Indulge in this mouthwatering chicken spaghetti recipe with a creamy cheese sauce. Perfect for using leftover or rotisserie chicken, this make-ahead and freezer-friendly dish is sure to become a family favorite. Enjoy a comforting meal of Italian seasoned pasta topped with melted cheese, served alongside garlic bread and a refreshing salad.
Chicken Spaghetti: A Creamy and Flavorful Delight
If you’re seeking a way to elevate your usual spaghetti dinner or looking to make the most of leftover or rotisserie chicken, you’ve come to the right place. This chicken spaghetti recipe is not only incredibly flavorful but also creamy, cheesy, and perfect for make-ahead preparations and freezer-friendly meals. Your family is guaranteed to love it!
- This dish is absolutely delicious and comforting. The recipe was originally given to me by my sister, but I made some adjustments to tailor it to my family’s taste. Whenever we have pot-luck dinners, my friends always request this dish. For the perfect finishing touch, garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve it alongside a salad and hot garlic bread. I guarantee you’ll be a hit with everyone who tries it!
- I now consider this my go-to recipe for chicken spaghetti. It’s much easier to make than my previous recipe, and it’s wonderfully cheesy! I haven’t received any complaints about it. However, I do make a few tweaks to the recipe. I prefer browning the chicken chunks in a skillet to enhance the flavor, and I boil the noodles in chicken stock with a tablespoon of chicken base. I also always include red bell peppers. It disappears quickly whenever I make it for my family because we absolutely love it! Thank you again for this amazing recipe!
- I’ve already made this recipe three times, and each time my husband has raved about it, saying, “Every time you make this, it’s so good!” Instead of cutting the chicken into small chunks, I shred it, as I find it mixes better with the spaghetti noodles that way. Additionally, I recently watched the video on the chicken spaghetti page and noticed that the can of Rotel wasn’t drained. In my previous attempts, I had been draining them, but next time I’ll try it without draining. I’m truly in love with this recipe!
Let’s dive into the recipe, along with some pro tips, storage information, and more.
- 2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- ¾ cup milk
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 10 oz. diced tomatoes and green chilies
- 8 oz. thin spaghetti
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Red pepper flakes and chopped parsley for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cooking the Chicken (optional; you can also use cooked chicken):
- Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise to create two thinner slices.
- Pat the chicken dry and season lightly with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and sear the chicken on each side for 5-6 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the heat and set it aside. Once cooled, dice it into bite-sized pieces.
Making the Sauce:
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. In the same pot, melt the butter and use a silicone spatula to scrape the chicken bits from the bottom (known as “fond,” which adds great flavor to the sauce).
- Add the diced onions and cook until softened (approximately 4 minutes). Then, add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Sprinkle flour over the onions and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes, until the raw flour smell disappears.
- Gradually add the chicken broth in splashes, stirring in between each addition to maintain the thickness of the roux. Next, add the milk a little bit at a time, whisking until the mixture is combined and smooth.
- While the sauce simmers and reduces, bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package instructions and drain when finished.
Incorporating the Cheeses and Tomatoes:
- Add the softened cream cheese to the sauce and stir continuously until it melts and becomes smooth. Note that it may be more challenging if the cream cheese is cold.
- Reduce the heat to low and allow the base to cool slightly. Sprinkle in the shredded cheddar cheese and stir until combined.
- If desired, thin out the sauce by adding a small amount of juice from the diced tomatoes. Alternatively, drain the juice and add the tomatoes along with the cooked chicken. Stir to combine.
- Stir in the cooked spaghetti. If your pot isn’t oven-safe, transfer the mixture to a lightly greased 9×13 casserole dish.
Baking and Serving:
- Top the casserole with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
- For an extra touch, broil at 475 degrees for a few minutes until the cheese turns golden and bubbly.
- Sprinkle red pepper flakes and chopped parsley over the dish before serving. Pair it with a side of garlic bread with cheese for a complete meal.
- Although this recipe provides instructions for using fresh chicken, it works equally well with leftover or rotisserie chicken.
- For a creamier result, shred your own cheese from a block instead of using pre-shredded cheese.
- Avoid adding the cheddar cheese to a very hot base, as it may cause the dairy to separate and result in a grainy consistency.
- While thin spaghetti is recommended, feel free to use regular, angel hair, or any other pasta noodles you have on hand.
- Assemble the casserole as directed and place it in a casserole dish. Allow it to cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- To reheat, cover the dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Then, remove the cover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. If desired, broil at 475 degrees for a few minutes at the end.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the dish for up to 3 months. Keep in mind that the sauce’s consistency may vary slightly when reheating from frozen.
- This chicken spaghetti recipe features a delightful combination of three cheeses: cream cheese, cheddar, and mozzarella. The addition of Rotel tomatoes perfectly complements the creamy cheese sauce, which is made entirely from scratch.
With its irresistible flavors and versatility, this dish is sure to become a family favorite. Enjoy!