Cheesy Chicken Casserole is the perfect easy casserole when you’re short on time (or ingredients)!

Pasta is tossed with chicken, peppers, onions, and mixed into shortcut 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.

Spooning Cheesy Chicken Casserole out of a white baking dish with a wooden spoon

Why I Love This Chicken Casserole

If you’re looking for a weeknight dinner, cheesy chicken casserole is your answer. It’s super quick to make.

You can use leftovers or rotisserie chicken or make poached chicken breasts (it’s great with baked chicken breasts too)!

Swap out the cream of chicken soup for cream of mushroom or celery in this dish.

This cheesy chicken casserole can be prepped ahead of time and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it meaning you can make it tonight and cook it tomorrow!

Cheesy Chicken Casserole on a white plate

Tips & Variations

This easy chicken casserole can be adapted to use whatever you might have in your fridge:

Chicken casseroles are a staple basically everywhere, usually topped with cheese.

Vegetables: Cook and/or drain your veggies before adding to this casserole. Mushrooms, diced tomatoes (drained if using canned), leftover Grilled Zucchini or roasted veggies all work well.

Pasta: Any medium pasta will work in this recipe. Be sure to cook it al dente (so it’s still a bit firm), it’ll cook more in the oven.

Chicken: swap it for turkey or ham if it’s all you have on hand.

Sauce: use cream of whatever-you-have-in-your-pantry (or make a homemade condensed mushroom soup). Of course any kind of cheese goes here!

Topping: Chicken casseroles are a staple basically everywhere, usually topped with cheese.

It’s also great with a bread crumb topping. Combine 3 tablespoons panko crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter (add a bit of garlic powder, salt & pepper too). Sprinkle overtop and bake as directed.

Cheesy Chicken Casserole in a white baking dish

How To Make a Chicken Casserole

The steps to make this chicken casserole are pretty simple:

  1. Boil pasta al dente.
  2. Soften onion and peppers in butter.
  3. Mix the sauce ingredients and cheese.  Stir in chicken and pasta.
  4. Top with cheese and bake until bubbly.

Serve it with your favorite sides and enjoy!

How To Reheat

To reheat it, just pop it back in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes! If the sauce is a creamy sauce like a mac and cheese, I usually add a dash of milk and cover before heating.

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.

Cheesy Chicken Casserole in a white baking dish with a wooden spoon

Serve With

This chicken casserole recipe is simple and doesn’t need much for sides. A fresh tomato or kale salad and some crusty bread or 30 Minute Dinner Rolls make the perfect meal!

Favorite Chicken Casseroles

Did you enjoy this Cheesy Chicken Casserole? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Cheesy Chicken Casserole on a white plate
4.95 from 281 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Cheesy Chicken Casserole

Cheesy Chicken Casserole has pasta in a creamy cheesy sauce baked until golden and bubbly.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients  

  • 3 cups shell noodles uncooked
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • cup red bell pepper diced
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 10 ¾ ounces cream of chicken soup condensed
  • 1 ⅓ cups milk
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded, divided
  • cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 4 ounces mild green chiles
  • 3 cups cooked chicken

Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 375°F.
  • Cook shells al dente according to package directions.
  • Cook onion and red bell pepper in butter until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in salt and chili powder.
  • 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.
  • Spread into a 9x13 casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Notes

Any medium pasta will work in this recipe. Be sure to cook it so it's still a bit firm, it'll cook more in the oven.
This recipe is versatile, you can swap out the chicken for ham or turkey.
If adding extra vegetables, ensure they're pre-cooked (leftovers work well).
To Add a Bread Crumb Topping: Combine 3 tablespoons panko crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter (add a sprinkle of garlic powder, salt & pepper). Sprinkle over the casserole and bake as directed.
 
4.95 from 281 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

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

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

Course Casserole, Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Can this be frozen ahead of time? This looks delicious and I want to meal prep before my baby arrives.

    1. I have not personally frozen this recipe but other readers have frozen it after it has baked and fully cooled with good results. I would recommend that your noodles are al dente if you are intending to freeze this casserole.

  2. This was delicious. Such an easy recipe to follow. I used 1 tsp homemade taco seasoning instead of salt and 1 1/2 tsp of chili powder. I added one small can of Mexican Corn (drained) and one can Rotel Tomatoes (drained) My husband loved it!!! Thank you!! This will definitely be a go to recipe for leftover chicken. :)5 stars

  3. Made this for a ski trip (tripled receipe), was delish. Used a lasagna pan and baked longer with good results.
    A keeper for hungry crowds!
    Suggest NOT adding too much salt due to high sodium in canned soup.5 stars

  4. I just made this for dinner tonight. I subbed parm for mozza cause I didn’t have any parm. I really enjoyed this dish. It was easy to make and I like the touch of flavour the chili powder adds. My husband said he wished it was a bit saucier. So maybe I’ll add a touch more milk next time. Thank you. I love so many of your recipes!5 stars

  5. This is a recipe my friend made for me a few weeks after I delivered my baby. I savoured it, it had so much flavour and cheesiness. Now I pass on the favour and have made it for many times for friends. It’s quick and easy and delicious!5 stars