July 14, 2010

Recipe Post: Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

I've never done one of these before, so I thought I'd give it a try. I love casseroles, because they are like complete meals and you can personalize them really easily. This is one of those that probably has 15 different "recipes" for it, including one by Pioneer Woman. But this isn't her version. It's not my mom's version, or the version of the person she got the recipe from originally. And if you make this yourself, you can tweak pretty much any of the ingredients to your taste and make your own version. But for this post, we're going to do my version. :)

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

To start with, you'll need:

  • Two boxes of spaghetti
  • 2 cans cooked chicken
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom
  • 8 oz. Sour Cream
  • 1 Package shredded cheese
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
First off, boil water and preheat oven to 350 F

(Yes, I know you know what a pot of water looks like. I just wanted to have a picture here.)

Depending on how creamy or how thick you want your casserole, you use 1 box to 1 & 1/2 boxes of spaghetti. (Obviously, the more people you have to feed, the more spaghetti you should use.)

Break it in half once.

Then in half again. PW tells you to cut the spaghetti into 1-inch pieces with a chef's knife, but I haven't figured out how to do that without spraying pieces across the counter. Breaking them this way makes them small enough for me. Then boil them until they're almost al dente. They are still going to be baked, remember.

Mix together soups, sour cream, a little garlic powder and salt and pepper. I am a big fan of the Rachael Ray "eyeball it" method of measuring. I almost never use the amount of sour cream a recipe calls for...I'm usually a spoonful or two over. :) I LOVE sour cream. And the garlic, salt and pepper are all to taste - I don't use much salt because of all the canned soup. Just a dash of each is fine.

Then add most of your cheese, leaving aside a small handful to garnish the top with. Again, this is to taste. Most often I'll put the whole bag or a bag and half, depending on what I have on-hand, into the mix and then sprinkle a little from a second bag on top. We're big cheese people.

Then add your chicken. I was introduced to canned chicken by my mom. When I first saw it I was like, "Ugh, canned meat?!" But now I love it. It's precooked and shredded, which is ideal for almost every recipe.

Now, you've got your base mix and also the drained spaghetti. Now the challenge. How do you get this much spaghetti:

Into an already full bowl:

Very carefully.

Then get out your casserole dish (I use a 13x9 glass baking dish). This is normally where the butter comes in, but I cheat:

I forgot to include it in the original picture, but anyway, I spray this all over the inside of the dish.

Spread the casserole inside the dish and make sure it's even. Then sprinkle the cheese over the top and pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes.

I also like to make this in the afternoon, then wait until SoldierMan calls and says he's on his way home to cook it, since it sits in the fridge well and we live about a half an hour from post.

Cook it until the cheese is melted and it's hot in the middle (it's not like you're having to cook the chicken). I can't promise how far it'll go, because between the two of us, we can knock out the whole thing in two dinners. But we tend to pig out on this. It could easily feed a family or group with the right portions. I promise this will be a new family favorite.

In other news....

The homework phase of IBOLC has begun. Granted, this is a very welcome break from the 5 straight weeks of field training we've had. I've got some choice words about that, but I don't need to put them here. I'm sure you can guess them all. Anyway, I don't mind SoldierMan having to do homework all evening, as long as he's here. He comes home and we get to spend a few minutes out by the pool or something else recreational to give him a break, and then it's dinner and homework. Not bad, really. Thankfully, I got some work this week (yay! I don't think I mentioned that my job has started to taper off, so this was a wonderful surprise this morning) and also, my scrapbooking stuff came in yesterday, so I've got plenty to keep me busy while he's working.

All good news!

Don't forget to add a question to my Q&A post from Monday!


  1. Mmm that sounds delicious! And it's something P would actually eat! Might have to make that this weekend. Thanks!

    And canned chicken used to weird me out, but I use it in my buffalo wing dip recipe. P was grossed out by it, but he loves my dip, so he can't be that grossed out!

  2. Looks yummy!! I will definitely have to try it soon.

  3. Holy Cow that looks so delicious! I am a total eye ball method kind of girl, and I am so bad at it. I love the mickey ears salt shaker!

  4. Sounds delish!! It's going on my menu for next week.. thanks!

  5. I started with the pioneer womans version and quickly developed our families own version too! So YUMMY! (And what I do if I want fresh chicken but don't want to do all that boiling and shredding, I buy a roasted chicken at the grocery store and shred it up real quick!)

  6. Yummy yummy...I wish that were in my tummy! Seriously....I'm starving and I have no clue what to make for dinner tonight. Saddly, I do NOT have those ingredients in my frig:(

  7. My chicken spaghetti recipe is almost identical except I do not use sour cream. I may have to try that next time!

  8. Oh yeah...love this, love PW. I've never had it just like this, but pretty much sour cream and cheese make the world go 'round!

    I think I might know those choice words you were talking about :) Yeah for a man in the house...


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