Crack Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is so delicious and addictive! Imagine your favorite creamy spaghetti pasta baked and loaded with the heavenly combination of chicken, cheddar cheese, ranch dressing, and bacon pieces.
The Best Crack Chicken Spaghetti Casserole Recipe
Crack Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is one of those meals that perfectly combine the foods we all love to eat as kids. Chicken and spaghetti have always been the ultimate perfect pairing, so were pleasantly surprised when our family discovered this recipe!
Crack chicken is kind of an odd term to describe food, but it is just a combination of chicken, ranch dressing, bacon, and cheese. In this recipe, we will combine together crack chicken and creamy spaghetti, and then bake it to perfection to achieve the best-tasting casserole dish.
Just thinking about the ingredients of this casserole makes me hungry already! What I like about this dish is that it is very easy to prepare. If you are so ready to make this meal for your family, check out our recipe and tips below.
What qualifies a dish as a casserole?
A casserole is any food or combination of food that is cooked, usually baked, as a one-dish meal. Basically, anything that is cooked and served in the same pot can be considered a casserole.
The combination usually consists of any kind of meat or fish, any kind of pasta or flour, and your choice of cheese. Many people like to add some vegetables like asparagus in the mix.
What are the advantages of serving a casserole?
Making a casserole is super easy and convenient. Since it is a one-dish meal, you can just put all the prepared ingredients together and simply bake in the oven or cook as an instant pot dish. This kind of dish is so filling it can easily feed a number of guests!
What do you need to make crack chicken spaghetti casserole?
First, you need to prepare boiled boneless chicken (you may use thighs or chicken breasts). You also need cooked chopped bacon slices, cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing. Of course, cooked pasta like spaghetti or penne is a must.
To complete the casserole ingredients, prepare the sauce ingredients – the cream of mushroom, mushroom bits, sour cream, chicken broth, garlic and onion, black pepper, and unsalted butter.
How do you make crack chicken spaghetti casserole?
- Prepare the chicken. Bring the chicken breasts to a boil in a large cooking pot. Upon reaching the boiling point, use low heat to tenderly cook the chicken meat for 20-25 minutes. After cooking, save the chicken broth and place it in a separate bowl.
- Cook the pasta. Any kind of pasta is okay to use. Make sure to check and follow the instructions written on the packaging and cook the pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Assemble everything together and bake. In a large bowl, combine and mix all the ingredients together – boiled chicken, cooked pasta, bacon slices, ranch dressing, cheddar cheese, mushroom cream and bits, sour cream, and other seasonings. Carefully add 1-2 cups of chicken broth into the mixture.
- Transfer everything to the casserole pan or baking dish and bake it for 30-40 minutes.
How to cook spaghetti for a casserole?
Cook the pasta as you normally would! Make sure to use a pot with the right size that can contain the pasta. Bring water with salt to a boil, add the pasta and let it cook for about 8-12 minutes. Add some oil and stir occasionally so that the pasta noodles are not sticking together.
Can you make it in advance?
Yes! Make it a day or two in advance, unbaked, and just store properly in the fridge.
How to Store and Freeze a Casserole:
Don’t worry if you have leftovers! It is super easy to store and freeze any type of casserole dish. Simply line the baking dish in an aluminum foil, put the crack chicken spaghetti casserole, and cover well. Add a layer of plastic wrap to ensure that it is airtight.
You can also store the dish using freezer bags. A day before serving, make sure to thaw the dish in the refrigerator. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Before baking, it is ideal to mix and combine the sauce ingredients (chicken broth, condensed mushroom cream, sour cream, ranch dressing, and cheese) in medium heat and stir for about a minute or two. This is to make sure that they all melt and blend well.
- Use Velveeta cheese if you want to make the dish super creamy. Otherwise, you can use any kind of cheese that you prefer.
- To save time in preparing the casserole, simply use a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
Prep time: 4 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hr 10 mins
- 2 pounds boneless-skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breast)
- 16 bacon slices (cooked and chopped)
- 1 pound 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 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 oz packet Ranch seasoning mix
- 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 (grated)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a 9x13 inched baking dish 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.
- Remove chicken from liquid and transfer to a large bowl and shred using two forks.
- In the meantime add spaghetti to a 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.
- 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, Ranch seasoning, and half of the bacon. 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, distribute it evenly.
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.
- Add the remaining bacon.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and cheese is fully melted.