A traditional chicken casserole is total comfort food! Whether you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner, bringing a meal to a friend in need, or trying to use up that leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge, you're sure to find a new favorite in this convenient collection of more than 50 of The Best Chicken Casserole Recipes! From quick and easy options with few ingredients, to dishes with noodles, others with rice, and those that are healthy...they're all here!
Casseroles are some of the most popular American dishes for many reasons. They're convenient dinners that often include meat, veggies, and rice or pasta in a single pan; they're typically make-ahead, freezer-friendly options; and they can be easily adapted to suit individual taste preferences. Whether you're reaching for shortcuts like canned cream of mushroom soup, or you're opting for wholesome, made-from-scratch meals, there's a chicken casserole recipe for you!
In this roundup, I've included a variety of options, so scroll down to find exactly what you need. You can choose between:
- Easy Recipes with Few Ingredients
- Chicken Casserole Recipes with Pasta
- Chicken and Rice Casseroles
- Healthy Chicken Casseroles
- Chicken Casserole Recipes with Stuffing
- Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Casseroles
The 5 Components of a Casserole
In general, a “casserole” is any food that is cooked and served in the same dish. Most traditional chicken casserole recipes will include each of these 5 components:
- Protein: in this case, the chicken.
- Extender: often a grain, such as rice or noodles, that helps to thicken the dish.
- Binder: a sauce or liquid that holds the ingredients together, such as condensed soup, a bechamel sauce, salsa, or marinara sauce.
- Vegetables: not all casseroles include veggies, but most do!
- Topping: a cheesy topping is common, but crunchy additions like Ritz cracker crumbs, buttered breadcrumbs, or crushed potato chips are also very popular on old-fashioned recipes.
How to Cook Chicken for a Casserole
While it's possible to cook a casserole with raw chicken, you'll need cooked chicken for most recipes, and a variety of options will work. Pick the most convenient method for you:
- Boiled and Pulled Chicken: Boil boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs until cooked through (about 15 minutes). When cool enough to handle, chop or pull the chicken. I find that 1 lb. of chicken breasts or thighs typically yields about 2 cups of pulled or chopped meat, so adjust the quantity based on the amount called for in your recipe.
- Rotisserie Chicken: This is a great shortcut! Purchase a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, shred the meat, and use in the recipe as instructed. A large rotisserie chicken will yield 3-4 cups of meat, while smaller chickens may only provide about 2 cups of meat.
- Leftover Chicken: If you have leftover grilled or baked chicken from a previous meal, put those extras to good use in a casserole.
- Canned Chicken: Yep, even canned chicken from the pantry will work in most of these recipes.
Why is my chicken casserole dry?
If your casserole is dry, it's likely because the meat is overcooked, there wasn't enough sauce in the recipe, or the dish should have been covered while it was baking in the oven.
Do you bake chicken casserole covered or uncovered?
It depends! Some recipes suggest that you cover the dish for most (or all) of the baking time, removing the cover during the final few minutes to let the topping brown. Other recipes bake entirely uncovered. Be sure to check the specific recipe directions so that you don't end up with a dry casserole or a runny casserole in the end!
Does chicken casserole freeze well?
Most chicken casseroles are very freezer-friendly. If the recipe includes a made-from-scratch cream sauce, however, it's best to avoid freezing that dish. This is because dairy-based sauces tend to "break" or separate when thawed, giving the dish an undesirable texture.
It's also important to note that the quality of rice and pasta in a casserole may not be quite as good after freezing. The noodles and the rice tend to get a bit mushy and gummy once thawed.
Easy Chicken Casserole Recipes with Few Ingredients
Let's start with some of the easiest dinners you'll ever make! These chicken casserole recipes require just a handful of simple ingredients, don't involve made-from-scratch sauces, and often utilize the dump-and-bake method with minimal prep work!
Chicken Casserole Recipes with Noodles
Chicken casserole recipes with pasta are almost always hearty, family-friendly dinner options! Here are a few of our favorites:
Chicken Casserole Recipes with Rice
Chicken and rice are a match made in heaven -- especially when they're baked into a flavorful, cozy casserole.
Healthy Chicken Casserole Recipes
Looking for a lighter meal? These healthier options won't weigh you down!
Chicken Casserole Recipes with Stuffing
Does it get any cozier than chicken and stuffing? These casseroles take advantage of store-bought stuffing mix to add flavor and comfort in every bite.
Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Casserole Recipes
Store-bought rotisserie chicken is such a convenient shortcut when assembling a casserole. Here are some easy recipes to take advantage of your leftovers:
I hope that this helps you to find a few new chicken casserole recipes to try in your own kitchen. I'd love to hear about your favorites in the comments below, too!