Spicy Southern Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is a comforting and flavorful dish that combines tender chicken, hearty spaghetti, and a creamy, cheesy sauce with a spicy kick. This casserole is perfect for family dinners or potlucks and can be easily made ahead of time. Let's dive into the detailed recipe, including tips, variations, and FAQs to help you make this delicious Southern classic.
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SPICY SOUTHERN CHEESY CHICKEN SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE

Spicy Southern Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

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Spicy Southern Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is a comforting and flavorful dish that combines tender chicken, hearty spaghetti, and a creamy, cheesy sauce with a spicy kick. This casserole is perfect for family dinners or potlucks and can be easily made ahead of time. Let’s dive into the detailed recipe, including tips, variations, and FAQs to help you make this delicious Southern classic.

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Ingredients:

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  • 1 lb spaghetti, cooked
  • 1 lb chicken, shredded (about 1 rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lb Velveeta cheese, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (10 oz) can original Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)
  • 1 (10 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Crushed red pepper flakes for serving

Instructions:

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  1. Cook the Spaghetti:
    • Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Chicken:
    • Shred the meat from the rotisserie chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Set aside.
  3. Make the Cheese Sauce:
    • In a large saucepan, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat.
    • Add the Velveeta cheese chunks and milk, stirring frequently until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth.
    • Stir in the can of Rotel (with its juices) and the can of cream of mushroom soup. Mix well to combine.
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Combine Ingredients:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked spaghetti, shredded chicken, and cheese sauce. Mix until the spaghetti and chicken are well-coated with the sauce.
  5. Transfer to Baking Dish:
    • Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
    • Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the top.
    • In a small bowl, mix the panko bread crumbs with a tablespoon of melted butter until the crumbs are evenly coated. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cheddar cheese.
  6. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and the top is golden brown.
  7. Serve:
    • Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
    • Sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes on top for an extra spicy kick.
    • Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

Cook’s Notes:

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  • For added flavor, you can sauté some onions and bell peppers and add them to the cheese sauce.
  • If you prefer a milder dish, you can use mild Rotel or reduce the amount of crushed red pepper flakes.

Variations:

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  1. Spicy Southern Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole with Bacon:
    • Add 1 cup of cooked and crumbled bacon to the cheese sauce for a smoky, savory addition.
  2. Vegetable-Packed Spicy Southern Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole:
    • Add 1 cup of chopped bell peppers, 1 cup of chopped onions, and 1 cup of sliced mushrooms to the cheese sauce for a more nutritious version.
  3. Creamy Spicy Southern Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole:
    • Add 1/2 cup of sour cream to the cheese sauce for an extra creamy texture.
  4. Low-Carb Spicy Southern Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole:
    • Substitute spaghetti with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash for a low-carb option.
  5. Mexican-Inspired Spicy Southern Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole:
    • Add 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed) and 1 cup of corn kernels to the cheese sauce for a Mexican twist.

FAQs:

  1. Can I make this dish ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can assemble the casserole and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. Add an extra 10 minutes to the baking time if baking from cold.
  2. Can I freeze the casserole?
    • Yes, you can freeze the assembled casserole before baking. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking.
  3. What can I serve with this casserole?
    • This casserole pairs well with a fresh green salad, garlic bread, or steamed vegetables.
  4. Can I use a different type of cheese?
    • Yes, you can substitute Velveeta with a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese for a different flavor.
  5. How can I reduce the spice level?
    • Use mild Rotel instead of original, and omit the crushed red pepper flakes.

Spicy Southern Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole is a delightful and comforting dish that combines the best of Southern cooking with a spicy twist. It’s perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or any occasion where you want to serve something hearty and flavorful. With its creamy cheese sauce, tender chicken, and spicy kick, this casserole is sure to become a favorite in your household. Enjoy making and sharing this delicious dish with your loved ones!

Feel free to include step-by-step photos or a video tutorial to enhance the visual appeal of your blog post. Enjoy your spicy Southern cheesy chicken spaghetti casserole!

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