This chicken spaghetti recipe is baked to perfection with a Tex-Mex twist! It's cheesy, creamy, comforting, and uses everyday ingredients.
Chicken spaghetti is another one of those casseroles that typically uses "cream of" canned soups, but I decided to make my version from scratch as I usually do with these types of recipes. Just a personal preference/taste thing, and at least you know exactly what you're putting into it.
Chicken spaghetti with Rotel is family-friendly comfort food at its finest. It's got lotsa cheese and it's got chicken. As written it does have a touch of heat, so use Mild Rotel if spice is at all a concern (it really isn't that spicy, though).
Rotisserie chicken is a great shortcut here and it cuts down on prep time considerably so you can get this casserole in the oven fast.
How to make chicken spaghetti casserole (summary):
Start by boiling the spaghetti. Meanwhile, prep the rest of the recipe ingredients. Make the cheesy sauce by first sautéing the onions and bell peppers until softened, then adding in the garlic and flour, followed by the chicken broth and cream. Once the flour has completely dissolved, stir in the Rotel tomatoes and chili powder. Cook for a few minutes until thickened, then stir in the cheddar and cooked chicken. Add the drained spaghetti to a 9x13 casserole dish, then toss with the sauce and top with the remaining cheddar. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Recipe notes & tips:
- I've only tested this as written, so sub any ingredients at your own discretion (e.g. subbing the cream for milk may yield a thinner sauce that doesn't work as well).
- Original Rotel has a touch of heat, so if you don't want even a little bit of spice, I'd use Mild Rotel. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or some hot sauce if you want this to be spicy.
- If you don't have Rotel, sub with regular diced tomatoes and a 4 ounce can of diced green chilies.
- I do recommend grating your own cheddar as it tastes and melts a lot better than the bagged kind. I use this grater and it only takes me a few minutes to grate the 2 cups of it!
- Make ahead tips: Prep until just before baking, cover it tightly, and refrigerate for a day or two. To bake, you may need to give it additional time since it's starting out cold.
- Leftovers/storage: Leftovers will last 3-5 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave, oven, or on the stove on a low heat. Add a splash of milk if it's a bit dry. This isn't the type of recipe that freezes well.
More delicious chicken casseroles to try:
Questions about this baked chicken spaghetti? Talk to me in the comments below!
- 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 medium onion chopped finely
- 1/2 green or red bell pepper chopped small
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1 (10 fluid ounce) can Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies with juices
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar divided
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used rotisserie)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350F and move the rack to the top third of the oven.
- Boil a salted pot of water for the spaghetti and cook it 1 minute less than the package directions indicate. Meanwhile, prep all the recipe ingredients.
- Drain the spaghetti then add it to a greased 9x13 casserole dish.
- Add the oil and butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, add the onions and peppers and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute (keep stirring).
- Whisk in the chicken broth and cream and ensure there's no flour lumps.
- Stir in the Rotel and chili powder. Let the sauce cook for 3-4 minutes (it should be slightly thickened, but don't let it get too thick!).
- Turn the burner off and stir in half of the cheddar.
- Stir in the chicken and add a bit of salt & pepper.
- Transfer the skillet contents to the baking dish and toss with the spaghetti.
- Top with the remaining cheddar and cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and broil for a few minutes if you wish to brown the cheese.
- Makes about 6 adult-size portions. It'll feed more if kids are eating or if you serve it with something like a salad and/or breadsticks on the side.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.