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You don’t even have to boil the pasta for this nutritious and cozy Dump-and-Bake Chicken Noodle Casserole! All of the ingredients cook together in one dish for a simple comfort food dinner on a cool evening!
Y’all know how much I love my dump-and-bake dinners, and this Chicken Noodle Casserole is no exception!
My kids have always loved chicken noodle soup, but their favorite part of the soup is always the pasta and chicken — not the broth. As a result, I end up draining off a lot of the excess broth and instead serving them bowls of tender chicken, noodles, and veggies. Not bad, but not exactly “soup.”
That’s why this Chicken Noodle Casserole is such a genius creation (if I do say so myself). It includes all of our favorite flavors and ingredients from the classic soup, but they’re baked into a hearty and nutritious casserole. Can’t beat a one dish meal on a busy night!
Here’s What You Need!
- Diced Cooked Chicken
- Short Pasta
- Chicken Broth
- Cheddar Cheese
But the ABSOLUTE BEST part of this whole meal is the fact that it’s a DUMP-AND-BAKE dinner! In other words, you don’t even have to boil the pasta before preparing the casserole! Just stir all of your ingredients together in the dish, cover it, and bake it in the oven. SO simple, right?!
You’ll add some shredded cheddar cheese on top during the final few minutes of baking, which gives the Chicken Noodle Casserole even more flavor and texture.
It’s a simple option that takes advantage of leftover chicken from a previous meal, a store-bought rotisserie chicken, or the refrigerated cooked chicken strips that you can purchase at any grocery store.
Did you have any idea that a homemade dinner could be quite this easy?! Time to pull out your fall sweaters and get cozy this season with a classic family-friendly dinner that only requires 15 minutes of prep!
- Cooking for Two? You can cut the recipe ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square pan. The cooking instructions remain the same.
- Want to Prep Ahead? You can chop all of the chicken and veggies in advance and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to stir together the casserole.
More Casserole Recipes You Might Like;
- Dump and Bake Ravioli Casserole
- Taco Pasta Casserole
- 3-Ingredient Tuna Casserole
- Dump and Bake Sausage, Red Beans and Rice Casserole
Dump-and-Bake Chicken Noodle Casserole
- 2 cups diced cooked chicken
- 1 cup finely-diced celery
- 1 cup finely-diced carrots
- 1 cup finely-diced onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 12 ounces uncooked rotini pasta
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 425F (220C). Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In the prepared dish (or in a separate bowl), stir together cooked chicken, celery, carrots, onion, thyme, garlic, uncooked pasta, chicken broth, and salt.
- Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Uncover; stir. At this point you should check the pasta to make sure that it is al dente (firm but just about finished cooking). If it’s still too hard, cover the dish and return to the oven until pasta is al dente. Then move on to the next step.
- Sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes (or until cheese is melted and pasta is tender).
Chicken casseroles like this are my version of pure comfort food. I love that you made your dump and bake version, Blair! I could dive right into this for breakfast!
Thanks, Gayle! Chicken casseroles definitely = comfort! Have a great weekend!
If I want to use previously cooked pasta, how much do I reduce the liquid?
Hey, Tracey! I’m not sure, since I’ve never tried it that way. I would just eyeball it and see how much liquid you think it needs once you have all of the ingredients stirred together. You would want enough to keep it moist, but not so much that it looks like soup. 🙂 Maybe 1 cup? But here’s my main concern: when you cook the raw pasta in the dish, it absorbs most of the liquid, but it also releases starches that thicken the liquid that’s left. If you’re not actually cooking the pasta (and you’re just using pre-cooked pasta instead), the end result will be a runnier “sauce” since there’s no starch added. I suppose you could mix some cornstarch into the liquid before putting it in the dish, which would act as a thickener in a similar way? I’ve just not tried that. 🙂
Thanks for the tip Blair, since I too, like to cook my pasta (or rice) separately, in order to eliminate the excess starch.. I’m sure that adding the cornstarch will work. This dish sounds sooo yummy & easy. We love Chicken Noodle Soup, so I’m sure this casserole will be a huge hit with my family. The only thing which I’ll do differently, is to use No Yolks Egg Noodles (the ruffled ones), b/c that’s what I normally use when I make chicken soup from scratch.
Sounds good, Angelina! Let me know if that works for you!
You could stir in a can of cream of something soup, with the 1 cup broth, bet that would thicken the sauce.
Thanks for such a great idea for someone who cannot have tomatoes with pasta! Thanks again.
Great! Enjoy, Dee!
Blair- My hubby has been feeling cruddy all day, so I made this tonight, along with a batch of your slow cooker applesauce. Perfect meal! He and our daughter gobbled it right up- definitely going in our dinner recipe collection!
That’s wonderful, Megan! Thank you so much for letting me know! I agree — it sounds like the perfect dinner, and I hope that your husband is feeling better soon! Doesn’t it smell so good while it’s cooking too? Just like a pot of soup simmering on the stove… 🙂
We are tha Florida evacuees staying in Alabama. It’s nice to see your normalcy at this time. It’s heartening there is something out there that is still normal. Please keep us in your prayers.
