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Chicken Noodle Casserole

Craving some comfort food? Try this Chicken Noodle Casserole! It’s full of chicken, egg noodles, and veggies in a creamy sauce topped with buttery cracker crumbs (and there’s no canned soup!). It’s hearty, satisfying, and an easy dinner for any night of the week!

Well, it’s looking like winter still isn’t quite ready to move on here in my neck of the woods. It’s been really cold, windy, and there’s been just enough snow every day to be annoying. March is certainly living up to it’s reputation of coming in like a lion. I sure hope it goes out like a lamb – like SOON! Pretty please?

We’re usually well into making maple syrup during March, but it hasn’t been warm enough yet, and now we’re wondering if we’ll even get a chance to make any this year (which is a total bummer because it is THE BEST SYRUP EVER!). I’m so glad I squirreled away a few jars from last year’s batch!

With winter still holding on, I’m still in full-on comfort food cooking mode, and this Chicken Noodle Casserole is one of my all-time favorites (although I do actually make it all year long). It’s everything that you would find in chicken noodle soup turned into a creamy casserole with a crunchy topping.

How could that be anything but delicious?

If you’re like me and like to cook from scratch as much as possible, you’ll be happy to know that there’s no canned soup in this recipe! It’s so easy to make a quick substitution with some butter, flour, chicken broth, and milk. There’s really no need to open a can.

white baking dish of chicken noodle casserole with a wooden spoon and white napkin to the side

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE CHICKEN NOODLE CASSEROLE:

  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Chicken broth or stock
  • Milk
  • Egg noodles
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Sour cream
  • Cooked chicken breast
  • Dried parsley
  • Ritz crackers
  • Salt and pepper

HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN NOODLE CASSEROLE:

three images showing steps to make chicken noodle casserole with text that says preheat oven to 350°F, melt butter, add flour and combine, add broth, milk, salt and pepper, whisk to combine
three images showing steps to make chicken noodle casserole with text that says bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, cook noodles according to package, drain, saute the veggies in butter until softened
three images showing steps to make chicken noodle casserole with text that says add soup substitute and sour cream, mix well, add noodles, chicken and parsley, mix well, add chicken stock until creamy
three images showing steps to make chicken noodle casserole with text that says transfer to a 13x9-inch greased baking dish, bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes, combine butter and crushed crackers, sprinkle on top
two images showing steps to make chicken noodle casserole with text that says bake 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, enjoy

This recipe is a great way to turn leftover chicken (or turkey) into something totally new.

If you don’t have any leftover chicken, you could use the meat from a rotisserie chicken, or maybe you’re like me and you keep some pre-cooked cubed and/or shredded chicken in your freezer.

Want more veggies? Mushrooms (I would saute them first) or peas would both be excellent additions to this casserole.

If you don’t have a lot of mouths to feed and aren’t a big fan of leftovers, you could easily halve the recipe, which I often do. If you do, use a smaller dish like an 11×7-inch or 9×9-inch.

white plate with chicken noodle casserole with a fork on the plate an a baking dish of casserole in the background

COMMON QUESTIONS:

  • I don’t have any pre-cooked chicken, but I would like to make this recipe tonight. Any suggestions? Cut up a pound of chicken breasts or tenders into bite-sized pieces, season with salt and pepper, and cook them in a skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil until just cooked through. You could also cook the chicken in an Instant Pot, if you have one, while you are getting the other ingredients ready.
  • Can I use canned soup? Yes. Two 10.75-ounce cans of condensed cream of chicken, cream of celery, or cream of mushroom soup can be used in place of the homemade soup substitute.

I hope you try this recipe for Chicken Noodle Casserole and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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a baking dish of chicken noodle casserole with a spoonful being taken out

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Craving some comfort food? Try this Chicken Noodle Casserole! It’s full of chicken, egg noodles, and veggies in a creamy sauce topped with buttery cracker crumbs (and there’s no canned soup!). It’s hearty, satisfying, and an easy dinner for any night of the week!
4.60 from 5 votes
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 Servings
Estimated Calories: 507

Ingredients

Soup Substitute:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Casserole:

  • 12 ounces medium or wide egg noodles
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cooking spray, for greasing the pan

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Make the soup substitute:

  • Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add 6 tablespoons of flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
  • Slowly whisk in 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened (the consistency should be very similar to canned condensed soup – if you feel it is way too thick, add a little stock or milk to thin it out). 
  • Remove from heat and set aside. It will thicken a little more as it cools down.

Assemble the casserole:

  • Cook the egg noodles according to the package directions; drain and set aside. While the noodles are cooking, move on to the next step.
  • In a large pan, saute the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the carrots and celery are starting to become tender. Keep an eye on the heat, as you don't want to burn the garlic. 
  • Add the soup substitute and the sour cream; mix well. The sauce will be thick at this point.
  • Add the egg noodles, chicken, and parsley; mix well.
  • Add enough chicken stock to make the mixture very creamy. You don’t want it too thin or soupy. Just think about the final consistency you’d like to have, keeping in mind that the noodles will soak up some of the liquid as the casserole cooks. I usually use about a cup of stock. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer the chicken mixture to the baking dish.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the crushed crackers; stir to combine. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
  • Return the casserole to the oven and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until the cracker crumbs are lightly golden brown.

Notes

  • You can replace the soup substitute with two 10.75-ounce cans of cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, or cream of celery soup.
  • If you don’t have any pre-cooked chicken, cut one pound of chicken breasts or tenders into bite-sized pieces, season with salt and pepper, and cook in a skillet in one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until just cooked through.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes. Soup substitute recipe adapted from The Kitchn.

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Recipe Rating




sunshine

Friday 2nd of December 2022

This was delicious. I had a cardiologist appointment today so I made the following changes: I used olive oil and no butter, stock only, and no fat greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I did add a tsp. of onion powder, garlic powder, rosemary and thyme and a tiny pinch of cayenne. If anyone needs to modify this recipe, these changes did not affect taste or texture of the food. I can only imagine how good this would be with milk, butter and sour cream.

Michelle

Saturday 3rd of December 2022

Thank you, sunshine!

Janny

Sunday 30th of January 2022

This casserole is pretty bland it needs maybe thyme? But I do like the idea not using canned soup which has tons of salt which I need to watch my intake

Michelle

Monday 31st of January 2022

Thanks for your feedback, Janny! You could certainly add some thyme or other herbs/seasonings for even more flavor. Also, make sure you use chicken stock/broth that has a lot of flavor (some store-bought versions can be pretty bland). I like to use a roasted chicken base, bouillon cubes, or bouillon powder mixed with water (many brands have low-sodium or no-sodium versions). And I always recommend giving it a final taste before baking to adjust the seasonings to your own personal tastes.

YtheWait

Tuesday 10th of November 2020

Delicious and very easy to make!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michelle

Tuesday 10th of November 2020

So glad you enjoyed it!

Cindy L Auler

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

When I use raw chicken, I poach it in the water I'm going to use in the recipe-more flavor!

Michelle

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Excellent suggestion, Cindy! Thanks so much for sharing!

Dawn Conklin

Monday 30th of September 2019

Delicious and very easy to make :) I always make homemade cream of chicken soup too - I am not a big fan of the canned ones.

Michelle

Monday 30th of September 2019

Hi, Dawn! Thanks so much!