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Baked Chicken Spaghetti

Hello Baked Chicken Spaghetti, a.k.a. our new favorite comfort food and best kept spaghetti secret that combines chewy spaghetti pasta with a tomato red sauce that is creamy, cheesy, and loaded with chicken. It is baked in the oven in a casserole with a melted mozzarella cheese topping.

This Italian-inspired casserole recipe is hearty, tasty, and cozy. Baked chicken spaghetti is an easy and delicious dinner dish ready under 45 minutes and makes the best leftovers.

A casserole dish of chicken spaghetti in red tomato sauce, topped with melted cheese

We love all kinds of pasta around here (some of my favorites include Pumpkin Pasta, Classic Lasagna with Béchamel Sauce and Ravioli Soup!), and this is definitely one we make again and again as well!

Baked Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

The secret in this Baked Chicken Spaghetti dish lies in the gorgeous red sauce. The tomato-based sauce is infused with Italian spices, mascarpone cheese, and mozzarella cheese.

It is also combined with the savory goodness of chicken bone broth, bringing a hint of chicken flavor in the tomato sauce, which by the way is a gorgeous combination.

More mozzarella cheese is then sprinkled on top of the baked chicken spaghetti and it is cooked the oven to delivery this bubbly, slightly charred top. Once you dig your fork into it, the melted cheese inside just oozes out.

I’ve had lots of mediocre chicken spaghetti in my life, and was determine to create one that is the best of the best, without using fake cheeses or canned soups.

This baked chicken spaghetti recipe was perfected after many, many trial and errors. John and I had many dinners critiquing, savoring and devouring many renditions of baked chicken spaghetti…until we arrived at perfection.

Top down view of a casserole of baked chicken spaghetti topped with melted cheese

We have so LOVE for the gorgeously delicious end product. This baked chicken spaghetti is a keeper recipe in our household.

A little note to Italian food purist: baked chicken spaghetti is NOT a traditional Italian dish. You will not be able to find this in Italy or traditional Italian cuisine. I would call this an Italian-inspired dish that is very much American comfort food.

I was introduced to chicken spaghetti after living in the South. There are so many variations of it, and this can also be considered a red chicken spaghetti or chicken spaghetti with tomato sauce.

While it is not authentically Italian, I can promise you it is delicious, heart-warming comfort food that is well-loved by many. Baked chicken spaghetti is especially a great recipe to make if you have a lot of people coming over for dinner.

Ingredients

Here are all the things you need to make baked chicken spaghetti casserole:

  • spaghetti pasta – cook pasta separately before adding to the red tomato sauce. To prevent pasta from over-cooking (since it will later to baked in the oven), boil pasta in water for 2 minutes less than what is suggested in the package.
  • cooked chicken – to make the process straight-forward, we are using cooked chicken that is either shredded or cut into small cubes. Store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken (dark or white meat) are good options as well. You can use raw chicken, but it will have to be cooked before adding to the sauce (see instructions for this in the ‘frequently asked questions’ section below). This baked chicken spaghetti recipe calls for 3 cups of shredded chicken, which will be about ~2 pieces of raw chicken breast. Alternatively, you can also slow cook or sous vide chicken breast.
  • canned diced tomatoes – canned whole tomatoes can be used, you’ll just need to break them into smaller pieces
  • chicken broth – chicken bone broth can be used as well
  • mascarpone cheese – a classic Italian cheese with a hint of sweetness (used in tiramisu), brings richness and creaminess to the creamy chicken spaghetti
  • mozzarella cheese – used in the sauce and also as a topping when baking chicken spaghetti casserole in the oven.
  • dried herbs – using Italian inspired seasonings such as dried basil, oregano and marjoram. Alternatively, you can substitute with Italian seasonings.
  • garlic – minced fresh cloves of garlic for best flavor. Avoid using garlic powder.
  • olive oil
  • salt

Let’s Make It!

To make baked chicken spaghetti, you will need a 9′ x 13′ baking dish since it is a casserole recipe and it will be baked in the oven.

Cook spaghetti noodles: First, fill a pot with water and bring to boil, add spaghetti pasta and boil for two minutes below the recommended time on the package.

Drain water when done and set aside. Drizzle spaghetti with olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking together.

Boiling spaghetti in water in a pot

Make the cheesy red sauce: To make the sauce, sauté garlic in olive oil briefly, then add diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and mascarpone cheese. Stir to combine.

Bring to boil, and cook for 10 minutes on medium low heat. The sauce will be slightly runny and will continue to thicken.

Add mozzarella cheese, which will thicken the sauce. Stir to combine.

Add the shredded cooked chicken. Fold to combine

Adding mascarpone cheese to red tomato sauce, then adding cooked chicken

Then last but not least, add the cooked spaghetti.

Toss spaghetti in red tomato sauce using a pair of tongs.

Adding cooked spaghetti, and tossing it in sauce using a pair of tongs

The sauce should thicken up even more after adding chicken and spaghetti.

