Sunday, 11 February 2018

Madhouse recipe : Chicken Spaghetti Bake

The Madhouse kids love pasta bakes and they also love roast chicken, so when I was browsing through my new American cookbook that I got (for myself !) for Christmas and saw a recipe for Chicken Spaghetti, I knew it would be a winner. Apparently, it comes from Mississippi-native New York Times food critic Craig Claiborne, who declared that his mother's version was the best thing he ever tasted. As with many American recipes, it uses a can of cream of chicken or mushroom soup as a sauce base, but you could use gravy or crème fraîche instead if you prefer. I was actually expecting a creamier end result - as it was, pretty much all of the soup was absorbed during the cooking time, so if I make it again, I'll add a second can of soup to the mix. Sorry there's no photo of it served up - it got polished off before I had time to take a snap !

 Chicken Spaghetti Bake

ingredients :

6 chicken breasts (or leftover roast chicken)
500g spaghetti
250g grated cheese
1 onion
1 red pepper
salt, pepper
a can of cream of mushroom (or chicken) soup
a can of chopped tomatoes

First step, throw the chicken in a roasting tin, season with salt and pepper and put in the oven for about 45 minutes until the juices run clear when stabbed with a sharp knife. In the original recipe, you should boil a whole chicken in a large pan of water, but I prefer roasting.

Leave to cool until it can be handled comfortably then remove the bones and shred the chicken. If you have leftovers after the Sunday roast, you can use those instead.

Break the spaghetti into quarters and boil in water, or, if you cooked the chicken in water, the resulting chicken broth. Don't overcook as it will continue to cook in the oven - al dente is perfect. Drain and reserve in a large bowl or pan.

Add the soup, tomatoes, chicken, half of the cheese and the onions/peppers to the spaghetti.

Give it all a good mix. I also added in the juice from the roast chicken. I was dubious about adding raw onion and red pepper at this point, convinced it wouldn't cook properly, and I was right - it came out pretty much raw, so I'd definitely precook it in a little olive oil while the spaghetti is cooking.

Transfer to an ovenproof dish, sprinkle over the remaining cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes at 180° then remove the foil and leave in for another 20 minutes or so, until bubbling.

It was nice enough but I was slightly underwhelmed. Next time, I'd add an extra can of soup for a creamier finish and some extra herbs and spices to add a slight kick. I'd also fry off the onions and red peppers, and maybe add in some mushrooms for extra texture and flavour. 

It would be a great recipe for using up leftovers after a Sunday roast (meat and veggies, as well as any gravy), so I'm adding it to this month's #KitchenClearout linky.


  1. This looks so good. I think it would go down well here too x

  2. What an interesting way to use spaghetti, will have to give this one a go

  3. Great comfort food on a frosty day. I have a booklet of casseroles which I bought when we lived in the States, all recipes have tins of soup added to them. Some recipes are bizarre, some are rather tasty. I think I cooked a casserole with pasta and soup, when we did a Campbell's soup challenge years ago.

    1. Ooh yes, I remember that ! It's about time we had another great cooking challenge - they've been thin on the ground lately.

  4. pop across as I have a freezer full of chicken and looking for different recipes, now if I use pasta shells hubby may well eat it, going to try this tonight. Save the "not chicken again" look when I dish it up.
    will share a pic with you

  5. here you go


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