Chicken Spaghetti is a church potluck staple in the South, and you’re guaranteed at least 2 pans in your freezer when you have a baby. To me, it’s the ultimate comfort food because it’s simple, creamy, and cheesy. It’s very easy to make, and freezes beautifully (name that movie!), so it’s perfect for taking to friends and neighbors.
Old Fashioned Chicken Spaghetti (and by old fashioned, I mean the 70s way), has Velveeta, cream of whatever soups, canned mushrooms, and I think canned olives. We don’t eat that way anymore, so it’s time to for Chicken Spaghetti to get a makeover! This recipe is so much better than the original. I left out olives (I don’t like them anyway), mushrooms (kids don’t like them, but if I were to add them, I’d use fresh), and the cheese is real. You’re going to LOVE it.
Chicken Spaghetti Makeover
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 pound spaghetti
1 small onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I shred it using my food processor) plus an additional 1/4 cup for the top
1 can Rotel tomatoes (this makes it taste like old fashioned Chicken Spaghetti to me)
salt and pepper to taste
Break spaghetti into pieces and cook in boiling, salted water for 7-8 minutes. Meanwhile, cook onion and celery in one tablespoon butter over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper, stir well, melt butter, then cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth gradually, whisking to combine, and bring mixture to a boil. Add the milk and continue cooking until sauce is thickened.
When spaghetti is cooked, drain it, and return it to the pot. Add the rotel, grated cheese, chicken, and then the sauce. Stir to combine. Separate into two 8×8 square baking pans, or one 9×13 pan. If you’re going to freeze it, do it at this point. Otherwise, bake at 350 for 15 minutes, add shredded cheese to cover, and cook for 15 additional minutes.