ramekins: Transfer the chicken tetrazzini into individual ramekins and bake them until golden and bubbly. This not only creates an elegant presentation but also allows each person to have their own portion.
- Stuffed Bell Peppers: Cut off the tops of bell peppers, remove the seeds and membranes, and stuff them with the chicken tetrazzini mixture. Bake them until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through for a unique twist on the classic dish.
- Pasta Shells: Cook jumbo pasta shells and stuff them with the chicken tetrazzini mixture. Arrange them in a baking dish, top with cheese, and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. This creates a fun and interactive way to enjoy the dish.
- Phyllo Cups: Fill mini phyllo cups with a spoonful of the chicken tetrazzini mixture. Bake them until the phyllo cups are golden and crispy. These bite-sized appetizers are perfect for parties or gatherings.
- Pasta Bake: Combine the chicken tetrazzini with cooked pasta, transfer it to a baking dish, sprinkle with cheese, and bake until it’s golden and bubbly. This creates a hearty and comforting casserole-style dish that can be served family-style.
As you embark on your culinary journey with Light Chicken Tetrazzini, you might have some questions along the way. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers to help you navigate through the process. We’ll also provide insights on how to store any leftovers to ensure they stay fresh and flavorful.
How long can I store leftover?
Leftover Light Chicken Tetrazzini can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to let it cool completely before storing to prevent condensation and maintain its texture and flavor. To reheat, simply place it in the oven at a low temperature or microwave it until heated through.
Can I freeze Light Chicken Tetrazzini?
Yes, Light Chicken Tetrazzini can be frozen for future enjoyment. Transfer the cooled dish into freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, ensuring to remove any excess air. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat it in the oven until heated through.
Can I substitute the chicken with other proteins?
Absolutely! If you prefer a different protein in your Light Chicken Tetrazzini, you can easily substitute the chicken with cooked turkey, shrimp, or even tofu for a vegetarian option. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the protein is fully cooked.
Can I make Light Chicken Tetrazzini ahead of time?
Yes, Light Chicken Tetrazzini can be prepared ahead of time. You can assemble the dish, cover it tightly, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. This allows the flavors to meld together and makes it convenient for a quick and easy dinner the next day.
Can I use different types of cheese?
Certainly! While the classic recipe typically calls for Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, you can experiment with different cheese varieties to suit your preferences. Cheddar, Gruyere, or a combination of cheeses can add unique flavors and melt beautifully into the dish. Be sure to shred or grate the cheese before incorporating it into the recipe for even distribution.
Unleash your inner chef with our ultimate guide to Light Chicken Tetrazzini. Learn essential cooking tips, discover creative serving suggestions, and get expert answers to frequently asked questions. Share the recipe and subscribe to our blog to stay updated with mouthwatering recipes and culinary inspiration.