Chicken Spaghetti Is The Cheesy And Comforting Dish You May Not Expect

Chicken spaghetti casserole
Chicken spaghetti casserole - Ting Dalton/ Tasting Table

A creamy, warming dish can provide all the relief you need after a stressful week. Comfort food comes in many forms, but casseroles are one of our favorite kinds. A baked dish with savory meat, layers of noodles and veggies, and cheese, cheese, and more cheese is the answer to all our woes. For the ultimate comfort dish, whip up some chicken spaghetti.

Yes, chicken spaghetti sounds like it's most definitely not a casserole, but we assure you, it is. The name conjures up images of pan-fried chicken breasts with buttered noodles, but it's actually a casserole made up of chicken, spaghetti noodles, and cheddar. While the roots of the dish are mostly unknown, many think that chicken spaghetti is a southern original. Filled with shredded boiled chicken, canned cream of mushroom soup, cheddar cheese, and bell peppers or diced tomatoes, cheesy chicken spaghetti casserole is the ultimate crowd pleaser.

This family-sized casserole relies on a few bold flavors to create a dish that's dynamic and palatable. Bell peppers or diced tomatoes paired with green chiles bring a fresh, slightly sweet flavor that bodes well against the sharp cheddar. The real hitter is the cream of mushroom soup, delivering an umami taste that's bolder than simply using heavy cream or a béchamel sauce.

Read more: 44 Types Of Pasta And When You Should Be Using Them

Can You Use Other Kinds Of Soup In Chicken Spaghetti?

Chicken spaghetti on plate
Chicken spaghetti on plate - Ting Dalton/ Tasting Table

Cream of mushroom soup definitely gives chicken spaghetti a rich flavor, but the casserole doesn't have to be a fixed dish. Sometimes we opt for cream of chicken soup instead, amping up that savory chicken taste. Cream of onion soup is another canned soup pantry staple that can make its way into your casserole. It's slightly sweet, with a delicate pungency that will make your chicken spaghetti more luscious. For something a little more herbaceous, cream of celery and cream of broccoli will complement the bell peppers, tomatoes, and chiles in the casserole.

If you don't have any canned soup on hand, using heavy cream is perfectly fine. Added aromatics can help bulk up the flavor. Saute some onions and garlic and add them to the mix of shredded chicken, bell peppers, spaghetti, and cheddar. When making the spaghetti, the broth from the boiled chicken can easily infuse the noodles with a savory bite. For a better-tasting broth, cook the chicken with plenty of herbs and spices, such as thyme, onion powder, paprika, sage, and oregano.

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