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Chicken Spaghetti Casserole | QUICK and Easy

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole might just be the ultimate comfort food. This rich, creamy, flavorful, easy to make dish is sure to make it into your regular dinner rotation.

Chicken Spaghetti casserole overhead in baking dish horizontal

I came across this one by accident. I was exhausted after a long day and was so NOT in the mood run to the grocery store or cook something difficult. So I scrounged around the kitchen to see what I had on hand.

A decent amount of pantry staples, a pack of spaghetti, a couple of bell peppers, some cheese, and a rotisserie chicken that I had planned to shred for something else.

Perfect! Chicken Spaghetti Casserole it is! No trip to the grocery store needed. I had never made one so I scoured the internet for inspiration. Lots of inspiration out there! I combined several pieces of several different recipes I came across and voilà…! One of the easiest and tastiest dinners was out on the table with very little effort.

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Now that’s my kind of meal! Loaded with chicken, colorful bell peppers, and tons of cheesy creaminess. Yep – nothing like a bowl of comfort food after a long, hard day! (And nothing like this Dark and Stormy Cocktail to go with it!)

There are a couple of tricks to make sure you get the perfect chicken spaghetti casserole with just the right creamy texture without it turning into a mess of a blob.

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Pro Tip #1 – Make sure to cook your spaghetti NO MORE than al dente! You really want a fair amount of bite in that pasta so it keeps its texture during the baking process.

Pro Tip #2 – Grate your cheese from a block of cheese rather than using pre-shredded cheese. This makes a HUGE difference when making casseroles. Pre-shredded cheese has a coating on it to keep it from sticking together during the shipping and storing process, but that cheese coating does hinder the meltiness of the cheese.

You can use pre-shredded in a pinch, but the result will not be as melty and gooey (and that’s what comfort food is all about!)

Pro Top #3 – Make sure to salt the water when you cook your spaghetti. Use more than you think! It should taste like ocean water. This is the only way and time you can get flavor in the pasta.

Then drizzle the cooked spaghetti with a little olive oil after you strain it in a colander. This will prevent it from sticking together.

Pro Tip #4 – Coat your casserole dish with cooking spray or butter before you put your chicken spaghetti casserole ingredients in. You don’t want that tender pasta sticking to the bottom!

What Chicken to Use for a Chicken Pasta Bake?

I’ve written this recipe to use a rotisserie chicken because that’s what I had on hand. But you can you many different types. So go with what you have to make it easy on yourself! You want about 3 cups of cooked chicken. Here are some choices:

  • The Classic Rotisserie – Just peel off the meat and shred it. Lots of flavor and easy peasy!
  • Instant Pot Shredded Chicken – This is another super easy one. Be sure to check out my IP Shredded Chicken video here to see the easiest way to shred it! (So easy it will shock you!)
  • Leftover Chicken – Use whatever you have. It will all taste great! Dice or shred it into bite sized pieces.
  • Diced Breast or Thighs – Use boneless, skinless meat. Dice it and toss it in a skillet for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

How to Make Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

Break thin spaghetti in half and cook according to package directions to al dente. In a large bowl, mix together cooked spaghetti, cooked chicken, condensed cream of chicken soup, diced red and bell pepper, minced onion, chicken broth, seasoned salt, pepper, salt, and cheese. Pour mixture into a baking dish, top with remaining cheese, cover, and bake the chicken spaghetti casserole for 45 minutes. (Full recipe below.)

Watch me make it on The Spicy Apron Cooking Show (and click on over to YouTube to subscribe to my channel!)

And that’s it! This has quickly become an all-time family favorite in our household! What’s not to love? Tender spaghetti all baked together with satisfying chicken, creamy chicken soup, a little bell pepper (we all need to eat our veggies, right?), and lots of creamy cheese. Dinner is served!

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Here are some other easy comfort food dinners for you to check out.

