Chicken stews and casseroles

Table of Contents

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole [Video]

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole is the perfect dish to feed a large crowd. Deliciously cheesy and loaded with tender chicken and topped with crispy bacon.

Crack Chicken has been a hit on the blog since I posted this easy Instant Pot Crack Chicken that also includes a crockpot version. The recipe was so popular that you guys asked for a casserole version and here it is, an easy Crack Chicken Casserole recipe. Loaded with chicken, pasta, lots of cheese and obviously bacon.

Casserole Recipes are very popular on the blog. Our Sweet Potato Casserole was made by hundreds of people and we have received many emails and comments about how great it is. This Chicken Spaghetti Casserole and Turkey Tetrazzini are great options for busy weeknights, making dinner easier and bonus point for delicious leftovers. Looking for more Mac and Cheese recipes? Our Mac and Cheese Casserole is incredibly popular, and it makes sense why it’s absolutely fantastic.

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole

Crack Chicken Casserole is a hearty dinner that is perfect to feed a crowd, or if you are looking to have some delicious leftovers for the next day. It reheats pretty well, and omg it just tastes amazing. This casserole is actually a baked chicken Mac’n’Cheese, but hey, Crack Chicken sounds so much more appealing, right?

Please don’t ask me how many calories this has, I honestly don’t care, because it’s that amazing. If you stick to normal portions, don’t worry, you will be fine. This recipe is pretty easy to make, you have a few ingredients to brown, after that, you combine everything and bake it. You can even make a Buffalo version, by mixing in a cup of Buffalo sauce, how tasty does that sound?

What do you need to make Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Recipe?

  • Chicken – you can use chicken breasts or the same equivalent of boneless/skinless chicken thighs. Use your favorite sausage in this recipe, just brown it a bit.
  • You will need cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Replace the cheddar cheese with Mozzarella, Provolone, Mexican blend cheese, Italian blend cheese, Gruyere or Pepper Jack Cheese if you prefer so.
  • Dry Ranch Mix – mmmm this is what makes this dish so amazing, but you can totally skip it if you don’t like Ranch.
  • Pasta – I used elbow pasta, shells will also work great!
  • Veggies – I used some bell pepper and onion, you can also add some carrot, green peas, corn or mushrooms.

Can you make Crack Chicken Casserole in the slow cooker?

Yes, yes you can and here is how:

  • Do NOT cook the pasta.
  • Skip the flour.
  • Follow the instructions to brown all the ingredients.
  • Replace the 3 cups of milk with 2 cups whole milk and 2 12- ounce cans evaporated milk and skip preparing the Cheesy Mixture.
  • Add the uncooked pasta, browned chicken and veggies to the slow cooker. Cube the cream cheese and add it to the slow cooker. Add the cream of chicken soup.
  • Add the shredded cheese.
  • Stir all the ingredients to combine.
  • Cook on low for 90 minutes to 2 hours. Check after 60 minutes and give the mixture a stir. After that check every 20-30 minutes and stir.
  • Serve when ready.

Can you freeze Crack Chicken Casserole?

  • To freeze, transfer the mixture to a buttered 9-by-13-inch freezer-to-oven baking dish.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Bake, frozen and covered with foil, at 350°F, for 1 hour.

Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Tips:

  • You do not have to cover the casserole with foil when baking.
  • Skip the panko bread crumbs and use this Buttery Cracker mixture for extra flavor like in this Pineapple Casserole.
  • You can eat this Crack Chicken casserole without baking it, just make sure the chicken is fully cooked before adding it to the dish.
  • If you want a truly creamy texture, like unbelievably creamy, it is best to not use pre-shredded cheese. Take the extra few minutes and shred your own cheese.
  • You don’t need to rinse the cooked pasta for this recipe especially if you will be using pre-shredded cheese, this way the starch from the pasta will thicken the sauce.

Looking for more Casserole Recipes? Check these out:

  • Hashbrown Chicken Jalapeño Casserole – creamy and delicious, like a giant jalapeño popper.
  • Sausage Pesto Tortellini Casserole
  • White Pizza Sauce Casserole – very, very cheesy!
  • Pineapple Casserole – OMG cheese and pineapple!

Save Recipe 5 from 33 reviews Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 8 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hr

Ingredients

  • 3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

Bacon:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 12 slices bacon (diced into 1-2 inch pieces)

Chicken:

  • 1.5-2 lbs uncooked chicken (cubed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika

Veggies:

  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

Cheesy Mixture:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 package Dry Ranch Mix (optional)
  • 1 package (8oz) cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup, condensed

Toppings:

  • Cooked bacon
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko crispy bread crumbs (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook and drain macaroni as directed on package.

