This dinner totally takes me back to the days of being a kid and growing up. My mom would make this casserole since it’s so easy and a fan favorites amongst us all. Hers was much more simple and different in a lot of ways. I decided to rev up the spice in this recipe and really make those flavors pop. This might be one of my favorite casseroles to date and will definitely be a staple in our house for years to come. There is something so homey and comforting about a hot out of the oven casserole. Plus it makes enough to feed a crowd or have leftovers the next night. Overall, this dish is a home run and a total must try next time you’re looking for a new dinner idea.
This casserole is so creamy and comforting and delicious. The velveeta cheese adds a smooth spicy queso flavor alongside the creamy soups that add so much depth and saltiness. Normally I don’t love cooking with cream of anything soups, but they are wonderful in this dish. Then the pepper-jack adds a nice little cheese crust on top. Plus there are chunks of the hot rotel tomatoes and juicy chicken swimming throughout the noodles. It’s to die for I promise.
I love spice. I believe the spicier the better… and that’s no secret since a lot of my recipes call for lots of spice. This recipes in particular calls for a can of hot rotel, which I can understand that it is too spicy for some. If you’re not so into spice, you can also use mild or original rotel. It’s up to you! Whatever your preference, do that. If you happen to be a spice lover like me, then stick to the hot rotel and I assure you that you will not regret it!
Another great tip? Use a rotisserie chicken. This recipe calls for a couple of pan grilled chicken breasts with spices. The pan grilled chicken adds tons of flavors in my opinion. Although, if you want to cut some corners and make this dinner a bit faster… you can shred a rotisserie chicken instead. Whatever makes dinner time easier, right?
CHICKEN SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half by width to create 4 equal pieces
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Dried oregano
- Garlic powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, finely diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 lb spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions and drained but not rinsed
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
- 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
- 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup
- 10 oz can hot rotel, drained of juices (can also substitute mild or original)
- 8 oz velveeta cheese, cubed
- 8 oz pepper jack cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, oregano and garlic powder. Heat a large pot to medium and add in olive oil. Allow oil to heat up. Place the four pieces of chicken into the hot pot and cook for about 4 minutes a side, or until cooked through completely. Remove the chicken from the pot and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing it into 1/2 inch chunks. Do not rinse the pot.
- In the same pot the chicken cooked, add in the onion and celery. Sauté until onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add in garlic and cook and additional minute until aromatic.
- Add in the cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, rotel, and velveeta. Allow this mixture to come to a soft boil and for the cheese to melt completely. Then slowly add in the cup of reserved pasta water in order to thin out the sauce. Turn the heat off.
- Add in the cooked spaghetti, chicken and half the scallions. Toss until everything is evenly coated and distributed. Transfer it to an oven safe baking dish. I used a 9×13. Cover the top with the shredded pepper jack.
- Place the casserole in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until bubbling, heated all the way through and the cheese is melted and slightly golden on top.
- Serve while hot with the remaining scallions as toppings.