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Baked Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

I laugh at the roses in the photo behind this plate of spaghetti. Pitts has this saying about putting a pig in a dress. After all, this is just chicken spaghetti. But baked Chicken Spaghetti gets a complete pass in my book. To me, with a salad and some crusty bread, Chicken Spaghetti is as good as it gets and suitable for paper plates and fine china. And for a dish that probably costs just over a dollar a serving depending on what type of chicken you purchase, it is a rare “no fail” dinner plan.

I have been fussing over Chicken Spaghetti recipes forever. I have asked for and received at least a dozen recipes in my search. This recipe constitutes the best of what I’ve found. There are several reasons I like it. It contains no “cream of” soups, so one can dictate the flavor profile. And, it can be made with a pound of any sort of cooked chicken. You may roast or boil a whole chicken, buy a rotisserie chicken, or do as I did and pan grill a few chicken cutlets. I have also made it using chicken tenders. As long as you end up with a pound of cooked meat, you are good to go. This made a hefty 13” x 9” casserole that could easily feed six to eight people. No matter how it is prepared, it is a comfort, a convenience and a bargain.

Preparation:
1 pound cooked shredded chicken
¾ cup chopped onions
2 cups chopped vegetables (red, yellow, and green bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, celery)
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 Tablespoons butter
¼ cup all purpose flour
1-½ cans (14.5 ounce cans) of low sodium chicken broth
½ cup Half & Half
8 oz. of shredded cheddar cheese (about 6 in the dish, and 2 for the topping)
8 oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente and drained
½ cup buttered Panko crumbs
4 oz. canned chopped green chiles
1 tomato, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

First, season and cook the chicken. I use Johnny’s Seasoning Salt, but a little salt and pepper is fine, instead. Pan grill the chicken (or cook in a non-stick skillet) until cooked through. Allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes and then chop it up into small pieces.

Melt the butter in a sauté pan. When the butter has melted, add all of the chopped vegetables, onion and garlic and sauté until tender. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for another minute or two, stirring constantly. Add the chicken broth and continue to stir until a thick sauce has formed. Add the Half & Half and stir until combined. Add the chopped tomatoes, green chiles and 6 ounces of the cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted. Add the chopped chicken and stir. Now, taste this sauce and add salt and pepper. It will need it. We have used low sodium broth and we are not using canned cream soups which typically add a lot of sodium. You will need to season at this point. Seriously, taste it.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in boiling water until al dente and then drain the spaghetti.

If you have room in the sauté pan, add the noodles. I usually end up transferring the sauce to the emptied noodle pot and then add the noodles back in with the sauce. Regardless, add the noodles to the sauce and stir to incorporate the sauce and vegetables into the noodles. This takes a little doing, but keep stirring or re-arranging with tongs until the vegetables and chicken are well distributed. Transfer the Chicken Spaghetti to a casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

In a small bowl, combine 1 Tablespoon of melted butter and ½ cup of Panko crumbs. Season with seasoning salt, or regular salt. Distribute the remaining cheddar cheese on top of the chicken spaghetti and then sprinkle the Panko on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Allow the casserole to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Notes:

For the chopped vegetables, consider hitting the salad bar at your grocery store. Bell peppers can get pricey and you really don’t need that much. I procured all of the veggies in the photos at the Whole Foods Market prepared vegetable area, pre-washed and pre-sliced. All I had to do when I got home was plop them out on the chopping block and give them a thorough chopping. Also, I usually cook more noodles than I need to and then I can use them or not use them based on the consistency of the sauce. If the casserole seems too “wet” you can simply add a few more noodles.

You can use regular bread crumbs instead of Panko.

The green chiles are totally optional, but I like the mild kick that they contribute.

If you make Chicken Spaghetti of any sort (as long as it doesn’t have olives in it), call me so that I can come eat at your house…I’m salivating just typing about it. Also, my mom tells me that if you sweet talk the folks in your grocery store deli department, they will actually de-bone a rotisserie chicken for a nominal fee. That is good information to have.

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38 comments to Baked Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

  • Pati

    Made this for a teachers luncheon and it was wonderful. I added water chestnuts, chopped blk olives and, instead of green chilies, I added a can of Rotel. I used a herb stuffing mix as a topping and sprinkled a bit of finely grated cheddar on top as soon as i removed it from the oven. Everyone enjoyed this dish and I had many requests for the recipe. I plan to make this again and freeze in small portions. Thanks so much!

  • Erika King

    Made it over the weekend! turned out great. brought leftovers to work and now have 4 recipe requests!will share your site. thanks!

  • Kelly

    Erika…that was very imprecise of me. My apologies. I will clarify that on the recipe. But, I used 14.5 ounce cans, so you will use approximately 21-22 ounces. Thank you for asking. I hope you enjoy it.

  • Erika King

    How many total ounces are in the 1 1/2 cans of broth? Thanks! looking forward to trying this.

  • Kelly

    I hope you like it. Yes…refrigerate…just take it out a bit earlier to warm up and cook it a little longer. Let me know how it turns out.

  • Paige

    I just saw that you already commented on a similar question! No reply needed. :) Thanks!

  • Paige

    I’m going to make this tonight for my husband, mother-in-law and two others. I think it will go well along-side a salad and a crusty beer bread. I’d like to make it this morning and refrigerate it until I need to bake it. Have you tried making it ahead of time? Would I just put it in the oven longer? Thanks for the recipe!

  • This does look REALLY good! Comfort food, with flair!

  • Kelly

    I love the idea of throwing in some squash. I’m going to try that. Glad you liked it, Laura.

