When I told my kids I was making this dish, they got very excited. My daughter, for all of the wrong reasons.
You see, she thought I was making regular marinara spaghetti (her favorite), but with chicken in it. So, you can understand why this would be a disappointment to her when a white creation gets set down in front of her instead of a red marvel from her dreams.
But the rest of us?
Well, we can’t stop thinking about it.
I first made this recipe about a year ago. I am going to be honest. I thought it was good, but I just wanted to tweak it a bit. You see, I always make a recipe the first time, exactly the way it is written down. I think that is only fair.
After that, I will either leave it alone. Or play with it.
For this recipe, I thought it needed just a few adjustments.
First, I wanted to make it easier.
Second, I wanted a tad more flavor.
Third, I have to have my vegetables cooked in a casserole. I cannot stand crunchy onion.
Fourth, I love the Pioneer Woman. This is still entirely her creation. I just changed it a tiny bit.
Diced chicken meat from one rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup reserved water from boiling noodles
1 minced clove garlic (or 1 handy dandy frozen packet)
1/4 cup diced onion
1 diced green bell pepper
1 package of spaghetti noodles
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 tsp salt + 1/2 Tbsp. to salt the water the spaghetti noodles cook in
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 jar pimentos
1 tsp. Lawry’s seasoned salt
1 tsp. knorr’s chicken seasoning
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground paprika
1 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 325 degrees convect bake.
Cut chicken up from rotisserie chicken. Set aside.
In a stockpot, boil water. Break up spaghetti noodles into small pieces (about 1/3 their original size). Add 1/2 Tbsp. salt to the boiling water. Add noodles to the pot of boiling water. Cook according to al dente directions on noodle package. Carefully reserve 1/3 cup boiling water before draining.
In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat butter and olive oil. Add onion and green bell pepper and sauté over medium low heat for approximately 8 minutes until softened but not brown. Add garlic and sauté one minute. Add pimentos and cook for one minute. Turn off heat.
Add drained spaghetti noodles, chicken, all of the seasoning & spices, chicken stock, reserved 1/3 cup boiling water, the 2 soups, and 2 cups of the shredded cheese (if you are adding broccoli, and I sometimes do, steam it in the microwave. Do not overcook it! It will be a soggy mess in the casserole. I’m not going to say how I know this. ; ). Then add the broccoli during this step, too) to the vegetable mixture. Stir until very well combined.
Pour mixture into casserole dish (if you do not care about it being pretty. You can just leave it in the dutch oven as long as your dutch oven is oven-safe). Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.
Put the casserole into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until cheese is melted and the edges are beginning to bubble.
Remove the casserole from the oven with oven mitts. Turn off the oven. Serve onto plates and eat up! That reminds me…
While I was adding a few spices to tweak this recipe, I made it twice in one week.
When I told my daughter I was making it again, she responded in jest,
“It’s not really spaghetti! I will not fall for your lies again!”
I hate to say this, and please do not tell her I said this, but she’s right.
It’s not spaghetti.
P.S. I shared this on Savvy Southern Style.
And My Romantic Home.