Cook Bacon:

  1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt two tablespoons of butter and cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until crispy. Remove from skillet and set aside. Drain grease, leaving only about 2 tablespoons in the skillet.

Cook Chicken:

  1. Add the cubed chicken to the skillet, season with salt, pepper and paprika. Cook stirring frequently, until golden and no longer pink in the center. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Cook Veggies:

  1. Add diced onion, diced bell pepper and minced garlic to the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Cheesy Mixture:

  1. In same skillet, on medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in flour with whisk until a paste forms.
  2. Gradually stir in milk, beating with the whisk.
  3. Stir in Ranch Mix if using.
  4. Stir in condensed cream of chicken soup and cream cheese until fully combined.
  5. Stir in 3 cups of cheddar cheese. Remove from heat.

Combine:

  1. In a large bowl combine: cooked pasta, chicken, veggies and cheese mixture. Stir well to combine and transfer to a 13×9-inch (3-quart) baking dish.
  2. Top with the cooked bacon, 1 cup shredded cheese and sprinkle some bread crumbs on top if desired.

Bake:

  1. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and cheese is fully melted.

  2. Serve and enjoy!

0 Calories: 958 Carbohydrates: 58 Protein: 40 Fat: 62 Saturated Fat: 30 Cholesterol: 188 Sodium: 1172 Potassium: 590 Fiber: 2 Sugar: 8 Vitamin A: 1710 Vitamin C: 13.6 Calcium: 577 Iron: 2.7 Save Recipe

Casserole season is every season and today we’re sharing our very best chicken casserole recipes! Best part? All of these dishes are both balanced and healthy made with real ingredients.

You know when you have “nothing to eat?” That’s when you make a chicken casserole recipe! Today we’re sharing all of our very best chicken casserole inspo + a classic chicken and rice casserole recipe that you’re going to absolutely love.

What is Chicken Casserole?

A chicken casserole is when you cook all parts of your chicken meal in a baking dish. Usually, the ingredients you use in your chicken casserole are uncooked for a quick “throw everything into a dish and bake it” kind of meal. Typically a chicken casserole includes 4 parts:

  • Grain: pasta or rice
  • Chicken: breast or thighs
  • Vegetables: all kinds!
  • Sauce: varies

From midwestern chicken and rice casserole to creative Asian-inspired casseroles like orange chicken casserole, we are huge fans of taking classic chicken dinners and turning them into one-pan meals. Like I mentioned above, most chicken casserole recipes that you’ll find on FFF use raw ingredients so you can toss everything into your baking dish and bake it. None of that hour+ prep time!

Take Chicken Tikka Masala for instance. You’re going to serve that with some kind of vegetable and grain, so why not make a Chicken Tikka Masala Casserole?

Ceramic Dish vs. Baking Pan

First things first, let’s talk casserole dishes! Our chicken casserole recipes call for ceramic casserole dishes and let me tell you, there is a difference between that and a baking pan. Casserole dishes are like cast iron pans in that they bake things more evenly and faster than a normal metal baking pan.

We much prefer to use a ceramic casserole dish for our chicken casserole recipes for this exact reason. However, no fear if you don’t have one! A baking pan will work just fine, you may just need to adjust your bake time.

Favorite Ceramic Casserole Dishes

  • Avery Ceramic Baking Dish
  • Stoneware Rectangular Baking Dish
  • Williams Sonoma Rectangular Baking Dish

How long can you keep chicken casserole in the fridge?

Most chicken casseroles will last 3-5 days in the fridge.

Storage tip: make sure to store your casserole in an airtight container with the lid on.

Can I freeze chicken casserole?

Chicken casserole is a great meal to freeze for later. Let your casserole cool completely and then cover it with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing it onto the top of your casserole and removing as much air as possible. Then, cover it with a piece of tin foil doing the same thing.

Freezer tip: We suggest baking your chicken casserole in a disposable tin casserole dish. This will free up your other casserole dishes for real-time baking.

What do you eat with chicken casserole?

The great thing about a chicken casserole is that all parts of your meal are usually baked right into the casserole. Typically you get a grain, vegetable, and carb, so there really is no need to serve it with anything else. However here are a few suggestions:

  • Salad
  • Fresh fruit
  • Steamed veggies
  • Bread

Fav Chicken and Rice Casserole

Before we share all of the very best chicken casserole recipes from FFF, we want to share a very midwestern dinner that is what we like to call — BASIC.

