Creamy Chicken Spaghetti – one pan, endless variations!
This creamy chicken spaghetti is made in one pan and is endlessly versatile. It’s a great clean-out-the-fridge meal!
This blog post is in partnership with Cabot. All opinions are my own.
You all know how much I love a good one pan pasta. I hardly ever use my colanders for pasta any more, because if I’m making pasta, I’m doing Instant Pot pasta (check out this Instant Pot Crack Chicken pasta!) or stovetop one pan pasta. I mean, why would you dirty two pans, a colander, and possibly more, when you only really have to wash one pot?
Apparently one pan pasta isn’t always rainbows and unicorns though. At least it isn’t for me, because the first time I tested this recipe, it failed AND I burned my finger. I have a babysitter about once a week during the summer and I had juuuuuust enough time to get this recipe done before she left, so I think I was rushing and not being careful. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
But rest assured, I re-tested it with a few changes and made sure it was perfect so that you’d have success with this recipe every time you make it.
I have a lot of one pan pasta recipes on my site, and most of them with a few variations so you can make them your own. Some of my favorites are this pizza pasta which is quickly becoming a reader favorite, one pan Mediterranean chicken and couscous, and this chicken marsala pasta. For even more ideas, check out my collection of One Pot Pasta Recipes, over 15 recipes just one click away.
I wanted to create a one pan pasta that you guys could really have fun with and adapt to make your own. I’m sharing a complete and absolutely delicious recipe with chicken, pasta, vegetables, and creamy sharp cheddar cheese, but we’ll talk about how you can change it to fit different diets, tastes, or how to use ingredients you have on hand!
About this creamy chicken spaghetti
This creamy spaghetti might just be the perfect dinner because it gives you creamy, hearty comfort food, but also provides lots of great nutrients and vegetables.
And even better, you can adapt it however you’d like or use whatever you have on hand. Have mushrooms? Throw them in! Don’t have mushrooms? Leave them out! Have chicken breasts? Use those as directed in the recipe. Don’t have chicken breasts but have chicken thighs, rotisserie chicken, or Italian sausage? Good news, friends…you can still make this recipe.
The ingredient that really makes this a cozy, comforting meal, is great cheddar cheese, so don’t skip that one. Specifically, sharp Cheddar cheese. I’m in the camp that the stronger the cheddar is, the better it is. If I’m adding cheese to something, I want to taste it. The good news is Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar delivers on that.
The great news is that in 2019, Cabot is celebrating their 100th year of being a co-operative owned by farm families throughout New England & New York. 100% of their profits go back to the farmers. 100%! How awesome is that? I’ve had the absolute pleasure of meeting many dairy farmers throughout my career as a food blogger and I can tell you that not only are they some of the kindest people around, they’re also the hardest working. A company that recognizes that and rewards it is a company that I’m instantly a fan of.
If you’re new to the brand, Cabot’s cheese is 100% Naturally Lactose-Free, Cheddars are naturally aged (you guys, their cheese is SO good), and Cabot Cheddars are also naturally gluten-free. And have I mentioned yet that it’s SO good?
Make This One Pan Spaghetti Your Own
There are endless ways you can make this creamy chicken spaghetti your own. Here are a few of my ideas:
- Make it vegetarian – This one is easy, leave out the chicken! You get lots of protein from the cheese, cream, and the pasta. If you wanted more, you could consider adding some beans.
- Not a fan of whole wheat pasta? No problem, you can use any type of pasta you’d like in this recipe, just follow the cooking time guidelines on the box. Keep in mind that sometimes it takes a few extra minutes to cook one pan pasta because it’s not at a full rolling boil.
- Different vegetables – This is where it gets fun! You can pretty much use ANY vegetable you want! The trick is knowing when to add it. You’ll want to add harder vegetables (think root vegetables like carrots and parsnips) earlier on with the onions and bell peppers. If you have delicate vegetables, you’ll want to add them later. For example, asparagus cooks very quickly. I’d add things such as asparagus right at the very end of the pasta’s cooking time. You could just throw it right on top and let it steam. Same with spinach. If you have a vegetable you’d like to add but you’re unsure of when to add it, leave a comment – I always respond!
- Substitute sausage for the chicken – This recipe would be delicious with Italian sausage. If it’s ground, cook it in the pan just like you would the chicken, breaking up as you sauté it. If you have sliced sausage (rounds), you can brown those the same way, until they’re cooked or warmed through. Set them aside just as you do the chicken, and stir them in at the end.
- Use a rotisserie chicken – the ultimate shortcut! Get rid of the first couple steps of this recipe by eliminating having to cook the chicken, and just stir shredded or diced rotisserie chicken in at the end. This little shortcut will shave significant minutes off the cook time and you can have dinner on the table even faster!
- Like it a little spicy? Try Cabot’s Habanero Cheddar instead of the Seriously Sharp Cheddar for a fun and spicy kick.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
- 8 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 5 ounces baby kale, baby spinach, or finely chopped kale
- 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic)
- 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, with their juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 package (13.25 oz) whole wheat spaghetti
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- In a large skillet (that has a cover available), heat oil or ghee over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally (don’t stir too much, you want it to brown!) for 5-7 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink. Remove to a plate or a bowl and cover with foil.
- Return pan to heat and add onions and bell pepper. Saute for 3-4 minutes before adding mushrooms. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent. Add garlic and kale and cook for 1-2 minute or until kale is wilted and garlic is fragrant.
- Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Add spaghetti (you might want/need to crack it in half to fit in the pan) and stir and push spaghetti down into liquid.
- Reduce heat to medium, and cover and cook, stirring frequently, until pasta is al dente. This will take about 10 minutes, but refer to the package directions for your pasta. Keep in mind that it might take slightly longer with this cooking method. When pasta is al dente, return chicken to pan and stir to combine.
- Reduce heat to low. Warm heavy cream in microwave for 30-45 seconds. Add cream and Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar cheese to pasta. Stir to combine and to melt cheese.
- Check seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in parsley and serve immediately.
- Pan in photos is NOT the pan this pasta was cooked in.
- This pasta is also great baked! Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray and bake at 350ºF for 25-35 minutes (cook time will depend on if it's already warm or if it is cold) or until warmed through and crispy on top.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 626Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 194mgSodium: 888mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 63g
RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.