Chicken Spaghetti Gets A Makeover!

During the weekend I watched Bobby Deen’s Not My Mama’s Meals.  For those of you who haven’t seen it, Bobby takes meals that his mother (Paula Deen, LOVE HER) makes, but changes them to be healthier.  For example:  Shrimp and Grits gets a lighter side!  No more 4 sticks of butter.  No sir, we’re getting healthy here.   It is inspiring!

And I began to think to myself, “Self, how can you take great food from your own family and make it healthier?”   Well, great question, Self!

As I poured over my recipes of what to make for the coming week, I was craving my great-grandmother’s recipe for chicken spaghetti.  the problem with it is that it has a TON of cheese and pasta in it.  I have developed an intolerance for dairy and for glutens, so cheese and pasta are on my no-thank-you list.  BUT WAIT!  *ding – went the light bulb in my head* “I can make this healthier, just like Bobby does with HIS family recipes!”

And so began the makeover for Chicken Spaghetti!

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Have y’all seen the Go Veggie Lactose Free cheese?   If you haven’t, go try it!  It takes JUST LIKE the full fatty cheese that I miss, and has the same consistency.   This was definitely going in the recipe!

Lactose Free Cheese

Lactose Free Cheese

While at H.E.B., I found this gluten-free spaghetti noodles.  Schar products are gluten free, plus they have great recipes on their website!  The pasta was perfect AND I didn’t have migraines the next day after eating it.  Yet another sign that gluten’s and I don’t get along.  Good bye to the evenings of just eating a loaf of bread with roasted garlic and olive oil.  I miss those lazy nights, but not the migraines that ensue the next day!

Schar Gluten Free Spaghetti

Schar Gluten Free Spaghetti

Next, fresh ingredients from Bountiful Baskets!  Peppers, onions, celery, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

fresh ingredients

fresh ingredients

The recipe called for a few cans of tomato sauce and such.  In retrospect, I could have made this just as easily in a crock pot while at work during the day.  If you’re in a pinch for time, go for the cans.  BUT go for low sodium and/or organic!

Tomato sauce and such

Tomato sauce and such

And then there’s the chicken.  Again, I was in a time crunch, so I grabbed a rotisserie chicken from the deli.  If I could have, I would have boiled one on my own, and reserved the stock for other cooking adventures.  I just love the flavor of your own stock.  This chicken did the trick, though.

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First things first, debone the chicken.  Be careful to get all the bones out as well as get rid of the fat and skin.  Cut the chicken into small, bite size pieces and set aside.

cut up chicken

cut up chicken

Next, cook the spaghetti noodles according to the directions on the package.

Preheat over to 350

While the spaghetti cooks, clean and diced all of your ingredients.  In a large pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, saute veggies till cooked through.  Add salt, pepper, oregano, and basil as needed.

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In a REALLY big mixing bowl, combine tomato sauces, chicken, veggies, and spaghetti noodles.  Pour in a full package of cheddar cheese and mix with ingredients   *Warning* THERE WILL BE A LOT OF FOOD!

In a greased, deep baking dish (or separate dishes if you’re like me and want to save some for a freezer meal), pour spaghetti in and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, stir spaghetti and pour more cheese on top.  Continue baking for 5-10 more minutes until cheese is bubbly and dish is cooked through.

Serve immediately!

Fresh out of the oven!  So good!

Fresh out of the oven! So good!

**Side notes:

I froze half of the dish after combining all ingredients together.  When ready to use, just thaw, bake, and sprinkle with cheese towards the end of your baking time.  This make for an easy meal on busy nights.

Also, if you choose to boil your own chicken and have it in the fridge, double the baking time.  Make sure to stir the dish half way through cooking so it cooks evenly and does not burn at the edges.

Ingredients:

  • Schar’s Gluten Free Pasta
  • 2 packages of Go Veggie Lactose Free cheddar cheese
  • whole chicken, deboned and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 pkg fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 lg can tomato puree
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 lg pkg cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Oregano and Basil to taste

Directions:

  1. Debone the chicken.  Be careful to get all the bones out as well as get rid of the fat and skin.  Cut the chicken into small, bite size pieces and set aside.
  2. Next, cook the spaghetti noodles according to the directions on the package.
  3. Preheat over to 350
  4. While the spaghetti cooks, clean and diced all of your ingredients.  In a large pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, saute veggies till cooked through.  Add salt, pepper, oregano, and basil as needed.
  5. In a REALLY big mixing bowl, combine tomato sauces, chicken, veggies, and spaghetti noodles.  Pour in a full package of cheddar cheese and mix with ingredients
  6. In a greased, deep baking dish (9X13)  pour spaghetti in and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
  7. After 20 minutes, stir spaghetti and pour more cheese on top.  Continue baking for 5-10 more minutes until cheese is bubbly and dish is cooked through.
  8. Serve immediately!
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