This creamy Chicken Casserole recipe with melted cheese and a crunchy, buttery topping will surely become a family favorite!
Casseroles (known as hotdish here in Minnesota)are popular dinner recipes because all of the ingredients are cooked in one pan. Add some vegetables and bread on the side, and dinner is done!
Here’s Everything You Need To Make Chicken Casserole
Ingredients Needed and Substitutions
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this dish, as well as some suggestions for possible substitutions.
- Sauce: To make the creamy sauce, you’ll need cream cheese, condensed cream of chicken soup, whole milk, and chicken broth. If you want to make a lighter version, you can use Neufchatel cheese, light cream of chicken soup, and skim milk.
- Veggies: We only added minced garlic and onion to the sauce. If you want to add veggies, you may need to cook them before adding them to the casserole, depending on the veggies you choose, so that they are tender when the casserole is done baking.
- Spices: We seasoned the casserole with salt and pepper.
- Chicken: You’ll need about five cups of cooked chicken. We made four chicken breasts in the air fryer, but you could also use rotisserie chicken, oven-baked chicken, or stovetop chicken. Keep in mind that the flavor of the casserole will change depending on how your chicken is seasoned.
- Cheese: We used sharp cheddar cheese, but this casserole would be delicious with pepper jack or colby jack cheese.
- Topping: For a crunchy topping, we combined crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter. You could also use French fried onions or top it with shoestring potatoes like we used to do when I was a kid.
How To Make Chicken Casserole
The best thing about casseroles is that the whole thing is cooked in one dish! Mix all of the ingredients together, spread it in the dish, add a topping, and bake.
- Sauce: Combine the creamy sauce ingredients in a large bowl.
- Chicken: Stir in the diced chicken and shredded cheese. Spread the mixture in a baking dish.
- Toppings: Top the casserole with additional cheese and butter-coated Ritz crackers.
- Cook: Bake until the casserole is heated through, the sauce is bubbly, and the topping is golden brown.
Chicken Rice Casserole
If you want to add rice, reduce the chicken to three cups and stir in three cups of cooked rice before spreading it into the casserole dish.
Chicken Casserole with Pasta
For pasta lovers, reduce the chicken to three cups and stir three cups of cooked egg noodles into the creamy sauce.
Chicken Veggie Casserole
You can stir a can of corn, peas, or beans into the casserole mixture before baking. To add a lot of veggies, you may need to reduce the amount of chicken. When adding potatoes, carrots, broccoli, or cauliflower, you’ll need to cook them ahead of time for them to be tender when the casserole is done cooking.
Allow the chicken casserole to cool, then cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap. Or you can transfer it to an airtight container. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to two months.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is a bunch of ingredients baked in a deep dish. Casseroles often contain a combination of meat, veggies, a starch such as rice, pasta, or potatoes, a creamy sauce, and cheese.
Yes, you can prepare chicken casserole ahead of time. Cover and store it in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Place the casserole on the counter while the oven is preheating and wait to add the Ritz cracker topping until right before you bake it.
Want more dinner recipes? Try these next:
- Our Stuffed Pepper Casserole recipe is full of veggies, plus it includes rice and two kinds of meat!
- Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole has a crunchy, buttery cracker topping! This classic comfort food is a weeknight favorite.
- Tater Tot Casserole has a creamy layer of meat and vegetables topped with crunchy tater tots and cheddar cheese.
- This low-carb Million Dollar Spaghetti Squash is a family favorite with both alfredo sauce and spaghetti sauce.
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