/ / / Easy Chicken Spaghetti {Weeknight Version}

Easy Chicken Spaghetti {Weeknight Version}

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Easy Chicken Spaghetti – who says comfort food can’t be easy? A few shortcuts turn this much-loved recipe into an easy weeknight dinner for families.

EASY CHICKEN SPAGHETTI

Like many of you, I am always on the hunt for easy meals to feed my hungry family. Especially simple recipes I can prepare during the busy week.

Who has the time (or inclination) to spend hours in the kitchen after a long day of work and running kids around to activities? Not me. And I bet you don’t either.

Until now, favorite comfort food recipes have been relegated to the weekend menu due to weekday time constraints.

But what if we crave (or need) a little comfort food during the week?

Easy Weeknight Chicken Spaghetti with a slice of bread on a white plate. A Reinvented Mom

Shortcuts For An Easy Weeknight Dinner

A couple shortcuts have transformed my Classic Chicken Spaghetti recipe into an easy weeknight option. And it’s done without compromising the flavor of the dish.

The first shortcut is using pre-cooked chicken. This change is the key to lopping off about 30 minutes of cook time.

I’ve successfully used canned chicken breast, rotisserie chicken and Kirkland brand Grilled Chicken Breast Strips from Costco.

Next, use recipe-ready chicken broth to compensate for the lack of flavored cooking liquid.

Tips To Make Easy Chicken Spaghetti

Can I substitute other soups? Yes, you can use 2 cans of cream of chicken or 2 cans of mushroom soups.

Can I delete the onion and/or green pepper? Of course! If your people don’t like green peppers or onions, don’t use them.

I forgot to reserve the half cup of pasta water – no problem. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to save the water. Feel free to use warm tap water in a pinch.

What is the reserved pasta water for? If the pasta mixture appears to be on the dry side, add some of the pasta cooking water. The dish should have a creamy consistency, but not too liquidy.

Don’t be put off by the baking time – it’s all hands-off time, allowing you to prepare your side dishes or a quick salad. Or spend time catching up with your kiddos. Or simply unwind with a glass of wine after a busy workday.

Make Ahead for Busy Days

If you are faced with an extremely busy day or week, you can prepare Easy Chicken Spaghetti ahead of time. Prep the evening before or in the morning to lessen the dreaded after work scramble.

RELATED: Easy Canned Chicken Recipes

And I’m all about doing things to make evenings less stressful.

To prepare in advance, follow the steps up to baking. Cover the assembled dish and store it in the refrigerator until ready to bake. These casserole dishes with lids are fab for storing food in the frig.

Comfort food simple enough for a week day - Easy Weeknight Chicken Spaghetti - A Reinvented Mom

To bake, remove the casserole dish from the frig about 15 minutes before baking and set on the counter while the oven preheats. Remove the lid and pop the baking dish into the pre-heated oven.

*** Pin the Easy Chicken Spaghetti Recipe for Later ***

Easy Weeknight Chicken Spaghetti 1-Pic Pin | A Reinvented Mom

This recipe was originally posted on 1/29/17 and updated on 1/24/19.

Share this recipe with a stressed-out Mama. I promise she (and her family) will thank you!

 

 

 

Work Smarter:  Sometimes the right tools can make or break your cooking experience. These tools will help you make quick work of this recipe:

Pyrex 9×13 casserole – I love my Pyrex casserole dishes.
Wooden spoon
Big mixing bowl – the right size for mixing ingredients for this dish.

I’ve shared this recipe at Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday.

More easy weeknight meals for busy families:
Family favorite meal, ready in 30 minutes. Teriyaki Meatball Bowls - A Reinvented Mom

Slow Cooker Lasagna | A Reinvented Mom

BEST roast ever!! Slow Cooker Mississippi Pot Roast | www.AReinventedMom.com

 

***** Pin The Recipe To Your Easy Dinner Recipe Board *****

Easy Chicken Spaghetti - comfort food for a weekday | A Reinvented Mom #easydinner #pasta #easychickenspaghetti

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Easy Weeknight Chicken Spaghetti

Easy Weeknight Chicken Spaghetti - who says comfort food can't be easy? I've simplified an ARM family favorite dinner to make it perfect for busy weeknights.
4.57 from 41 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish, Pasta
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 438kcal
Author: Lori @ www.AReinventedMom.com

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry spaghetti, broken in half, then broken in half again
  • 2 cups pre-cooked chicken breast, roughly chopped
  • 1 10 1/2 oz. can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 10 1/2 oz. can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 16 oz. chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, reserving 1/2 cup for later use
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Lawry's Season salt
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Using a large pot, cook the spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Drain well.
  • While the spaghetti is cooking, combine the pre-cooked chicken breast, 2 cans of soup, green pepper, onion, chicken broth, cheddar cheese (don't forget to reserve the 1/2 cup for later use), garlic powder and Lawry's Season salt. Mix well.
  • Add cooked spaghetti to chicken mixture and stir to combine.
  • Pour mixture into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish and top with 1/2 cup of reserved cheddar cheese.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Notes

  • Easy Meal Prep Chicken works very well in this recipe.
  • Rotisserie chicken works well with this recipe.
  • Make ahead directions: recipe can be assembled the night before or in the morning and refrigerated until ready to bake. Remove casserole from frig about 15 minutes before baking. Bake as directed, allowing for additional baking time.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a reference.
Tried this recipe?Mention @AReinventedMom or tag #areinventedmom!

