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Out Of This World Rotel Chicken Spaghetti is a family favorite one-pan meal. Made with tender chicken, tomatoes and green chilies tossed in a creamy, cheesy sauce, this is pasta casserole taken to a whole new level! This easy to make recipe is always a hit at the supper table, potlucks and makes a great freezer meal.
Comfort food. Pasta. Casserole. Those things just go together in my mind. Whenever I hear that someone is serving up a casserole with pasta, I automatically think of comfort food. We all need it, right? You know what I mean. Food that makes you feel good, kind of like a warm hug.
Whether you need some extra loving or are celebrating a good day, a casserole loaded with pasta and other great ingredients is always in order. My version of Rotel Chicken Spaghetti is on my family’s shortlist of out of this world good things in life. I’ve taken this popular recipe and changed it up a bit.
I’ve taken out the canned soup, (I’m not being a food snob, I just can’t do that stuff) and instead added cream cheese and sour cream. There’s no processed cheese here but there are loads of shredded sharp cheddar. YES! I’ve also added more tomatoes and green chilies to make this baked pasta casserole extra flavorful. Last but not least, I decided to go all-in and added a topping of crushed tortillas and more cheese.
Ingredients Needed For Rotel Chicken Spaghetti
- Shredded Cooked Chicken
- Rotel Tomatoes and Chilies
- Cream Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Cheddar Cheese
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Tortilla Chips
How To Make Rotel Chicken Spaghetti
- Preheat oven. Prepare a baking pan with parchment paper or foil.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper and place on the pan. Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until done.
- While chicken is baking, cook pasta according to package directions. When done, drain and set aside.
- Lightly coat an 11×17 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. To a large pot, over medium-low heat, add cooked chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, both cans of Rotel tomatoes and chilies, cumin, salt, garlic and, onion powder. Stir together until cream cheese is melted.
- Add-in 2 cups of cheddar cheese and stir. Add cooked pasta and stir together until noodles are coated. Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top of casserole with crushed tortilla chips and remaining ½ cup of cheddar cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until heated through and top of casserole is golden brown and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and serve.
Tips For Making This Recipe
- Use a large pot. Fill it with 4 quarts of water for every pound of pasta. This way, you’re not crowding the pot.
- Season the water with at least a tablespoon of salt, more is fine. This is crucial to having a flavorful dish.
- Bring the water up to a boil and add the pasta. Stir with tongs or a large spoon so that the pasta does not stick together.
- Cook according to the package but TEST by tasting before the recommended time is up. You want the pasta to be cooked “al dente” which means it should be chewy and not soggy.
People Often Ask…
This recipe makes a great freezer meal. To make sure it turns out properly, assemble leaving off the crushed tortilla chips and cheese. Cover the casserole with foil and freeze.
You can keep it frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, just thaw in the fridge, add the crushed chips and cheese then bake, uncovered for about 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the casserole is hot.
This is a great one-pan dish that only needs a couple of things to make a complete meal. I like to serve a cool salad alongside it. My favorites are Super Simple Caprese Salad and Tomato Cucumber Salad. For the final touch, add in some warm bread like Garlic Knots or Parmesan Garlic Skillet Rolls.
More Easy Pasta Dishes To Make…
- 3 chicken breasts – cooked and shredded
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 2 10 ounce cans Rotel tomatoes and chilies
- 8 ounces cream cheese (1 block)
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
- Heat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place on the pan. Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until done and chicken is no longer pink. To check that chicken is done, use a meat thermometer that registers 160-170 degrees. Remove from oven, and shred using 2 forks.
- While chicken is baking, cook pasta according to package directions. When done, drain and set aside.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an 11×17 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- To a large pot, over medium-low heat, add cooked chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, both cans of Rotel tomatoes and chilies, cumin, salt, garlic and, onion powder. Stir together until cream cheese is melted. Add-in 2 cups of cheddar cheese and stir. Add cooked pasta and stir together until noodles are coated. Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top of casserole with crushed tortilla chips and remaining ½ cup of cheddar cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until heated through and top of casserole is golden brown and cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and serve.
This is always a big hit! Because it’s just my husband and I, I will freeze several containers of it. Its just as good after freezing, as it was when I first made it. Tonight I cut the recipe in half, as I only have one can of Rotel tomatoes and chilies. We will still have left overs!
Thanks for sharing, Shari and for the terrific rating! Plus leftovers are the best. 😉
Really LOVED this recipe as is for a general audience. However we prefer a stronger flavor profile with a full pound of spaghetti, so I doubled the spices and added a can or two of medium green chilies. Doesn’t make it spicy hot, merely FLAVORFUL!
We weren’t a fan of the tortilla chips, but then we don’t like breadcrumbs/crackers on casseroles either. If you do I’m sure they’re great!
Pot spaghetti, half size spaghetti, works better for stirring together and serving.
Over all we ADORE this recipe! Try it!
I am so happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed this recipe, it sounds like you made a wonderful meal! I am a big believer that cooking is all about adjusting recipes to fit your own tastes and preferences, so I’m glad that you made this dish your own, adding green chilies was a terrific idea. Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your experience with this recipe, I really appreciate your support!
