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This Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti Recipe is a creamy, cheesy, southwestern family favorite! Cook the sauce for a few hours, shred the chicken and then toss with pasta. Based on the Original Classic Chicken Spaghetti, this is a simpler version because it is made in a slow cooker. Woot!
A Slow Cooker Version of Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti
I love a good slow cooker recipe. Beef Stew? Yes. Italian Chicken Pasta? Absolutely. Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti? BINGO! On busy days, I love using a crockpot to cook all sorts of meals. It’s a huge timesaver and gives you that slow cooked flavor everyone loves. Set it and forget it.
This Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti is no different. Add raw chicken breasts, onions and peppers to a cold crockpot. Stir in green chiles, cream of chicken soup and a healthy amount of cheese and let it cook. After several hours, you have pull-apart-tender chicken in a super tasty sauce. Toss it all together with some spaghetti, add more cheese and you have a seriously good meal.
While I love this recipe as written, I understand we don’t always have everything on hand all the time. Here are some simple substitutions you can make.
- Yellow Onion – any onion can work here! White onion, red onion or even shallots.
- Bell Peppers – I used red and green but feel free to use whatever color you’d like. All green, all red, yellow or orange, whatever. They all give the same kind of flavor.
- Green Chiles – I just used mild green chiles with all of its juices. Yum! Feel free to omit OR if you want things a little spicier, you can use fresh or pickled jalapenos.
- Chicken Breasts – I like to use chicken breasts but you could also use chicken thighs here. They are a little higher in fat but are also less likey to dry out if cooked for too long.
- Cream of Chicken Soup – lots of delicious flavor and fats in this that are essential to keeping your chicken moist. You can also use cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup here. The spices plus the flavors from the other ingredients are mostly what flavor this dish, so try not to worry too much about the kind of soup.
- Spaghetti – Since this is cheesy chicken SPAGHETTI, I’d recommend using spaghetti pasta, but any kind of pasta would work in its place. Fettuccine, angel hair, even macaroni or rigatoni.
- Cheddar Cheese – Monterey jack, pepper jack, white cheddar or a Mexican blend all work well. Use what you have. Mozzarella is a great cheese that gets really stringy, but doesn’t have that much flavor. You can definitely do half mozzarella and half cheddar to get the best of both worlds.
How to Make Chicken Spaghetti in a Crockpot
For full details on how to make Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti, see the recipe card down below 🙂
Add Chicken and Sauce Ingredients to Crockpot
Place the chopped onion and bell peppers into the cold crockpot first, then add the chicken breasts. Top chicken with cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, green chiles, cream of chicken soup, and 1 cup of grated cheese.
Cook then Shred Chicken
Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, low for 5-6 hours, or until chicken is fully cooked. Remove chicken breasts, shred and return to crockpot. The cooking time will depend on how thick your chicken breasts are. For a quicker cook time, consider slicing your chicken breasts in half lengthwise so they are thinner.
What’s the Best Way to Keep Chicken from drying out in the Crockpot?
The answer to this question has two parts: (1) not overcooking and (2) having enough liquid or sauce. Missing one or both of these tips will give you dry chicken. Because chicken breasts are low in fat, they are prone to drying out. Whether you cook on the high function for a shorter amount of time or on the low function for longer, make sure you aren’t overcooking and have enough moisture in the crockpot.
BUT, lucky for you, it’s super hard to get dry chicken with this recipe! The cream of chicken soup plus all that cheese and the moisture from the veggies helps keep the chicken moist. If you’re worried about it, though, feel free to add in chicken stock when you’re tossing everything together with the spaghetti right before serving.
About 20 minutes before the chicken is done, start boiling some water on the stove to cook your spaghetti. Cook spaghetti according to package directions (I like mine al dente) then drain.
Can I Cook the Dry Pasta in the Crockpot?
I would highly discourage this method. I’ve found that cooking pasta in a slow cooker yields a starchy finished product. Whenever you cook pasta, starch is released from that pasta. Whether you’re cooking it in water or in a sauce, starch will come out of it. For this recipe, I suggest cooking it in water instead of directly in the sauce (so you can pour off that starchy water) and then tossing it together with the sauce.
Toss Spaghetti with Sauce
Pour in cooked spaghetti and remaining cheese. Toss to coat the pasta in sauce and melt cheese, adding in a few splashes of chicken stock where necessary to get the sauce to the consistency you want. Cook another 20-30 minutes on low and serve.
Storing + Reheating Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti
Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge! To reheat, simply zap in the microwave until heated through.
Can You Freeze This Recipe?
YES, you can freeze this recipe uncooked and after being cooked. Here are the directions: Place onion, bell peppers, green chiles, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chicken, chicken soup, and 1 cup of grated cheese together in a large plastic freezer bag. Seal and freeze for up to three months. To cook, defrost in the fridge overnight, place in crockpot, and cook according to the directions listed in the recipe card.
Alternatively, freeze cooked chicken spaghetti in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to three months. When you’re ready to serve thaw in the fridge then reheat individual servings in the microwave or the whole thing in the oven until heated through.
What Goes with Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti?
Since this Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti recipe is more on the decadent side, I like to keep the side dishes more fresh. Here are some ideas:
More Pasta Recipes to Try!
Be sure to check out all of my other pasta recipes for more dinner ideas. Here are a couple reader favorites:
- Cheesy Taco Pasta
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Southwest Chicken Pasta Casserole
- Taco Noodle Casserole
- Pimento Mac and Cheese
The printable recipe card is down below. Hope you love this recipe as much as we do!
Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti Recipe
- 1/2 cup yellow onion diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper diced
- 4 oz mild diced green chiles 1 small can
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 lb chicken breasts 2 breasts
- 10.5 oz cream of chicken soup 1 can
- 3/4-1 lb spaghetti cooked
- 3 cups cheddar cheese grated
- a few splashes chicken stock optional
- Place onion, bell peppers, green chiles, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chicken, mushroom soup and 1 cup of grated cheese together in a crock-pot. Stir to mix ingredients.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until chicken is fully cooked. Remove chicken breasts, shred and return to crock-pot.
- Pour in cooked spaghetti and remaining cheese. Toss to coat pasta in sauce and melt cheese, adding in a few splashes of chicken stock where necessary to get sauce consistency you want. Cook another 20-30 minutes on low and serve.