Kitchen tools used to make this dish

Chicken Spaghetti casserole overhead in baking dish horizontal
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Chicken Spaghetti casserole overhead in baking dish horizontal
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook spaghetti according to package direction to al dente (do not overcook it!) Then drain in a colander, rinse with cool water and drizzle with a little olive oil to keep from sticking. While the pasta is cooking, mince bell peppers and onion.
  3. In a large bowl mix together cooked pasta, chicken, cream of chicken soup, bell peppers and onions, seasoned salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, chicken broth, and 2 cups of the shredded cheese. Toss until well-mixed.
  4. Spray a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour spaghetti mixture into dish and spread out evenly. Top with remaining cheese, cover and bake for 45 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Valerie Mcnabb

Wednesday 16th of June 2021

Can these casseroles be cooked in a microwave and still come out as tasty?

Kerri

Sunday 3rd of January 2021

Made this for dinner tonight was really good! Had alittle bit of a kick to it will add less cayenne to it next time!

Heather

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

Thanks Kerri! I'm glad you liked it. And, yes, cayenne is certainly a personal taste preference.

Amanda Kelley

Sunday 3rd of May 2020

Hi Tony, I made this recipe today for Sunday lunch. It took me awhile to get everything together as it was my first time to make this dish. I did make a couple of substitutions because I didn't have what was called for. I chose not to use cayenne pepper, just in case it was too hot for me, (my husband would have loved it!) I used colby jack/cheddar mix, and used a seasoning mix that was not seasoned salt because I didn't have the ingredient. I would say prep time including the cooking of the chicken, chopping the onion and pepper was about 45 minutes. The cook time was right on the money with my oven, and we loved this dish! We will be making this recipe again! Thanks, Amanda

Tony

Thursday 19th of September 2019

Hello Heather,

Just a little feedback on your "Chicken Spaghetti Casserole" recipe you posted, and that I made the other night. While I usually make your IP recipes, I thought I would try this one as it looked good. I followed the recipe as written but added a package of sliced mushrooms and some garlic powder, red pepper flakes and additional ground black pepper.

First off, this recipe is neither "quick" nor totally easy as you stated. You have the prep time listed as "10 minutes" which is totally wrong. By the time I started the water boiling, cut up all the veggies, removed the meat and skin from the rotisserie chicken, gathered the spices and shredded all the cheese (I used half sharp cheddar and half colby-jack), it was closer to an hour of prep. Then, trying to mix it all together was another issue. I tried the biggest bowl I had, and it wasn't big enough to hold all the ingredients. I ended up mixing it all together with my hands in the 9x13 casserole baking dish, and it still made a huge mess with stuff falling on the counter, floor and me. I really needed a much bigger bowl to get all the ingredients to mix better. Also, your recipe ingredients call for "1 cup of chicken broth" which I bought and had ready to use, but when I got into the instructions, there was nothing included in there about using the 1 cup of chicken broth. I ended up baking it for 1 hour, as after 45 minutes the inside middle was only luke-warm. So from start to finish, it took me over 2 hours, not including about 30 minutes of kitchen clean-up from all the dishes/pans I used, plus the mess on the counter, stove and floor.

Overall the finished recipe was very good and everyone liked it, with the addition of the mushrooms giving it another level of flavor. And, my young daughter thought it was "chicken mac and cheese"and had two helpings. I may make it again, but it is defiantly not a dish for a "quick and easy" weeknight meal, and I will have to find a much larger bowl to mix it in!

Heather

Saturday 21st of September 2019

Hi Tony. Thanks for the feedback! I'm this one gave you trouble. It really is my "go-to" when I need something quick and easy to feed a bunch of people. A couple of thoughts - I LOVE the idea of adding mushrooms, but I can see how that amount of volume made it difficult to mix in one bowl. There's no doubt that there's a lot of stuff going on in this one. Did you happen to watch the video I did making this? I made it exactly as written and it came together very easily (although my bowl was almost too small too!). Thank you for pointing out that the 1 cup of broth didn't make it into the directions. I have corrected that now and I really appreciate you pointing that out. I also agree that it can take longer to grate the cheese (I highly recommend that) so I added a bit of time to the prep time for this one. Thanks again for the feedback. I always appreciate it!! Let me know if you have any other questions or comments. Take care. Heather

Tony

Tuesday 17th of September 2019

Lools good. Do you think it would still turn out okay if I made it a day ahead, stored it in the fridge, and cooked it the next day?