And it makes enough to feed a crowd.
If you’re craving a cozy, delicious dish, then there’s a good chance Ree Drummond has the one you want. Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, has a knack for turning comforting classics into approachable dishes we all feel confident making. Her famous Chicken Spaghetti is no exception.
What Is Chicken Spaghetti?
Chicken spaghetti is a baked casserole dish. The recipe starts with cooking bone-in chicken in water and using the resulting broth to make the sauce and cook the spaghetti. Once both the chicken and spaghetti are cooked, they’re added to a bowl along with condensed mushroom soup, onions and bell peppers, seasonings, sharp Cheddar cheese, and broth. Everything is poured into a casserole dish and topped with additional cheese before baking.
The Main Ingredients for Chicken Spaghetti
Chicken: Drummond uses bone-in chicken which works in several ways to add flavor to the dish. Since the chicken is poached in water, the resulting meat is moist and tender and the leftover poaching water becomes a key ingredient for making the sauce and cooking the spaghetti.
Spaghetti: Any type of spaghetti should work, just be sure to cook until al dente (usually about 2 to 3 minutes before package directions say pasta is done) so that it doesn’t disintegrate into the rest of the ingredients when baked.
Cream of Mushroom Soup: The trusty, canned condensed version is used here. Drummond notes that cream of chicken can also be used. If possible, go for a low-sodium version. Doing so allows you to control the salt of the dish.
Vegetables: A mix of onion and bell peppers add flavor and color.
Cheese: For maximum cheese flavor, Drummond uses sharp Cheddar, which adds a pleasant tanginess to the dish.
What Does Chicken Spaghetti Taste Like?
It’s the perfect combination of salty and savory and is rich, creamy, and satisfying. My family loved it, especially since I served it with bread for soaking up extra sauce. I paired it with a veggie-loaded salad and was happy to get two meals out of it.
Tips for Making Chicken Spaghetti
Undercook the pasta. The spaghetti gets cooked twice in this dish. To prevent it from getting mushy, boil it until it’s just toothsome, or al dente.
Buy cooked chicken to save time. If time is tight, a rotisserie chicken (and a carton of chicken broth) can also be used. A whole rotisserie chicken should yield about 2 1/2 cups of cooked meat.
Add pepperoncini. While I loved the flavor, I also wish there was some heat and/or vinegar. I think the addition of about 1/4 cup jarred pepperoncini or other pickled peppers, plus a few tablespoons of the pickling liquid would help this dish shine.
Double the recipe. If you have the time and enough cooking equipment, I would suggest doubling up. Drummond does this in her Instagram video, showing viewers how to both refrigerate and freeze the casserole for a later date.
The Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti Recipe
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Adapted from Ree Drummond
2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs (about 2 1/2 cups cooked)
2 small white or yellow onions, divided
2 cloves garlic
1 pound spaghetti, broken into thirds
2 (10.5 ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups chicken broth (from cooking chicken)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Add chicken breasts and chicken thighs to a large pot. Quarter one of the onions and add it to the pot along with the garlic cloves. Cover chicken with water by 1 inch and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of chicken registers 165 degrees F, about 20 to 25 minutes. (Note that thighs will cook faster than breasts, so check them at 12 minutes. If not fully cooked, check them again in 3 to 5 minutes.) Transfer chicken to a cutting board to cool.
While chicken is cooling, remove and reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid. Pour through a fine wire mesh strainer into a 2-cup measuring cup or medium bowl. Discard solids.
Cook spaghetti by bringing the remaining liquid to a boil over high heat. (If liquid appears insufficient, add more water.) Add spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain spaghetti and add to a large bowl.
Remove skin from cooled chicken and use clean hands or a fork to pull it off the bone. Discard skin and bones. Cut meat into bite-sized pieces and add to the large bowl with spaghetti. Add soup, onion, bell peppers, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese. Stir to combine. Add 1 cup of the reserved chicken broth and stir until fully combined. Add additional broth as needed to ensure mixture is saucy, but not soupy.
Pour into a large baking dish and sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbling, about 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Read the original article on All Recipes.