If you’re looking for a way to jazz up your next spaghetti dinner, OR possibly looking for a creative way to use up some leftover or rotisserie chicken, you’ve come to the right place.
This creamy, cheesy, chicken spaghetti is so incredibly flavorful, make-ahead and freezer-friendly, and your family will love it.
- 2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 Tablespoons flour
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- ¾ cup milk
- 4 oz. cream cheese softened
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 10 oz. diced tomatoes & green chilies
- 8 oz. Thin Spaghetti
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- red pepper flakes & chopped parsley to garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the Chicken (Optional. You may also use cooked chicken.)
- Slice the chicken in half lengthwise to create 2 thinner slices. Pat dry and season lightly with salt/pepper and Italian seasoning.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sear the chicken on each side for 5-6 minutes. Remove and set aside. Dice into bite-sized pieces once cool enough to handle.
Make the Sauce
- Reduce heat to medium low. Melt the butter in the same pot and use a silicone spatula to clean the chicken bits from the bottom. This is called “fond” and it gives the sauce a nice flavor.
- Add the onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Sprinkle flour over the onions and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes, until you can no longer smell flour.
- Add the chicken broth in splashes to maintain the thickness of the roux. Stir in between each splash. Add the milk next, a little bit at a time. Whisk until combined and smooth.
- (Now is a good time to start boiling the water for the pasta. Cook it according to package instructions and drain once finished.)
- Meanwhile, let the sauce simmer and reduce while the pasta water heats up. Add the softened cream cheese and stir continuously until melted and smooth. This is more difficult if the cream cheese is cold.
- Reduce heat to low and let the base cool a bit. Sprinkle in the shredded cheddar and stir to combine.
- If you’d like to thin the sauce out at all, add a little bit of the juice from the diced tomatoes, otherwise, drain the juice and add the tomatoes along with the chicken. Stir to combine.
- Stir in the spaghetti. If you’re not using an oven-safe pot, transfer to a lightly greased 9x13 casserole dish.
- Top with mozzarella cheese and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. If desired, broil it for a few minutes at 475 degrees at the end, watch it closely.
- Remove from the oven. Garnish with red pepper flakes and fresh Parsley. Serve with a side of Garlic Bread with Cheese.
- You can also use 2 cups of cooked chicken in this recipe, either leftover chicken or rotisserie. The benefit of cooking fresh chicken in the pot is that it transfers more flavor into the sauce.
- Shred your own cheese from a block, it will melt better and give you much creamier results. Bagged shredded cheese contains cellulose which prevents it from melting as well in soups and sauces.
- Don't add the cheddar cheese when the base is very hot, or the dairy will separate and the consistency will be grainy. (This is outlined in the instructions as well.)
- I prefer to use thin spaghetti for this recipe but you can use regular, angel hair, or other types of pasta noodles if that's all you have.
- Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Note that the consistency of the sauce won't be exactly the same when reheated from frozen.