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?
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 batch-cooked chicken, 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 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.
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.
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 dish into the pre-heated oven.
This recipe was originally posted on 1/29/17 and updated on 1/24/19.
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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.
- 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
Cook 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.
- 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.