Baked chicken spaghetti is an easy dinner casserole to feed a family. Tender pieces of chicken tossed with tender noodles and a creamy tomato sauce.
Baked Chicken Spaghetti
Making a big tray of spaghetti is the ultimate comfort food to feed your family. Elevate the flavor of a simple marinara sauce with fresh ingredients and a touch of cream. To make this a more satisfying entree, I add in big pieces of chicken for extra protein. Top with melted cheese. This casserole is our family’s favorite Italian meal when I’m not making this irresistible baked ziti.
How to Make Baked Chicken Spaghetti
- Boil the dried spaghetti noodles in salted water until al dente.
- Rinse the pasta with cold water and then drain.
- In a large pan, saute onions, garlic, and Italian seasonings in olive oil.
- Stir in the marinara sauce and cook until hot.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream.
- Toss the spaghetti and shredded chicken with the sauce.
- Add the pasta to a casserole dish and top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Cover and bake until the cheese is melted, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and serve the baked chicken spaghetti while hot.
Make A Creamy Marinara Sauce
To make this dish quick and easy, you can use store-bought marinara sauce as the base. I like to saute freshly chopped onions and garlic to add depth to the canned sauce. Some dried Italian seasonings add a pop of herbaceous notes.
Make sure to turn off the heat when adding in the dairy. This process will prevent the cream from curdling. The fat from the cream adds a luscious texture to the sauce. You can double the recipe if you like extra saucy noodles.
Use any type of cooked chicken to the dish. Sauteed, grilled, or baked chicken breasts work well. If I have leftover rotisserie chicken, it’s perfect for shredding and adding into the pasta. You will need at least 2 cups of chicken, but add 3 cups for more protein per serving.
Baking The Pasta Casserole
To add a cheesy crust to the pasta, I use shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese. These cheeses give a melty texture and a lovely aged, nutty flavor from the parmesan. I cover the casserole dish and bake at 375 degrees. This temperature helps to melt the topping and heat the pasta without it drying out. If you like the cheese browned, broil it for a few minutes right before serving.
Other Spaghetti Add-Ins:
To make the sauce spicy, stir in some red pepper flakes. Mix in some freshly chopped basil, oregano, or parsley for a more potent herbal taste. If you want to put some vegetables into the dish, stir in some chopped and sauteed red bell pepper, spinach, or zucchini.
For More Pasta Inspired Recipes, Try These!
- Chicken Enchilada Pasta
- Easy Pasta Carbonara
- Turkey Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash
- One Pot Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta
- Asiago Garlic Alfredo Pasta
Baked Chicken Spaghetti
- 4 quarts of water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt for seasoning pasta
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- 2 cups marinara sauce store-bought or homemade
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 cups shredded chicken cooked
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Set the oven rack to the middle position—Preheat the oven to 375°F (190ºC).
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the salt, stir to dissolve. Add in the spaghetti, cook according to package directions until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the noodles in a colander, and rinse with cool water for about 30 seconds to stop the cooking.
Add the marinara sauce, stir to combine. Cook until the sauce is hot, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper to taste.
Add the drained spaghetti to the sauce, stir to combine. Add the shredded chicken and mix. Transfer the pasta to a 13×9-inch baking dish.
Sprinkle the pasta with the shredded mozzarella and parmesan.
Cover with foil and bake until the cheese melts and the pasta is hot, about 15 to 20 minutes. For a more browned surface, remove the foil, and broil the casserole until lightly browned, about 2 to 5 minutes.
Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve immediately.