Recipe: Chicken-Spaghetti Casserole

This creamy crowd-pleaser makes any weeknight, potluck, or family gathering just a little bit better. Plenty of Cheddar cheese, plus some dashes of Worcestershire and hot sauce, makes this pasta dish absolutely Mama-approved.

Hector Sanchez

Eat this once and you won’t be able to stop.

When “starving” teenagers take a seat at your table on a weeknight, dinner needs to be fast and filling. And while there are a whole host of quick dinner recipes on SouthernLiving.com, our Chicken Spaghetti Casserole recipe is known to satisfy even the hungriest adolescents. However, we want to suggest that there are a couple of ingredients you can add that will make this weeknight meal irresistible—just a few additions that transform our Chicken Spaghetti Casserole into “Crack” Chicken Spaghetti Bake.

Watch: Hashbrown Casserole

“Crack” Chicken Spaghetti Bake is so named because the addition of crumbled bacon, dry ranch dressing mix, and some processed cheese (like Velveeta) make the already creamy filling even creamier, while ranch and bacon are tangy and smoky elements that are mildly “addictive” (you’ll have to go back for seconds). Altogether, throwing this together should take no longer than an hour and a half, and you can trust that it will keep your family satisfied for much longer. It also makes great leftovers (if you have any).

Additional Ingredients

1 rotisserie chicken

⅓ cup chicken broth

¼ cup crumbled bacon

8 oz. processed cheese (such as Velveeta), cubed

2 Tbsp. dry ranch dressing mix

How to Make It

Follow our Chicken Spaghetti Casserole Recipe, but make the following adjustments:

In Step 1: Save yourself the time of cooking a chicken by removing all of the meat from a rotisserie chicken. Reserve for later use.

  • In Step 2: Cook your pasta as directed in the recipe, but cook it in salted boiling water. Drain and place in the bottom of the Dutch oven.
  • In Step 3: Use chicken broth to replace the “reserved broth” in the recipe. When the recipe instructs to stir in the chicken, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and pepper, also stir in the crumbled bacon, processed cheese, and dry ranch dressing mix. Stir well so that the cheese cubes have a chance to break down in the hot mixture. Place in a 13- by 9-inch casserole dish and bake as directed in the recipe.