Healthy chicken spaghetti? Is it even possible? If you grew up eating the classic version of this dish, you might find yourself wondering.
Honestly, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I first ate this dish. My siblings were in town visiting and a friend had us over for supper. My brother loved the chicken spaghetti they made. Of course we got the recipe. Her recipe (and I discovered all the typical chicken spaghetti recipes) contains Velveeta and cream of chicken soup.
Cream soups were something my mom never had in the house growing up. In fact, the only time I remember her using cream soup was for beef stroganoff. Velveeta cheese my mom bought once a year to make cheese dip. So neither ingredient have ever been a part of my pantry either.
I decided to try and make this Mexican Spaghetti using ingredients I keep on hand while keeping the recipe almost as simple as the original.
The experiment was a success! This is my recipe for healthy chicken spaghetti without using any velveeta or canned cream soup. Score.
Such a easy meal and it makes a ton – perfect for eating again a day or two later. This would also be a great dish to bring to a church potluck. Serve with salad or veggies of your choice. The most recent time we had it with sauteed zucchini and carrot & celery sticks.
A couple of comments:
- Use whatever type of noodles you like – spelt, wheat, brown rice, or gluten free. (These pictures are with brown rice pasta)
- If you don’t have access to Rotel (a can of diced tomatoes and green chilis), you can make your own! I’ve done it a couple of times. The Humbled Homemaker has instructions here. I like to use some jalapenos and to roast and peel the peppers before I chop them. (I also de-seed the jalapenos)
- If you or someone in your house doesn’t care for cream cheese, you can’t even tell it’s in the recipe. It just adds a little extra creaminess and depth of flavor. My husband doesn’t like cream cheese and he doesn’t even know it’s in this dish. So be sure to add it!
- If you don’t have half and half or cream, you can use milk. In these pictures I used 2 cups of whole milk and decreased the stock to 1 cup.
- Arrowroot. If that’s something that you don’t have on hand, you can substitute cornstarch or try using flour. I’ve even made this with tapioca flour (I used 2 1/2 tablespoons).
Healthy Chicken Spaghetti
- 16 ounces noodles
- 1-2 cups diced onion (I used two)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can Rotel or 1 cup homemade (regular or mild)
- 2 cup chicken broth
- 1 t. salt
- 1 cup cream or half and half
- 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cup diced cooked chicken
- 2 cups shredded cheddar (can use more)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook noodles to al dente. Drain.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet or a soup pot, saute the onions. Add garlic and cook until tender.
- Add Rotel, chicken broth, and salt and bring to a simmer.
- Mix the arrowroot powder in the cream and stir into mixture in the pan.
- Add the cream cheese and gently heat the mixture and stir to melt the cream cheese and let the arrowroot powder thicken.
- After thickened, stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese and the chicken.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the cooked noodles to the pot and stir to combine.
- Pour into a 9x13 pan (it will be full) and top with the remainder of the cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
This recipe was originally published May 15, 2014. Updated comments and pictures May 2, 2019.