Rotel chicken spaghetti is hearty, creamy, cheesy, with a little bit of a kick. It’s southern comfort food at its best!
What’s not to love about this dish?
First, it’s incredibly delicious. You can’t go wrong with pasta, cream sauce, chicken, and cheese.
Second, it’s easy to make. Thanks to rotisserie chicken and Rotel tomatoes, there’s barely any effort required!
Third, one recipe can feed a crowd. Minimal effort, maximum results.
Fourth, it’s super budget-friendly! The ingredients are inexpensive and are already most likely available in your pantry.
So, if delicious, simple, and economical is what you’re looking for, you already know what to do.
Rotel Chicken Spaghetti with Velveeta
Rotel chicken spaghetti is a southern dish that consists of pasta and a cream sauce. It has chilies and chicken and, like any good Rotel recipe, lots of cheese on top.
While the cream and cheese make the dish super-rich and decadent, the addition of tomatoes and green chilies balances it out very well.
Loaded with carbs, protein, fat, and vegetables (tomatoes and chilies count, right), this dish is a complete meal on its own.
- Cream Of Mushroom Soup – It serves as the base of the pasta sauce. I like using cream of mushroom because it adds such a meaty and woodsy flavor to the dish. Any kind of condensed soup will work, as well, though.
- Chicken Broth – To saturate the sauce and add an extra layer of chicken flavor.
- Can of Rotel Tomatoes With Green Chilies – Why slice and dice tomatoes and chilies when you can just open a can of Rotel? Pick from mild, regular, or hot, depending on the level of heat your taste buds can handle.
- Spaghetti – Any kind of pasta, cooked to al dente.
- Chicken – Rotisserie is ideal, but you can also cook raw chicken if you like.
- Velveeta Cheese – It’s not the healthiest of cheeses, but I love how creamy and melty it gets!
- Salt And Pepper – To taste.
How to Make Rotel Chicken Spaghetti
Step 1: Cook the pasta according to package instructions, but undercook it by 1-2 minutes. Keep in mind it’ll continue to cook as it bakes.
Use a big pot for cooking and salt the water generously.
Step 2: Prepare the chicken. If raw, season it with salt and pepper of fajita seasoning and either grill or pan-fry in butter.
Chop or shred it once cool enough to the touch.
Step 3: Make the sauce. Combine the mushroom soup, chicken broth, and Rotel tomatoes.
Step 4: Assemble the layers. To a greased dish, add the cooked spaghetti. Then, layer the chicken, followed by the sauce. Top with cubes of Velveeta.
Step 5: Bake the dish for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the cheese bubbles. You can either serve as-is or toss until the noodles are coated with sauce and cheese.
Tips for the Best Chicken Spaghetti
- To break up the pasta or leave it whole? This part is up to you!
- Underook the pasta to a perfect al dente. It’ll continue to cook as it bakes.
- Rinse overcooked pasta in cold water. This’ll stop it from cooking further.
- Salt the pasta water generously. Add about 1-2 teaspoons of salt per 1 quart of water. The pasta will only absorb a little bit of the water, giving it a nice and subtle flavor.
- Use leftover rotisserie chicken. Just discard the bones, shred or chop them up into bite-sized pieces, and you’re all set.
- Cooking the chicken yourself? Don’t boil it! Grill or pan-fry it instead for tastier, juicier meat. Season it with a bit of salt and pepper or fajita seasoning to give it flavor.
- Juicy chicken hack: use thighs or tenders. Skip the breast.
- Should you layer or toss the ingredients? It doesn’t matter. It’ll all end up the same way in your belly, anyway!
- Make-ahead instructions: assemble the layers and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to two days. Bake as instructed but with an added 3-5 minutes to the baking time.
This isn’t a fixed recipe you have to follow to the tee. The fact that it’s impossible to mess up gives so much room for customization! Let those creative juices flow!
- Got leftovers from Thanksgiving? Swap the chicken for turkey.
- Pack it with more protein by adding bacon, ham, and other deli meats you have on hand.
- Instead of Velveeta, use other melty cheese. Cheddar, mild cheddar, Pepper Jack, take your pick. Grate the cheese yourself for maximum melt.
- Use your choice of Rotel tomatoes. You can make this dish as fiery or as mild as you like.
- Raid the fridge for other mix-ins. Ingredients like black beans, green chilies, and corn will give your pasta more character.
- Swap out the soup. Instead of mushroom soup, you can also use cream of chicken or vegetable.
- It doesn’t have to be spaghetti! Any kind of pasta works, here.
How to Store Chicken Spaghetti
Allow the chicken spaghetti to cool completely.
Store it in an air-tight container or cover the dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
Reheat small portions in the microwave for 1 minute, or until warmed through.
To reheat an entire casserole, do so in a 350-degree-Fahrenheit oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Can You Freeze Rotel Chicken Spaghetti?
Certainly! In fact, this dish freezes beautifully.
Allow the spaghetti to cool completely. Cover the dish (be sure to use a freezer-safe dish) with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.
In case the dish dries up, stir in heavy cream to moisten it back up.
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