Feed the whole family and still have leftovers with this hearty, home-style Chicken Noodle Casserole! This easy casserole recipe is loaded with tender egg noodles, shredded chicken, and sweet veggies in a cheesy cream sauce, topped with a buttery Ritz cracker crust.
This creamy chicken noodle casserole has all the comforting flavors of Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, wrapped up in layers of tender egg noodles and veggies combined with cream, chicken, and cheese. With a crunchy Ritz cracker topping, it’s the perfect way to welcome in casserole season!
I’ll make this up on a Sunday and pop it in the fridge, so it’s ready to bake up bubbly and golden during the week. This wholesome chicken noodle casserole is a filling meal that’s great for kids, and this recipe makes more than enough to feed a crowd. You’re going to love it!
What You’ll Need
This hearty chicken noodle casserole recipe is jam-packed with all sorts of flavor-filled yet simple ingredients. I’ve rounded up what you’ll need below, with the full amounts available in the recipe card further down in the post.
Olive Oil, Onion, and Celery: Diced onion and celery sauteed in olive oil make up the aromatics in the flavor base.
Mixed Vegetables: Mixed frozen veggies are my no-fuss, first choice for this classic chicken noodle casserole. I use a medley that has carrots, peas, green beans, and sweet corn.
Egg Noodles: I recommend using wide egg noodles for this recipe. All the more surface area to be coated in the creamy sauce!
Chicken: You’ll need cooked and shredded chicken. I’ll often use rotisserie chicken, though this easy casserole recipe is one of my favorite ways to use up any chicken leftovers I might have in the fridge.
Cream of Chicken Soup: You’ll need 2 cans of classic cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom soup). This is my shortcut to loads of flavor, however, see below for substitutions if you’re not a fan of condensed soups.
Half-and-Half: I love the richness that comes from half-and-half, but you can use whole milk as well if you prefer. Or, go all out with heavy cream if you’re after an extra decadent chicken casserole.
Cheddar Cheese: I recommend using freshly grated cheddar in the cream sauce. The pre-grated kind has a waxy coating that won’t melt as smoothly.
Salt and Pepper
Ritz Crackers: Crushed Ritz crackers mixed with melted butter make up the crispy casserole topping.
Can I Substitute the Condensed Soup?
If you’d prefer to make this casserole without the cream of chicken soup, no problem. Here are some easy substitutions:
2 cups of sour cream or plain Greek Yogurt
Whisk 2 eggs into the half-and-half (this will also help to bind the ingredients)
How to Make Chicken Noodle Casserole
Get your oven preheated and let’s make a comforting chicken noodle casserole!
Cook the Veggies: Saute the onion and celery in a skillet with olive oil to soften them a bit. After about 10 minutes, stir in the frozen vegetable medley and once the veggies are warmed through, set the pan aside.
Prepare the Filling: In a large pot of water, get your egg noodles boiling according to the package directions. Meanwhile, combine the shredded chicken with the cream of chicken soup, cream, and shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the sauteed veggies.
Add the Noodles: Once the egg noodles are cooked al dente, gently fold them into the filling mixture. Spoon the casserole filling into a lightly greased baking dish.
Add the Topping and Bake: Finally, combine the crushed crackers with melted butter and sprinkle the mixture over the casserole. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes, until the Ritz topping is nice and golden.
Tips and Variation Ideas
Here are some final tips and easy variations for this super-easy casserole:
Use a store-bought rotisserie chicken. I’m all about a path of least resistance on a weeknight, and this is a zero-fuss shortcut to cooked chicken that’s ready to shred!
How to tell when the casserole is done: This creamy chicken casserole is finished cooking when it’s deliciously golden on top and bubbling at the edges.
Use turkey instead. Swap out the shredded chicken for shredded turkey meat to make a turkey noodle casserole.
Add even more (or different) veggies. You can really add any vegetables you’d like to this casserole recipe. Other good options are chopped broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, butternut squash, and asparagus.
Different cheese. This chicken noodle casserole can be customized with a combination of your favorite melty cheeses. Try adding Swiss cheese, parmesan cheese, Provolone, or Gruyere.
Ways to Serve
We love enjoying this chicken noodle casserole as a main dish with a side of fresh green salad or steamed or sautéed veggies. It’s truly a meal all in one!
It’s also just great as a cozy side dish, and the perfect way to bulk up a meal. Here are some more easy dinner recipes to serve alongside it:
Storing and Reheating Chicken Noodle Casserole
Leftover chicken noodle casserole can be refrigerated airtight for up to 3 days.
The casserole can be reheated whole or in portions. I prefer to reheat it in the oven, as it allows the topping to crisp up a little. Warm the casserole in an oven-safe dish at 350ºF until it’s hot throughout.
You can also reheat portions in the microwave, though the Ritz crackers will be a little mushy.
Can I Freeze This?
Absolutely! It’s actually best to freeze chicken noodle casserole before it’s baked. Here’s how to make it ahead and freeze it for up to 1 month:
Follow the casserole recipe right up until you’re meant to add the Ritz cracker topping. I recommend leaving off the cracker crust until after the casserole is thawed and before you go to bake it.
Wrap the casserole dish tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, plus a layer of aluminum foil.
Thaw the chicken noodle casserole overnight in the fridge. Before baking, add the Ritz cracker topping, then bake as directed. Note that you may need to add a few extra minutes to the cooking time if you’re baking the casserole chilled from the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a 9 x13 baking pan lightly with nonstick spray and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the diced onion and celery until softened, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add in the frozen vegetables and cook for 2 – 3 more minutes until warm. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the egg noodles and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain.
While the noodles are boiling, mix together the chicken, cream of chicken soup, half and half, cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add in the cooked vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the cooked noodles.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
Mix together the crushed crackers and melted butter. Sprinkle the mixture evenly on top of the casserole.
Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
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