Cheesy Chicken Casserole

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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 249 votes
Review Recipe

Cheesy Chicken Casserole

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

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

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

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.

Recipe 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.
 

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.)

Keyword Chicken casserole, chicken noodle, chicken noodle casserole
Course Casserole, Main Course
Cuisine American

REPIN this Easy Casserole

Plate of Cheesy Chicken Casserole with a title

Cheesy Chicken Casserole with a title
About the author

Holly

pinterest facebook twitter instagram

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!

More Posts by Holly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Love this recipe so much. Easy and fast, family pleaser! I added leftover broccoli and tomatoes and just dump in the whole box of shells. It reheats beautifully so more is better. Thanks for posting!!5 stars

  2. Made the recipe just as written (which I don’t do often) and is definitely a recipe I would make again – delicious.5 stars

    1. I made this based on the great reviews, but I was a little disappointed. I’m not a fan of macaroni and cheese and this reminds me a lot of macaroni and cheese with added chicken and some heat. It wasn’t terrible, but I’m just not as big a fan as most of the other reviewers. I wasn’t going to comment because I hate to be negative, but I thought this might be good info for someone else who isn’t a fan of Mac and cheese.3 stars

  3. Finally! A delicious chicken casserole! Made it tonight, just like the recipe. My hubby loved it! I’ll make it again soon. I would not change a thing.5 stars

    1. Hi Frances, we have not frozen this recipe but other readers have frozen 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.

  4. Used fresh green chili instead of can.
    It was worth a shot.
    Disappointed with the cream of chicken, would be better if it called for the cheddar cheese soup.
    Could use more spices. If I made it again I would double and add teaspoon or two Cumin in addition to the chili powder..
    The recipe as it is would be better if it stuck with sage, white and black paper and maybe tarragon or oregano. Needs to pick a lane on seasoning.
    As the ingredients it list I was expecting texmex.2 stars

    1. Hi Rissa, one cup of cooked chicken is about one chicken breast. So for this recipe, you will need about 3 chicken breasts or one whole rotisserie chicken.

  5. Inexpensive, delicious, and quick. It checks all the boxes for a staple weeknight meal. I think this could be prepped ahead of time and thrown into the oven easily for those who are even more pressed for time. I highly recommend!5 stars

  6. Hi! This looks great! If I want to freeze this, do you think it will work well? I am planning to follow all the directions to bake completely and then freeze after it has cooled. Do you think it will reheat ok or will it be soggy?

  7. I made this a few weeks ago. We were looking for a new casserole to use up the leftover roasted chicken. I made a couple of changes. and it was really good. I did not have any red peppers, so I used Green that I had on hand. I had green chilies on hand, but in your tips to add you mentioned diced tomatoes (drained if using canned), so instead of adding green chiles that were mentioned I used a can of Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained). The casserole had great flavor and moist. Reheated great in the microwave the next day, without adding milk to it. Going to make it again today.4 stars

  8. It’s hard to find recipes that all three of my kids (3, 9, and 10) all REALLY enjoy. This is it. I followed the recipe exactly, and it came out perfect. I did season the chicken before cooking with s&p, paprika, and garlic powder then microwaved it in my deep covered baker. Thank you- this will be going in our monthly rotation for sure!!5 stars

  9. This dish got demolished by the whole family but this time I’m making a double batch because I barely got to eat last time.5 stars

  10. Made this X4 for a shelter. I added broccoli and it is awesome. I think they will enjoy it. I plan to make this for home soon.5 stars

    1. This was a huge hit!! My husband’s new favorite!! The parmesan makes the flavor amazing! I added very finely chopped frozen broccoli for extra color and flavor! Will definitely be making this regularly and using our food sealer to freeze individual size meals! Loved this! Would love to have been able to attach a pic5 stars

  11. I can confirm that our health-conscious household loved this, too! We swapped all ingredients with low-fat or non-fat ingredients- non-fat cheddar, skim milk, 98% fat free cream of chicken- and it was AMAZING.5 stars

  12. I am hooked on these delicious simple recipes. Easy and fast. I work two jobs and still find time to make these delicious meals.

  13. I made this recipe except I didn’t have carrots and celery so I used only sautéed mushrooms with the onions and then made the rest oh and I had no thyme. It still turned out wonderful. So yummy.5 stars