Chicken tetrazzini is a mixture of chicken, mushrooms, and pasta that are coated in a creamy sauce. You might not believe that it's free of gluten, dairy, and the other top 8 allergens!
This dairy-free chicken tetrazzini recipe was one of the first recipes that I adapted after learning of my son’s multiple food allergies.
The traditional recipe is a delicious blend of pasta, chicken, and a whipping cream based cream sauce. If that isn't enough, the classic dish is topped off with a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese.
The words "cream" and "cheese" might make you cringe if you're avoiding dairy! Don't worry, though, using a few allergy-friendly substitutes can lead to a rich and creamy dish similar to its dairy-filled counterpart.
The sauce in this dish is made with gluten-free chicken broth and a milk substitute. I typically use plain soy milk but you can use rice milk or any other dairy free alternative that you like.
The sauce is thickened with gluten-free all-purpose flour. If you're following a wheat/gluten free diet, you probably have a favourite gluten-free flour in your pantry at all times. Any variety will do!
I like to use spaghetti for this dish but you can use any type of pasta you like. We use Trader Joe's quinoa and brown rice spaghetti most often. I cook the pasta a bit less than usual so that is al dente. This way, it holds up to being stirred together with the other components. It will finish cooking during the baking process.
Nutritional yeast is dried flakes of yeast that contains B vitamins, including vitamin B12 as well as protein. It is described as having a nutty and cheesy flavor and is often used in vegetarian and vegan diets as a parmesan cheese substitute.
For this recipe, I used Trader Joe's nutritional yeast but it does have an advisory statement stating it may contain traces of soy and tree nuts. If you are avoiding those allergens, look for another brand without cross-contact issues.
The nutritional yeast in this dish does add extra flavor but, if you don't have nutritional yeast on hand, you can omit it and you will still have a good dish.
This dish can be made fairly quickly if you take a few shortcuts!
Cook the chicken ahead of time
If you're a meal planner, group dishes with similar ingredients. For example, if you grill chicken breasts for one dinner, prepare extra, chop, and save for this dish the next day. Or, freeze the cooked chicken and pull it out to defrost in the morning. Such a time saver!
A rotisserie chicken from the grocery store deli is another great time saver for this dish. Finally, if you have leftover cooked turkey breast on hand it can be substituted for the chicken. This is an excellent recipe to make with your leftover turkey from Thanksgiving dinner!
Make the pasta ahead of time
Again, you can group this dish with another dish that uses pasta. For example, if you have spaghetti and meatballs one night, make extra spaghetti, toss it in a little olive oil, and store in an airtight container for this dish the next night! This also minimizes having to wash your stock pot twice!
More main dishes
- 1 8 oz package brown rice spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons "safe" margarine or olive oil
- ½ medium onion chopped
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose wheat-free flour mix
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup gluten free chicken broth
- 1 cup rice or soy milk
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1-½ tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- salt to taste
- ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook brown rice spaghetti according to package instructions, drain and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion for 2 minutes; add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Stir in flour, pepper, and nutmeg until the onions and mushrooms are evenly coated.
- Next, add the broth and milk and stir well, scraping the pan to loosen any bits stuck to the pan. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.
- Add the chicken and 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast and stir well. Finally, add the cooked pasta and stir to combine.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Sprinkle with Italian seasoning if desired. Serve immediately.
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