Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is classic comfort food! The simple dish combines tender pasta with chicken and vegetables in a creamy, cheesy sauce. It’s an easy dinner that you can make in advance, or a delicious meal to bring to a friend in need!

Side shot of chicken spaghetti casserole in a baking dish with a wooden serving spoon
Table of Contents
  1. How to Make Chicken Spaghetti | 1-Minute Video
  2. Hearty Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
  3. Which chicken to use for a Chicken Pasta Bake?
  4. Ingredients
  5. How to Make Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
  6. What to Serve with this Easy Chicken Spaghetti Recipe
  7. Preparation and Storage Tips
  8. Recipe Variations
  9. Tips for the Best Chicken Spaghetti Recipe
  10. Chicken Spaghetti Casserole Recipe

How to Make Chicken Spaghetti | 1-Minute Video

Hearty Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

This particular chicken spaghetti casserole is a basic dish that can be tweaked in a variety of ways to suit your family’s taste preferences and schedule. Use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or boiled chicken — anything goes! The kids will go crazy for the creamy combination of noodles and tender chicken in a creamy sauce with plenty of cheese on top. Serve the casserole with a salad and cornbread muffins or biscuits for the perfect family supper!

Which chicken to use for a Chicken Pasta Bake?

You’ll need cooked chicken for this recipe, and a variety of options will work. Pick the most convenient method for you:

  • Boiled and Pulled Chicken: Boil about 1 ¾ lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs until cooked through (about 20 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken and use in the recipe. You can use as little as 1 ½ lbs. of meat, or as much as 2 lbs. of meat to start with — whatever you have on hand. You’ll need a total of about 4 cups (more or less) shredded. I find that 1 ¾ lbs. of chicken breasts yields about 4 cups of pulled chicken, but there’s some flexibility here — it doesn’t need to be exact.
  • Rotisserie Chicken: This is a great shortcut! Purchase a large rotisserie chicken (or two small chickens) from the grocery store, shred the meat, and use in the recipe as instructed.
  • Leftover Chicken: If you have leftover grilled or baked chicken from a previous meal, put those extras to good use in this casserole.
  • Canned Chicken: Yep, you can even use canned chicken in this casserole!

The Best Cheese for a Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

This recipe calls for a combination of cheddar and Velveeta cheeses. I love the flavor that you get from the cheddar, while the Velveeta has a creamy melting quality that you just can’t replicate with other cheeses. The Velveeta blends into the sauce and makes the whole dish taste rich, creamy, and cheesy.

That said, if you really don’t like the idea of using Velveeta cheese, you can substitute with additional cheddar cheese. You can also try other good melting cheeses in this casserole, such as Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Colby, Colby-Jack, Mozzarella, or Gruyere. You can even make chicken spaghetti with cream cheese or pimento cheese stirred into the dish instead of the Velveeta. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, if you like.

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole with Rotel

I prefer using a small jar of diced pimentos in this casserole because they add nice color and mild flavor that appeals to kids of all ages. If you want a casserole with some spicy kick to it, swap out the pimentos and instead use a 10-ounce can of drained Ro*Tel diced tomatoes with green chilies.

Front shot of a bowl of chicken spaghetti with a fork

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a pan of chicken spaghetti. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Spaghetti: the pasta that forms the base of the casserole. You can also use angel hair pasta, linguine, or other similar long, thin noodles.
  • Chicken: use store-bought rotisserie chicken for a shortcut. See my notes above for other options, like cooking your own chicken or using canned chicken.
  • Green bell pepper, celery, and onion: fresh vegetables that bulk up the casserole and add savory flavor to the meal. Feel free to swap out the green bell pepper for red bell pepper if that’s your preference.
  • Diced pimentos: for a mild touch of flavor and color, or use a can of Rotel tomatoes for a spicy kick. Diced roasted red peppers are also a fine substitute for the pimentos.
  • Condensed cream of mushroom soup: or sub with another similar flavor of condensed soup, such as cream of chicken soup or cream of celery soup.
  • Chicken broth: to thin the soup, making the sauce the binds the casserole together.
  • Cheddar cheese: for sharp cheesy flavor.
  • Velveeta cheese: for that great creamy, melty texture.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the casserole.
Cook spaghetti noodles in a pot

