Chicken spaghetti recipe is a can’t miss pasta dish. It’s a freezer friendly chicken recipe that consists of a cheesy tomato sauce with bell peppers. This version doesn’t have any condensed soup, either!
Chicken Spaghetti with Rotel
First things first: I have to say this is my mom’s recipe. She made this a lot when I was growing up, and we both still make it today. It’s the most comforting, delicious dinner I make, honestly! Even though one of the ingredients in this dish isn’t something I typically have in my pantry. However, let me explain.
I have a funny rule about Velveeta/ processed cheese in my life. I buy it exactly one time a year, and I buy the big brick of it. The Super Bowl in February is the only time of year I buy it, and I use it to make a big pot of Rotel dip. If you’re not from the South, let me fill you in: Rotel dip is a pound of Velveeta melted with a can of Rotel tomatoes. Rotel tomatoes are canned tomatoes mixed with green chiles. And if you’re still clueless, green chiles are LIFE, especially here in Texas and the Southwest. Have you made my green chile stuffed chicken or my green chile chicken stew?
Anyway, there are extravagant versions of Rotel dip made with ground beef and sausage, but that’s not how I ate it when I was growing up.
So, as I was saying, I make my family a batch of ‘spicy cheese dip’ to eat while we watch the Super Bowl, and then I have half of a the big block of Velveeta leftover.
This chicken spaghetti recipe is what I make with the remaining half. It is my all-time favorite comfort food meal. Before I had my daughter, my Mom tucked 3 pans of it into my freezer. It was the first thing I pulled out to defrost for dinner when we came home from the hospital with our 7-pound babe.
Chicken spaghetti recipe:
Chicken spaghetti is essentially spaghetti mixed with a tomato sauce that has melted Velveeta in it. There are more components that give it flavor, mainly chopped bell pepper, onions, and spices. Oh, and don’t forget the shredded chicken!
The final dish is just a creamy, cheesy, tomato-y pasta dish with a distinct flavor that everyone loves.
I believe one of the secrets to the flavor of this dish is that the spaghetti is cooked in the same water that the chicken is cooked in. The chicken flavor permeates the noodles, and everything blends together so seamlessly at the end.
I hope I’m doing this recipe justice by explaining it to you, especially if you’ve never had it before. If you’ve ever lived in the South, or had a Grandma that cooked dinner from church cookbooks, then you know all about chicken spaghetti. It’s pure comfort food, and it’s my favorite casserole.
I made this for the freezer before my son was born, but this time, I have to confess we ate it before he was even born! I became unable to be on my feet towards the end of my pregnancy, and I raided my freezer stash of meals.
Freezer meals using chicken:
When I made this to photograph it, that’s exactly what I did–we enjoyed one that night, and then tucked one into the freezer. I always label my freezer meals with instructions on how to reheat and eat them.
Here’s a list of all of the freezer meals I made before baby came!
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 14-oz. can Italian-style diced tomatoes
- 1 6-oz. can Italian-style tomato paste
- 16-ounces Velveeta cheese, diced
1. Add the chicken breasts to a large pot, and cover with water to cook. Bring the chicken to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the chicken is done (165°F in the thickest part).
2. Remove the chicken from the water, but do not drain the pot. Add just enough additional water to cook the pasta in. Bring the water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to the package directions. When the noodles are done, reserve 2 cups of the cooking water.
3. Meanwhile, chop the chicken and set it aside.
4. While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion and bell pepper until they're tender, about 15 minutes.
5. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste and the 2 cups of reserved pasta cooking water. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and then stir in the Velveeta cheese cubes.
6. Cook the sauce until the cheese melts completely (stirring occasionally). Combine the noodles, chicken and sauce. Spread in an 8x8" pan.
7. To freeze this meal, cover the mixture tightly and place in a freezer-safe bag. To reheat, bake at 375 for 50 minutes from frozen OR cook for 35 minutes if thawed. If you wish to eat it right away, bake for 25 minutes until the mixture is heated through.
Italian style tomatoes and tomato pasta can be hard to find. Just one that contains herbs like basil and oregano.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 569 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 94mg Sodium: 1246mg Carbohydrates: 60g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 14g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 34g