This chicken spaghetti is the perfect combination of cheesy and a little spicy, thanks to the RO-TEL. Seriously, everyone in my family loved this simple comfort food dinner.
Easy Chicken Spaghetti With Rotel
This is the ultimate chicken spaghetti recipe. Truly, this dinner is amazing!
The thick creamy cheesy sauce is pure goodness. It’s seriously the best pasta sauce ever.
The chicken is so full of flavor, and it’s perfectly juicy and tender.
It’s a fantastic dinner that’s enjoyed by all ages. Try serving it with an air fryer baked potato for an easy meal!
Chicken Spaghetti Casserole Ingredients
Chicken: I opted for boneless skinless chicken breasts because they’re so easy to work with and they carry the flavor of the recipe really well. You can also swap them for boneless skinless chicken thighs.
If you can, I’d recommend using air chilled chicken. It has a better texture and retains more moisture after cooking.
Spices and Olive Oil: Dried parsley, garlic powder, and onion powder are the spices we’re using in this dish. They add tons of flavor, so I wouldn’t recommend skipping any.
The olive oil is mixed with the spices so that we can easily coat the chicken in the herb blend.
Spaghetti: I think spaghetti is the best noodle for this recipe. It pairs perfectly with the creamy sauce. You can swap it for another pasta if you like though.
Butter: This is the fat base that we’re using to make the roux, which is the thickener for the sauce. Technically you could use any fat (like oil), but I think the flavor is best with butter.
The ratio of fat to flour is the important part, you need to use equal amounts of fat and flour.
Flour: This is the thickening agent we’re using to make the roux. It bonds to the melted butter so that it creates an even texture when it’s thickening the sauce.
If you used just flour (without mixing it into a roux with the butter first), the sauce would clump up and not turn out well.
Garlic: Garlic adds tons of flavor. If you’re a garlic lover (like me), feel free to add more!
Milk and Chicken Broth: We’re using a combination of milk and chicken broth for the liquid component of the pasta sauce. Chicken broth adds tons of flavor and a little salt, and the milk adds a lovely creaminess.
I recommend using whole milk, because the higher fat content helps it stand up to boiling without separating. Since the sauce has to boil to thicken and to melt the Velveeta, it’s an important step.
RO-TEL: The diced tomatoes and green chilies are a critical flavor component in this dish. The combination almost makes it like a Tex-Mex pink sauce pasta.
If you want to make this without RO-TEL, you could use canned diced tomatoes instead. It won’t have the same spice though, so if you’re craving a Mexican chicken pasta, you’d need to add in some diced jalapeños (either canned or fresh jalapeños that have been sautéed).
Velveeta: Velveeta is the perfect cheese to mix into the sauce. It has a texture that melts beautifully, so it really turns the sauce into a luscious cheesy dream.
It also holds up well to baking, so you don’t have to worry about the sauce separating or turning into a weird texture.
Cheddar Cheese: A freshly shredded cheese is the best cheese for topping this casserole before you bake it. It will melt and create a beautiful crust.
I like using sharp cheddar cheese for the flavor, but if you care more about melted stretchy cheesy strands, then pizza mozzarella is a better choice.
How To Make Chicken Spaghetti With RO-TEL
Start by cooking the spaghetti to al dente, then drain it and set it aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, dried parsley, garlic powder, and onion powder. Toss the cubed chicken breasts in it, and then sauté the chicken until it is cooked through. (See the recipe card below for the full printable recipe.)
In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter and sauté the garlic until it’s aromatic. Whisk in the flour to make a roux.
Stir in the chicken broth and milk. Continue stirring until it totally combines with the roux and reaches a smooth consistency. Mix in the RO-TEL, onion powder, and dried parsley. Add the Velveeta, and continue to sauté with stirring until the Velveeta has melted and the sauce has thickened.
Mix in the cooked chicken and the cooked spaghetti, then transfer it to a greased casserole dish.
Top the casserole with freshly shredded cheddar cheese, and bake it until the casserole is heated through. Then broil it until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
If you can’t find Velveeta, try using a large block of American cheese purchased from the deli counter. You could also swap it for cream cheese. The texture isn’t quite the same, but it will still be super delicious.
If you want to speed up the cooking a little bit, you could use shredded rotisserie chicken instead of boneless skinless chicken breasts.
This recipe is also great with ground beef instead of chicken. So feel free to use that if that’s what you have on hand! Just make sure to cook it and drain the fat before adding it to the pasta. Also, check out this Mexican Spaghetti recipe – it’s made with ground beef, so it might be exactly what you’re looking for.
If you have extra vegetables laying around, feel free to use up some of them in this dish. Sautéed diced onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms would all be great additions.
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Looking for more casserole recipes that are perfect for an easy dinner? Check out our entire casserole recipe section! Some of my favorites are:
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out our entire pasta recipe section. We’ve got tons of chicken pasta recipes that I’m sure you’ll love! Some reader favorites are:
Chicken and Pasta:
- 8 ounces spaghetti
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1 inch pieces, about 2 large chicken breasts)
Creamy RO-TEL sauce:
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick or 58 grams)
- 2 medium cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 (10 ounce) can RO-TEL Original (undrained)
- 8 ounces Velveeta cheese
- 1 cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese*
- Fresh diced parsley (optional, for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C). Lightly grease a 13 x 9 casserole dish and set to the side.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti to al dente (according to the package instructions).
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, dried parsley, garlic powder, and onion powder. Toss the chicken through the oil and herb mixture to coat evenly.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, then cook the chicken for about 6 minutes, or until the chicken is opaque and the internal temperature reads 165 F on an instant read thermometer. Turn the heat down to medium. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside
- In the same skillet, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, add in the garlic and saute for about 1 minute (or until the garlic is aromatic). Sprinkle the flour into the butter and stir to create a roux.
- In a large liquid measuring cup, combine the chicken broth and milk together. Slowly pour the liquids into the roux, whisking constantly until you reach a totally smooth consistency. Once smooth, add the onion powder, dried parsley, and RO-TEL together. Mix to combine.
- Turn the heat to medium-high. Add in the Velveeta cheese and stir until the Velveeta has melted. Once melted, bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Allow it to simmer rapidly, while you continue to whisk it, until it has thickened (about 3 minutes).
- Once the sauce has thickened, remove it from the heat. Add in the cooked chicken and spaghetti. Stir to evenly coat the chicken and spaghetti in the sauce.
- Pour the chicken and spaghetti into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top.
- Put into the preheated oven and bake uncovered until heated through (about 20 minutes). Finish it by broiling it for 3 - 4 minutes (or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly). Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve warm.
*It’s important to use freshly shredded cheese because it melts better than pre-shredded cheese does. Store bought shredded cheese is coated in an anti-caking agent to stop the shreds from sticking together, but it also stops the cheese from melting smoothly.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 568Total Fat: 29.1gCarbohydrates: 40.4gFiber: 1.9gSugar: 6.6gProtein: 34.6g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
Quick and easy baked spaghetti casserole is absolutely delicious and it will definitely be a new family favorite!