Chicken and Rice Casserole is the epitome of a casserole. It’s got all 4 parts: veggies, rice, chicken breasts, and a cheesy sauce to bind everything together. It doesn’t really get much better or easier to make.

2-Part Prep

To make things even simpler, I’d like to break the prep of this recipe into 2 parts!

Part 1: Veggies + Chicken

Part 1 is all about prepping your veggies and chicken. This chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole calls for the following ingredients that need to be chopped:

  • broccoli
  • carrot
  • onion
  • chicken breast

Once you chop those things, place them on the bottom of your casserole dish along with some green peas and quick-cooking rice.

Part 2: Sauce

Next up it’s time to make your cheese sauce! For this, you’ll need shredded cheddar cheese, broth, and milk (any kind).

Heat a small pot over medium/high heat and add your liquid. Once simmering, add cheese and turn the heat down to low/medium. Continuously stir until cheese melts. Finally, pour sauce on top of the veggies in the casserole dish.

Bake it!

All of that should take you around 20 minutes to prepare. From there, all you need to do is bake your casserole in the oven at 375ºF for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and add a generous amount of cheese to the top. Place back in the oven for 15-20 more minutes.

Let it Sit

Once your chicken is fully cooked, it’s time to let your casserole rest. This may sound like a funny thing to do, but I promise it’s important! By letting your casserole rest on the stove-top for 15 minutes, you’ll let all of the liquid the chicken gave off soak up into the rice and veggies. I promise it’s worth it!

Recipe

Basic Chicken and Rice Casserole

A chicken and rice casserole that’s cheesy, filling, and HEALTHY! Our chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole is made without pre-made soup, it’s so easy and even more delicious from scratch!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour

Author: Lee Funke Yield: 8 1x Category: Casserole Method: Oven Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups minute brown rice
  • 5 cups chopped broccoli florets (1 full head)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 1.5 cups frozen green peas
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups 2% milk
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, divided (6 oz. and 2 oz.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1.5 lb.s boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 oz shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. First, preheat oven to 375ºF and spray a large ceramic casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Next, place minute brown rice, broccoli florets, yellow onion, carrots, and green peas on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  3. Prepare cheese sauce by placing broth and milk into a small saucepan. Heat over medium/high heat.
  4. Once simmering, turn down low/medium and add in 6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Continuously stir until the cheese dissolves and your cheese sauce has formed.
  5. Immediately pour over rice and veggies and mix.
  6. Next, slice chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes and add that to the casserole dish and mix making sure everything is fully coated in cheese sauce.
  7. Bake at 375ºF, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  8. Then, add 2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese and 1 oz. shredded parmesan cheese to the top of the casserole dish and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  9. Let casserole rest on the stovetop for 15-20 minutes before serving to further thicken.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8
  • Calories: 337
  • Sugar: 4
  • Fat: 14
  • Carbohydrates: 23
  • Fiber: 3
  • Protein: 32

Best Chicken Casseroles

And now, here is the lineup of all of our best chicken casserole recipes from Fit Foodie Finds. Here’s you’ll find flavors from all over the world! Enjoy.

Chicken Tikka Masala Casserole

This chicken tikka masala casserole recipe is one of the most delicious and easy chicken casserole recipes around! It has all of the traditional flavors of chicken tikka masala in casserole form. Make this chicken tikka masala casserole for dinner this week!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

In just 60 minutes you can make this healthy chicken enchilada casserole that’s packed with lean chicken, beans, tons of veggies, and brown rice. Throw everything into a casserole dish uncooked and you’ve got yourself dinner for the entire family.

Southwestern Chicken Casserole

This Southwestern Chicken Casserole calls for simple, healthy ingredients and gives the classic chicken casserole a run for its money!

Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Casserole

Our protein and veggie-packed healthy chicken parmesan quinoa casserole is a winner for all. It’s made with homemade parmesan chicken, marinara, mushrooms, and quinoa for an epic, kid-friendly chicken parmesan casserole.

Healthy Orange Chicken Casserole

With just a few simple ingredients and a casserole dish you can have a dinner packed with veggies, protein, and whole grains, in just 60 minutes!

Cauliflower Mac and Chicken Casserole

This recipe makes healthy comfort food a real thing! Make this Cauliflower Mac n’ Chicken Casserole with ancient grain pasta for the most epic meal the entire family will love!

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole will change your life! Throw everything in your slow cooker and in only 3 hours dinner is served.

Healthy Chicken Burrito Bowl Casserole

This healthy chicken burrito bowl casserole is made with ground chicken, beans, rice, Mexican spices, and all the topping for a delicious one-pot dinner the entire family will enjoy!

