Monterey Chicken Spaghetti Casserole – Experience the creaminess and cheesiness of the Monterey Chicken Spaghetti Casserole, a fusion of flavors that will make your taste buds dance with joy. This casserole combines tender chicken, cream of chicken soup, rich sour cream and delicious Monterey Jack cheese to create a dish that will quickly become a favorite in your home. Don’t forget the twist of French’s French Fried Onions and nutritious spinach that add an extra layer of texture and flavor.
I can still clearly recall the first time I prepared this Monterey Chicken Spaghetti Casserole. It was a chilly evening. I wanted to try something comforting that would warm us up. Initially skeptical my husband was won over by one bite. Even our picky eater asked for seconds. A testament, to how delicious this casserole is! It has since become a family favorite requested at least once a month and, during special gatherings.
What makes this Monterey Chicken Spaghetti Casserole truly special?
What makes this Monterey Chicken Spaghetti Casserole special is its blend of flavors and textures. The creamy base combined with the chicken and cheese creates an experience while the addition of French Fried Onions provides a delightful crunch. Furthermore incorporating spinach not only improves the taste. Also adds a healthy serving of vegetables making it a well-rounded choice, for a meal that the whole family can enjoy.
What You Need To Make This Monterey Chicken Spaghetti Casserole Recipe?
Dried Spaghetti: To ensure your casserole turns out perfectly it’s important to choose a high-quality brand of spaghetti. The pasta is the foundation of this dish so its quality really matters. For a twist you can experiment with wheat or gluten-free spaghetti to cater to different dietary preferences.
Cooked Chicken: This is the opportunity to give leftover chicken a life! Whether it’s from night’s roast or a store-bought rotisserie chicken using cooked chicken not only saves time but also adds rich and developed flavors to your casserole.
Sour Cream: The secret ingredient that brings a creaminess, to the casserole is sour cream. If you’re looking to reduce calories without compromising on taste you can opt for a fat-free version as an alternative.
Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup: This pantry staple brings all the elements of the casserole together creating a savory sauce. For those who prefer options you might consider making your condensed soup from scratch!
Frozen Spinach: Adding a burst of color and essential nutrients spinach plays a crucial role in this recipe. Make sure to drain it before incorporating it into your casserole for the perfect consistency.
Monterey Jack Cheese: This cheese is famous, for its melting abilities bringing a deliciously gooey texture to every bite. If you’re feeling adventurous don’t hesitate to experiment with a combination of cheeses such as Monterey Jack and cheddar for an added burst of flavor.
Garlic Cloves: When it comes to garlic nothing beats the freshness of mincing your cloves. It enhances the potency and aromatic profile of the garlic giving your dish a punch.
French’s French Fried Onions: For that crunch and delightful oniony kick, French’s French Fried Onions are a must-have. They provide a contrasting texture that takes your casserole to heights. If you’re up for it you can even try making your homemade crispy fried onions, for a twist.
Steps To Make Monterey Chicken Spaghetti Casserole:
Step 1: Kick things off by preheating your oven to a cozy 350ºF and give a 9×13-inch baking pan a quick spritz with cooking spray.
Step 2: Boil up that spaghetti just like the package says, and then give it a good drain.
Step 3: Grab a big bowl and throw in your chopped chicken, creamy soup, sour cream, spinach (make sure it’s well-drained!), a cup of that melty cheese, garlic, and half a can of those crispy French fried onions.
Step 4: Mix it all up well, then add in your spaghetti, making sure it gets all coated and happy.
Step 5: Pour this mountain of goodness into your prepped pan, smoothing it out to make it all even.
Step 6: Now for the fun part: sprinkle the rest of your cheese and those remaining crunchy onions right on top.
Step 7: Pop it in the oven and let it bake for a good 40 to 50 minutes, just until it’s all bubbly and has a lovely golden top.
If you want to elevate the flavors of this recipe consider making your cream of chicken soup instead of using the canned version. It’s surprisingly easy to do. Gives you control over the ingredients, reduces sodium and enhances the taste.
Here’s a simple homemade cream of chicken soup recipe:
- Start by melting 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, over medium heat.
- Whisk in 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Continue stirring for 1 to 2 minutes until it forms a smooth roux with a slightly toasted scent.
- Gradually add 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup of milk while whisking continuously to prevent any lumps from forming.
- Allow the mixture to simmer while stirring until it thickens which should take around 5 minutes.
- Season with salt, pepper and a touch of poultry seasoning or dried herbs for an added layer of flavor.
- You’ll need two cups of this mixture to replace the canned soup in your recipe. Not only does this homemade version taste fresher. It also adds a personal touch that truly makes a difference in the final outcome.
By swapping out store-bought cream of chicken soup for this alternative you’re not only enhancing the flavors but also adding that special touch that comes from making something, from scratch.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I make this casserole ahead of time?
Of course! Simply assemble all the ingredients, in the baking dish cover it and store it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to bake it just remember to add a few minutes to the cooking time since it will be chilled.
Can I freeze this casserole?
Absolutely. Just make sure to wrap it and you can keep it frozen for up to 2 months. Before baking thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.
What can I serve with this casserole?
To keep things light and fresh a simple green salad or some steamed vegetables would be perfect, as side dishes.
My name is Natasha and I am the owner of nodashofgluten.com, a blog dedicated to all kinds of recipes. On my website, you can find classic dishes, vegetarian delights, creative snacks, Gluten-free recipes, and desserts – all proving that cooking isn’t as hard as it seems! With easy-to-follow instructions and tips on how to make your meals even better, I strive to help everyone become master chefs in their own kitchen. Come join me at nodashofgluten.com for some delicious fun!