Nutrition

Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1248mg | Potassium: 361mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 380IU | Vitamin C: 8.1mg | Calcium: 230mg | Iron: 1.9mg

Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.

Keyword: chicken spaghetti casserole, easy chicken spaghetti, rotisserie chicken spaghetti

*** Want to make this dish? Save the recipe to your weeknight dinner Pinterest board. ***

Plate of chicken spaghetti with buttered bread.

 

Comfort food simple enough for a week day - Easy Weeknight Chicken Spaghetti - A Reinvented Mom

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73 Comments

  1. I made this tonight. It was a quick recipe!! I didn’t have any cream of mushroom soup so I used two cans of cream of chicken soup. I boiled my chicken, bell pepper and onion together. I added a little salt & one chicken bullion cube to it. My family doesn’t like spaghetti packy so I mixed the spaghetti, chicken mixture & a little pasta water together. I heated it up on the stove top instead of baking it. It turned out great & my family loved it!! Will definitely be making this again..

  2. My grandmother introduced me to chicken spaghetti about 40 yrs ago. It’s an often requested family fav. The addition of pimentos and black olives, sliced mushrooms, no green pepper, and if cooking your chicken from raw chicken, use the broth to cook your pasta and drain well. Using evaporated milk makes a rich sauce too, and yes, you can definitely freeze chicken spaghetti for a delicious impromptu dinner, with a green salad and bread. Remember to top with lots of sharp cheddar cheese and bake until bubbly. My mouth is watering as we speak!

    1. This is still a family favorite in my house – I don’t think it will ever fall out of favor.

  3. I only had canned chicken, I also only had lentil rotini noodles… made the switch and surprisingly came out great! I only did 14oz of broth, covered with foil and baked 15min, then uncovered for another 20 or so! Very easy, tasty and a cheap, “have on hand” weekday dinner! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  4. I just made this recipe over the weekend. I have to say it was amazing! I added one whole green pepper and 1/2 cup jalapeno’s and cooked for 1 hour used 1 cup reserved pasta water. Its turned out perfect! I have to say I have never had chicken spaghetti– and it was wonderful!. I got this off the Southern Plate – meal Plan Monday recipes.

  5. Turned out with way too much liquid, and i didn’t even add the reserved water! Had to cook twice as long to get all the liquid to absorb! I used the right amount of chicken broth, i just had to just a smaller baking dish because I have a small oven.

    1. I’m sorry this didn’t turn out for you Katlyn. I’m stumped as to why there was too much liquid. Did you drain the pasta after boiling? I’ve made this recipe over 50 times and haven’t had this problem.

  6. I made this for the first – but certainly not the last – time and it was a hit! In these days of limited shopping due to Covid-19, I used what I had on hand: canned. chicken, 2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup, dried minced onion, cheddar jack cheese, chicken broth (skipped the green pepper). And since it is just my husband and I, I made the whole recipe then split it into 2 casseroles, one to bake immediately and one went in the freezer for the next time I need a quick meal. Can’t beat that!

  7. Made this for dinner tonight, followed the recipe almost to a tee, only changes I made were, I used Colby and Parmesean cheeses, it was delicious! Will.make again for sure and add mushrooms yummm!

  8. The first time I made this was after Thanksgiving. Instead of chicken I used left over turkey – everyone loved it. Now this is my go to comfort food casserole. I find the best way to enhance all the flavors is use your chicken broth/stock for everything. I first boil my chicken and add some Better Than Bouillon Chicken flavor to the boiling water. When it’s time to boil my spaghetti noodles – I just heat up my chicken stock and cook my spaghetti in that. This way you have your 2 cups of broth for the casserole and some pasta water (mixed together). I’m not a big fan of cheddar cheese so I use Monterey Jack – perfect. What I love about a recipe is the ability to “make it my own” – our blogger shares her recipe and then we can add or delete ingredients to make it our own. Thank you this recipe b/c it really is one of my favorites.

    1. Way to make this recipe your own, Julie! Thanks for letting me know you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. ❤

  9. I used mushrooms instead of green peppers and 1 cup of chicken broth instead of 2 and Tex mex cheese for a bit of zip. Delicious and super easy!