Cashew Chicken Quinoa Bake

Make this Cashew Chicken Quinoa Bake for a high-protein, one-dish meal that the whole family will love! Meal prep at its finest!

Tuscan Chicken Quinoa Bake

This Tuscan Chicken Quinoa Bake is packed with Italian flavors, kid-friendly, and has a whopping 40g protein per serving!

Chicken Cacciatore Casserole

Try this Meal-Prep Chicken Cacciatore Quinoa Bake for dinner this week. It has all of the delicious flavors and ingredients of traditional chicken cacciatore, but with a healthy and quick twist!

Apple Chicken Sausage Quinoa Casserole

This Chicken Apple Sausage Quinoa Casserole is packed with shredded Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. It is the perfect healthy meal for an easy weeknight dinner or is perfect for meal prep for the week! It is high in protein and delicious!

Full of tender, juicy, and flavorful protein and veggies, this Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with potatoes is a cozy, easy dinner recipe for chilly nights!

Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes 3420shares

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Full of tender, juicy, and flavorful protein and veggies, this Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with potatoes is a cozy, easy dinner recipe for chilly nights! With just a few minutes of prep, this low-calorie, high-protein Crock Pot meal will be waiting for you at the end of the day!

Hey, friends! With Christmas behind us and the New Year just on the horizon, I thought that you might appreciate a lighter dinner option for the coming days.

If you’ve enjoyed a few too many glasses of eggnog, more than your fair share of cinnamon buns, or just a boatload of holiday cookies, then have no fear! You can still feed your family a delicious, hearty, and satisfying dinner…while giving your body a bit of a “detox,” too!

This chicken stew slow cooker recipe is very similar to a classic chicken noodle soup — minus the pasta. I also think that a stew should have a thicker broth and an abundance of filling add-ins, so you’ll find plenty of chunky carrots, potatoes, onions, and celery in this dish.

How do you make a Chicken Stew?

This simple chicken stew recipe requires just a handful of basic, easy-to-find ingredients. First, let’s start with the vegetables. You’ll need potatoes, onions, celery and carrots.

What herbs and spices to put in a Chicken Stew?

Place the chopped vegetables in the bottom of a slow cooker and add the herbs and spices. For a hearty chicken stew recipe, I use salt, paprika, a bay leaf, thyme and poultry seasoning. The poultry seasoning is a combination of thyme, sage, rosemary, marjoram and nutmeg — so it gives you a lot of flavor with minimal effort!

Remove the skin from bone-in chicken breasts, and then place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker. I think it’s easiest to just cut off the skin using a pair of sharp kitchen shears, but a knife (or your hands) will also work.

Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, pour broth or stock over top, and place the lid on the Crock Pot.

The easy chicken stew with potatoes will cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours. At the end of the cooking time, remove the chicken from the pot, discard the bones, and chop or shred the meat. Return the chicken meat to the slow cooker, remove the bay leaf, and take the lid off of the pot.

How to Thicken Chicken Stew?

If you’d like to thicken the chicken stew, I suggest adding 1 tablespoon of corn starch that has been mixed with 1 tablespoon of water. Cook the chicken stew with the corn starch slurry for 30 more minutes on HIGH heat without a lid.

The end result will be the best chicken stew that you’ve ever tasted!

Can Chicken Stew be frozen?

Yes! This hearty chicken stew recipe is a wonderful freezer meal! Simply prepare the stew according to the recipe below, allow to cool to room temperature, package in airtight containers or plastic freezer bags, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Can Chicken Stew be reheated?

Absolutely! Reheat the chicken stew on the stovetop over low heat, just until warm. You can also reheat individual bowls in the microwave.

COOK’S TIPS:

  • Want to Prep Ahead? Chop all of the vegetables the night before, and then place them in a large zip-top bag with all of the seasonings. In the morning, just dump the whole bag into the slow cooker, top with the chicken, and proceed with the rest of the instructions.
  • Use a pair of kitchen shears to quickly and easily remove the skin from the chicken breasts.
  • I use bone-in chicken breasts for my chicken stew for a couple of reasons. The bone-in meat has a longer cooking time than a boneless, skinless chicken breast, so the meat stays juicy and tender while the carrots and potatoes finish cooking. The bones also give the broth tons of added flavor. However, if you can’t find them or if you don’t want to bother with them, then boneless thighs or breasts will also work.
  • If you don’t mind a thinner, more soup-like broth, you can skip the final step with the corn starch. It will still taste delicious!

What goes with Chicken Stew?

