Overnight Monterey Chicken Pasta

Overnight Monterey Chicken Pasta – this creamy chicken spinach pasta loaded with flavor is a new family favorite! Just dump everything in the dish and refrigerate overnight. No boiling the noodles. They will soften overnight and be cooked to perfection in the finished dish. Chicken, spinach, cream of chicken, milk, chicken broth, onion, garlic, elbow macaroni, Monterey jack cheese, and french fried onions. Comfort food at its best!

scooping chicken and spinach pasta from a baking dish with text overlay

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Easy Chicken Spinach Pasta Recipe

This Overnight Monterey Chicken Pasta has been on repeat in our house. It is super easy to make and tastes great! This dish is a mouthwatering combination of tender chicken, spinach, cripsy fried onions, and ooey-gooey Monterey Jack cheese, all nestled in a creamy sauce. But here’s the secret that takes this dish to a whole new level: letting it sit overnight! The flavors meld together, creating a symphony of deliciousness that you won’t be able to resist. Each bite is a flavor explosion that will have you coming back for seconds, thirds, and even fourths. It’s a recipe that’s sure to become a family favorite, and trust me, you’ll be dreaming about it until you can make it again.

monterey chicken pasta in a baking dish

How to Make Overnight Monterey Chicken Pasta

This chicken pasta recipe is very easy to make. In a large bowl, whisk together chicken broth, milk, cream of chicken soup, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Add seasoned salt and black pepper to taste. Stir in the chicken pieces and uncooked pasta. Pour the chicken mixture into a lightly greased baking dish. Cover this dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to bake, remove the pan from the refrigerator and let it sit on the countertop for about 30 minutes. Bake uncovered in a preheated oven until bubbly.

Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do NOT cook the noodles ahead of time. Add them to the casserole dry/uncooked. They will absorb some of the liquid in the casserole dish as it sits overnight. They will finish cooking in the oven along with the rest of the casserole. 
  • I used rotisserie chicken in this dish. It is my number one timesaver. You can use any cooked chicken that you have on hand. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, boneless skinless chicken thighs, chicken tenderloins, or canned chicken will all work great.
  • Can substitute fresh spinach.
  • You can use any combination of cream of soups in this casserole. Cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, or cream of celery soup are all delicious.
  • Variations/Additions:
    • vegetables
      • diced tomatoes
      • onions
      • mushrooms
      • bell peppers
    • fresh garlic
    • red pepper flakes
    • pesto
    • bacon
    • parmesan cheese
    • pepper jack cheese
  • I use elbow macaroni in this pasta dish. You can use any short pasta such as penne pasta, fusilli, or farfalle pasta work great. Use whole wheat pasta to increase the fiber.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
    • Reheat in the microwave.
    • Add a splash of chicken broth or heavy cream if the sauce is too thick.
scooping chicken and spinach pasta from a baking dish

What to Serve with Spinach Chicken Pasta

This dish is already a superstar on its own, but why not take it up a notch with some scrumptious sides? To balance out the richness of the pasta, I suggest serving it with a crisp green salad tossed in a tangy vinaigrette. Additionally, roasted broccoli or green beans pair well this casserole. Finally, a side of garlic bread or warm dinner rolls with olive oil dip is a must. Add this to your menu ASAP for a meal that will have everyone asking for seconds!

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scooping chicken and spinach pasta from a baking dish with text overlay

Overnight Monterey Chicken Pasta Bake

Yield: 8 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Overnight Monterey Chicken Pasta – this creamy chicken spinach pasta loaded with flavor is a new family favorite! Just dump everything in the dish and refrigerate overnight. No boiling the noodles. They will soften overnight and be cooked to perfection in the finished dish. Chicken, spinach, cream of chicken, milk, chicken broth, onion, garlic, elbow macaroni, Monterey jack cheese, and french fried onions. Comfort food at its best!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  • Spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl combine cooked chicken, cream of chicken soup, spinach, milk, chicken broth, garlic powder, onion powder, 1 cup Monterey jack cheese, and half of the french fried onions. Stir in uncooked pasta.
  • Pour pasta mixture into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove casserole from refrigerator and uncover.
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Top the casserole with the remaining 1 cup of Monterey jack cheese and the remaining half of the fried onions. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Notes:

  • Do NOT cook the noodles ahead of time. Add them to the casserole dry/uncooked. They will absorb some of the liquid in the casserole dish as it sits overnight. They will finish cooking in the oven along with the rest of the casserole. 
  • I used rotisserie chicken in this dish. It is my number one timesaver. You can use any cooked chicken that you have on hand. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, boneless skinless chicken thighs, chicken tenderloins, or canned chicken will all work great.
  • Can substitute fresh spinach.
  • You can use any combination of cream of soups in this casserole. Cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, or cream of celery soup are all delicious.
  • I use elbow macaroni in this pasta dish. You can use any short pasta such as penne pasta, fusilli, or farfalle pasta work great. Use whole wheat pasta to increase the fiber.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Steph

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monterey chicken pasta in a baking dish with text overlay

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Comments

  1. This recipe is AMAZING!! I made it tonight and everyone, including my extremely picky 4 year old loved it. I doubled the recipe so that we could have leftovers for lunch. I didn’t have frozen spinach on hand, so I used fresh. So good!!! This has been added to the recipe jar for future dinners.

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