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Dump-and-Bake Chicken Mac and Cheese Casserole

Chicken plus mac and cheese -- together in one dish -- with absolutely ZERO prep work! Just stir together the raw ingredients and let the oven do the rest for this creamy, easy Dump-and-Bake Chicken Mac and Cheese Casserole!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword baked mac and cheese, easy macaroni and cheese recipe, mac and cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chilling Time 6 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 346.8kcal
Author Blair

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni pasta
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese grated
  • 2 cans (10.5 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup milk I used 2%
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lb. uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 cup finely-diced onion I use frozen chopped onion as a shortcut
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained

Instructions

  • Spray a large 9 x 13-inch dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Transfer to prepared baking dish, cover, and refrigerate at least 6 hours (or up to 24 hours). See note below if you don't have time to refrigerate in advance!
  • When you’re ready to bake the casserole: If you have the time, I like to pull the dish out of the refrigerator and allow it to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for about 30-60 minutes before I put it in the oven.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 1 hour (or until pasta is tender and chicken is cooked through).

Notes

COOK'S TIPS AND RECIPE VARIATIONS:
  • Grate your own cheddar by hand. I find that the store-bought packages of pre-shredded cheese don't melt as smoothly as the blocks that you grate at home.
  • If you don't have time to refrigerate the pasta in advance, it's ok! The casserole will still work if you bake it right away. The refrigeration time just allows the pasta to soften a bit before it goes in the oven, so you may need to bake the mac and cheese a bit longer if it hasn't had a chance to sit first.
  • Substitute diced ham for the chicken! If you want to use ground beef in lieu of the chicken, make sure that you cook the ground beef in a skillet before adding it to your casserole.
  • Prep ahead! This recipe has the added benefit of being a make-ahead option. You can stir it together on Sunday evening and just bake it when you walk in the door on Monday night! Or, prepare it in the morning while your little one's at preschool, and then pop it in the oven when the stressful 5 o'clock hour strikes. We've all been there, right?!
  • Cooking Just for Two? Cut the ingredients in half and prepare a smaller casserole in an 8-inch square pan.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the recipe | Calories: 346.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.4g | Protein: 26.3g | Fat: 12.8g | Saturated Fat: 7.3g | Cholesterol: 71.8mg | Sodium: 781.9mg | Fiber: 1.9g | Sugar: 3.2g