How to Make Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

This is a very easy dinner recipe that you can assemble in advance and refrigerate or freeze until needed! There’s no need to saute the ingredients in a large skillet before adding them to the casserole dish, or to make a roux to thicken the sauce. It’s comfort food perfection, and it couldn’t be easier! As always, the step-by-step detailed instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  1. Cook Spaghetti. Boil the uncooked spaghetti in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.
  2. Add Remaining Ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients to the pasta, stirring until everything is well combined. Transfer to a prepared baking dish. Sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top and the casserole is ready for the oven!
  3. Bake. Bake the dish, uncovered, in a 350°F oven for about 45 minutes, or until it’s hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted on top.
Pan of chicken spaghetti before baking
Grated cheese on top of spaghetti casserole
Overhead shot of chicken spaghetti casserole in a white dish with blue trim

What to Serve with this Easy Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

This creamy spaghetti chicken casserole goes well with any of the following sides:

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Make Ahead: This is the ultimate prep-ahead meal to get dinner on the table quickly and easily — even on busy nights. Assemble the casserole, wrap tightly, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking. When ready to bake, allow the dish to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before putting it in the oven.
  • How to Freeze: Freeze the chicken spaghetti before baking. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, cover with foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, allow the dish to come to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes, and then bake according to recipe instructions.
  • To bake from frozen, cover the dish with foil for the first 45 minutes, and then continue baking for about 30-45 more minutes (uncovered), or until heated through.
  • Storage: Leftover baked chicken spaghetti will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat the casserole in a 350°F oven, covered, just until warmed through (about 20-30 minutes). You can also reheat individual portions of the leftovers in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Recipe Variations

  • Whole Wheat Chicken Spaghetti: Use whole wheat spaghetti noodles instead of regular noodles. Boil the whole wheat pasta until al dente, according to the package directions.
  • Chicken Spaghetti Recipe with Ritz Crackers: For buttery crunch on top of your casserole, add a Ritz cracker crumb topping. To make the topping, stir together 1 sleeve of coarsely crushed Ritz crackers (about 30 crackers, or 1 ½ cups of crumbs) with 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle the buttered crumbs over the top of the casserole before baking.
  • Try different types of cheese instead of the sharp cheddar cheese and Velveeta. Other good options include Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Colby, Colby-Jack, Mozzarella, or Gruyere.
  • Swap out the cream of mushroom soup and use different flavors of condensed soup, such as cream of chicken soup or cream of celery soup.
  • Jazz up the dish and make it spicy by adding a dash of cayenne pepper to the creamy sauce, or garnish individual servings with crushed red pepper flakes. You can also add some garlic powder, if desired.

Tips for the Best Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

  • Don’t overcook the pasta. Boil the spaghetti just until it’s al dente (or 1 minutes less), so that it still has a firm bite. The noodles will continue to cook in the oven, and you don’t want to end up with mushy spaghetti in your casserole.
  • Use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken (or two) for a shortcut. If you prefer to cook your own chicken at home, boil about 1 ¾ lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs until cooked through (about 20 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken into bite-sized pieces. You can use as little as 1 ½ lbs. of meat, or as much as 2 lbs. of meat to start with — whatever you have on hand. You’ll need a total of about 4 cups (more or less) shredded.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired, just before serving.
  • Cooking Just for Two? Divide the ingredients between two 8-inch square baking dishes. Cook one now, and freeze the other casserole for later. If you prefer just one smaller casserole, you can cut all of the ingredients in half and bake in an 8-inch square dish. You can cut the baking time back to about 30-35 minutes for the smaller casserole.
Close up shot of a wooden spoon scooping up chicken spaghetti

More Chicken and Pasta Casserole Recipes to Try

Dump and Bake Chicken Alfredo Pasta Casserole

48 mins

Easy Chicken Tetrazzini

55 mins

Chicken and Noodle Casserole

45 mins

Square close up shot of chicken spaghetti casserole

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 528 kcal
This easy, cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is classic comfort food!

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounces spaghetti, broken into pieces
  • 4 cups cooked and diced or shredded chicken
  • ½ cup diced green bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained or 1 (10 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • 2 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup, NOT diluted
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup finely-diced or grated Velveeta cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package instructions for al dente (almost tender, but still with a little bite). Drain and return to the pot.
    Cooked spaghetti in a colander
  • Add chicken, bell pepper, celery, onion, pimentos or Rotel, condensed soup, broth, ½ cup of the cheddar cheese and all of the Velveeta. Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste.
    Pan of chicken spaghetti before baking
  • Transfer spaghetti mixture to prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese over top.
    Grated cheese on top of spaghetti casserole
  • Bake (uncovered) for 45 minutes, or until the casserole is hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted on top.

