What can I substitute for Ritz crackers?
You can use crushed saltine crackers, panko breadcrumbs, crushed cornflakes, or crushed potato chips instead of Ritz crackers for the topping.
Can I make this casserole gluten-free?
Yes, use gluten-free pasta and gluten-free crackers or breadcrumbs to make a gluten-free version.
Can I prepare this in advance?
You can assemble the entire casserole up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. Add 5-10 extra minutes to the baking time.
Can I freeze this casserole?
Yes! Prepare the casserole but do not bake it. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
What kind of chicken works best?
Shredded rotisserie chicken or diced cooked chicken breast or thighs work great. Avoid using raw chicken.
How long will leftovers last?
Leftover casserole will keep for 3-4 days covered in the refrigerator. Reheat individual portions in the microwave.
What can I serve with this casserole?
It’s delicious on its own or served with rice, mashed potatoes, a fresh salad or roasted vegetables.
Can I make it spicier?
Yes, add hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the cheese sauce to give it some heat.
- Prep time: 10 mins
- Cook time: 20 mins
- Total time: 30 minutes
- Servings: 6
- 450g (1 lb) cooked, chopped chicken (rotisserie, baked or boiled)
- 340g (12 oz) egg noodles
- 115g (1⁄2 cup) butter
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 25g (1⁄4 cup) all-purpose flour
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 475ml (2 cups) chicken broth
- 475ml (2 cups) milk
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 230g (2 cups) frozen peas
- 230g (2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese
- 60g (1⁄2 cup) grated Parmesan cheese
- 45ml (3 tsp) olive oil
- 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Lightly grease a 23x33cm (9×13 in) baking dish.
- Cook the egg noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes until tender.
- Sprinkle the flour and garlic over the onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently.
- Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes until thickened.
- Stir in the frozen peas, cheddar cheese and cooked chicken. Remove from heat and stir until cheese melts.
- Add the cooked egg noodles to the prepared baking dish. Pour the chicken mixture over the noodles and toss to coat evenly.
- In a small bowl, mix together the crushed Ritz crackers, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Sprinkle over the casserole.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cracker topping is lightly browned.
- Garnish with parsley if desired. Serve warm.
- Enjoy this easy cheesy chicken casserole! The combination of chicken, veggies, pasta and creamy cheese sauce is simple but delicious. Let me know if you try this recipe!
Tips for Making Cheesy Chicken Casserole
- For even cooking, make sure to chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces before adding to the casserole.
- When adding the cheese, turn off the heat so the residual heat melts it – overheating can make the cheese stringy.
- Allow the casserole to rest 5-10 minutes before serving so the flavors can blend.
- Garnish with extra shredded cheese and chopped parsley for a pop of color.
- Swap the egg noodles for macaroni or penne pasta if desired.
- For a healthier version, use reduced-fat milk and low-fat cheese.
- Add sauteed mushrooms with the onions for extra flavor.
- Stir in some cooked broccoli florets or diced carrots for more veggies.
- For spicy casserole, add minced jalapenos or hot sauce to the cheese sauce.
- Top with crushed potato chips or french fried onions instead of Ritz crackers.
- Bake the casserole uncovered for crispy top or cover with foil to keep it extra saucy.