This creamy chicken casserole is one of our favorite casserole recipes. It is so easy to make and tastes amazing.
When you start with a rotisserie chicken, this recipe is super simple to make. The best part is everyone is at the dinner table and an easy meal like this is a great way to get the family together for more family time. Even on busy weeknights.
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My son-in-law thinks this is one of the best casserole recipes that I make. He loves taking this to work for his lunch and will stop back over for dinner. I love making family favorite meals often.
Easy Casserole Recipes for Home Cooks
When it comes to an easy weeknight dinner, casseroles are on the top of my list and our entire family loves the wide variety of tastes each one has. This recipe comes together quickly and bakes up to a cheesy, creamy comfort food.
Pasta is one of my family’s favorite types of casserole. Pair this with chicken, beef, vegetables, or just cheese and they are signing my praises as they enjoy their meal.
Creamy Chicken Casserole is a Make Ahead Recipe
The bonus with this meal and others like it is that it can be made ahead of time and heated just before you are ready to eat. If you are hosting a party, this is one of those easy make ahead recipes that will leave your guests asking for the recipe. Only you will know that you prepared this the day before and just heated it in the oven while you spent time on other things.
Serving large crowds? No worries, you got this. Just double the recipe and make get out another 9 X 13 baking dish.
What to Serve with This Chicken Bake
A few great sides to make this a whole meal are healthy salads and vegetable side dishes.
Pair this chicken dinner with an easy salad and you have a whole meal. It just takes minutes to prepare the ingredients and get them into the baking pan. While the creamy chicken and pasta are in the oven, take a few minutes to make an easy salad. One of our favorite salads to have with this baked dish is Ramen Cabbage Salad.
Another delicious side dish is also made in the oven is our roasted asparagus.
Green beans with garlic seem to go with just about everything.
Often, I will purchase a few rotisserie chickens at a time when they are on sale. This is a perfect recipe to make ahead of time and freeze.
I find it easiest to use a foil pan making sure it is wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil before freezing. That way, I just need to pop it in the oven and bake it when I need it. Just add approximately 40 minutes onto the cooking time to allow for the ice-cold ingredients when they go in the oven.
The Perfect Meal to Bring to Someone in Need
It is the perfect meal to have when unexpected company stops over or if you want to bring a meal to someone that needs a helping hand. Often, when someone has a baby, is sick, has surgery, or a loss the neighbors all bring food. Casserole dishes usually fill the kitchen counters in our neighborhood. It is a wonderful tradition and a great time to see other delicious meals that my friends and family make.
I have been on the receiving end of this once, and it is such a welcomed gesture that helps us get through. A comforting casserole is the perfect way to provide support.
How to Make Creamy Chicken Casserole
Just a few easy steps and you have a tasty meal that your whole family will devour.
Begin by cooking the egg noodles according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain.
Save time by preparing the rest of the ingredients while the pasta is cooking. I used a rotisserie chicken so all I had to do is remove the chicken meat and dice it into bite-sized pieces.
Next heat a large saucepan. I like to use a 12-inch non-stick skillet. Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until they are translucent.
Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and flour. Stirring constantly to combine the flour with the butter, continue cooking two minutes.
Make the cheesy white sauce: Continuing to cook, slowly add the milk and most of the cheese. Reserve 1 cup for the topping. Salt and pepper to taste.
Once the cheese is melted, add the chicken, sour cream, soup, and cooked noodles. Stir to combine.
Add to a prepared 9 X 13 casserole pan and top with the reserved cup of shredded cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
This creamy chicken casserole is a lovely main dish to store in the refrigerator. Just put the leftovers in an airtight container and it will last up to 5 days.
To reheat, it can be microwaved a few minutes until piping hot. Or if you prefer, you can reheat it in the oven in an oven-safe container.
As previously mentioned, this is a perfect dish for freezing as it will last a long time and baking it later is a snap.
Variations to this Recipe
Sometimes rather than having vegetables or a salad as a side dish, I will add the vegetables right in this casserole.
Vegetable Options. I do sauté the vegetables with the onions when I add them, so they get a head start on cooking, so they are just the right amount of doneness when baked. Here are a few ideas that work well with this. They can be fresh or frozen.