With potatoes, protein and vegetables, this dish is a one pot meal that doesn’t really require anything else on the side. That said, if your family is like mine and always appreciates a bread or roll with a hot bowl of soup, then here are a few easy options:

  • Aunt Bee’s 3-Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits
  • No-Knead 3-Ingredient Beer Bread
  • 3-Ingredient Breadsticks
  • Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins
  • Orange Cranberry Corn Muffins

If you need a simple, healthy, family-friendly dinner option that’s also incredibly affordable, then my Slow Cooker Chicken Stew is the answer to your prayers!

You might also like these easy slow cooker recipes:

  • Healthy Slow Cooker Gumbo
  • Turkey and Pesto Slow Cooker Lasagna
  • Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes
  • Farmhouse Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Did you try this recipe? Don’t forget to rate it and leave me a comment below! You can follow me on Facebook, on Instagram, on Pinterest, and on Twitter! 4.55 from 11 votes

Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

Full of tender, juicy, and flavorful protein and veggies, this Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with potatoes is a cozy, easy dinner recipe for chilly nights!

Course Dinner Cuisine American Keyword chicken stew, chicken stew with potatoes, slow cooker chicken stew Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 8 hours Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes Servings 12 cups Calories 162 kcal Author Blair

  • 2 medium sweet onions, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced into small bite-sized pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 3-4 lbs. bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch + 1 tablespoon cold water
  • For garnish: chopped fresh parsley
  1. Place onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, bay leaf, salt, paprika, thyme, and poultry seasoning in the bottom of a large slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  2. Place chicken on top of vegetables. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper.

  3. Pour chicken broth over everything, cover, and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  4. When there are about 30 minutes left in the cooking time, remove chicken from the slow cooker and chop or shred the meat. Return chicken meat to the slow cooker and discard bones. Discard bay leaf.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of corn starch with 1 tablespoon of cold water until smooth. Stir into the stew and cook on HIGH without the lid for 30 minutes (or until broth thickens a little bit).

  6. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, just before serving.

Can Chicken Stew be frozen?

Yes! This hearty chicken stew recipe is a wonderful freezer meal! Simply prepare the stew according to the recipe below, allow to cool to room temperature, package in airtight containers or plastic freezer bags, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Can Chicken Stew be reheated?

Absolutely! Reheat the chicken stew on the stovetop over low heat, just until warm. You can also reheat individual bowls in the microwave.

COOK’S TIPS:

  • Want to Prep Ahead? Chop all of the vegetables the night before, and then place them in a large zip-top bag with all of the seasonings. In the morning, just dump the whole bag into the slow cooker, top with the chicken, and proceed with the rest of the instructions.
  • Use a pair of kitchen shears to quickly and easily remove the skin from the chicken breasts.
  • I use bone-in chicken breasts for my chicken stew for a couple of reasons. The bone-in meat has a longer cooking time than a boneless, skinless chicken breast, so the meat stays juicy and tender while the carrots and potatoes finish cooking. The bones also give the broth tons of added flavor. However, if you can’t find them or if you don’t want to bother with them, then boneless thighs or breasts will also work.
  • If you don’t mind a thinner, more soup-like broth, you can skip the final step with the corn starch. It will still taste delicious!

Nutrition Facts Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Stew Amount Per Serving (2 cups) Calories 162 Calories from Fat 11 % Daily Value* Fat 1.2g2% Saturated Fat 0.3g2% Cholesterol 45.3mg15% Sodium 1108mg48% Carbohydrates 17g6% Fiber 3g13% Sugar 4.2g5% Protein 20.7g41% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post was originally published in December, 2017. It was updated in December, 2018.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Cheesy Chicken Casserole is easy to make and everyone loves it! Pasta shells are tossed with chicken, peppers, onions, and mixed into a creamy cheesy sauce. Finally, this chicken casserole recipe is topped with even more cheese and baked until melty and bubbly.

Serve it alongside a fresh salad and some Easy Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits for the perfect meal.

Creamy Chicken Casserole

If you’re looking for a weeknight dinner, cheesy chicken casserole is your answer. It’s quick to make and my family absolutely loves it!

This chicken casserole recipe is seriously simple and SO delicious making it the perfect weeknight meal! I love serving it with afresh tomato or kale salad and some crusty bread or 30 Minute Dinner Rolls.

Easy Cheesy Chicken Casserole can be prepped in advance and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it meaning you can make it tonight and cook it tomorrow! This easy chicken casserole can be adapted to use whatever you might have in your fridge; mushrooms, diced tomatoes, leftover Grilled Zucchini will all work well!

To cook chicken for casserole, I make poached chicken breasts but you can use rotisserie, or leftover Oven Baked Chicken Breasts! I use cream of chicken soup but cream of mushroom or celery work in this chicken casserole recipe too.

