Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti is a comforting casserole the whole family looks forward to come dinnertime. Less complaining, more eating — a mother’s dream come true.
This is the all-time best cheesy Chicken Spaghetti casserole, and it’s destined to become a staple in your dinnertime lineup. A made-from-scratch rendition, outshining the rest with real ingredients and a whole lot more flavor.
BETTER WITH REAL INGREDIENTS
You’ll find many chicken spaghetti casserole recipes heavy-laden with processed ingredients like cream of mushroom soup, cans of Rotel, and of course, a big yellow block of processed cheese food. Canned creations can be a time-saver, but if you’ve never had chicken spaghetti made from scratch, it’s time to ditch those cans.
This Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti made from scratch never disappoints, and you will taste the difference. The mushrooms still have texture, the peppers are sweeter, the cheese is sharper and the dish overall is miles upon miles better than its dump-and-bake predecessor.
HOMEMADE SAUCE (IT’S EASY)
Homemade Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole begins with a quick and easy sauce consisting of a few diced vegetables, flour, and chicken broth. You’ll find it superior to any canned cream of mushroom version. In fact, you might find yourself tempted to grab a bowl and save the chicken and spaghetti for another day. It’s creamy and smooth, with just the right amount of spice and seasoning.
USING REAL CHEESE
What do you say we ditch the cheesy ingredient that can’t even formally call itself cheese. For the best Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti, you’ll want to use real Cheddar cheese. The kind that creates that creamy, dreamy, stretchy combo that only real cheese could.
HOW TO MAKE CHEESY CHICKEN SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE
- Sauté the vegetables.
- Sprinkle over the flour.
- Stir in chicken broth and half-and-half and simmer.
- Combine sauce, cooked, shredded chicken, cooked spaghetti, and grated cheese in a bowl and mix well.
- Transfer to a casserole dish, cover with cheese and bake.
TIPS FOR THE CHICKEN AND SPAGHETTI
Before you begin making the sauce for your Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole, you’ll want to have your chicken and spaghetti ready to go
SHRED (OR DICE) THE CHICKEN
As far as the chicken goes, you can use this simple recipe for Baked Chicken Breasts. It’s foolproof and delivers juicy, perfectly cooked chicken every single time. If you do not have time to bake your own chicken, plan ahead by purchasing a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Either shred the chicken or cut it into bite-sized pieces, whichever you find more preferable.
COOK THE SPAGHETTI TO AL DENTE — BUT WHY?
When cooking the pasta for your Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole, follow the package instruction for al dente. This means the cooked pasta will still have a bit of chew to it. You don’t want the spaghetti to be completely soft because it is going to continue to cook in the oven with the sauce. If the spaghetti is overcooked before it goes into the oven, it will be mushy by the time the casserole has finished baking.
Don’t forget to salt the pasta water! The pasta is at least half the casserole, and you want it to have as much flavor as possible.
HOW TO MAKE THE SAUCE
1. SAUTE THE VEGETABLES
Homemade sauce for Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti is easy to make, and it begins with onions and bell peppers. They are sautéed on the stovetop until softened. Then, the sliced mushrooms go in and they are cooked with the onions and peppers until softened as well.
2. ADD FLOUR AND LIQUID
Once the vegetables are ready, the flour is sprinkled over. Flour is what helps to thicken the sauce and will give it body. Then, the chicken broth (be sure to use unsalted or low-sodium broth) and the half-and-half go in and the mixture simmers until slightly thickened.
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole has a bit of a Mexican vibe to it, and its flavor is greatly contributed to the seasoning which consists of Kosher salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder.
BRING IT ALL TOGETHER
Once the sauce is made, all you have to do is bring it all home! Add the sauce, the cooked spaghetti, the shredded chicken, and half of the Cheddar cheese to a bowl, and mix well. Then, transfer it to a casserole dish and add the remaining cheese.
The casserole bakes until melty and bubbly and it’s almost ready to go. Allowing the casserole to sit 10-15 minutes before diving in will not only prevent you from burning the roof of your mouth, it will also give the casserole time to set up a bit.
It’s a filling and wholesome casserole the whole family will look forward to again and again. Please, enjoy!
5 MORE CHICKEN DINNER IDEAS YOU’LL LOVE
- King Ranch Casserole is a hearty stacked enchilada casserole featuring shredded chicken, corn tortillas, hearty vegetables, cheese, and a creamy Tex-Mex sauce.
- Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole is an American classic featuring melty Colby Jack cheese and a crunchy Cornflake topping.
- Chicken Taco Casserole is healthy and gluten-free! It’s made with ground chicken, brown rice, black beans and fresh taco toppings like diced tomatoes, sour cream, and cilantro.
- Homemade Chicken Pot Pie features a delicious, savory filling of juicy chicken, tender vegetables, and a creamy gravy enclosed in a double-layer of flaky pie crust.
- Authentic Chicken Verde Enchiladas are made easy at home with shredded chicken, Monterrey Jack cheese, corn tortillas, and a scratch-made tomatillo sauce.
SERVE CHICKEN SPAGHETTI WITH:
The best ever Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole featuring shredded chicken, spaghetti, Cheddar cheese, and an easy homemade sauce made with fresh vegetables.
- 2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
- 1 lb Spaghetti
- 2 tbsp Canola Oil
- 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 Green Bell Pepper seeded and diced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper seeded and diced
- 1 Yellow Onion diced
- 8 oz Button Mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 c All-Purpose Flour
- 4 c Unsalted Chicken Broth
- 1 c Half-and-Half
- 2 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 1/4 c Freshly Grated Cheddar Cheese separated
- 2 tsp Hot Sauce (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350° and have ready a large, greased casserole dish. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a roaring boil and cook spaghetti noodles to al dente, according to package instructions. Do not overcook the noodles. Strain and add to a large mixing bowl, along with the chicken. Set aside until ready to use.
Add oil and butter to a large sauté pan with a fitted lid or a Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in bell peppers and onions. Sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Add mushrooms, stir and cover for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle flour over the vegetable mixture. Stir until the vegetables are evenly covered in a paste-like coating.
Begin splashing the chicken broth over the vegetables, stirring after each addition until the mixture begins to take on a pudding-like texture. At this point, add the remaining chicken broth, along with the half and half. Stir to evenly combine. Allow mixture to simmer for 5-7 minutes, until it has thickened slightly. Stir in salt, chili powder, garlic powder and black pepper.
Pour the sauce over chicken and pasta, along with 1 ¾ cups of cheese and the hot sauce. Stir thoroughly to combine and transfer to the baking dish. Evenly sprinkle the remaining cheese over the casserole and bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sides are bubbling. Remove from the heat and allow to cool 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy.