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.
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!
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.
How To Make a Chicken Casserole
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.
- 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.
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
- Salsa Chicken Rice Casserole – Easy!
- Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole (from Scratch)
- Chicken Spinach Artichoke Casserole – So creamy!
- Baked Chinese Chicken and Rice
- 4 Ingredient Chicken Rice Casserole
- Easy Broccoli Rice Casserole with Turkey (or Chicken)
- Crockpot Chicken and Rice – Reader favorite!
Did you enjoy this Cheesy Chicken Casserole? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Cheesy Chicken Casserole
- 3 cups shell noodles uncooked
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ 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
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese shredded
- 4 ounces mild green chiles
- 3 cups cooked chicken
- 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Delicious! I added some sliced mushrooms and used cream of broccoli soup. Hot and bubbly. Definitely a keeper!!
This dish is so flavorful, the 1st casserole I’ve actually liked. My husband loved it too. I didn’t have to tweak the recipe at all.
This was yummy! I didn’t have the green chilies. My guys sprinkled dried red pepper flakes on their servings to kick it up. I used the panko, but this would also be good with crushed up taco chips instead. Thanks for the recipe.
Made this tonight — total win. I wasn’t able to get chiles, so I substituted 3 oz roasted red peppers and 1 oz sundried tomatoes, and I also substituted shallots for the onion. So good! My wife loved it, too. Thank you!
Thank u for this cheesy chicken casarole it was delicious
I will be making this again
My family loved it8
So yummy that I didn’t get to have any leftovers!! I’m definitely doing this one again!
It was easy to make and turned out really nice!
Very easy to make and delicious!
Loved! My son calls it mac & cheese chicken. Super easy and fast, we are a two person family so there are tons of leftovers!
I love that name, Danielle! Glad you enjoyed it.
Delish! I added jalapenos because someone else said that could be a good addition. It was good! We like spicy so I’d probably get spicier ones or add some cayenne next time. Besides that it was perfect as is. Never was a casserole girl and I always have too much leftover chicken so I’m excited now about this. Thank you!
Glad you enjoyed it, Amanda. Jalapenos or cayenne are great additions for a little extra spicy-ness! Adding Red Chili Flakes would kick up the spice for you as well. Enjoy!
Could you freeze this? I’m doing some prepping for my farmers during harvest and need to find recipes I can freeze.
Hi Michele, we haven’t tried freezing this recipe so I can’t say for sure but other readers have and it has turned out well.
It was very good. I personally would add some jalapeños but we enjoyed it without.
Yum, that would be a great addition Jean!
Really like your recipes!
Making this tonight but only have regular bread crumbs, no panko. Would that work as well?? TIA!
Yes, that’d work Amy. Enjoy!
Love your recipes
Made as directed except increased the chili powder to 1 TBS. I did add the panko topping- yum! I loved this casserole, my family loved it too! Served with steamed broccoli and rolls, can’t wait to make this again!
Do you think that corn would be a good addition to this? Or would it ruin the flavor?
I think it’d be delicious Melissa!
It was fabulous, a keeper. I used Penne Pasta, didn’t have shells. You won’t be disappointed, so easy
Hi, was wondering if I cover this or cook uncovered.
We bake this uncovered Karen. Enjoy the casserole! We love this casserole!!
Wow. This was so easy to make and turned out so delicious. Definitely a keeper in my recipe box. Everybody commented on the yummy flavour. Will definitely make this again because it’s a great way to use up leftover chicken or turkey.