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Vegetable Tetrazzini

Vegetable Tetrazzini Recipe

Vegetable Tetrazzini
Chicken Tetrazzini is one of those deliciously retro casseroles that has stood the test of time. We might not be making Wieneroni or Ham and Bananas Hollandaise anymore, but everyone’s mom still makes Chicken Tetrazzini. It’s a classic! A classic that is not horrifying!

In case you haven’t had Chicken Tetrazzini before, it’s a pasta-based casserole with a creamy sauce and chicken or turkey (in which case it’s called—wait for it!—Turkey Tetrazzini). Sometimes there are mushrooms and peas involved too. There’s a Parmesan-and-breadcrumbs topping, but not much in the way of seasoning. When making a vegetarian Chicken Tetrazzini, that lack of seasoning is an issue—without the chicken, this casserole is pretty bland. Sometimes making a recipe meatless is just a matter of switching the meat with some other ingredient, but this is not one of those recipes!

Vegetable Tetrazzini
I replaced the chicken in tetrazzini with asparagus and upped the amount of mushrooms. To boost the flavor, I also added leeks and garlic. Then I added my secret weapon—smoked paprika! It’s that little je ne sais quoi that you need in a recipe like this. I also used whole wheat farfalle instead of the more traditional spaghetti because I’m not a big spaghetti fan. It’s unwieldy! And farfalle looks like a jaunty little bow tie.

This Vegetable Tetrazzini is creamy, delicious vegetarian comfort food—it’s everything you love about Chicken Tetrazzini, minus the chicken. Plus vegetables!

Vegetable Tetrazzini Recipe

Vegetable Tetrazzini

A vegetarian version of tetrazzini made with leeks, mushrooms, and asparagus. Adapted from Simply Recipes' Turkey Tetrazzini.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound sliced white or cremini mushrooms
  • 1 large leek rinsed well and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup shredded Fontina cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 10 ounces whole wheat farfalle pasta cooked al dente according to package instructions
  • 1 bunch asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces (discard tough ends)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once it's melted, add the mushrooms, leek, and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms have released their juices and the liquid has almost evaporated, 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes more, stirring constantly.
  • Pour the broth, milk, wine, and cream into the Dutch oven. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the Fontina, half of the Parmesan, and the smoked paprika. Add the cooked farfalle and asparagus to the Dutch oven; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Spray a large casserole dish with an oil mister. Pour the tetrazzini mixture into the dish and top with the panko and remaining parmesan cheese. Spray the top with additional oil and place the casserole in the oven uncovered. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Let the casserole cool for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

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  • Reply
    Emily @ Zen & Spice
    April 2, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Yum! This looks SO good. I wish my boyfriend liked mushrooms and leeks. Or, I could make this and eat it all myself lol!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 3, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      Eating it all yourself definitely works too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking
    April 2, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Ohhh yes. This is totally my kind of comfort food! Love how hearty and delicious this looks!

  • Reply
    lisacng @
    April 2, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Yum, smoked paprika. And honestly, I don’t think chicken adds that much flavor to dishes. It’s such a bland meat. Now chicken stock is another question… thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 3, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      I could put smoked paprika in just about anything. It is so good! 🙂

  • Reply
    Meg van der Kruik
    April 2, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Yum!!! This sounds so good Kiersten:)

  • Reply
    dishing up the dirt
    April 2, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I could use a warm hearty meal like this right about now! Mushrooms and leeks are one of my favorite flavor combinations. Yum!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 3, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      I love leeks too–I don’t use them nearly enough!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Somehow I evaded chicken tetrazzini, which is shocking given just how Italian my family is. No idea how that happened. But I will happily have this veg version! I suspect this would even be boy-approved!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 3, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      Is tetrazzini really Italian?! I always figured it was one of those American inventions with a fancy Italian name. 🙂

  • Reply
    Angie (@angiesrecipess)
    April 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    This looks satisfying and delicious!

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ Henry Happened
    April 3, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I’m now feeling like a failure as a mother because I’ve never made this dish! Because the kiddos would be all.over.this 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 3, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      Chris had never had it and I was like, “Whaaaaat? Doesn’t everyone grow up eating Chicken Tetrazzini?” 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected] n Dishes
    April 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I ate turkey tetrazzini as a kid, and haven’t even thought of it for years! A blast from the past, but made even better, love this!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      My mom used to always make it too–it was one of my favorites! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    April 5, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Every variety of chicken tetrazzini I’ve seen in the past involved peas. I’m opposed to peas (except snow peas) so have to date never tried the dish. Asparagus, I can handle. This looks great!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 7, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      I love snow peas but hate regular peas too. I *want* to like them, but I just can’t!

  • Reply
    Hari Chandana
    April 6, 2014 at 4:11 am

    Looks absolutely delicious and tempting. great recipe.. you have a wonderful blog. Happy to follow you 🙂

  • Reply
    April 7, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Great recipe. I wound up using gouda instead of fontina to save some money and had to use green beans instead of asparagus because the asparagus at the store this weekend looked kind of sad. I’ll definitely be making it again soon (hopefully with delicious asparagus next time!)

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 9, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      Boo for sad asparagus! Green beans are a great sub though. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

    I made this recipe yesterday but when I finished the white sauce did not thicken. Im not sure what happened. Nevertheless, the pasta taste good.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 9, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe, although I’m sorry to hear the sauce didn’t thicken for you! Usually it’s thinner right after pulling the casserole out of the oven, but after letting it sit for a few minutes, it thickens.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    I tried this recipe last week and it was so good! I definitely went back for seconds (and thirds!) Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 18, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks for your comment–I’m so glad you liked it! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 30, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Yum! I subbed zucchini from the farm stand for the asparagus, and kept it all in the dutch oven to lessen clean-up – came out perfect! Probably would have been more crunchy bits in a casserole dish, but no one would notice! 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      August 5, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Yes, the great thing about this recipe is you can substitute whatever is in season! I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Michelle MErcier
    September 11, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    everything on tis website looks delicious I have a problem just like many other food /recipe websites, i can;t email the recipe to myself, can you make this an option?

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      September 18, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      We’re working on a new system for formatting our recipes and that’s an option we’ll consider adding. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Made this Sunday and have been eating leftovers all week–it’s delicious! This recipe gave me the opportunity to try fontina and I love it–it’s so smooth and creamy. It’s worth the price. I also used all heavy whipping cream instead of adding the wine and it turned out fine. I think I’ll try adding spinach next time I make this to bulk the dish up even more. Thanks for this great recipe. 🙂

  • Reply
    Amy G.
    April 9, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Kiersten, this looks great! I’m thinking of making this as a veggie main course for me for Easter. Just a question: Can any or all of this recipe be made ahead of time? Asking due to transporting the dish from home to relative’s house issues. Thanks!

    • Reply
      April 10, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Hi Amy! Your best bet would be to do all of the prep work ahead of time, and then just bake the dish at your destination. 🙂 Enjoy!

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