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Healthier Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Bake

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 6

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This Healthier Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Bake is a healthier version of a Pioneer Woman classic — homemade with no cream soups! It’s an easy make ahead and freezer friendly meal. Includes how to recipe video

overhead image of chicken spaghetti bake in white dish
Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients and Substitutions:
  2. How to prep this Chicken Spaghetti ahead:
  3. How to freeze and reheat pasta bakes:
  4. More chicken dinners you’ll love!
  5. Healthier Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Bake Recipe

Chicken Spaghetti is always a favorite around here — I mean, it’s creamy, it’s loaded with flavor, and you can never go wrong with pasta!

This Chicken Spaghetti Bake is a casserole version of the Pioneer Woman classic, made with healthier ingredients and a few extra veggies for good measure.

Pasta bakes are a meal we love because of how easy they are to prep and bake ahead, gift to a neighbor in need, or throw in the freezer for a busy day. This Rigatoni Pasta Bake, Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake and this Baked Ziti are more favorites!

close up of spoon scooping chicken spaghetti in pan

They are low on fuss, heavy on comfort!

Ingredients and Substitutions:

  • Vegetables: Peppers and onions just go so well in this chicken spaghetti casserole, and I like to throw shredded carrots into pretty much everything (like this Healthier Skillet Lasagna!). You can leave out these vegetables, add in extra, or swap for ones you have on hand.
  • Whole wheat spaghetti: Because the pasta is cooked separately in boiling water, you can use absolutely any variety of pasta you want (although can you call it chicken spaghetti if you don’t use spaghetti?!). White or high fiber, long or short, fat or skinny πŸ™‚
  • Chicken breasts: If you don’t have any cooked, chopped chicken on hand, I recommend prepping a big batch of this Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken or Instant Pot Shredded Chicken to keep on hand for easy meals. Check out these Shredded Chicken Recipes for loads more ways to use it!
  • Spices: Although my husband enjoys a good amount of spice, the rest of us prefer or chicken spaghetti on the milder side. Feel free to add in extra spices (chili powder, chipotle powder or cayenne are great options!) if you like the heat!
  • Low fat milk and chicken broth: I like to use a combination of low sodium chicken broth and low fat milk for my sauce — the broth adds lots of flavor and keeps the sauce from being heavy, and the milk adds a nice touch of creaminess. You can always use whole milk or cream, but because I wanted to keep this on the lighter side I stuck with low fat, low sodium options.
chicken spaghetti being scooped out of pan

How to prep this Chicken Spaghetti ahead:

  • Prep the veggies: this can be the most time consuming part! You can chop and shred the veggies and set aside in the refrigerator for several days.
  • Cook and chop the chicken: no chicken on hand? Throw these Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts in the crockpot and don’t worry about it πŸ˜‰
  • Make your sauce, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • Prep the entire casserole up to the point of baking, cover and refrigerate up to 4 days (provided all of your ingredients are at their freshest when you start).

How to freeze and reheat pasta bakes:

One of the many things to love about this Chicken Spaghetti and so many pasta bakes, is that they are so easy to make ahead and freeze.

Life is busy, and every now and then we need something that is already done and waiting!

plate of chicken spaghetti with fork stuck in noodles

To prep ahead, simply make the recipe in its entirety but do not bake. Pour into a 9×13″ baking dish, two 8×8″ baking dishes, or a variety of smaller oven-safe dishes if you are feeding one or two, and freeze up to 3 months.

To serve, I recommend thawing overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for several hours before heating through in an oven at 350 degrees F, covered. Check your pasta bake after 20-30 minutes, and add a big splash (1/4-½ cup of water or broth if it appears dry).

Although you can bake right from frozen, this can take quite a while (up to 90 minutes) and I have found it doesn’t heat through as evenly.

More chicken dinners you’ll love!

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Healthier Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Bake

4.58 from 7 votes
This Healthier Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Bake is a healthier version of a Pioneer Woman classic — completely homemade with no cream soups! It’s an easy make ahead and freezer friendly meal.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 6
Calories 567cal

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ medium onion chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper chopped
  • 375 grams whole wheat spaghetti, broken in half
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 large carrot peeled and shredded
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 3 cups cooked, chopped chicken breast (about 3 breasts)
  • 3 cups low fat cheddar cheese divided

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion, green pepper and red pepper and cook until softened.
  • Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions until just al dente (it will continue to cook in the oven). Remove from the heat and drain. Set aside.
  • Add salt, paprika, pepper, garlic to the vegetables and cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in shredded carrots.
  • Stir in flour until completely absorbed. Add broth and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened (about 3 minutes).
  • Stir in milk and continue cooking until slightly thickened (about 5 minutes). Stir in 2 cups of cheddar cheese.
  • Pour cooked spaghetti and chicken into prepared baking dish. Top with prepared sauce and stir gently to combine. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  • Bake 20-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Serve.

Notes

One serving is ⅙ of the entire dish or about 409 grams.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 409grams | Calories: 567cal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 944mg | Potassium: 579mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2340IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 370mg | Iron: 4mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Laura says

    This was wonderful! Def going to make again!! I even used your crock pot chicken for it- even better!

  2. courtneypeirce@gmail.com says

    Hi Ashely,
    We loved this! I made a huge pan and then decided to freeze some of it (after I baked it). Do you have any suggestions on how to reheat it once its been cooked/frozen?

  3. Beth says

    This was pretty tasty, thanks for the recipe! Question though. I grated a carrot during prep and realized once I put the pan in the oven that the recipe doesn’t say when to add the carrots! Could you add that in please? πŸ™‚

  4. Barbara Cohen says

    Like the flexibility of the recipe. Thanks.
    Your site has too many ads–they cover the recipes and your explanations. Maybe they can be “moved” to the sides so they are out of the view of your recipes and comments.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Barbara! I appreciate your input. The only ad that covers the content is the video ad which can be removed by clicking the ‘X’. I use my own web site daily as I cook for my family and I haven’t seen any others.

  5. Tamara says

    Thanks for a Good easy to make meal. Will make again because it can be so versatile. First time I made it as written and in future, I will improvise with whatever Veggies are available.

  6. Gina says

    Mmmmm! Yum! Love your blogging but love this lightened up version of chicken spagetti. Tweaked it a bit by adding different veggies such as chopped Brussels sprouts (yes! Deelish) and my favorite garlic cheese seasoning to it–Tony’s.

  7. Karen Bowen says

    Too many calories for us per serving. I used about half the spaghetti (no idea what the calorie count became) and also added a dash of nutmeg. My husband doesn’t usually like pasta dishes but this he liked. Thanks.

  8. Sarah @Whole and Heavenly Oven says

    Oh man, I hoard so many cookbooks it’s ridiculous! Half of them I definitely don’t read either. Haha! I LOVE that you lightened up this killer looking spaghetti bake! My family would definitely eat all of this with no complaints!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      I know, right?!? I got rid of a ton but I did keep some I’m still hoping to test out. I just have my favorites and never really stray from them! Thanks Sarah πŸ™‚

  9. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says

    I am a book hoarder, too! When we moved last year, I finally forced myself to get rid of books that I hadn’t touched in years, and those that I know I would never crack open again. It felt good, but now my collection is growing again! πŸ™‚ Love the looks of this spaghetti! I’ve seen the Pioneer Woman’s before, but I’m loving that this is a healthier version. Sounds perfect for dinner!

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