Smooth and creamy Velveeta melts around rotini and mixes with chicken, salsa and veggies to make a wonderful Cheesy Chicken Pasta Casserole.
There’s only 5 simple ingredients to stir together but a depth of flavor that creates a very satisfying and enjoyable meal.
Chicken Casserole with Velveeta
Velveeta cheese and rotel salsa create a Mexican twist where the veggies and pasta have an Italian influence. Tender pieces of chicken complete the creamy casserole.
This chicken casserole with Velveeta cheese is a beautiful pairing of simple Mexican and Italian flavors to make a delicious meal.
Instead of Velveeta being the main flavor like it is in our Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese, it’s more of a supporting flavor that makes this pasta casserole so warm, creamy, and desirable.
Using spaghetti instead of rotini is another popular option in this casserole. And since my kids prefer spaghetti, that’s an easy way to cut down on stress at the dinner table.
I like to get a big package of chicken breasts, boil them all and chop to freeze for other casseroles like Chicken & Dumplings Casserole, Hot Chicken Casserole and Chicken Fajita Pizza.
Why This Recipe Works:
- Super easy to make with only 5 ingredients, but full of flavor.
- Simple to mix up and dinner is on the table with ten minutes of hands on time to make.
- Can mix up casserole for meal prep and bake within a couple days for a fresh meal.
- Since it looks like a spin on mac and cheese, the kids like it!
- Magic happens when you stir the melted cheese cubes and liquid on the bottom of the dish before serving – this step is key to maximum creaminess!
- Rotini Pasta – the cheese melts and wraps around the rotini very nicely, but elbows, penne, spaghetti or your favorite type of pasta would work well in this recipe too.
- Velveeta Cheese – is so light, creamy and helps tie all of the other ingredients so nicely.
- Ro-Toel – a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies deepen the flavor in every bite.
- Frozen Italian Vegetables – Adds color and a more dynamic flavor to most bites with a variety of bigger pieces of veggies.
- Chicken – small tender pieces blend in to make the dish more meaty, enjoyable and filling.
Step By Step Instructions
Cook the pasta to al dente and drain.
Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly spray a 9 x 13″ dish with non-stick cooking spray.
While the pasta is cooking use a bench scraper to slice the Velveeta loaf into slices. Then cut the slices down to cubes. I find this tool easier and safer to use than a knife.
Pour cooked pasta, cubes of chicken and Rotel into a large mixing bowl.
Be sure to use the entire can of Rotel, including the juices.
Pour in the bag of frozen vegetables. There is no need to thaw.
Some of the larger pieces may be frozen together, try to separate quickly if you can. It’s not critical if you can’t.
Add cubes of cheese.
The original recipe came from my neighbor. I wouldn’t mind adding a little more Velveeta if you like a little extra cheesy flavor.
Ensure cubes of Velveeta separate while stirring everything together. This helps more evenly distribute all the cheesy goodness!
Pour into 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes until cheese is melted and veggies are cooked.
Remove the casserole from the oven and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then stir it up very well and serve.
Be sure to scoop from the bottom while serving or stir again if the casserole sits very long before serving.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Can substitute Rotel for salsa
- Do not drain the Rotel, the liquid is needed in the casserole as it bakes
- 4 cups of pasta is about 3/4 of a pound of Rotini
- The chicken breasts we got were 1 pound each and created about 2 cups each of cubes of chicken
- Here are the tips I used to boil the chicken breasts
More Easy Family Meal Ideas
Hawaiian Roll Ham Sliders are one of my most popular baked meals that people love to make with their families!
Hamburger and Tater Tot Casserole has golden brown tater tots that sit atop melty cheese, mixed vegetables and beef to make an easy main dish.
Cajun Sausage Pasta is a one pot meal that is super popular on social media and if you give it a try you’ll know why!
Crock Pot Pizza Casserole is another classic meal that’s so easy to toss together and enjoy.
Cheesy Chicken Pasta Casserole
- 3 cups boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 cups rotini pasta
- 12 ounces frozen Italian style vegetables
- 10 ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies undrained
- 12 ounces Velveeta cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 13×9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine casserole ingredients, pour into casserole dish and cover with foil
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir, serve warm and enjoy!
- Generally speaking 1 large chicken breast = 2 cups = 1 pound
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