Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is the one dish my family most often requests! This comfort-food casserole consists of creamy, cheesy chicken and pasta with accents of red and green bell peppers in a light cream sauce! Chicken Spaghetti is a simple “comfort food” recipe you can make in advance and is a great dish to take to potlucks! Serve with a crispy Caesar salad!
Should I Use White or Dark Meat?
I prefer a combination because the dark meat seems to deepen the flavor of the dish. I use chicken thighs (boneless and/or skinless) and chicken breast.
How Do I Cook the Chicken?
There are two ways to prepare the chicken for Spaghetti Casserole: Boiling or Baking.
I prefer to lightly salt and pepper the chicken and bake it in a lightly oiled dish, covered with foil. However, you can boil the chicken, too. Either way, just make sure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches a minimum of 165°F.
Can I Use a Rotisserie Chicken from the Deli for this Chicken Casserole?
Rotisserie deli chicken meat works great in this casserole! Be aware that sometimes the deli chickens are small and do not yield enough meat. (This recipe calls for 2 lbs. of meat.) Remove the skin from the chicken, shred the meat and add it to the skillet with the onions and peppers.
Can I Make This Recipe Without Using Condensed Soups?
If you prefer not to use condensed soups, make a roux, add milk, chicken bouillon, celery salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the chicken spaghetti in a parchment lined baking dish and freeze. After it’s frozen, cut the casserole into portions and place in freezer bag or container. When ready to reheat, simply remove from freezer, place in baking dish and bake until it’s warm throughout and the cheese is melted.
Classic Chicken Spaghetti
- 1 lb. pasta (spaghetti)
- 4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs OR
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 4 lbs. chicken 3 lbs. of breast or 4 lbs. of boneless, skinless thighs
- 1 cup celery finely chopped (about 4 stalks)
- 1 cup onion finely chopped (1 large)
- 1 cup green and/or red bell pepper finely chopped (1 large)
- 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 can condensed cream of celery
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 12 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cook the Chicken
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Place chicken thighs (or breasts) in a large pot and cover with water; bring to boil; allow chicken to come to 165ºF; remove chicken and set aside - OR-place chicken on lightly greased baking dish, season with salt and pepper, cover with foil and bake about 45-50 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165ºF
- While chicken is cooking, chop onions, celery and bell peppers
- Once chicken has cooled, use two forks to shred the meat; set aside
Prepare the Vegetables and Sauce
- Add oil to skillet, place chopped onions, celery and bell peppers in oil; cook about 15 minutes on medium - medium/high heat
- Once vegetable mixture is done, add chicken broth, condensed soups and sour cream; Mix together well and allow to cook for about 5 minutes uncovered
- Add 4 oz. cheese to mixture; combine well; turn heat to low and prepare pasta
- Add shredded chicken to vegetable mixture; combine well
- In a different large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil; cook pasta as indicated on packaging (usually about 9 minutes) Drain pasta; set aside
- Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking dish; add cooked pasta and vegetable mixture to baking dish; combine well (this is easiest to do with tongs)
- Add remaining half of of the cheese to the pasta and vegetable mixture; mix well
- Top with remaining cheese; bake uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until cheese has melted and casserole is bubbly.
- The beauty of this dish, other than being delicious, is that it serves a crowd without breaking the bank.
- I make this dish with dark meat because I think it's more flavorful, however, if you prefer white meat, then get two pounds of chicken breast. Cook them as indicated in the recipe
- Try adding chopped black olives
- Pair with a green salad or sugar snap peas
- If you buy skin-on chicken, I've found it's easier to remove the skin prior to cooking the chicken.
Got Comments or Questions? I’d Love to Hear from You!
This post was updated July 24, 2019. The recipe did not change.