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Overhead image of chicken noodle casserole from scratch in a white casserole dish with red trim
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4.85 from 13 votes

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Make this Chicken Noodle Casserole from scratch for a simple, easy dinner that the whole family will love!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword cheesy, Chicken Noodle Casserole, chicken noodle casserole from scratch
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 people
Calories 419kcal
Author Blair Lonergan

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ¾ cup Ritz cracker crumbs (about 15 whole crackers)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 9-inch baking dish (or other 2 ½ -quart baking dish) with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Cook the noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package instructions, just until al dente. Drain.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet or Dutch oven, sauté carrots, celery, onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon of the butter until soft (about 5-7 minutes).
  • Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and stir over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the flour and whisk until blended. Gradually add the milk and then the chicken broth, whisking constantly. Continue whisking and cooking until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Stir in the thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl (or in the same pot if it’s large enough), combine the sauce with the cooked noodles, chicken, cheese, and frozen peas. Transfer to the prepared dish.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Combine the melted butter with the Ritz cracker crumbs. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over top of the casserole.
  • Bake the casserole (uncovered) for about 20-25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Notes

  • Cook the pasta just until al dente (tender, but with a firm bite). The pasta will continue cooking in the hot sauce in the oven, so you don't want it to be mushy or overdone in your casserole.
  • Use pre-cooked chicken (not raw meat) in this casserole. Take advantage of leftovers from another meal, a store-bought rotisserie chicken, canned chicken, or boil your own chicken at home.
  • There's no need to thaw the peas before adding them to the dish. Just stir them in while they're still frozen -- this will help them stay nice and green in the casserole (rather than turning brown and mushy).
  • If you'd like to include other larger vegetables in the casserole (like broccoli florets), steam them in the microwave so that they're tender before you add them to the dish. Sautéed mushrooms would also be a nice addition to the casserole.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the casserole | Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 641mg | Potassium: 416mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2628IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 227mg | Iron: 2mg