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This cheesy chicken spaghetti is made from scratch with Rotel and Velveeta cheese, covered with additional shredded cheddar for that ooey-gooey first spoon full, and baked in a casserole dish for an easy supper.
The best part is I’ve updated this classic tex-mex recipe to use a simple rotisserie chicken from the market, which cuts down on time and delivers this insanely delicious, family-pleasing recipe on your table in 30 minutes or less!
Using Rotel and Velveeta to Prepare a Chicken Spaghetti Recipe
I live in Texas where a canned tomato and green chile product called Rotel is available everywhere, and we mix it with Velveeta to make a simple queso that you will find used in many dishes. Rotel comes in original and mild—the original version is a bit spicy by itself, but blended with Velveeta cheese it is not spicy, and in fact very flavorful!
I could not find Rotel on the east coast, so here is a link to grab your very own on Amazon. If you’re in a pinch you can use petite canned tomatoes, but I wouldn’t bother adding canned green chiles because they are made with a different variety of chile, which lacks the spice and intense flavor of Rotel.
Everyone is familiar with Velveeta cheese! This chicken spaghetti with Rotel will teach you to make a creamy sauce from scratch and then load it up with (easy to work with) Velveeta.
Making the Cheesy Velveeta Sauce for the Chicken Spaghetti Casserole
The casserole starts off with seared mushrooms in butter, I use shitake for their incredible flavor, but you can use any mushroom. We brown it in butter and add diced yellow bell pepper, poblano pepper, and white onion to flavor our sauce. If you don’t have poblano pepper, any mild long green chile is fine.
After the tex mex veggies have sweat for several minutes, sprinkle in the flour and toss well with a spatula.
After cooking for 2 minutes, switch to a whisk and whisk in your chicken stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil, whisking well so that the bottom doesn’t burn the pan. The chicken stock will thicken up a bit which begins as the mixture begins to simmer. At that point pour in the cream.
Add the Velveeta cheese in little squares and melt through. Season to taste! I usually add a drop or so of lemon juice or tabasco to make everything pop!
Place the cooked and drained spaghetti in a casserole dish. Top with the shredded chicken, pour the delicious Velveeta cheese sauce over it, and top with shredded cheddar.
Can I freeze this Chicken Spaghetti Casserole?
Yes! Bake the recipe, or this recipe can be refrigerated for later, or frozen. If freezing, remove the homemade chicken spaghetti from the freezer the night before the day you will bake it. Bake the casserole according to the instructions but add an additional 10-15 minutes.
If you make this recipe, I would love to see it!
Tag me on Instagram @UrbanCowgirl and use #UrbanCowgirl to be featured. 🙂
This delicious cheesy chicken spaghetti casserole is made with Rotel and Velveeta cheese, with a homemade sauce you'll want to lick from the plate! I've also included instructions for freezing and reheating later.
- 3 T butter
- 8 oz. package mushrooms. I prefer shitake and button mushrooms.
- 1 yellow bell pepper, small dice
- 1 poblano, small dice, seeded
- 1 jalapeno, seeded fully, small dice
- 1/2 onion, small dice
- 1 t. salt
- 3/4 of a lb. of spaghetti pasta (That's 3/4 of a box)
- 2 T. flour
- 2 c. Chicken Stock
- 1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chiles, (or 1 can petite diced tomatoes)
- 8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
- 1/2 c. cream
- 1 rotisserie chicken, with the juices reserved from the bottom of the container
- 4 oz. cheddar cheese for sprinkling on top
- Optional Garnish- Cilantro if desired
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and set aside a glass casserole dish to bake in.
Remove the chicken from the bone and shred into bite-sized pieces. Reserve the juices (or jelly if it's still cold) from the bottom of the chicken container. We will add it to the sauce later for extra flavor.
Boil a large pot of water for cooking the spaghetti in. Salt the water well and cover the pot so it boils faster!
Cook spaghetti to al dente, or just a little firmer than usual. Drain and reserve.
Meanwhile, in a skillet or cast iron pan, melt the butter on medium-high heat and add the mushrooms. I like to cut up the rest of the vegetables while the mushrooms brown and caramelize so they have plenty of time to develop a deep, rich flavor. Please be advised that if you use shitakes as I do, that the hard stems must be removed. They are woody and won't cook down. I use a combination of shitakes and button mushrooms!
Add in the small diced yellow bell pepper, poblano, jalapeno, and onion. Stir to incorporate and add 1 t. salt. Cook the vegetables until they begin to soften and wilt at a medium heat, about 4-6 minutes.
Sprinkle in 2 T flour, and stir into the mixture. Cook 1 minute.
Add in 2 c. chicken stock, and 1 can of Rotel. Stir or whisk well and increase the heat, stirring well, until the mixture begins to thicken. It will thicken as it approaches a simmer. After it has thickened add in the cream.
Add the juice from the rotisserie chicken and 8 oz. of Velveeta. (Cut where the lines are on the package for easy measuring). Turn the heat down to low-medium and allow the Velveeta to melt. This takes 6-8 minutes. Simmer a couple more minutes and taste for seasoning.
It should taste like heaven at this point and you should have to restrain yourself from pouring it into a bread bowl and calling it soup night.
In the glass casserole dish, place the drained, spaghetti pasta and the shredded chicken, and give it a toss around. Pour the sauce over the top. Give it another toss and sprinkle it with cheddar cheese.
Cook at 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, just to get it nice and bubbly and allow the cheese topping to melt. Garnish with cilantro if desired.
The jalapeno can be left out for a milder chicken spaghetti.
To reheat if frozen, cook at 375 for 30-40 minutes. It can also be thawed in the refrigerator and baked as stated in the original recipe.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 582Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 1713mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 32g
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