Chicken noodle casserole is a nostalgic dish made with chicken, egg noodles, veggies, and a creamy, homemade sauce. This filling casserole feeds up to eight and is ready in less than 45 minutes.
Chicken noodle casserole is a classic dish that's easy to prepare for your next family meal. Plus, this chicken noodle casserole is made without canned soups - the cream sauce is made entirely from scratch with simple pantry staples!
First, you'll cook and shred your chicken (or, use a cooked rotisserie chicken or canned chicken). Then, you'll make a creamy, from scratch sauce that starts with a basic roux, onions, and garlic. Last, you'll assemble your casserole with egg noodles, frozen veggies, and a crunchy panko crust. Your casserole will be on the dinner table in less than an hour!
Serve a from scratch chicken noodle casserole for your next weeknight meal or Sunday dinner with the family. Leftovers reheat beautifully, so you enjoy your casserole all week long!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Rotisserie chicken - can be substituted with any cooked and shredded chicken. Or, use canned, drained chicken or tuna.
- Egg noodles - any thickness works, but I prefer medium egg noodles. Or, substitute with any medium sized pasta, like farfalle, shells, or macaroni.
- Unsalted butter - Can be substituted with salted butter (be sure to omit half of the salt listed in the recipe).
- Onions and garlic - add flavor to your casserole.
- Flour - All purpose flour combined with butter makes a roux, which will thicken your homemade cream sauce.
- Milk - Whole milk makes creamiest sauce, but 2% or 1% will also work (your sauce will be on the thin side).
- Chicken broth - can be substituted with vegetable broth.
- Peas and carrots - can be substituted with any frozen mixed vegetables.
- Panko bread crumbs - They make the best crunchy crust, but can be substituted with traditional bread crumbs or crushed butter crackers (like Ritz brand).
- Seasoning - You'll also need salt, pepper, and dried thyme.
Casserole tips and tricks
- Use a 3 quart 9x13 casserole dish.
- Lightly grease your casserole dish before adding your ingredients. Softened butter or cooking spray work well.
- When adding the flour to make a roux, whisk until no flour lumps remain. When adding the milk and broth, whisk continuously until smooth and creamy.
- Cook your pasta to al dente - no more. Overcooked pasta will only get mushier in the oven.
- When broiling your crust, do not walk away. The broiler can take your crust from browned to burnt in just a few extra seconds.
Browning the panko crust
After baking your casserole in the oven, the panko crust may need a little more browning on top.
Once your casserole is hot and bubbling in the middle, turn the broiler on. Sitting on the middle rack in the oven, your panko crust should turn a lovely golden brown after about 2 minutes under the broiler.
Do not walk away - the broiler will brown your crust quickly! It can go from browned to burnt with only a few extra seconds under the broiler.
Leftover chicken casserole reheats well and will last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, covered in a tightly sealed container.
Dairy based and pasta recipes generally do not freeze and thaw well, so I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
Chicken Noodle Casserole
- 12 ounces egg noodles
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
- 12 ounces cooked and shredded chicken, *
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish and set aside.
- Cook egg noodles according to package directions for al dente pasta. Drain, pour noodles into 9x13 pan, and set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add butter. Once hot and melted, add diced onions. Cook until onions begin to brown and turn translucent. Add garlic and flour, then cook for 1 additional minute.
- Add chicken broth and milk, whisking continuously until incorporated and smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, thyme, peas and carrots, and shredded chicken, stirring to combine. Pour mixture over noodles and gently toss to coat.
- In a separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, melted butter, and salt. Sprinkle evenly over casserole.
- Bake uncovered for 15-18 minutes, or until casserole is hot and bubbling in the center. Optionally, broil for 2 minutes to brown crust on top. Do not walk away from your oven while broiling, your crust will brown quickly.
- * A shredded rotisserie chicken, cooked and shredded chicken breast and thighs, or canned, drained chicken will work in this recipe.
- Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Cream based sauces and pasta do not freeze/thaw well, so I do not recommend freezing leftovers.