Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is a very easy and hearty dinner. Loaded with chicken, veggies, spaghetti, lots of cheddar cheese and baked in a mushroom sauce.
Casserole recipes are a favorite around here, they are easy to make and usually make enough leftovers so I don’t have to worry about cooking dinner the next day again.
I like to take the time and prep a few sometimes ahead of time and freeze them, to have dinner readily available for crazy weeknights. We often make this Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole, White Pizza Casserole, and Chicken Hash-brown Casserole.
Best Chicken Spaghetti Casserole Recipe
This Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is such a classic dish and is always a hit with my family. It is very easy to adapt to your own taste preference because you can skip the veggies or add more. Also, you can also make this casserole with other meat. For instance, I made it a few times with spicy Italian sausage and I also tried it with leftover turkey, both versions were delicious.
The casseroles are a great option when you don’t want to cook every single night or have a very large family. They are usually easy to make, and large enough to serve to a crowd or have leftovers.
Casseroles also freeze well, which means you can make a few ahead of time and freeze for busy times. When you are ready to serve, just pop it in the oven and a stress-free homemade dinner is ready.
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole frequently asked questions:
- Can you make this casserole with whole wheat spaghetti: the answer is short and simple, yes, you can, and it will be delicious.
- Are other cheeses OK to use, besides yellow cheddar cheese: yes, you can, in fact, I have tried this casserole with mozzarella cheese, and it tastes amazing. You can use any cheese that melts well, provolone and pepper jack cheese are also great options.
- Are mushrooms necessary: I know mushrooms divide people, some love them, some hate them. Yes, you can skip the mushrooms in this recipe or you can replace them with chopped celery, or more bell peppers.
- Will rotisserie chicken be OK to use making this casserole: actually using rotisserie chicken is a great shortcut to make this recipe. You can also use leftover turkey. If you are tired of turkey sandwiches, making this casserole is a much tastier option.
- Is turkey an option to use instead of chicken: yes, you can.
- What other veggies can I use in this casserole: It is actually up to you, you can thaw a package of mixed veggies like peas, carrots, and broccoli. You can also use mushrooms, bell peppers, and even chopped zucchini. Spinach is also a great alternative if you are looking to add more greens. If you want something fancier, a cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil would work great. Combine the latest with some spinach and you have a Tuscan Chicken Spaghetti Casserole.
- Can you prep this casserole ahead of time: yes, you can. Follow all the instructions and assemble the casserole fully. Then, cover with plastic food wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Possible flavors variations:
- Ranch – add one package of Ranch Dry Mix and 1 cup of Ranch salad dressing, for a delicious Ranch flavor.
- Buffalo – add one cup of Buffalo sauce into the mix and you will have a Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Casserole.
- Blue Cheese – add one to two cups of blue cheese salad dressing to the mix, and also top the casserole with crumbled cheese, for a tasty Blue Cheese flavor.
What is Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup?
Condensed soup is a canned variety of soup that is prepared with a reduced proportion of water. A liquid, like water or milk, is added to the soup when heated up. Alson, condensed soup is used often to add more flavor and creaminess in many recipes.
Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup substitute:
Don’t worry, if you are not from the US and can’t get your hands on Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, or simply want a homemade, more wholesome version. You can use the below recipe to make a quick homemade version, which will make roughly about 3 cups of soup, enough to replace 2 (10 1/2 oz each) cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup.
- 4 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, finely diced
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup whole or skim milk
- 2/3 cup chicken broth or veggie broth
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- First, place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the butter and melt it.
- Then, add diced mushrooms and cook stirring for 2-3 minutes.
- Add flour to the mushroom and butter mix, and stir well to combine and form a paste.
- Whisk in milk slowly until fully combined with no lumps.
- Next, whisk in broth, slowly again, until fully combined.
- Then, stir in garlic, onion powder, thyme and adjust for salt and pepper.
- Lastly, whisk the mixture until it starts to simmer. Let it simmer on low heat for about 2 minutes. The soup should be smooth and creamy. If it’s too dense, whisk in a little more milk or broth.
- When replacing the Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup use a 1:1 ratio, so if you are using a 10 1/2 ounces can of condensed soup, you will need 1 1/3 cup of the homemade version to replace in recipes.
- The homemade soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
How to freeze this chicken casserole?
To freeze, first, transfer the mixture to a buttered 9-by-13-inch freezer-to-oven baking dish. Then, cover tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 6 months. Bake, frozen and covered with foil, at 350°F, for 1 hour.
Looking for more Casserole Recipes? Check these out:
- Sausage Pesto Tortellini Casserole
- Pineapple Casserole – OMG cheese and pineapple!
- Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Tater Tot
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes Total time: 1 hr 30 mins
- 2-2.5 lbs boneless-skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breasts)
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cups chicken broth (or reserved liquid from cooking the chicken)
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 8 ounces baby Bella mushrooms (sliced)
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper (finely diced)
- 1/2 red bell pepper (finely diced)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp seasoned salt
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1 1/2 cups cracker crumbs (I used Ritz crackers)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease a 9x13 inched baking dish or large casserole pan with butter or a drizzle of oil, set aside.
- Add chicken thighs or chicken breasts to a medium-large pot and cover entirely with water.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid.
- Depending on the size, boil chicken for 15-25 minutes. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer, when inserted in the thickest part of the meat, it should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do NOT discard the water from the pot, but remove chicken from liquid and transfer to a large bowl and shred.
In the meantime add spaghetti to the pot with water, if needed break them in half. Add a drizzle of oil, and stir. Cook per package instructions, aiming for al dente, or 1-2 minutes shy from what the package cooking time suggests, as they will be cooking in the oven as well.
- In the meantime chop and dice the veggies for the recipe.
- Once pasta is cooked, reserve 2 cups of cooking liquid and discard the rest. Drain the pasta.
To the large bowl with shredded chicken add cooked spaghetti, condensed cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, grated cheese, diced onion, garlic, sliced mushrooms, diced bell peppers, poultry seasoning, dried thyme, dried rosemary and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
- Add 1 cup of broth or reserved cooking liquid and adjust for salt and pepper. If the mixture needs more liquid, add the remaining 1 cup and stir well to combine.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish or casserole pan.
Buttery Cracker Topping:
- In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs with melted butter, until well blended.
- Spread the crumb mixture on top of the casserole.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cup of cheese on top. Distribute evenly.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and cheese is fully melted.