This Chicken Noodle Casserole is classic comfort food ready with just 15 minutes of prep! Tender egg noodles, veggies, and juicy bites of chicken baked in a rich cream sauce.
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If chicken and noodles isn’t the perfect combination, then I don’t know what is! Instant Pot Chicken and Noodles, Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup, Italian Instant Pot Chicken Breasts…yeah, it’s a classic. And this Chicken Noodle Casserole is an all time favorite.
It’s made with egg noodles and your favorite cooked chicken tossed in a rich and creamy sauce and topped with a golden, crispy, and buttery crushed cracker topping.
It just doesn’t get better than that!
For an extra dose of veggies we love to serve it with Roasted Vegetables or Air Fryer Broccoli and one of Mom’s Homemade Buns!
- Egg Noodles: egg noodles are a classic, but feel free to use whatever noodles you prefer.
- Butter: use unsalted butter as the base for the cream sauce. If you only have salted butter, you may want to reduce the added salt.
- Garlic: freshly minced garlic adds so much delicious flavor.
- Seasonings: a simple blend of Italian seasoning, salt, onion powder, and black pepper takes the cream sauce to the next level.
- All-Purpose Flour: helps to thicken the sauce.
- Chicken Broth: I like to use low sodium chicken broth. If you use regular, you will likely want to lessen the amount of salt you add yourself.
- Heavy Cream: evaporated milk or a lighter cream will work too, but it won’t be quite as rich.
- Veggies: I use a combination of frozen peas and frozen carrots. No need to cook them first! Feel free to experiment with your favorite frozen veggie blend.
- Chicken: use cooked, chopped chicken.
- Crackers and Melted Butter: melted butter and crushed saltines or Ritz crackers creates a delicious crunchy topping.
How to Make Chicken Noodle Casserole
- Cook the noodles: Cook the egg noodles al dente according to package instructions, then drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Make the sauce: In a skillet, melt butter and add in garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, onion powder, and pepper. Cook for a minute, then stir in flour, broth, and cream. Cook until thickened.
- Assemble the casserole: In a greased baking dish, combine noodles, sauce, frozen veggies, and cooked chicken. In a bowl, mix together crushed crackers and melted butter, then sprinkle that on top of the casserole.
- Bake: Bake at 350ºF until bubbly, then cool for a few minutes and dig in.
Chicken Noodle Casserole FAQs
Yes! To make your chicken casserole ahead of time, assemble as directed, but leave off the topping and don’t bake. Instead, cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days or wrap tightly and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, thaw if frozen, then add the topping and bake.
Baked Chicken Noodle Casserole will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, warm on the stove or in the microwave with a splash of milk.
Absolutely! This casserole freezes great. Just be sure to undercook the noodles by a minute or two since they will soften in the freezer. I recommend thawing overnight in the fridge before baking so that it cooks more evenly.
Tips and Notes
- Use cooked chicken! Don’t forget to use cooked chicken in the casserole. That can be chicken you cook just before, leftover Shredded Chicken, Baked Chicken Breast or Baked Chicken Thighs, or store-bought rotisserie chicken. This also works great with leftover cooked turkey!
- Cook the noodles al dente. Whatever noodles you use, make sure you cook them al dente according to package instructions. They will continue cooking in the oven, and we don’t want overcooked, mushy noodles.
- Rinse the noodles right away. Once the noodles are cooked, drain them and rinse them immediately with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Taste test. I recommend tasting the sauce before pouring it over the noodles to make sure that it’s seasoned to your liking.
- Make it cheesy. Add a sprinkle of shredded cheese for a gooey, cheesy finish.
- Lighten it up. You can swap the cream for evaporated milk or a lighter cream if preferred.
- Use other veggies. Bulk it up with even more frozen veggies. Frozen mixed veggies would work great!
- Swap the meat. Feel free to swap the cooked chicken out for another cooked meat like bacon, ground beef, or smoked sausages.
- Make it vegetarian. Leave the chicken out and use veggie broth!
- Use another pasta. Any size and shape of any kind of pasta will work great in this recipe.
You don’t really need anything else for this Chicken Noodle Casserole to be a complete meal, but it is delicious with a side of Garlic Bread or Roasted Veggies!
More Chicken Noodle Recipes to Try
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Chicken Noodle Casserole
- 3 cups uncooked egg noodles (190 grams)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
- 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
- 60 grams saltine or Ritz crackers (about 18 crackers)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted)
- Cook noodles according to package directions, undercooking by 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Meanwhile, make your sauce. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt your butter.
- Add garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, onion powder and pepper and cook 1 minute.
- Stir in flour until no white remains.
- Whisk in broth and cream and cook until thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
- In a large, greased baking dish (9×13"), combine cooked egg noodles, sauce, frozen peas and carrots and cooked chicken.
- Crush crackers in a medium zip top bag. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter and sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until bubbly (to prep ahead, simply prepare up to the point of the crackers and top with crackers just before baking).
- You can swap the cream for evaporated milk or lighter cream.
- You can swap the frozen peas and carrots for other frozen vegetables, or add in more!
- You can swap the cooked chicken for another cooked meat (try bacon, ground beef or smoked sausages). You can also leave it out and use vegetable broth for a vegetarian meal.
- Any size and shape of pasta will work great in this recipe.
- taste the sauce before pouring over the noodles to ensure it is seasoned to your liking.
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Susan Vanden Hull says
This recipe is on my favorite list. Very easy to assemble. I like it since it doesn’t have cream soups in it.
The Recipe Rebel says
Hi Susan! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Sheryl Bowen says
Great recipe! Didn’t have frozen peas and carrots so used frozen vegetable medley and it was hit for dinner. Family favorite already!
The Recipe Rebel says
Hi Sheryl! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!