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Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Bake

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Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Bake: Comfort Food at Its Best

When it comes to comfort food, nothing beats a warm, cheesy casserole. This Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Bake is a deliciously rich and creamy dish that’s perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or any time you crave something hearty and satisfying. With its combination of tender chicken, flavorful ranch seasoning, and gooey cheese, this bake is sure to become a household favorite.

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Ingredients

  • 1 (16 oz.) package spaghetti
  • 2 (10.75 oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (1.5 oz.) package dry ranch mix
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
  • 1/3 cup bacon bits
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Cook the Spaghetti: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

Step 2: Make the Cheese Sauce

  1. Combine Soup and Broth: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream of chicken soup and the low-sodium chicken broth. Stir until well mixed and heated through.
  2. Melt the Velveeta: Add the cubed Velveeta cheese to the saucepan. Stir continuously until the cheese is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add Seasoning: Stir in the dry ranch mix until fully incorporated. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Step 3: Assemble the Casserole

  1. Mix the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked spaghetti, shredded or cubed chicken, and bacon bits. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and mix until everything is well coated.
  2. Transfer to Baking Dish: Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Pour the spaghetti mixture into the dish, spreading it out evenly.
  3. Top with Cheddar Cheese: Sprinkle the grated sharp cheddar cheese evenly over the top of the casserole.

Step 4: Bake

  1. Bake: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the casserole is heated through.
  2. Cool Slightly: Allow the casserole to cool for about 5 minutes before serving. This helps the dish set and makes it easier to serve.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Garnish (Optional): If desired, garnish with additional bacon bits or chopped fresh parsley for a pop of color and extra flavor.
  2. Serve: Serve the Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Bake warm, straight from the baking dish. Pair it with a simple side salad or steamed vegetables for a complete meal.

Tips for the Perfect Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Bake

  1. Use Rotisserie Chicken: For a quick and easy option, use shredded rotisserie chicken.
  2. Customize the Cheese: While Velveeta and sharp cheddar are classic choices, feel free to experiment with other cheeses like Monterey Jack or mozzarella.
  3. Add Vegetables: Boost the nutritional value by adding vegetables like peas, broccoli, or bell peppers to the casserole.

Variations

  • Spicy Kick: Add a can of diced green chilies or a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy twist.
  • Healthier Option: Use whole wheat spaghetti and reduced-fat cheese to lighten up the dish.
  • Mexican Twist: Substitute the ranch mix with taco seasoning and add a can of black beans for a Mexican-inspired casserole.

Storage and Reheating

  • Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: This casserole freezes well. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  • Reheat: Reheat individual portions in the microwave, or reheat the entire casserole in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through.

Conclusion

This Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Bake is the epitome of comfort food. With its creamy cheese sauce, tender chicken, and crispy bacon bits, it’s sure to satisfy your cravings and become a beloved recipe in your household. Follow this easy recipe to create a delicious and comforting meal that your family and friends will love.

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