With the emphasis on staying home and staying safe, I thought today would be a great day to share my chicken spaghetti recipe. While we have done our best to support our local restaurants by ordering take out, ultimately while having to stay home, I would just as soon cook. Plus, if you are like me, you have a college student home who prefers home cooked meals. More people in the house calls for hearty dishes that can be served the next day as left overs. This casserole is easy to double and also freezes beautifully. I have tried and tweaked many recipes over the years and finally, about 10 years ago, decided on this combination. It feeds 6 to 8.
1 pound of spaghetti noodles broken in half
4 to 6 cooked and shredded chicken breast
1-28oz. can of cream of chicken soup (can use cream of mushroom)
1 yellow onion chopped
1-4.5oz. can chopped green chilis
1-4 oz. can of mushroom pieces and stems
1 to 1&1/2 cup of half and half or milk
4 cups sharp cheddar shredded cheese
salt and pepper to taste
dash of hot sauce to taste (optional)
I poached these chicken breast in the oven with a pat of butter and a little bit of salt on each breast. I covered them with foil and baked at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. I like this method better than boiling as they don't seem to dry out as much. Cooking time depends on your oven and the size of your chicken breast.
I like to add the broth from the cooked chicken to the spaghetti water. I think it adds flavor and seasoning without having to salt the water. If you are using a rotisserie chicken or didn't reserve the broth, no biggie.
Using a large and deep pan, sauté the chopped onion in olive oil until translucent.
Add the can of chopped green chilis and the mushrooms and mix well.
Add soup to the mixture, stir well keeping temperature on medium low.
Add the half and half or milk, continuing to stir on medium low heat.
Once water and broth are boiling add broken in half spaghetti noodles and cook until al dente. Do not overcook.
Add 2 &1/2 cups of the cheese to soup mixture, stirring well until all the cheese is melted. This is also the time to add the hot sauce if you choose to. I usually just add a dash or two.
Add shredded chicken and mix well.
Add in the cooked spaghetti and mix well. If your pan is not large enough to combine all of this, you can always put some of the noddles in the bottom of your greased casserole dish and then pour everything else on top.
Pour into a greased casserole dish, topping with remaining cheese and a couple of sprinkles of paprika (just for some color). Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Again, it depends on your oven.
Voila!! Serve with a salad and hot French bread for a hearty and delightful meal. This casserole can be frozen for up to 4 months or left in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before cooking.
I hope this recipe adds a bit of goodness to your dinner table. Stay home, stay safe and enjoy your loved ones!!