  10. Just what do you say about condensed milk or evaporated milk?In this recipe just wondering.

    1. Hi Ray! I haven’t made this recipe with evaporated milk, so I don’t know what the outcome would be. If you try it I’d love to hear your results. I don’t recommend using sweetened condensed milk in this recipe.

  11. Made this exactly like the recipe but added cooked mushrooms. I also sautéed the onions and green peppers before had. It came out delicious!

  12. Did not turn out good for me. Kids found it too bland. I am going to try add Pesto sauce to the leftovers and see if that make a difference

  13. I made this the other day…I left out the green pepper as we aren’t big fans of them. I added 3 Tablespoons of cooking sherry and some pimento. It was amazing!

  14. This was sooo good. I didn’t have cream of mushroom, or any of the veggies. I used 2 cans of cream of chicken, and chicken broth 1 can of Rotel (drained) and a whole bag of cheese, with real chicken that I shredded! Turned out awesome, I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms anyhow! (:

  15. I made this as written, used canned chicken (drained well) and added 4oz light cream cheese. It adds extra creaminess and flavor. Yum!

  16. Do you think this dish would freeze well? Maybe assemble it, then freeze and defrost and bake?

    1. I make mine almost exactly this way and always make enough for 2-3 meals. It freezes great! I use a gallon freezer bag and lay it flat in the freezer. It’s an awesome recipe!

    1. I haven’t made this in the crockpot, so I can’t say for certain. I’d love to hear your results if you give it a try, April.

  17. This looks sooo good. It’s in the oven right now! I used some leftover shredded chicken that had been cooked in stewed tomatoes and some yummy seasonings. I left out the onion and pepper since I didn’t have any on hand. I cooked my pasta in my Instant Pot and it turned out PERFECT. I had 3 partial bags of cheese so I mixed in a handful of quesadilla cheese, sharp cheddar, and Colby jack. Topped it with more Colby and a sprinkle of paprika. I had to snag a taste before I popped it in the oven. Tasty! And super easy.

    1. Love the blend of cheeses you used, Lauren. Sometimes you have to use what you have on hand. Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Thanks for your reply! I didn’t dilute and made sure to drain it well! I will definitely give it another try. It was even better as leftovers;)

  19. Thanks for your reply! I didn’t dilute them and used just 16oz of broth and did drain the pasta. I will definitely give it another try. It really did have a good flavor and was even better as leftovers!

  20. It had a really good flavor, but mine game out extremely watery, to the point I drained the liquid off twice! I made the recepie to a “t” any suggestion as to what I did wrong?

    1. I’m not exactly sure why yours came out watery, Leslie. The first things that come to mind are not draining the pasta before mixing or diluting the soups.

  21. Instead of cream of chicken can you substitute it with more chicken broth.. cream of anything has too much sodium???

  22. This dish looks delicious!! My only problem is that my family doesn’t eat cheese!! My husband and I eat cheese…so I was wondering if I could leave out the cheese and add it to mine and my husband’s after it’s cooked? What do you think?

    1. I think you would get better results by dividing the food between 2 smaller dishes before baking, allowing you to add cheese to one of the dishes. Thanks for stopping by, Angie!

  23. What kind of green pepper is in this? Green bell pepper, chili pepper?

    Thanks in advance

  24. Hey Lori! If I made this Thursday morning would it be okay to cook Friday or Saturday night? Taking a beach trip and everyone is bringing a premade dish for dinner one night!

    1. Hi Rachel! Would definitely be OK for Friday, but not sure about Sat. as I’ve never held this dish more than a day in the frig. A beach trip sounds really fun right now – we are forecasted for snow (yes, snow!) this weekend!

  25. Thank you so much for responding so quickly. I’m making it tonight. It looks so so good can’t wait to try it. So I since the recipe calls for cr of chicken I guess I should add 2 cans to make up for the cream of mushroom? I love your posts and recipes and I plan to visit regularly. Thank you again

    1. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to respond until this morning. Yes, you will use a total of 2 cans of cream of chicken if you’re not using cream of mushroom. I hope you enjoyed this dish.

  26. Can I substitute a different cream soup to replace cream of mushroom. Sorry but I don’t like mushrooms at all. This dish looks absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much. Debby

      1. I do not like mushrooms either but I was thinking of substituting it with a can of cream of celery. The cream of chicken also sounds good though. I would use either one just to try it out and see which I like best. The dish sounds like it would be easy to make and yummy to eat. Can’t wait to try it!

  27. Has anyone ever mentioned that the print is somewhat blurred. I printed out the Chicken Spaghetti. It looks scrumptious. Hopefully the blurred print does not affect other recipes.

    1. I hope you enjoy the Chicken Spaghetti recipe, Susan. You are the first to mention blurred print. Can you provide me with any additional details (i.e. what page is blurry? is it the print out that is blurry?) so I can look into the problem?

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