How To Make A Chicken Casserole

Chicken casseroles are a kitchen staple basically everywhere, usually topped with cheese. I often make a quick and easy 4 Ingredient Chicken Rice Casserole but I honestly love the cheesy sauce in this recipe and who doesn’t LOVE cheese? I sure do!

The steps to make this chicken casserole are pretty simple:

  • Boil pasta al dente.
  • Soften onion and peppers in butter.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients and cheese. Stir in chicken and pasta.
  • Bake until bubbly.
  • Serve it with your favorite sides and enjoy!

How To Reheat A Casserole

Our family usually can’t finish a casserole, so we save some for lunch or even dinner the next day. To reheat it, just pop it back in the oven at 350 for about 15-20 minutes! If the sauce is a creamy sauce like a Homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole, I usually add a dash of milk and cover before heating. If it’s tomato based, I add a small splash of broth or water.

If you are using the microwave to reheat the cheesy chicken casserole, add a splash of milk to the dish and stir it half way through cooking to keep it from drying out.

More Chicken Casserole Recipes You’ll Love

  • Salsa Chicken Rice Casserole – Easy!
  • Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole (from Scratch)
  • Spinach Artichoke Chicken Casserole – So creamy!
  • Baked Chinese Chicken and Rice
  • Easy Broccoli Rice Casserole with Turkey (or Chicken)
  • Crockpot Chicken and Rice – Reader favorite!

4.91 from 10 votes Review Recipe

Cheesy Chicken Casserole

Prep Time 30 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes Total Time 1 hour Servings 6 servings Author Holly Nilsson Course Casserole, Main Course Cuisine American Cheesy Chicken Casserole is easy to make and everyone loves it! Pasta shells are tossed with chicken, peppers, onions, and mixed into a creamy cheesy sauce. Then topped with even more cheese and baked until melty and bubbly.

  • 3 cups shell noodles uncooked
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 10 3/4 oz cream of chicken soup condensed
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese divided
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz mild green chiles
  • 3 cups cooked chicken

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  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook shells al dente according to package directions.
  3. Cook onion and red bell pepper in butter until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in salt and chili powder.

  4. In a large bowl combine soup, onion mixture, milk and 2 cups cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese. Mix well. Stir in chicken, pasta and green chiles.

  5. Spread into a 9×13 casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

  6. Bake 30-35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Nutrition Information Calories: 649, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 138mg, Sodium: 1197mg, Potassium: 445mg, Carbohydrates: 32g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Protein: 40g, Vitamin A: 1420%, Vitamin C: 18.4%, Calcium: 573%, Iron: 2.6%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

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REPIN this Easy Casserole

This chicken casserole is a blend of cooked chicken, rice and broccoli, all tossed together in a creamy cheese sauce then baked to perfection. A hearty meal that’s family friendly and easy to make!

Chicken casseroles are a staple in my house – my family loves chicken enchilada casserole, chicken noodle casserole and this simple yet satisfying chicken, broccoli and rice version.

You can never go wrong with a good casserole, and this cheesy chicken casserole happens to be my all time favorite. It’s loaded with chicken, broccoli and rice, making it a complete meal. This casserole is so easy to customize to your tastes, which makes it perfect for even the pickiest eaters.

How do you make chicken casserole?

This recipe starts with a homemade cheese sauce, which is made with milk, butter, onions, flour, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and seasonings. The sauce is poured over a mixture of chicken, broccoli and rice. The chicken and rice goes into a casserole dish, then gets topped with crushed buttery crackers and more cheddar cheese. Everything bakes together until golden brown. Add a sprinkle of parsley and dinner is served!

Do you have to pre-cook chicken in a casserole?

You need to pre-cook the chicken in this casserole. You can use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, sauteed chicken breasts, shredded chicken thighs, whatever you have on hand. The rice and broccoli are also cooked before they go into the pan.

Tips for chicken casserole

  • I recommend using freshly grated cheese for this recipe. The pre-shredded cheese that comes in a bag is often coated with anti-caking agents and does not melt as smoothly as freshly grated cheese.
  • I use long grain white rice when I make this dish, but short grain white rice, brown rice, or wild rice will also work.
  • You can pre-cook your broccoli by steaming it in the microwave, or blanching it in a pot of boiling water.
  • I typically use Ritz crackers for the topping, although a cheese cracker would also be a great way to go.
  • This casserole can be assembled up to 8 hours before it’s baked. Omit the crackers and add them just before the dish goes into the oven.