I did notice that different brands of diced tomatoes will yield different “thickness” of sauce.

To thicken the sauce further, add more mozzarella cheese. I actually like this particular sauce slightly runny. Add salt to taste.

Transfer ingredients to a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake chicken spaghetti in the oven for 20 minutes at 400℉.

When it is done, the tops will have browned slightly, inside chewy spaghetti noodles is basked in that creamy sauce consisting of tomatoes, cheese, herbs and chicken.

Baked chicken spaghetti in a casserole dish topped with melted cheese

Dig into the baked chicken spaghetti and watch that gooey cheesy gets pulled part…YUM…

It’s almost dinner time as I am typing this and let me tell you, it is getting hard to focus because this plate of bake chicken spaghetti is staring back at me looking too yummy for words.

Close up of a large fork twirling around spaghetti in tomato sauce

Look at THAT CHEESE. I am a sucker for melted cheese.

Alright friends, it’s been fun, but I am a hungry woman right now. Excuse me while I go stuff my face with some of this yummy cheesy baked chicken spaghetti. 🙂

Storage and Reheating

  • Storage: Store leftover in air tight container or sealed using plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Reheat: baked chicken spaghetti can be reheated in the microwave or covered in the oven at 400℉

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make this with raw chicken?

You can cook two pieces of chicken breast (should equate to ~3 cups of cooked chicken cubes) in boiling water for 10-12 minutes, or until internal temperature reached at least 165℉. Cube or shred chicken when it is done. Then follow the rest of the recipe instructions.

Why is my noodles soggy? And how do I prevent that?

Soggy noodles is a result of overcooking noodles. When boiling spaghetti noodles in water, make sure to boil it for 2 minutes less than the package instructed time. This is because noodles will be cooked again when it is baked in the oven.

Can I make baked spaghetti ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble baked spaghetti ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake. Just be sure to cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap to prevent drying out. When you’re ready to bake, you may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time since the dish will be cold from the refrigerator.

Can I rinse noodles with cold water after boiling to prevent noodles from sticking together?

No. This so would rinse away the starch on the noodles, making it harder to thicken the sauce. Instead, toss noodles in olive oiil to prevent from sticking.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

More Pasta Recipes

Check out these yummies! Because we love pasta!

Chicken spaghetti in red sauce baked in the oven topped with cheese

Baked Chicken Spaghetti

Chicken spaghetti casserole in tomato-based sauce infused with cheese, chicken flavor and lots of Italian herbs, then topped with crusty mozzarella cheese. Easy and delicious dinner! Save well as leftovers.
4.88 from 8 votes
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 431kcal
Author: MinShien

Ingredients

  • 8 oz spaghetti pasta
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella shredded
  • 1 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 3 cups cooked chicken diced or shredded
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper or to taste

Instructions

  • Cook spaghetti pasta in a pot for two minutes less than package recommendation. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, sauté minced garlic in olive oil for 15-30 seconds under medium heat. Do not over-brown or burn garlic.
  • Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth, mascarpone cheese, basil, oregano, and marjoram. Mix to combine.
  • Bring to boil, then cook on medium low heat for 8-10 minutes to reduce liquid. Add cooked chicken, then add 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Liquid should thicken slightly. Keep in mind that liquid will thicken more after adding pasta. Add salt and black pepper.
  • Remove from heat and add cooked spaghetti into the sauce. Mix well. Then pour everything into a 9"x13" casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the shredded mozzarella onto the top of the casserole dish.
  • Bake casserole dish in oven for 20 minutes until the cheese on the top of the casserole is bubbly.
  • Remove from oven. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

If using raw chicken, cook two pieces of raw chicken breast in boiling water for 10-12 minutes, or until internal temperature reached at least 165℉. Cube or shred chicken when it is done. Then follow the rest of the recipe instructions. 
This recipe was revised and updated on Feb 2024.

Nutrition

Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 829mg | Potassium: 408mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 731IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 233mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I tried this one last night, and it turned out great! The first time I tried it, I didn’t pay attention to the dimensions of the dish and didn’t buy enough ingredients to fit my 9×13 dish. This time, I was prepared. I added 1/3 to the recipe, and it fit well in my bigger dish. Yum! My husband also gave it two thumbs up. Thanks for another good recipe to add to my rotation.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I’m glad it turned out great! We loved this dish and always devour this whenever we make them! Thank you also for the super helpful feedback. We will add information about ingredients for the 9×13 dish very soon! 🙂

    2. Joyous Apron says:

      **NOTE TO ALL**: Based on feedback we got, we updated this recipe to fit a 9″x13″dish, a more common casserole dish size. You will no longer need the 7″x11″ dish mentioned in this comment thread for this recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this delicious spaghetti bake for dinner last night and everyone loved it! So tasty!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, ELiza! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner last night; thanks for making me the “hero” in my family! It’s been requested to go on regular rotation!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yay! You are welcome 😉