This spaghetti chicken recipe is a hearty dish featuring al dente cooked pasta and tender chicken seared in herbs, covered in a smooth and creamy sauce, and topped with melted cheese. It's the ultimate comfort food that will easily become a family favorite.
One of the things that makes this recipe so great is its versatility. Don't have a cast iron at home? Bake it in a casserole dish. Pressed for time? Skip cooking the chicken and instead use pieces of rotisserie chicken.
Scroll further for more tips on recipe variations, suggestions for different types of pasta to use, and inspiration for additional veggies to throw in while the shallots cook!
Another great thing about this dish is how quick it is to put together. It's the perfect meal for busy weeknights when getting dinner on the table seems daunting. Everything comes together in two pots and will be ready in under an hour!
How to Make Spaghetti Chicken
The full printable recipe card is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos and a video so you have a clear idea of what to expect. This easy chicken spaghetti recipe is really easy and these step-by-step instructions will make sure it turns out every time.
Make the Pasta and Chicken
Cook pasta: Cook spaghetti or angel hair pasta according to the package instructions, drain the pasta (don't rinse it), and reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water for later.
Season and cook the chicken: Toss the chicken with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the remaining olive in the bottom of a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Pan fry the chicken for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board to rest.
Success Tip: When cooking chicken breasts, a lot of times they are very large and thick. If they’re larger than 5 ounces each, slice them in half lengthwise to create chicken cutlets. Thinner chicken breasts that are an even size will cook more evenly. This also ensures you have enough time to cook the inside of the chicken before the outside is overdone.
Make the Creamy Sauce
Cook shallot and garlic to make roux: Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the remaining 3 Tablespoons of butter and stir to melt. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir to coat, creating a thick paste.
Add creamy sauce ingredients: At medium-high heat, whisk in the chicken broth, milk, cream cheese, and can of Rotel tomatoes. Once mixture starts to bubble and thicken, reduce heat to low and simmer for 6-8 minutes.
Add chicken, pasta and cheese: Dice the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the cooked spaghetti and diced chicken to the cream, and toss to coat. If it’s too thick, add up to 1 cup of reserved pasta water to your desired consistency. Sprinkle the top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Bake and serve: Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling around the edges, and starting to turn golden brown in a few places on the top. Add more salt as needed and serve warm with red pepper flakes and chopped parsley.
Other Types of Pasta to Use
If you don't have spaghetti on hand or would like to use a different kind of pasta for this recipe, here are a few ideas:
- Fettucine: If you're looking for a wider and flatter pasta option, fettuccine is an excellent choice. The broad ribbons of fettuccine provide a larger surface area for the sauce to cling to, creating a rich and satisfying bite.
- Penne: Penne's short, tube-like shape pairs well with chunkier pieces of chicken.
- Rotini: This spiral-shaped pasta not only looks great but also great at trapping the sauce.
- Farfalle (Bowtie Pasta): The nooks and crannies of each bowtie capture the sauce.
- Gemelli: Has a hearty and chewy texture, making it an excellent choice for spaghetti chicken.
As always, if you need a gluten-free pasta alternative, find a version you prefer and cook it according to package instructions. We've tested Jovial gluten-free penne pasta in other pasta recipes before and it was delicious!
Recipe Variations and Time Savers
Want to switch up the ingredients or save time? All of these swaps would still make a delicious homemade chicken spaghetti!
- Swap cheeses: Try using provolone in place of shredded mozzarella or pecorino romano in place of parmesan. Or use dairy-free cheese if needed.
- Make a chicken spaghetti casserole: Don't have a cast iron skillet at home? Bake the dish in a 9x13 casserole dish instead. Just transfer the ingredients from the skillet before sprinkling on the cheese.
- Use rotisserie chicken: Pressed for time? Grab a rotisserie chicken. Nothing beats zero-effort juicy chicken! Skip the step where you'd cook the raw chicken breasts.
- Go for the can: Another way to save time is to use canned cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup instead of making the creamy cheese sauce.
- Add more veggies: Add more vegetables like mushrooms, green pepper or red peppers, or fresh tomatoes. Just add them in with the shallots.
What to Serve with Spaghetti Chicken
Need a side dish to serve this family-friendly dinner with? We have a few great recipes for easy side dishes the whole family can get on board with.
Freezing and Storing Tips
To store: If you have leftover chicken spaghetti, allow it to come to room temperature, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To reheat: Place back in the skillet, and cook on the stovetop until warmed all the way through. This also reheats well in the microwave.
To freeze: Place cooled chicken and sauce in an air-tight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the fridge then follow the instructions above to reheat.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Pasta and Chicken Recipes
Next time you need an easy one pot home-cooked meal, try any of these hearty chicken and pasta recipes all done in 25-30 minutes: one pot buffalo chicken pasta, one pot lemon chicken asparagus pasta, or one pot creamy cajun chicken pasta.
Creamy Spaghetti Chicken
- 1 lb chicken breast pounded to even thickness and/or sliced in half lengthwise into cutlets (Note 1)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 Tablespoons flour gluten-free if needed (Note 2)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- 1 (15-ounce) can Rotel or diced tomatoes
- 4 ounces cream cheese (½ cup heavy cream works too)
- 12 ounces thin spaghetti noodles gluten-free if needed (Note 3)
- 1 ½ cups low moisture shredded mozzarella
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Large, oven-safe skillet like a cast iron skillet
- Large pot for boiling pasta
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water for later then drain the pasta, without rinsing.
- Meanwhile, toss the chicken with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Drizzle the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive in the bottom of a large, oven-safe skillet, like a cast-iron skillet, over medium-high heat.
- Once it’s hot and shimmering, pan fry the chicken for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown on the outside and the internal temperature reaches just below 165°F. The chicken will continue to cook when it’s baked so it doesn’t need to be fully cooked (I pulled mine off the heat at 145°F). Add a splash of water as needed to the pan if it’s becoming too brown before the chicken is cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board to rest.
- In the same pan, add 1 Tablespoon of butter and stir to melt over medium heat, scraping some of the brown bits from the chicken as you go. Add the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add the remaining 3 Tablespoons of butter and stir to melt. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir to coat, creating a thick paste (a roux).
- With the heat on medium, whisk in the chicken broth, milk, cream cheese, and rotel. Turn the heat up to medium-high and continue to whisk until the mixture smooths and starts to bubble and thicken. Once it’s bubbling, reduce the heat to low and simmer to reduce for 6-8 minutes.
- While it’s simmering, dice the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce and stir to completely coat. If it’s too thick, add up to 1 cup of reserved pasta water to thin it out to your desired consistency.
- Add the chicken and toss to coat then sprinkle the top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling around the edges, and starting to turn golden brown in a few places on the top.