How long should a casserole cook?

This casserole bakes for about 20 minutes, as all the ingredients are warm and pre-cooked before they go into the oven. If you’re baking a cold casserole, it will take more like 30-35 minutes. If the topping gets browned before the casserole cooks through, you can cover the dish with foil for the remainder of the bake time.

Chicken Casserole variations

I typically make this casserole as written, although sometimes I switch up some of the ingredients depending on what I have on hand.

  • Protein: Instead of chicken, try chicken sausage, ground beef or ground turkey.
  • Grains: I’ve substituted cooked quinoa and small pasta such as orzo for the rice with great results.
  • Vegetables: Instead of broccoli try zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms, bell peppers or corn.
  • Cheese: While this dish is typically made with cheddar cheese, other options include mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese.

This chicken casserole is a great dish to have in your repertoire for when you need a comforting meal to feed a crowd. It’s full of familiar flavors and is simple to make, yet always gets rave reviews!

More great casserole recipes

  • Hashbrown Casserole
  • Chicken and Rice Casserole
  • Chile Relleno Casserole
  • Mexican Casserole
  • Beef Noodle Casserole

Pin 5 from 11 votes

Chicken Casserole

This chicken casserole is a blend of cooked chicken, rice and broccoli, all tossed together in a creamy cheese sauce then baked to perfection. A hearty meal that’s family friendly and easy to make! Course Main Cuisine American Keyword chicken and rice casserole, chicken casserole Prep Time 25 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Total Time 45 minutes Servings 8 Calories 462kcal Author Sara Welch

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 2 1/2 cups milk I use whole milk
  • 3 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded, divided use
  • 2 ounces cream cheese cut into small cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups broccoli florets lightly steamed or blanched
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 3 cups cooked chicken diced or shredded
  • 1 cup buttery crackers such as Ritz, coarsely crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • cooking spray
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9″x13″ pan with cooking spray.
  • Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add the flour to the pot and stir to coat the onions; cook for 1 minute.
  • Slowly whisk the milk into the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until sauce has thickened (coats the back of a spoon).
  • Add the cream cheese, 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and the salt, pepper, smoked paprika and garlic to the sauce. Stir until smooth.
  • Place the broccoli, rice and chicken in a large bowl and stir to combine. Pour the sauce over the top and toss to coat evenly.
  • Pour the broccoli mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese over the top, along with the crushed crackers.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until casserole is bubbly, topping is browned and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley and serve

Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 778mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1155IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 482mg | Iron: 1.2mg

Healthier Broccoli Chicken Casserole

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This healthier Broccoli Chicken Casserole recipe is made with your choice of pasta, tender chicken and broccoli, and the most delicious creamy cheddar mushroom sauce.

Raise your hand if you grew up eating broccoli chicken casserole! Make that two hands if yours always included a can of cream of mushroom soup! Ah, what can we say, it’s what all of the cool kids were doing back in the 80s. ♡ For those of you who still crave a good throwback chicken casserole every now and then nowadays, I have a modern version today that I think you are going to love.

Meet my 100%-from-scratch, lightened-up, still-ultra-creamy-and-cheesy, comforting chicken and broccoli casserole recipe!

It’s made with all of the classic components from the broccoli chicken casserole recipes of my childhood, just freshened up a bit to bring us into 2019. We’re talking lots and lots of broccoli (you can use fresh or frozen), tender chicken (feel free to use a rotisserie as a shortcut), your choice of pasta (I used whole-wheat, but any kind will do), and lots of sharp cheddar cheese (get the good stuff!). Then in lieu of canned cream of mushroom soup, this broccoli chicken casserole recipe features an easy homemade creamy mushroom sauce instead, made with lots of fresh mushrooms and zesty seasonings to ensure that this casserole is anything but bland.

It’s modern, creamy, cozy comfort food at its best. And get ready, because it disappears in a flash.

Let’s make some chicken casserole!

Chicken Broccoli Casserole Ingredients:

Ok! Before we get to the full recipe below, let’s talk about our shopping list. To make this broccoli chicken casserole recipe, you will need:

  • Pasta: Literally any type of pasta that you love best will work here — traditional (semolina), whole-wheat, gluten-free, egg, or any other kinds of alternative-grain pastas that you prefer.
  • Broccoli: You can either use fresh broccoli (about 1 large head, cut into florets) or frozen broccoli (about 1 pound) for this recipe.
  • Mushrooms: I love the flavor of baby bella (cremini) mushrooms in this broccoli casserole recipe. But any of your favorite mushrooms will do.
  • Creamy sauce stuff: Butter (or olive oil), onion, garlic, flour, stock (chicken or veggie), milk (any kind), Dijon, salt and pepper.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: I really recommend buying a block of good-quality aged sharp cheddar for this recipe, and then shredding it yourself.
  • Chicken: Any cooked chicken will work for this recipe! You can use my favorite baked chicken breasts recipe or sauté two breasts in olive oil in a skillet until cooked through. Or for a shortcut, feel free to shred a rotisserie chicken.