Video

Notes

  • Whole Wheat Chicken Spaghetti: Use whole wheat spaghetti noodles instead of regular noodles. Boil the whole wheat pasta until al dente, according to the package directions.
  • Chicken Spaghetti Recipe with Ritz Crackers: For buttery crunch on top of your casserole, add a Ritz cracker crumb topping. To make the topping, stir together 1 sleeve of coarsely crushed Ritz crackers (about 30 crackers, or 1½ cups of crumbs) with 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle the buttered crumbs over the top of the casserole before baking.
  • Try different types of cheese instead of the cheddar and Velveeta. Other good options include Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Colby, Colby-Jack, Mozzarella, or Gruyere.
  • Swap out the cream of mushroom soup and use different flavors of condensed soup, such as cream of chicken soup or cream of celery soup.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta. Boil the spaghetti just until it’s al dente (or 1 minutes less), so that it still has a firm bite. The noodles will continue to cook in the oven, and you don’t want to end up with mushy spaghetti in your casserole.
  • Use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken (or two) for a shortcut. If you prefer to cook your own chicken at home, boil about 1 ¾ lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs until cooked through (about 20 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken and use in the recipe. You can use as little as 1 ½ lbs. of meat, or as much as 2 lbs. of meat to start with — whatever you have on hand. You’ll need a total of about 4 cups (more or less) shredded.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired, just before serving.
  • Cooking Just for Two? Divide the ingredients between two 8-inch square baking dishes. Cook one now, and freeze the other casserole for later. If you prefer just one smaller casserole, you can cut all of the ingredients in half and bake in an 8-inch square dish. You can cut the baking time back to about 30-35 minutes for the smaller casserole.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the casseroleCalories: 528kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 42gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 1123mgPotassium: 991mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 580IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 414mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: chicken spaghetti, chicken spaghetti casserole
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hey, Blair. thanks for sharing this awesome recipe. But I have a question before i tried it on my kitchen. Cons muffins or biscuits, which one will be the best option?

    1. Hi, Ginger! Absolutely. It’s a great freezer meal. There are freezer instructions in the blog post, but I’ve copied them here as well:

      Freeze the chicken spaghetti before baking. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, cover with foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, allow the dish to come to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes, and then bake according to recipe instructions.

      To bake from frozen, cover the dish with foil for the first 45 minutes, and then continue baking for about 30-45 more minutes (uncovered), or until heated through.

      Enjoy!

  2. Can this recipe be be cooked in the microwave? Would there be any changes needed if the casserole is cooked n the microwave?

    1. Hi, Debra! I’m sorry that I’m not helpful, but I’ve never cooked a casserole in the microwave. I don’t think there are any specific changes that you would need to make. You’ll just have to keep an eye on it since I don’t know exactly what the cooking time would be.

  3. 5 stars
    This was delish! We are trying to up our daily veggie intake so I chopped a bag of fresh baby power greens and some chopped mushrooms. Sautéed all the veggies to soften before combining everything. Also realized at the last minute I only had one can cream of mushroom so subbed 1/2 cup of pasta water and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Also added some crushed red pepper cuz we like a little heat. Used Banza chickpea spaghetti noodles. Turned out wonderfully! My whole family loved it and we had enough for leftovers later in the week. No one complained!

    1. That’s amazing, Beth! I’m so glad that you were able to make it work with the ingredients that you had on hand — and more veggies! Thanks for taking the time to come back here and leave me a note. 🙂

      1. Hi, Edna! If you don’t care for the cream of mushroom soup, you can substitute with almost any similar condensed soup. You might try cream of chicken soup or cream of celery soup. Hope you enjoy!

  4. 5 stars
    I absolutely love the way you explain your recipes. You provide options, alternatives, substitutes and suggestions. I don’t cook very well so the options and details are very much helpful. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m so glad that you find it helpful, Rebecca! Thanks for taking the time to leave me a kind note. 🙂

  5. Hi Blair, I’ve been making something similar. I cook brocolli and add it. I make the sauce in a saucepan including a small can of evap. milk. There’s no need for the cheddar. I would never add green peppers. I don’t bake it. Everything is cooked.