Love this recipe, easy to make up before the weekend gets here.
Hey there Tony!
Thank you so much for your kind words, I couldn’t agree with you more! This recipe is a great make-ahead casserole to prepare and then save for later, it’s perfect for busy weeknights or anytime life just gets too hectic. I really appreciate your support, if you ever have any questions about a recipe, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask!
Made this recipe for supper tonight. The flavor is great but the casserole was a tad dry. Next time I make it I’m only going to use 8 ounces of spaghetti instead of a pound. That should take care of the dryness.
Hey there Pat!
Thank you so much for your interest in this recipe, I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it! If you found the recipe to be a bit dry, then lessening the amount of pasta is a great idea for next time. Let me know how everything turns out if you give the dish another go, I hope you enjoy!
This casserole dish was great. Very flavorful, easy to put together and generous portions. I made two pans. One for dinner and one to freeze for another meal. Thanks for sharing. I used to make a dish very similar and had lost the recipe. Glad I saw this recipe. It is yummy.
Hey there Sharon!
Wow, I am so happy to hear that y’all enjoyed this recipe! Making one pan of this casserole for dinner and one to freeze was a great idea, gotta love efficient meal prep. Thank you so much for your kind words and your phenomenal rating, I really appreciate your support! If you ever have any questions about a recipe, please feel free to reach out, I’m always happy to help!
How many cups of chopped cooked chicken?
Hey there Barb!
Thank you so much for your interest in this recipe, that’s a good question! I use three shredded chicken breasts in this recipe, which comes out to be about 3-4 cups of shredded chicken. I hope this helps, let me know what you think if you end up trying the recipe!
Hi Donya! Thanks for your quick response. I used a rotisserie chicken and 3 cups of shredded chicken was perfect. This is a delicious and easy casserole. My husband raved about it. The rotel with chili’s give it a really nice kick and flavor. I’ll be making this again! I added a 1/2 cup of diced onion but it’s really not needed. Awesome recipe!
Of course, always happy to help out with any questions about a recipe! I am so glad to hear that y’all enjoyed this recipe, rotisserie chicken is usually what I use since it’s so easy. Thank you so much for your phenomenal rating and your support, if you ever have any other questions please feel free to reach out! I hope you’re having a great summer!
So goood. I use rotisserie chicken.
Hey there Ellyn!
Rotisserie chicken is absolutely perfect for this recipe, it’s fast, easy and delicious which is what were looking for. Thank you so much for your wonderful rating and your kind words, I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and I really appreciate your support. If you ever have any questions about a recipe, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Great recipe .. loved that I DIDNOT have to use plastic cheese or commonly known as Velvetta .. I was also able to split the batch and make a gluten free version for my son’s girlfriend.. it was a hit
I hear you on that “cheese” and agree 100%.
Have a great day, and thank you so much for the 5 star rating.
How could I convert the oven cook time to crock pot?
Unfortunately, I’ve never made this in the crock pot. It’s a casserole so I’m not sure how it would work in the crock pot.
Donya, could you please tell me how much chicken, in pounds or whatever, instead of how many chicken breasts. The size of the chicken is all over the map lately and, despite my idea
of more is better, sometimes too much of something will throw a recipe out of whack. (The casserole is too dry)
I am also assuming the Rotel tomatoes and chilies cans are the ones about the size of a soup can? That is the only size they sell in Canada, but I don’t know if there are other sizes.
Love your recipes!
The average weight of 3 chicken breasts is about 2.25 pounds.
I’m not sure why your casserole is dry. Make sure not to drain the Rotel tomatoes and chilies (10 ounce size) so that you use all the juice.
Very tasty! I cut it in half just for myself and mine was a tad dry. I used all the Rotel including liquid and weighed the spaghetti. Everything else was easy to cut in half. I would just cut back a smidge of spaghetti next time because there will be a next time! I also think the Rotel varies slightly in the amount of liquid in the can. This can seemed to have less than usual. So easy and very good. I did add nacho cheese Doritos on top because that’s what I had instead of tortilla chips. This is a keeper!
Hey there Susan!
Wow! You are so sweet, thank you so much for your kind words and your amazing rating! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe, and that you’ll be making it again! I love this recipe, especially for weeknights since it takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. Adding the Doritos instead of corn chips was delicious I’m sure, I will have to try that! Thanks again for all your support, I hope you have a great rest of your day!
Hi Pat I’ve noticed a couple comments about casserole being a little dry. You can pour a little chicken broth over the top of casserole to add moisture. I do this a lot with my chicken spaghetti casserole. If you don’t have chicken broth you can use bouillon cubes our granules in heated water. Hope this helps.
Don’t you just love Donya’s recipes ❤️
Could you please tell me how to print the recipe after I have downsized it. Every time I go to print, it reverts to the original amount, not the 6 serving size I am looking for
I just tested that option and it worked for me. I scrolled down to the recipe card, moved the serving slider down to 6 then clicked the print button. It came up with the correct amounts and printed beautifully. Sorry that I can’t be of further help.
Have a great day,