How To Make This Casserole:

To make this broccoli chicken casserole recipe, simply…

  1. Cook the pasta and broccoli. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water (don’t forget to generously salt the water!) until it is al dente. But — plot twist! — toss the broccoli florets into the water about 1 minute before the pasta is done cooking to give it a quick cook too. Drain both.
  2. Make the mushroom sauce. Meanwhile, we’ll work on the sauce. Sauté the onion, followed by the mushrooms and garlic in butter (or oil) until softened. Stir in some flour and let it cook for 1 minute (this will help to thicken the sauce). Then add in the stock, milk, Dijon, salt and pepper, and cook until the sauce reaches a simmer. Stir in half of the shredded cheese, taste, and adjust any seasonings as needed.
  3. Put everything together. In a large 9 x 13-inch baking dish, give everything a good toss — the cooked pasta, broccoli, mushroom sauce and chicken — until combined.
  4. Bake. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Then remove pan from the oven, sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese evenly on top of the casserole, and bake for 10 more minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty.
  5. Enjoy! Serve nice and warm, garnished with extra black pepper and/or fresh herbs, if desired.

See full recipe instructions below.

Possible Variations:

Want to customize this chicken broccoli casserole recipe? Feel free to…

  • Use a different protein: Cooked sausage, pork, steak, or shrimp would all be delicious in this casserole in place of chicken.
  • Use rice instead of pasta: To make classic chicken and rice casserole, cook 1 cup of (uncooked) rice according to package instructions. Then stir it into the casserole as you would the pasta.
  • Use a different kind of cheese: If cheddar isn’t your thing, this casserole would also be delicious with a mix of good-quality mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Or some sort of spicy pepperjack would be delicious too!
  • Add fresh herbs: Feel free to add in some fresh Italian herbs (such as parsley, basil, rosemary or thyme) if desired.
  • Make it vegetarian: We made a vegetarian version to test this recipe by just omitting the chicken, and the broccoli casserole was great on its own. Or, of course, you’re welcome to add some extra veggies to the mix as well.
  • Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta, then thicken the sauce with an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend. (Or you can stir a few tablespoons of gluten-free cornstarch into the cold milk before adding it to the sauce.)

More Favorite Casserole Recipes:

Lookin’ for more casseroles to love? Here are a few of my faves. ♡

  • Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  • Verde Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  • Healthy Green Bean Casserole
  • Amazing Mexican Breakfast Casserole
  • Overnight Cinnamon Roll Casserole
  • Cozy Autumn Breakfast Casserole

Description

This hearty Broccoli Chicken Casserole recipe is made with your choice of pasta, tender chicken and broccoli, and the most delicious creamy cheddar mushroom sauce. See notes above for possible ingredient variations too.

Scale 1x2x3x

  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta* (I used whole-wheat rotini)
  • 1 large head of broccoli*, cut into bite-sized florets (about 1 pound of florets)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 cups diced (or shredded) cooked chicken
  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cook pasta in a large stockpot of generously-salted boiling water until it is al dente. However, about 1 minute before the pasta is done, add the broccoli to the boiling pasta water and stir until combined. Drain both the pasta and broccoli, and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the butter (or oil) in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the mushrooms are cooked through.
  4. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the onion mixture and stir until combined. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add in the stock, and stir everything together until most of the clumps are gone. Add in the milk, Dijon, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Continue cooking the sauce until it reaches a simmer. Then remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheese until it is combined. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
  5. In a large 9 x 13-inch baking dish, combine the cooked pasta, broccoli, mushroom sauce and chicken. Toss until combined. Smooth the casserole out into an even layer.
  6. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Then remove pan from the oven, sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese evenly on top of the casserole, and bake for 10 more minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty.
  7. Serve warm, garnished with extra black pepper and/or fresh herbs, if desired.

Notes

*Pasta: Any type of pasta will work here — traditional (semolina), whole-wheat, egg, gluten-free, or alternative-grain pasta.

*Broccoli: Feel free to use 1 pound of frozen broccoli florets (thawed) in place of fresh broccoli if you prefer.

posted on August 12, 2019 in Entrees / Main Dishes, Italian, Pastas