Praying for you, Kathy! My brother and his family live in Orlando, so the people of Florida are on my mind! xoxo
Love! We have a three year old and a one year old and while they are both lovers of good food, we have to watch the sizes of veggies and meat we give them. Instead of dicing and chopping, I literally threw everything (but the noodles, ha!) in my food processor and pulsed. The veg were small enough for the babies mouth and the chicken shredded into perfect bites. It was so fast and so easy and beyond delicious. I normally prep for dinner in the morning while the baby naps. But wih this meal didn’t have to! Instead, spent the time playing with our three year old. And because it took me all of five minutes to get everything into my baking dish, I was able to spent even more time playing with my kids AND sipping on a martini! You’re my hero. Xo. Love from Vancouver, Canada.
Oh, that makes me so happy to hear, Jessica! Thanks for letting me know! The food processor is a great shortcut — love that idea!
I have tons of other dump-and-bake recipes on the blog, so hopefully they will offer other quick options for dinner prep at your busy house. Thanks again for your sweet note!
Can I just sub. whole wheat rotini? Or would I need to change liquid ratio and cooking time?
Hi, Jallyce! Yes, the whole wheat rotini and the elbow macaroni have about the same cooking time, so it should work as an equal substitute. Just keep an eye on it towards the end of baking so that you can pull it out when it’s done and it doesn’t get overcooked (or add a few extra minutes, if necessary). Enjoy!
This looks fantastic. I will use canned chicken breast for extra ease on preparation.
That should work well, Brandy!
Turned out wonderful. Was a huge hit. Will be added to dinner rotation. Thank you
That’s great, Brandy! Thank you for letting me know!!
I tried the Dump-and-Bake Chicken Noodle Casserole tonight, as written. Perfect–thank you!
Awesome! I’m so glad that it was a hit, Terry! Thanks for letting me know! 🙂
Love your recipes ideas this will be the first one I try. Can I substitute broccoli for the celery, its what I happen to have on hand? Also has anyone ever tried using the noodles infused with veggies? Does that change the taste?
Hi, Meka! So glad that you found my blog! 🙂
The celery gives the dish that “chicken noodle soup” taste, since garlic, celery, and onion are key ingredients in a classic chicken noodle soup base. You can definitely substitute with broccoli instead, but I just wanted you to know that it will change the taste of the finished dish a bit.
I’ve never used the veggies noodles, so I’m not sure if that would alter the taste at all.
Just made this and…It’s FANTASTIC!!!!
Yay! So glad that you enjoyed it, Kenneth!
I tried you recipe twice, once the way you suggest and once on stove top instead of oven. I loved both of them. Thank you.
That’s awesome! Thanks so much for letting me know, Gisele!
Do you think this can be baked with raw chunks of boneless, skinless chicken? This would save a step, of having to cook the chicken. Would time and/or temperature need to be changed?
Hi, Casy! Yes — you can definitely use raw, diced chicken. As long as the chicken is diced pretty small, the cooking time and temperature should remain the same!
Do you really need to use cooked chicken? Since it bakes for 45 minutes, could you just cut up a couple of raw chicken breasts and use that?
Hey, Kathlene! You can definitely use the raw chicken — just make sure that you dice it into bite-sized pieces so that it has a chance to fully cook through. I’ve used both the raw and the cooked chicken in a lot of recipes like this, and either option works! 🙂
Great easy meal and tasted like chicken soup! My daughter loves it and she is hard to please! Can you use a whole
Box of pasta? How much more liquid would you need??
So glad that your daughter enjoyed it, too! You can definitely use an entire box of pasta — just make sure that you’re also using a deep dish to accommodate the extra noodles and liquid. 🙂 I haven’t tested it myself, but I would suggest trying a 16 ounce box of rotini with about 5-5 1/3 cups of broth. Let me know how it goes!
I would like to make this recipe and freeze it for later use. Does it freeze well?
Hi, Esadora! I don’t typically freeze dishes like this for a couple of reasons: (1) if you freeze it before baking, I feel like the noodles absorb the liquid as it sits and then have a weird texture later; and (2) if you freeze it after baking, any cooked noodle tends to get a bit mushy when thawed. That said, I’ve had plenty of readers tell me that they’ve frozen this type of dish and found that it worked fine. I think it’s really just a matter of preference. If you’re picky about the texture, I would avoid freezing. If you don’t mind a mushy noodle, it will be fine. 🙂
This was delicious! The recipe is super flexible and I appreciate all the tips. I used a different pasta I had on hand and look forward to making it again, with just about anything I have on hand, though the recipe is fantastic as is!
Thanks, Sarah! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a note. You’re right — totally customizable! 🙂
We love the chicken, broccoli, rice dump casserole so I was looking at the recipes for other ones. I notice this one uses cooked chicken, where the other let’s you put in raw chicken. One of the things I love is that there’s next to no prep with the chicken, rice, broccoli one. I’m wondering why the chicken had to be cooked for this one.
Thanks so much!
Hi, Janet! Some folks don’t like the idea of using raw chicken in this type of dish, so I try to mix it up. There’s no other explanation than that. 🙂 If you like the convenience of using the raw diced chicken in these dump-and-bake casseroles, you can certainly do that for this recipe as well. Just make sure that you dice the chicken into small bites before adding it to the dish so that it’s sure to cook through in the same time as the pasta. Enjoy!
I made this tonight. Super easy, super yummy. We are empty nesters, so I just made a half batch. I had one leftover chicken thigh leftover from last night; it wasn’t quite enough chicken so I added a can of chicken, making to nice and meaty. Since canned chicken is pretty bland, I sprinkled in a little Red Robin Seasoning. When I was grabbing the pasta, I came across an opened can of French fried onions, so I sprinkled some on top.
Yum! Thank you for sharing. We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe!