Holy cow, it’s September.
If life has gotten more hectic (or you just live for easy meals 365 days a year like I do) then this post is a must read. I initially made this meal for my sister and her family a couple of months ago. I put it together in a disposable pan and froze it. All she needed to do was to defrost it and pop it in the oven. Before I froze it, my husband and I sneaked a bite (we had to make sure it wasn’t poisonous) and oh my it was so tasty. My husband said that we needed to make it again for us.
Fast forward to now and I’ve finally gotten around to making it again. This time I baked it right away and we dug into it. It was just as good (if not better) than we remembered it being. It makes a ton of food so my husband portioned it into containers to enjoy for lunch during the week. This meal heats up really well as leftovers, which is a good thing for my poor husband eating it day after day after day.
I cooked the chicken, but feel free to use pre-cooked chicken if you’re really tight on time. Feel free to add extra cheese to the top before you bake it. We discovered that even more cheese on top would work very well (so add more if you want), but extra cheese in the pasta isn’t really very useful thanks to all the delicious soupy creaminess.
Be careful when you break up the spaghetti. If you haven’t done this before, dry spaghetti likes to explode into little pieces that go flying all over the kitchen when you break it. I gave this task to my husband because he’s better at containing the spaghetti to the bowl and counter. Hey, when you’re good at something then be prepared to be volunteered for the task. 😉 By the way, he hates this part. Maybe it’s worth trying this recipe with a small pasta instead of broken pieces of spaghetti next time?
Fall is my favorite time of the year. This is the kind of meal that’s perfect as we head into the Fall season because it’s comfort food all the way.
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole Recipe
(about 6 to 8 servings)
- 1 pound chicken, cut into cubes (I used chicken breast tenders.)
- 1 pound spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces (It doesn’t have to be exactly 2 inches.)
- 3 cups chicken broth (I used low sodium.), divided per the directions
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided per the directions
- 1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion
- 2 cans (10 and 1/2 ounces each) cream of mushroom soup
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided per the directions
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a skillet cook, on medium heat, cook the chicken until it’s cooked all the way.
- In a big pot, add water and 1 cup of chicken broth. Bring it to a boil and then cook the spaghetti pieces according to the directions on the box to aldente. Drain the spaghetti once it’s done cooking.
- In a huge bowl, add 1 and 1/2 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese, finely diced green and red bell peppers, finely diced onion, 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, 1 teaspoon of salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, the cooked chicken, the cooked spaghetti, and the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth. Mix everything together.
- Taste it. If it needs more salt (especially if you used low sodium chicken broth), then add more salt at this point. I added the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Pour everything into a 13 x 9 inch dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 and 1/2 cups of shredded cheese on top. (Extra cheese goes here if you want it.)
- Bake it for 45 minutes or until it’s bubbly and the cheese has slightly browned.
Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman