I confess we eat chicken a lot in this house. It is a healthy protein that we all enjoy very much. It is also incredibly adaptable in that it can take on almost any flavour and do it justice. I often cook a Roast Chicken at the weekend and when I do I like to use the leftovers to make a delicious bake such as this really fabulous Chicken Noodle Casserole.
This was also a bake that was extremely popular and much requested by my children when they were growing up. It is now enjoyed by my grandchildren. That is the true test of a great recipe. Chicken Noodle Casserole is an easy entrée that has been enjoyed down through the generations of my family.
This really does not surprise me. Chicken Noodle Casserole is not only delicious, but it is quick and easy to make as well. You can easily have this on the table in less than an hour from start to finish!
It is also a great make-ahead dish. You can also make this right up to the point of baking it well ahead of time, keeping it covered and chilled in the refrigerator. This makes it the perfect entrée to serve when you know you are going to be having an incredibly busy day.
Chicken Noodle Casserole is also a recipe which is easily doubled. I often double the recipe, dividing it between two separate casserole dishes. One to bake on the day and the other to wrap and store in the freezer for those occasions when I am really pressed for time and inspiration!
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE CHICKEN NOODLE CASSEROLE
One thing I love about this easy bake is that it does not require any fancy ingredients to make it. It makes a great use of some store cupboard ingredients such as tinned soups and pasta. I confess, I am not a tinned soup snob. I always keep tinned soup in my larder for delicious bakes such as this Chicken Noodle Casserole.
|egg noodles (or a similar pasta shape)|
|cubed cooked chicken|
|condensed cream of chicken soup|
|condensed cream of celery soup|
|frozen baby peas, thawed|
|cubed carrots, cooked until crispy tender (you can also used frozen cubed carrots, thawed or a mix of frozen peas and carrots, thawed)|
|dried parsley flakes|
|additional grated cheese to serve (optional)|
HINTS & TIPS TO MAKE THE BEST CHICKEN NOODLE CASSEROLE
- Read through the recipe thoroughly several times before beginning. This helps to acquaint you with any ingredients needed, and cooking methods, equipment you might need to use, etc. This simple step can help to prevent you from making any costly and annoying errors later on.
- Assemble all of your ingredients and supplies before you begin. This helps to make sure that you have everything you need to make the recipe, gives you the opportunity to nip out to the shops to pick up anything you don’t have, and also, more importantly, can help to prevent you from accidentally leaving out an ingredient integral to the recipe.
- I regularly buy large packs of chicken breasts. I like to poach them all at once so that I have quantities of cooked chicken at the ready in the freezer to use for recipes like this. Simply put the chicken breasts into a pot of lightly seasoned water to cover, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. I cook for about 15-20 minutes, until no pink remains when prodded with a fork. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the water until comfortable to handle. You can either chop or shred them and freeze (well wrapped) in 1 cup sized lots.
- I have used whole wheat pasta (Mafalda, which looks like baby lasagne noodles) for this today. You can use any flat egg noodle, tagliatelle, etc. Farfalle (pasta bow-ties) are also nice.
- Cook your pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water according to the package directions just until al dente. Drain well under cold running water and drain again.
- For four servings of the recipe you need only ½ of each tin of soup. You can freeze the other halves in covered containers for use at another time.
- The recipe calls for a quantity of heavy cream. If you do not have any heavy cream in the house, you can substitute undiluted evaporated milk for it, or the equivalent in whole fat milk with 1 TBS of melted butter added. Both substitutions work very well.
- I like to use frozen petit pois (baby peas) for this recipe. I always cook my own carrots for it. One medium carrot, peeled, cut into cubes, and cooked until crispy tender will give you the right amount to use. You can also use an equivalent amount of a frozen pea and carrot vegetable mix.
- I like to grate my own cheeses for Chicken Noodle Casserole. Pre-grated cheeses always have something added to them in order to help them flow much easier. You can use them if you wish, but I think it is better to grate your own. For the cheddar I use the large holes on a box grater. For the Parmesan I use a mini micro-plain grater.
- I use packaged dry fine breadcrumbs for this recipe. You can also use Japanese panko breadcrumbs if you wish.
- You can make this ahead the night before and keep the Chicken Noodle Casserole covered in the refrigerator and ready to bake. Allow the casserole to come to room temperature and do not add the crumb topping until just prior to baking.
- Whilst it is not absolutely necessary, do make the cheese topping to sprinkle on top of each serving of the casserole. It adds a really delicious touch. I use equal amounts of the grated cheddar and parmesan cheese. They are a brilliant combination.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN NOODLE CASSEROLE
Assemble all of your ingredients on your work top and put a large saucepan of lightly salted water on to the boil. Preheat your oven to the required temperature and butter you casserole dish (s). Set aside.
Cook your noodles according to the package directions just to al dente. Drain well, rinse and drain again.
Measure both of your soups into a bowl along with the cream. Combine together until you have a smooth and lump-free mixture.
You can now stir in all of the seasonings. I like to do this ahead of the remaining ingredients to make sure they are evenly distributed.
Stir in the cheddar cheese, the peas and carrots, the cubed chicken and combine well. Stir in the cooked noodles, again combining everything well together. Set aside.
Measure the dry breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley flakes and melted butter into a small bowl. Combine well together.
Butter your casserole dish. Spoon the noodle mixture into the dish and smooth over the top. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the casserole.
Place into the preheated oven and bake for approximately half an hour, until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the crumbs are golden brown.
To serve spoon out individual servings onto heated dinner plates.
You can serve just as it is, or sprinkle with some additional cheese if you wish.
We love it sprinkled with grated cheese. It just adds an extra special something.
To me this delicious Chicken Noodle Casserole is just like a Chicken Pot Pie without the crust. I just cannot get enough of it. It is a tried and true family favourite.
SUGGESTIONS FOR SERVING CHICKEN NOODLE CASSEROLE
I always like to make a delicious side salad to go with this fabulous casserole. It goes together very quickly while the casserole is baking. Torn lettuce, cubed cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, spring onions, diced celery and a simple vinaigrette is our favourite salad to enjoy with this. Nothing fancy. You can also serve toasty slices of garlic bread if you wish. Keep it simple. The garlic bread can go into the oven for the last ten minutes of the casserole bake time.
I often serve this casserole in shallow pasta bowls.
No matter what you choose to serve with this tasty casserole, I am sure your family will love it when you set it down in front of them. I predict that this will become a firm favourite in your home with both the old and the young. Simple, quick and easy to make, and oh-so-delicious. You really cannot go wrong with this fabulous casserole!
- 1/2 pound egg noodles (or a similar pasta shape)
- 1 ½ cups cubed cooked chicken
- ½ tin of condensed cream of chicken soup
- ½ tin of condensed cream of celery soup
- 1 cup of frozen baby peas, thawed
- 1 cup of cubed carrots, cooked until crispy tender (can also use frozen, thawed)
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup grated Cheddar cheese
- 4 TBS seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
- 1 TBS melted butter
- additional grated cheese to serve (optional)
- Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil. Once it boils add the egg noodles and cook to al dente according to the package directions. Drain well, rinse and drain again.
- Preheat the oven to 375*F. Butter a deep 9-inch square casserole dish. Set aside.
- Combine both soups and the cream together in a bowl. Season with the garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Add the vegetables, the Cheddar cheese, cubed chicken, and cooked noodles. Gently fold together to combine thoroughly.
- Mix together the grated Parmesan, seasoned breadcrumbs, parsley flakes and melted butter.
- Spoon the chicken and noodle mixture into the prepared casserole dish, smoothing over the top. Sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.
- To serve, spoon onto heated plates and sprinkle with more grated cheese if desired.
Marie Rayner is a retired Chef, freelance writer, recipe developer, food blogger, and Cookbook author. She makes her home in Chester, UK, where she lives with her husband, Todd, and their much beloved English Cocker, Mitzie. Her motto is “Life is far too short to eat bad food,” and her goal is to share delicious and easy recipes which anyone can enjoy and cook in the comfort of their own home.