Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti with Rotel (Casserole Recipe)
Tangy, gooey, bold, and utterly comforting… This classic Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti with Rotel casserole recipe is just about perfect. It is completely family-friendly, without being boring, and is a great dish to use basic pantry staples in a fresh and fun way.
And just how do I know that this Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is loved by adults and kids alike? Not only do my children request this casserole often, I enjoyed it when I was a kid myself!
Now, I’m not really sure where this recipe originated (maybe some version was on the back of a Rotel can?) but it’s been around for a long time. I vividly remember my childhood BFF’s mom making it on sleepover nights, and it being a bit hit with us all. Cheesy, hearty, zesty, with a crunchy topping and ready in less than an hour… What’s not to love?!
The Best Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole with Rotel
While the basics of this recipe are the same as the traditional Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti with Rotel bake, we’ve made a few simple tweaks to make the best version.
Originally, the recipe calls for a block of Velveeta, whereas I prefer to use a blend of cream cheese and cheddar cheese for a thicker sauce and richer flavor.
Also, my friend’s mom would typically make her casserole with freshly-prepared shredded chicken breasts. But I use ready-to-go rotisserie or leftover chicken for an even easier dish with less prep.
The chicken and a handful of pantry staples are layered and then baked for a cheesy, rich and satisfying crowd-pleasing casserole. You won’t believe how ridiculous easy and delicious this baked Cheesy Chicken and Spaghetti is to make any night of the week!
Ingredients You Need
Only 9 ingredients needed
- Spaghetti – cooked and drained
- Cooked chicken – chopped, either rotisserie or leftovers
- Canned Rotel tomatoes and chiles – your choice of mild or spicy
- Cheeses – softened cream cheese and shredded sharp cheddar
- Scallions – chopped
- Chicken base – or bouillon cubes
- Garlic powder – for a great savory flavor
I also recommend topping the Chicken Spaghetti Casserole with crushed Ritz crackers. This is optional, but adds a great crunchy texture and buttery flavor. You could also use traditional breadcrumbs or panko, or leave off entirely.
How to Make the Easiest Cheesy Rotel Chicken Spaghetti Recipe
Start to finish this casserole is ready to enjoy in less than an hour. It’s great to make ahead as part of your weekly meal prep, and enjoy leftovers for lunch and dinner during the week!
Follow these simple steps to make the best, easiest Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti recipe with Rotel:
Firstly, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and set out a 9X13 inch baking dish.
Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain and place the pasta back in the pot.
Meanwhile, chop the cooked chicken and scallions. Then add to the spaghetti pot along with the cooked and drained pasta.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave the cream cheese for 1-2 minutes, just enough to soften and be able to mix with the Rotel juices. Then add the Rotel diced tomatoes and chiles, chicken base, and garlic powder. Mix well.
Pour the sauce into the spaghetti pot. Then add the shredded cheddar cheese. Stir to combine so that all of the ingredients are throughly coated in the sauce.
Next, pour the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Spread it out evenly, and sprinkle the top with crushed Ritz crackers or another topping.
Get the Complete (Printable) Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti with Rotel Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Then bake the Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti with Rotel casserole for 30 minutes, uncovered, until the top is golden. You can broil for 1-2 minutes for an extra crispy and crunchy topping, but be careful to not burn.
Remove the Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti from the oven, and let sit for a minute or so. Cut and serve warm as a main dish with sides.
What Sides Go Well With Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti and Rotel Casserole?
It’s also great to serve with wonderfully simple steamed vegetables, such as broccoli or green beans!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Transfer cooled leftovers to a sealed container, and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
The entire casserole freezes well, too! Prepare in a freezer-safe dish for the easiest recipe; then wrap in plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheat leftovers either in the microwave, or in a preheated oven for the best texture. If frozen, first remove the foil and plastic wrap, then re-cover with fresh foil before baking at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Remove the foil the last 10-15 minutes of bake time.
Looking for More Classic Casserole Recipes?
- King Ranch Chicken Casserole
- Baked Spaghetti Pie Recipe
- Cheesy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake
- Perfect Tamale Pie Recipe
- Buffalo Chicken Casserole (Chicken and Rice Recipe)
Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti with Rotel (Casserole Recipe)
- 16 ounce spaghetti cooked and drained
- 5 cups chopped cooked chicken leftovers or rotisserie
- 30 ounces Rotel tomatoes and chiles (3 cans)
- 8 ounce cream cheese softened
- 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 bunch bunch scallions chopped
- 1 tablespoon chicken base or 3 bouillon cubes
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ cup crushed Ritz crackers optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set out a 9X13 inch baking dish.
- Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Drain and place the pasta back in the pot. Chop the cooked chicken and scallions, then add to the spaghetti pot.
- Set out a microwave-safe bowl and add in the cream cheese. Microwave for 1-2 minutes to soften the cream cheese enough to mix into the Rotel juices. Add the Rotel, chicken base, and garlic powder. Mix well.
- Pour the sauce into the spaghetti pot. Then add the shredded cheddar cheese. Stir to combine all the ingredients and coat in sauce.
- Pour the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Spread it out evenly and sprinkle the top with crushed Ritz crackers. Bake for 30 minutes, until the top is golden. Cut and serve warm.