- Mixed Vegetables
- Green Beans
Leafy Greens. If you have spinach or kale, just give it a rough chop, and add to the mixture when the cooked pasta is added. It will bake down and reduce in size as the casserole bakes in the oven. This is a great way to add a bit more nutrition. When I add this, I add about 2-3 cups.
Soup Options. I used cream of celery soup in this recipe; however, cream of chicken or cream of mushroom would work well too. Cream cheese can be used in place of the soup; however, it is easier to mix if it is brought to room temperature first.
Pasta Options. I used Gemelli pasta; however, several other noodles would work well. Farfalle and egg noodles Gemelli are great options for this recipe. However, if you prefer a longer pasta then substitute in fettuccine, linguine, or spaghetti.
Chicken Options. Today I used a whole rotisserie chicken. You can use other cuts of the chicken such as the breast or thigh. Just remove from the bone, cut in bite-size pieces and fry in a bit of olive oil before adding.
Swap out the Chicken. In place of chicken, you can use ground beef. Just fry three pounds and break up into small bite-sized pieces before adding. If you are like me, you often have a bag of frozen meatballs in your freezer. Most of the time, they are pre-cooked. Just thaw and add to the tasty casserole in place of the chicken. My husband actually prefers this recipe with one of these two options.
Cheese. Most of the time, I do use the cheddar cheese in this recipe. However, we live in Wisconsin and cheese is so plentiful that we often have always at least three varieties in our refrigerator. This is a perfect recipe to mix and match. A few that I have used successfully are; Colby-Jack, Pepper Jack, Asiago, Muenster, Provolone, or Havarti.
Crunchy Topping. If you prefer to have a crunchy topping on this casserole rather than the cheesy top or in addition to. Just crush 12 Ritz crackers and combine the crumbs with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle this over the top of the casserole and bake as usual. If you prefer to use bread crumbs as the crunchy topping, add a bit of garlic powder, salt and pepper with the melted butter to add more flavor.
Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Recipe
If you are like me, you make way too much food for the Holidays. Thanksgiving is when we make our turkey and there is always lots of leftovers. I like to remove the meat from the bone and cut up the meat in bite-sized pieces and place 2-3 cupsin freezer bags. The meat will keep nicely for up to four months. When you are ready to use, just thaw and add to casseroles like this one in place of the chicken. Delicious, easy, and yummy.
Often for the Holidays we have family that will stay in town for the week. I generally make one to two baking pans of this. It is one of those main dishes that everyone seems happy to be able to enjoy leftovers the next day. This reheats quickly and sometimes makes the perfect snack on a chilly November day.
Creamy Chicken Casserole
- 3 cups rotisserie chicken diced
- 4 cups egg noodles cooked and drained, approximately 2 cups uncooked
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 cup milk
- 3 cups cheddar cheese shredded reserve 1 cup for top
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 10.5 ounces cream of celery soup
- Begin by cooking the egg noodles according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain.
- Save time by preparing the rest of the ingredients while the pasta is cooking. I used a rotisserie chicken so all I had to do is remove the chicken meat and dice it into bite-sized pieces.
- Next heat a 12-inch non-stick skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until they are translucent.
- Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and flour. Stirring constantly to combine the flour with the butter, continue cooking two minutes.
- Make the cheesy white sauce: Continuing to cook, slowly add the milk and most of the cheese. Reserve 1 cup for the topping. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the cheese is melted, add the chicken, sour cream, soup, and cooked noodles. Stir to combine.
- Add to a prepared 9 X 13 casserole pan and top with the reserved cup of shredded cheese and the mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your Own Private Notes
Freezer MealOften, I will purchase a few rotisserie chickens at a time when they are on sale. This is a perfect recipe to make ahead of time and freeze. I find it easiest to use a foil pan making sure it is wrapped well before freezing. That way, I just need to pop it in the oven and bake it when I need it. Just add approximately 40 minutes onto the cooking time to allow for the ice-cold ingredients when they go in the oven.
Storing and Reheating LeftoversThis is a lovely main dish to store in the refrigerator. Just put the leftovers in an airtight container and it will last up to 5 days. To reheat, it can be microwaved a few minutes until piping hot. Or if you prefer, you can reheat it in the oven in an oven-safe container.
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I hope that you liked this recipe. If you are looking for more ideas on what to make, here are a few other recipes that you may enjoy.