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Southwestern Chicken Spaghetti

Prep Time:

Cook Time:


6 to 8 Servings

Sauce Type:

Cheese Sauce

About the Recipe

Imagine tender chicken and pasta infused with zesty spices, mingling with colorful bell peppers, sweet corn, and tangy tomatoes. Together, they harmonize in a creamy, decadent sauce that envelopes perfectly cooked spaghetti.
No canned shortcuts here! We're ditching condensed soups and embracing a from-scratch sauce approach that guarantees incredible taste.


  • 3 cups chicken – roughly 3 chicken breasts

  • 12oz to 16oz spaghetti

  • 1lb or 453g cheddar cheese

  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 1 green bell pepper

  • 1 medium white onion

  • 2 tbsp or 30ml vegetable oil

  • 6 tbsp or 90g bacon grease

  • 6 tbsp or 32g flour

  • 2 cups or 500ml chicken stock

  • 2 cups or 500ml heavy cream

  • One 10oz can diced tomatoes and green chilis

  • One 15oz can of corn -drained

  • 2 tsp oregano

  • 2 tsp cumin

  • 2 tsp chili powder

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder


1.Start off with the prep work: poach the chicken for at least 15 minutes or until done then shred or chop it into bite-size pieces (you can also use canned or rotisserie chicken). Cook the spaghetti according to the manufacturer's instructions. Steam or boil the broccoli. Grate the cheddar cheese. Finely chop the red and green bell pepper, and onion.

2. Make the sauce: pour vegetable oil into a high-sided saucepan over high heat. Once the oil is hot, drop in the onion, red and green bell pepper, stir and cook until they are lightly golden brown around the edges. Make a well in the center of the pan and add the bacon grease. Once the grease is melted, turn the burner to medium heat and sprinkle the flour into the center of the pan. Try to mix the flour and bacon grease in the center of the pan at first, then stir it in with the vegetables in the pan and cook for about 2 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, stir with a spatula (scrape the bottom and sides of the pan to make sure all the flour/grease is well incorporated into the liquid). Next, pour in the heavy cream, stir, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, turn the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add one 10oz can of diced tomatoes and green chilis and a 15oz drained can of corn. Gather your oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili, and onion powder and add them to the sauce. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Take the sauce off heat and add 2 cups or 225g shredded cheddar cheese in batches. Taste the sauce to see if the seasoning needs to be adjusted – add salt or additional herbs and spices as needed.

3. To prepare the baked pasta: In a Dutch oven or 9 x 13 baking dish, layer 1/3 of the sauce, 1/2 of the chicken, and all the pasta. Then add a layer of the rest of the chicken and top with the remaining amount of sauce. Use a spoon or spatula to combine all the ingredients. Top with 2 cups or 225g of shredded cheddar cheese.

4. Cooking instructions: Bake in the oven at 350 ˚ F or 176 ˚C for 50 to 60 minutes if using a 9x13 baking tray, check after 30 to 40 minutes – once the pasta is bubbly and the cheese has a touch of lightly golden brown, it is ready to be taken out of the oven.

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