This Creamy Chicken Casserole is a simple, yet comforting casserole made with pasta, a creamy sauce, chicken, and Parmesan.
At my house, this chicken casserole is known as Amish Chicken and ranks as one of my family's all-time favorite meals. It is creamy, hearty, and delicious paired with Roasted Broccoli or Green Beans Almondine.
This Creamy Chicken Casserole with chicken speaks of my childhood to me, it is comfort food at its finest--rich and soul-satisfying, yet SIMPLE!
My mom has been making this recipe for decades--for her picky family of 6 and to take to those in need of a comforting meal.
While not a complicated or sophisticated dish, the simple creamy sauce, noodles, and shredded chicken, come together to create classic comfort food. It is a meal that is perfect for picky eaters, sensitive palates, or just a great way to use up leftover chicken. It also happens to be incredibly easy to make!
Notes on Ingredients
- Pasta: Select a pasta that has curves or ridges, like corkscrew, rotini, or cavatappi noodles. They will trap the chicken and sauce, making the casserole much more flavorful in every bite.
- Cooked Chicken: Use any leftover cooked chicken you have on hand, such as Roasted Chicken Breasts, Instant Pot Chicken, or Leftover Rotisserie Chicken. Alternatively, use leftover turkey.
- Cream Sauce: Made with a bit of wine, chicken stock, flour, butter, and Parmesan, this sauce comes together super easily. Be sure to use freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the best flavor. Feel free to leave the wine out of this casserole and use all chicken stock, but I do love the sharp, acidic notes the dry white wine adds to this dish--it makes it feel a bit more sophisticated.
- In a large dutch oven, melt butter.
- Whisk in flour to form a thick roux, and let cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly, whisk in white wine and chicken stock and allow the sauce to thicken for about 3-4 minutes.
- Whisk in milk, Parmesan, and seasonings and cook for 2-3 minutes longer, or until sauce is combined and gently simmering.
- While making the cream sauce, prepare the pasta in heavily salted water, cooking for 1 minute less than the box states. Once cooked, drain but DO NOT rinse the cooked pasta. You need that starch on the outside of the noodles to help the sauce adhere to the noodles.
- Add the cooked pasta, along with the shredded pre-cooked chicken to the cream sauce and toss well.
- Pour the chicken and noodle mixture into a greased 9x13 or 2-quart baking dish.
- Top the casserole with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.
- Bake the casserole until bubbly and the cheese is slightly browned.
Freezing and Storing
Leftover Creamy Chicken Casserole can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
While I do not recommend freezing the baked casserole, as it can dry out, this recipe can be assembled and then frozen prior to baking. To do this, you would assemble the casserole up to baking. Allow to cool and store in a large freezer gallon-sized bag or in a disposable casserole pan. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To prepare the casserole from frozen, defrost for 12 hours in the refrigerator and bake at 350 degrees covered for 1 hour, and then uncover and bake for 20-30 minutes until the dish is bubbly and warmed through.
- Add Vegetables to the Casserole: If desired, add in 2 cups of defrosted peas or steamed chopped broccoli florets to the pasta along with the sauce and chicken. Bake as directed.
- Add Mushrooms to the Casserole: My mom softened added sauteed mushrooms to this casserole many times and it is one delicious addition. Simply add sliced button, baby portabella, or even canned, drained mushrooms to the melted butter before adding the flour to form the roux. Saute the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes until they start to become soft. Proceed with the recipe by adding the flour to the mushroom mixture once they have been sauteed to form the roux.
- Using Whole-Grains: I have made this casserole many times with whole wheat pasta with fantastic results.
- Lightened-Up: To cut back on the fat and calories in this recipe, use cooked chicken breasts instead of dark meat, use skim milk instead of whole milk or cream, and use half the amount of Parmesan cheese.
- Decadent Version: For a super creamy, rich casserole use whole milk or half and half and top this casserole with additional shredded Parmesan cheese.
More Chicken Casserole Recipes
- Chicken Pot Pie--Another classic comfort food recipe made with a creamy sauce, leftover chicken, vegetables, and a homemade pastry topping.
- Creamy and Cheesy Chicken and Rice--Just like the name states, this dish is creamy, cheesy, and DELICIOUS!
- Buffalo Chicken Casserole--Made with potatoes, bacon, cheese, and a spicy sauce, this dish is anything but boring!
I hope that this Creamy Chicken Casserole becomes a family favorite, just as it has at my house! I would love to hear how you enjoyed this meal in the comments. Be sure to leave a review!
Creamy Chicken Casserole
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ cup dry white wine or additional chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme finely chopped, optional
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
- 8 oz noodles like corkscrew, cavatappi, or rotini
- 2 cups cooked chicken diced or shredded
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Lightly butter a 2 quart casserole dish.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Salt the water well and then add in the pasta of your choice. Cook for 1 minute less than the package suggests. Drain the pasta, but do not rinse. Set aside to add to the casserole.
- Melt butter in large saucepan. Add flour and whisk together for 1 minute.
- Add wine, while whisking and allow to come to a boil. Slowly add chicken stock, thyme, salt and pepper as you whisk.
- Bring mixture to a boil and continue to whisk occasionally. Lower the heat and add milk and cheese.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened and warmed through.
- Pour the sauce over cooked pasta and add diced chicken to the mixture. Stir together and pour into the prepared casserole pan.
- Bake for 20- 25 minutes until the top of the casserole is browned.
This post was originally posted in 2015 but was updated with new tips and a video in 2021.