This Creamy Chicken Casserole is a simple, yet comforting casserole made with a creamy sauce, chicken, and parmesan cheese.
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! I love pairing it with Roasted Broccoli or Green Beans Almondine for a delicious family dinner.
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.
This chicken casserole 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.
- Wine: Dry white wine adds dimension and sharp, acidic notes to this casserole which helps to cut through the richness of the cream sauce. Feel free to replace the wine with additional chicken stock if you don't care to cook with wine.
- Milk: Use fat-free milk for a lighter casserole or whole milk or half and half for a richer casserole.
- Thyme: I love adding a bit of fresh thyme to really enhance the casserole. Feel free to omit if you don't care for the flaor of thyme.
- Parmesan Cheese: Be sure to use freshly grated parmesan cheese for the best flavor.
How to Make Creamy Chicken Casserole
- In a large dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat.
- Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour to form a thick roux, and let cook for 1 minute. This will help the sauce NOT taste like raw flour.
- Slowly, whisk in white wine and chicken stock and allow the sauce to thicken for about 3-4 minutes.
- Whisk in milk, parmesan cheese, 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 by cooking it for 1 minute less than the package states in heavily salted water. Once the pasta is 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 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.
Once slightly cooled, any leftover Creamy Chicken Casserole can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Preparing the Casserole in Advance
If you would like to get a jump start on dinner, you can prepare this chicken casserole up to baking and refrigerate it for up to 48 hours in advance or freeze the unbaked casserole for up to 3 months.
To prepare the casserole up to 48 hours in advance, prepare the casserole as directed up to baking. Allow the casserole to cool slightly, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and then refrigerate it for up to 48 hours. When ready to bake, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Allow the casserole to sit at room temperature as the oven preheats to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until warmed through.
To freeze the unbaked casserole, prepare up to combining the sauce, pasta, and chicken. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then transfer to a large freezer gallon-sized bag or a greased disposable casserole pan and cover tightly with foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. To prepare the casserole from frozen, defrost for 12 hours in the refrigerator and bake at 350 degrees F covered for 1 hour, and then uncover and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the dish is bubbly and warmed through.
- Add Vegetables: 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: 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 low sodium 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 plus more for topping
- 8 oz noodles like corkscrew, cavatappi, or rotini
- 2 cups cooked chicken diced or shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and 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.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour to form a thick paste (a roux) and cook for 1 minute to cook off the raw flour taste.
- Add in the wine (or chicken stock), while whisking, and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Cook off the alcohol for 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in the chicken stock. Add in the thyme, salt, and pepper to season the sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a medium-low simmer.
- Add the milk and cheese to the sauce, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and warmed through.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, sauce, and chicken together. Pour into the prepared casserole pan. Top with additional parmesan cheese if desired.
- Bake for 20- 25 minutes until the top of the casserole is browned and the dish is fully warmed through.
This post was originally posted in 2015 but was updated with new tips and a video in 2021.