  • Laura

    This kind of had a Mexican flare to it with the green chiles and tomatoes. I used it to get rid of some squash (one of the veggies I sauteed) and leftover chicken and noodles and even black beans. It was very tasty! Will make again!

  • N. Dostalik

    I don’t like chicken spaghetti, but I love this. When I made it for another family, there were NO leftovers…. it was great and certainly will make it again.

  • Kelly

    Missy, that makes me so happy.

  • Missy

    I made this tonight and I had some happy tummies. Thank you.

  • Kelly

    Hi Brenda! Yes, you can. It shouldn’t be a problem at all because everything is already cooked, so to speak. I have even frozen it pre-baking. I would let it sit on the counter and warm up a bit before baking it, and add a few minutes to the cooking time. You might need to cover the top with foil for the last 10 minutes while the center gets nice and hot. I hope your friend takes some comfort in a home-cooked meal. I wish her all the luck in the world in her fight.

  • Brenda

    Hi! Your friend Courtney Mertens shared your website with me. I am the librarian at her children’s elementary school in Fulton. I made your Vanilla Bean Cake for a dessert auction with lucrative results. I am making this for myself and a second casserole for a friend going through chemo. Can you assemble this one night and bake it the second? Thanks for sharing!

  • huck

    Thanks for the recipe. Dinner on a Sunday night in Mountain House, CA. It was great!

  • Kelly

    Karen, I’m so happy to hear about the GF work around!!

  • Karen

    Thank you so much for the recipe, it was perfectly comforting and delicious as supper last night. It’s also easy to halve, which is a blessing, as I’m a uni student cooking for one. I adapted it to be gluten free, substituting sweet rice flour for the all purpose. It worked a treat!

  • Jesisca

    thanks for posting this recipe! i am a peace corps volunteer in albania and i found this gem on tastespotting. i made the dish for my landlord’s family and they have been raving about it (and they are VERY pick eaters)! just a note, i poached the chicken instead of grilling it and then used the broth from that. i also used less butter and cheese and it still turned out amazing! thanks so much for sharing this easy and delicious recipe!

  • Kristin

    I made this tonight for my boyfriend and my parents and we all LOVED it! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Hi, found you through FoodGawker, congrats!

    I’ve put this on the menu for this week and if it works well for me I’ll be making it for a new mom friend.

    Thanks!

  • Kelly

    Lydia, I am so glad to hear that you liked it. And, like you, I always leave out the black olives. Chicken Spaghetti is one of the all time perfect “new mom” casseroles. It is so homey and comforting. Thanks for commenting. It is always so nice to hear that a recipe works outside of my own kitchen.

  • Lydia

    When I was growing up, Mom didn’t really like to cook, and to be honest, wasn’t really the best cook (until much later when she actually had the time and enjoyed it). BUT Chicken/Turkey Spaghetti was one of the few dishes that she did really well, and we looked forward to that post Thanksgiving traditional leftover dish. The last time she made it for me, she was stocking my freezer after my son was born, and left the black olives out just for me. I’ve been looking for a really good version, trying to duplicate hers. Tried your recipe today, and it was DELISH! It’s a keeper – Thanks!

  • Courtney

    Chicken spaghetti makes me think of my mom. It was a staple in our household. Your comment about paper plates and china made me smile. It is spot on. My mom’s version is similar, but it uses Old English cheese which we refer to as “fancy Velveeta.” I have been wanting to try the recipe with a different cheese and this looks fantastic. I can’t wait to try it.

  • I have never used chicken in a spaghetti pie-usually red sauce and beef. This looks like a really nice alternative to a heavier sauced version.

  • Kelly

    Katy, I’m so glad you liked it. It is pretty basic stuff but I think it is really great.

  • Kelly

    Allison, I bet you could. I rarely use corn starch so I’m not sure how it would behave, but it sure seems like it should work just fine. Please report back if you try it.

  • Maggie Williams

    I just found your website- this chicken spaghetti looks great- I am bookmarking your page so I can keep checking back on what you have cookin-
    I usually never leave a reply unless I have made the dish but after reading your comments and directions I can almost taste this!
    Thanks Maggie

  • Allison

    i love this version because i could probably easily translate it to gluten free, since there are no “cream of” soups called for….do you think cornstarch would work in place of the flour? i would obviously be using GF pasta and breadcrumbs – cannot wait to try it. and i think the roses are fab.

  • Katy Belle

    I made your chicken spaghetti last night! So yummy! Ive made different versions over the years and was happy that this had no soup in it. I didnt have a tomato, so I dumped in some salsa. I used mushrooms, celery and orange bell peppers,. Thanks for the versitile, yummy recipe!

  • Kelly

    Lynn, hello!! Good to see you again. And it was a del it meeting you too. You will be happy to know the pie arrived, safe and sound, and was just joyfully consumed by a really lovely group of people. More on that later, I promise. I hope you have safe travels, and again, I’m really happy to see your name here.

  • This looks really good. I love a good chicken spaghetti!

  • Lynn Rogers

    My mother’s Chicken Spaghetti was my all time favorite comfort food (not counting ice cream or Frosted Dr. Pepper’s after Sunday naps – but I digress). Love your blog. Love your lyrical writing. And especially like your photography. It was so fun meeting you at the airport this morning. Can’t wait to read the ending to your travel adventure. When I return home I’m definitely going to make your Chicken Spaghetti.

    Lynn

  • Lisa Thompson

    Hungry already! Will make for sure this weekend!

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