For any readers I have that don’t actually know me (which I’m guessing is zero), I recently moved to Iowa City so my husband could attend dental school at the University of Iowa. This means I had to quit my day job and with not many prospects out there, I am at home twidling my thumbs looking for things to do. I do have to mention that the first 2 weeks I was without tv and internet which made it pretty quiet around here, but luckily my dad was here for one of those weeks so we did just about everything there is to do in my new town.
I’m finally getting the urge to start cooking again after everything that has happened the past couple months, and today I tried two recipes from The Pioneer Woman. I love her blog and wish I could make mine as successful as hers – resulting in a cookbook and a novel! Tonight I decided to make her chicken spaghetti (with a few variations) after Kris mentioned he would like our cheesy chicken pasta. I think this recipe has a very similar flavor minus the extra step of chopping more veggies, cooking them, etc. Plus – I think I made a relatively healthy version if we don’t count the cheese!
Chicken Spaghetti (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
- 2 cups cooked chicken
- 3 cups dried spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup (I subbed the 98% fat free cream of chicken)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- 1 jar (4 oz) diced pimentos, drained (I used half or less – saving the rest of my jar for pimento cheese)
- 2 cups reserved chicken broth
- 1 t Lawry’s seasoned salt (didn’t have any)
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- Additional cheese for top
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start by cooking your chicken – you can use breast, thighs, whole chicken, etc. I will do a separate post on how I made my chicken and chicken broth. Simplest way for this recipe though would be to take 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cover with water in a pot. Add some salt, pepper, celery and onion for flavor (if you don’t have celery/onion that’s ok). Cook on medium heat for 30 to 45 minutes (the slower the better in my opinion – sometimes I just put on medium low and let simmer until I remember to go back and check) until chicken is cooked throughout. Remove chicken and reserve 2 cups of the water to use as chicken broth. If you have any extra water left, save to cook pasta in.
- Chop or shred cooked chicken and put in large bowl.
- Cook spaghetti in the remaining broth if you have it, otherwise just in water, until al dente (try not to overcook as it will continue to cook as the casserole bakes).
- In large mixing bowl, combine pasta, chicken, pimentos, onion, green pepper, soup, cheese, seasonings.
- Slowly add in the 2 cups of chicken broth – although you might not use it all. Add a little and then stir and repeat process until it is stirrable, but not soupy. I think I made mine a little on the soupy side but it was still fine. Taste to check your seasonings and add any extra salt/pepper if needed.
- Pour into a casserole dish and top with additional shredded cheese.
- Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly (I did 45 minutes).
Note: I halved this recipe when making it – using only one can of soup and less than 1 cup of broth and I didn’t measure out the pasta. I probably just used 1/3 to 1/2 of the 1lb box of pasta.