Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole Recipe

Rejoice because you have just found the perfect crowd-pleasing dish. And that's true even if some members of the crowd are picky eaters, aka kids. "If you're looking for a comforting and delicious pasta casserole that can feed a hungry family, then this cheesy chicken spaghetti really hits the mark," says recipe developer Ting Dalton of Cook Simply at Home. She describes it as, "Tender and tasty chicken with a delicious wholesome broth to cook the spaghetti," and adds, "there are also some fresh veggies thrown in."

What's not to like about that? You'll also like that this meal is big on flavor but small on challenging steps. Even a decidedly inexperienced cook can handle this dish, and in the hands of a more advanced chef, it invites all sorts of possibilities for customization. Though easy, this recipe takes some time to prepare, but Dalton has an idea to speed it up: "It's worth the effort to poach the chicken, but if you're short on time and would like to make this even quicker, you can use shop-bought rotisserie chicken or even use leftover roast chicken." Either way, it will be a great dinner, so let's get cooking!

Gather your ingredients for this cheesy chicken spaghetti casserole

To prepare this tasty dish, you'll need thin spaghetti broken into 2-inch pieces, lots of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, finely diced green and red bell peppers, powdered cayenne pepper, two cans of cream of mushroom soup, finely diced onion, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

And of course, you'll need chicken thighs, though Dalton says: "You can also use a whole chicken and cut it into eight pieces. But to make it even quicker and easier, I've adapted the recipe to use chicken thighs, which have lovely tender meat, and it still has the desired results with less effort." Speaking further about the ingredients, she adds: "The flavor comes from the tangy cheese and the creamy mushroom soup as well as a touch of spice from the cayenne. If you have fussy eaters who don't like spice you can leave it out."

Boil the chicken

To start, bring a large pot of water to a boil then add the chicken thighs to the pot. Let the chicken cook at a full boil for 2 to 3 minutes, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.

When the time is up, remove the chicken from the pot but reserve all of the water (now broth), setting aside 2 cups. Then, remove the meat from the chicken and set it aside, discarding the skin and bones.

Cook the spaghetti then combine everything

Next, preheat the oven to 300 F. Bring the water you used to cook the chicken back to a boil and add in the spaghetti pieces. Cook the pasta for about 8 minutes until it is al dente and still has some bite. Then, drain the water and combine the pasta with the chicken meat in a large bowl. Add in the diced veggies, 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese, the cans of soup, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Then stir in 1 cup of reserved broth, adding more as needed so that the mixture is evenly blended and moist.

Top then bake the casserole

Now transfer the mixture you just created into a large casserole pan and top it with the remaining cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Pop the dish into the heated oven and bake it until the top of the casserole is bubbly and starting to brown, which should take about 45 minutes. Retrieve the dish and let it rest for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy!

"Serve [it] piping hot," Dalton recommends. As for extras, she notes: "Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to three days and reheat [them] thoroughly. You could also freeze leftovers for up to three months."

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole Recipe
5 from 41 ratings
Try this cheesy chicken spaghetti casserole recipe if you're looking for culinary inspiration. The combination of flavors and rich melted cheese is a winner.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
1.55
hours
Servings
8
Servings
cheesy chicken spaghetti casserole serving
Total time: 1.88 hours
Ingredients
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 pound thin spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar, divided
  • ¼ cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 (10 ¾-ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add the chicken thighs and boil for a few minutes, then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for around 40 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken and reserve 2 cups of the resulting broth.
  4. When the chicken is cool, remove the skin and pick off all the meat. Discard the bones and skin.
  5. Next, preheat the oven to 300 F.
  6. Cook the spaghetti in the water used for cooking the chicken and boil it for around 8 minutes until al dente.
  7. Drain the spaghetti and combine it in a large bowl with the chicken, 1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar, diced red and green peppers, cayenne, two cans of soup, and diced onions, and sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Stir in 1 cup of reserved chicken broth, adding an additional cup if needed.
  9. Transfer the mixture to a large casserole pan and top it with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  10. Bake immediately for 45 minutes or until it begins to bubble.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 744
Total Fat 40.0 g
Saturated Fat 11.3 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 197.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 50.7 g
Dietary Fiber 3.0 g
Total Sugars 2.7 g
Sodium 834.4 mg
Protein 42.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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