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cheesy chicken spaghetti, close up

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

Cheesy chicken spaghetti brings everyone to the table with noodles in three types of cheese! It's a winner chicken dinner! 
Course Chicken Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken recipes, Chicken Spaghetti, pasta recipes, Spaghetti Casserole
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Calories 982kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 1 (16-ounce) package spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Rotel with green chili, drained well
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) block American cheese cut into cubes
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 rotisserie chicken shredded


  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter unsalted
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 teaspoon oregano dried


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • Prepare pasta (spaghetti casserole), in well-salted water, according to package instructions. Drain pasta and transfer to another bowl; set aside.
  • Add butter (1/2 cup) to a large skillet and melt over medium heat. Whisk in flour (1/2 cup), chili powder (1 tablespoon), cumin (1 tablespoon), and coriander (2 teaspoons) then continue to cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute or until spices become fragrant. Remove skillet from heat and slowly whisk in milk (4 cups). Return to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to bubble.
  • Reduce heat to low and stir in well-drained Rotel (1 (10-ounce) can), Worcestershire sauce (2 teaspoons), salt (1 1/4 teaspoons), pepper (1/2 teaspoon), American cheese (1 block), cream cheese (4 ounces) and 1 1/2 cups sharp cheese. Cook until cheeses are melted. Stir in shredded chicken (1).
  • Add sauce to pasta pot and mix with spaghetti until noodles are all well coated in sauce. Pour into prepared baking dish.
  • For the topping, use a small skillet to melt butter (1/4 cup). Add panko (2 cups) and oregano (1 teaspoon), allowing the bread crumbs to brown slightly. Once cooled, sprinkle panko over the top of spaghetti, then bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle top with chopped cilantro (1/4 cup) and serve.


  1. Cheese, please!  I use American, cream cheese, and sharp cheddar, but since this has Rotel, I love swapping for Mexican cheeses. Experiment! There are so many zesty options.
  2. Breaking Up Chicken: If you’re still feeling intimidated by our rotisserie baked friends, you can always just use cooked chicken breast or thighs chopped up.
  3. What’s in a Crumb: No breadcrumbs? No problem! There is an almost endless array of breadcrumb alternativesCrunched up pretzels, chips, or crackers (Ritz are my favorite). Panko bread crumbs work great, too.
  4. Spaghetti Noodles: Do you add oil when you cook your pasta? Surprise — that’s actually wrong! I always exclude the oil so the sauce clings better to the noodles. Oil creates a coat around the pasta that makes the sauce runoff.
  5. Spaghetti-Salt your pasta water generously while it’s boiling. I typically use 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons per 4 quarts of water. The pasta inevitably absorbs some of the salted water as it cooks, totally enhancing the flavor of your dish.
    • Don’t rinse the cooked pasta because the leftover starch will help the cheesy sauce coat the noodles. Here are some helpful hints to get the pasta just right.
    • This recipe works with any kind of pasta. You can substitute regular spaghetti, linguini, or fettuccini, and even something small like macaroni will do in a pinch.
    • Be sure to cook your pasta just until al dente. You don’t want it to get mushy in the oven.
  6. Rotel with green chili - If you can’t find Rotel (though most grocery stores carry it!), you can use canned diced tomatoes with green chiles. The Rotel really makes this cheesy chicken spaghetti with Rotel very flavorful and well seasoned. Here's another version of cheesy chicken with Rotel.
  7. Rotisserie Chicken - is a fabulous option for this dish, though any cooked chicken will do. You can bake or boil chicken breasts or thighs. Just season with salt and pepper. It’s also a great way to use up leftover chicken! You'll need about 4 cups of cubed or shredded chicken.


Serving: 1/8 of the recipe | Calories: 982kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 241mg | Sodium: 1769mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1520IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 371mg | Iron: 2.8mg