Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

A classic vintage casserole – without the canned soup!

Chicken Spaghetti is the quintessential retro comfort food casserole, because what’s not to love about creamy, cheesy pasta tucked into a baking dish? It’s universally appreciated, so much so that it has been around for decades and it will surely stick around for decades more – that’s just how good it is! While it usually gets its creaminess from the old casserole standby, cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup, our version has a creamy sauce that’s made from scratch so you can get that comfort and deliciousness in a more homemade fashion. It’s the same casserole you remember and love, just with no cans needed.

Our Chicken Spaghetti Casserole starts with mushrooms sauteed in butter until they’re soft and fragrant.

That turns into a creamy sauce thanks to some flour, milk, and chicken broth that you let bubble until it has thickened.

And that creaminess gets mixed with tender spaghetti, chicken, bacon, onion, bell pepper, pimentos, seasoned salt, and cheddar cheese. It’s a savory and delicious mix.

And then it bakes. Before it heads into the oven, you top the entire casserole with a bit more chicken broth and a generous layer of cheddar cheese. The chicken broth bakes down into the pasta to make sure things are extra tender and flavorful. (And of course that cheese gets nice and melty and ooey-gooey.)

Chicken Spaghetti has everything you want from a casserole – it’s creamy, it’s cheesy, it’s comforting, but you don’t always want the canned soup that normally comes with it. This version brings you the classic casserole without it but it’s every bit as delicious!

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

A classic vintage casserole - without the canned soup!

Serves 6; 15 minutes to prepare, 40 minutes cook time

For the sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
For the casserole:
  • 1 lb spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos, drained
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until soft, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add remaining butter. Once melted, sprinkle in flour and cook 1 minute more. Whisk in chicken broth and milk gradually until combined. Season with salt and pepper and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl.
  5. To the cooked spaghetti, add chicken, bacon, onion, bell pepper, pimentos, seasoned salt, and 1 3/4 cup cheese. Pour sauce over and stir to combine.
  6. Transfer to a 9x13-inch baking dish and pour chicken broth over the top. Top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake until bubbly and cheese has melted, 35-40 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Vintage Recipe Project.