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.
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.
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.
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!