Chicken Spaghetti Casserole loaded with moist chicken, spaghetti noodles, and creamy tomato sauce is the epitome of comfort food. Cheesy, hearty and tasty, it’s sure to be a family favorite!
Pasta and noodles are pantry staples I always keep a good supply of at home. Every time I find them on sale, I make sure I stock up on all the different sizes, shapes and varieties. I love how quickly they cook and how easily they whip up into a fantastic meal, a real lifesaver on busy weeknights!
Although we have a long list of well-loved pasta dishes on regular meal rotation, this chicken spaghetti makes more appearances than most. Loaded with moist chicken, spaghetti, and a creamy tomato sauce, it’s a family favorite for a good reason!
How to Make Chicken Spaghetti Casserole:
Chicken spaghetti is a quick and easy casserole made by briefly cooking spaghetti noodles, shredded chicken, cream of mushroom soup, and crushed tomatoes together in a skillet.
The mixture is then transferred to a baking dish, topped with shredded cheese, and baked in the oven until hot and bubbly.
While you can also use a rotisserie, this recipe calls for poaching the chicken. This delicate cooking technique wherein the chicken is simmered, not boiled, in liquid helps keep the meat moist and juicy.
To keep the noodles from turning into mush, make sure to undercook the pasta about 2 to 3 minutes of package directions as it will continue to cook in the oven.
I prefer a cheesy and gooey topping but feel free to swap the cheese with crushed crackers, tortilla chips or french-fried onions if you like a crunchy texture.
I also like to spice it up with diced green chilies which you can easily replace with diced green bell peppers if you want the added color but not the heat.
Can you Freeze Chicken Spaghetti?
Yes, you can! This pasta dish is not only hearty and tasty; it can be prepped ahead of time and also makes excellent leftovers.
Allow the pasta to cool completely, transfer to a freezer-to-oven safe dish (don’t use glass baking dish as it might crack going from cold to hot), and top with shredded cheese. Cover tightly with plastic film and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, cover with film and bake in a 375 F oven for about 45 minutes or until the center reads 165 F. If cooking directly from the freezer, bake in a 375 F oven for about 1 hour or until center reads 165 F.
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
- 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup chicken broth, reserved from poaching the chicken
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 10 ounces diced tomatoes
- 4 ounces diced green chilies
- 10.5 ounces cream of mushroom or chicken soup
- 2 cups shredded cheese blend
- In a large pot over medium heat, bring about 2 quarts lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes less than package's directions. Rinse under cold, running water and drain well. Set aside.
- In small, heavy-bottomed pot, arrange chicken breasts in a single layer. Add quartered onions, smashed garlic cloves, bay leaf, salt, peppercorns, and enough water to cover.
- Bring to a boil, skimming scum that floats on top. Lower heat, cover, and cook in a barely a simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until thermometer inserted in the thickest part of chicken reads 165 F.
- With a slotted spoon, remove chicken from pot and allow to cool to touch. Coarsely shred chicken and keep warm.
- Strain liquid using a fine mesh sieve. Discard aromatics and reserve 1 cup of the broth.
- In a wide skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
- Add onions and cook until softened.
- Add diced tomatoes and cook, mashing with the back of the spoon.
- Add diced green chilies.
- Add the reserved broth and cream of mushroom soup. Stir until combined and bring to a boil.
- Add spaghetti, chicken, and 1 cup of the cheese. Gently stir until combined and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or just until heated through.
- Transfer mixture to a lightly-greased baking dish and top with the remaining 1 cup cheese.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake in a 375 F oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove foil and continue to bake for about 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Remove from heat and serve hot.