Ham Tetrazzini on a plate with a watercress salad also on the plate.

Ham Tetrazzini

Wondering what to do with that leftover baked ham?  Ham Tetrazzini is a classic baked pasta dish that your entire family will love.  Use your favorite pasta along with that leftover ham and bake it in a delicious  savory sauce.  And top it all off with shredded cheese for a cheesy casserole that children of all ages will enjoy!

Ham Tetrazzini is a casserole made with pasta and ham in a creamy sauce.  “Tetrazzini” is a type of casserole that originated in the United States and is named after the Italian Opera Star, Luisa Tetrazzini. Chicken, Turkey and Ham Tetrazzini are all well known dishes in the US, but you will rarely find it in restaurants.  Most people consider it a comfort food that can be found in kitchens across the US.

Tetrazzini is often eaten around holidays in the US because Americans serve large cuts of meat during family gatherings such as baked ham or roasted turkey.  There are often leftovers that people have to eat for days, so cooks are always looking for creative ways to serve up those leftovers.  Tetrazzini is a great way to enjoy those leftovers – especially with children.  It’s more of a pasta dish than a meat dish, it’s easy to prepare, it makes enough to serve a whole family (a pot makes 8 generous portions) and you can customize the dish to use whatever ingredients you have on hand (ham, chicken turkey and even tuna are popular meats to use along with any type of pasta).  It’s no wonder that just about every American has tried Tetrazzini in one form or another.

Another interesting thing is that unlike other creamy dishes, Ham Tetrazzini contains no milk or cream.  The sauce is made with flour and butter that are sautéed together with mushrooms and onions.  Chicken consommé is slowly stirred in which thickens the consommé so it has a creamy consistency.  The other ingredients are then stirred in and the entire mixture is added to a casserole dish and baked in a 325 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Top it off with shredded cheese before cooking and you have a child friendly version as well.

Give this “American Classic” a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Ham Tetrazzini

Ham Tetrazzini is a tasty casserole that your whole family will love.  Although it’s easy to prepare you can make changes to the recipe to suit your taste.  Check out some tips in the Notes Section, below.  Bake over low heat and top with cheese if desired.  Make sure to allow 5 minutes for the casserole to cool in the oven before serving.


15 mins 30 mins SERVES 8
PREP 15 mins
COOKING 30 mins
Ham Tetrazzini on a plate with a watercress salad also on the plate.


  • 2 TBSP Butter
  • 1 Med Onion, chopped finely
  • 6 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 TBSP Flour
  • 2 1/2 cup chicken consommé
  • 1/2 lb diced ham
  • 1/2 lb cooked pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 TBSP Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Ham Tetrazzini ingredients on a wooden placemat


  • Preheat oven to 325 deg F/160 deg C
  • Sauté the onions in the butter over medium high heat for 3 minutes until they soften and begin to turn translucent.
  • Add the mushroom and sauté for another minute.
  • Add in 2 TBSP flour.  Sauté until flour is completely combined and you cannot see any remaining powder.

Flour and onions and mushrooms in a frypan

  • Gradually stir in consommé about a half cup at a time and bring to a boil each time.  Once all the consommé is mixed in bring back to a boil and stir for another 5 minutes until thickened.

Tetrazzini Sauce simmering in a frypan

  • Reduce heat to medium.  Stir in the pasta until well combined, about 1 minute.
  • Mix in the ham and stir for 30 seconds to combine.
  • Add in the parsley and cheese.  Also add salt and pepper to taste.

Tetrazzini in the frypan being stirred with a large kitchen spoon

  • Remove from heat and pour the casserole into a casserole pan.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.  Take out of the oven after 10 minutes and stir one to prevent the top from drying out.
  • Turn off the oven and allow to sit for 5 more minutes in the oven.

Tetrazzini in a foil casserole pan cooling before serving

  • Take out of the oven and serve.
Ham Tetrazzini with a Watercress Salad



  • Top it off with a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese before baking for a gooey cheesy casserole.
  • For a delicious alternative, instead of diced ham, try substituting 1/2 lb of deviled ham.  Check out my recipe for homemade deviled ham.
  • Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days.
  • When preparing the ingredients make sure that you don’t overcook the pasta.  Boil the pasta so it is still al dente, or even a little undercooked, because it will soften a bit when you mix it into the sauce.


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