Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti

A recipe that my children will eat is a good thing in my book. A recipe is elevated to great when my leftovers-hating children will eat it for lunch the next day. My husband doesn’t generally like casserole meals, so his opinion on this doesn’t count, but two enthusiastic thumbs up from me and the kiddos!

2 cups cooked chicken – a whole fryer works well
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 jar (4oz) diced pimentos, drained (optional)
2 cups chicken broth, reserved from pot
1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon (to 1/4 Teaspoon) cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove and discard all the goodies inside the chicken then put it in a stock pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the chicken, put on the lid, bring to a boil and continue to boil for 30 minutes.

My husband thinks boiling a chicken is gross but it makes for really moist meat!

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and allow it to cool a bit so you can handle it easily without burning yourself.

Remove 2 cups of liquid from the pot and set it aside.

If you’re going to bake this dish right away, now is a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Bring the remaining chicken stock back up to a boil and add the spaghetti. Boil it until it is al dente – it is important not to overcook it or you will end up with mushy pasta by the time the casserole is baked.

Now back to the chicken. Remove and throw away the skin, then start pulling off the meat. The recipe said to use 2 cups of meat but I basically used all the meat from the breasts, thighs, and legs.

When the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and place it in a large bowl.

Add the cream of mushroom soup, 2 cups of cheese, green pepper, onion, pimentos, and Lawry’s seasoned salt.

Mix until thoroughly combined and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add enough of the set aside chicken stock to achieve your desired consistency. PW added almost all of it, but I found I didn’t need nearly that much. It could have had something to do with my cream of mushroom soup only being semi-condensed, but I added barely 1/2 cup.

Place the mixture in a 9 x 13 casserole dish and top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.

At this point you can cover and freeze it for up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake it immediately for 45 minutes until bubbly.

I would definitely make this again. I was a little skeptical at first, but it really turned out well considering I didn’t include the optional ingredients – I’m not a fan of pimentos and I didn’t want to risk the cayenne being too hot for the kids. So take it from me, it is still delicious even without the optional stuff!


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2 comments to Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Spaghetti

  • Sarah

    That’s on my menu for tonight! I was a little skeptical the first time I made it, too, but it’s yummy! I add the pimentos and the cayenne pepper, but skip the green pepper. LOL!

  • sarah

    I’d love to make it again soon but I have to space out my casserole making since James isn’t usually a fan. I’m “torturing” him tonight with my tuna noodle casserole, so I won’t be making casserole again anytime soon!