Cheesy Chicken (or Turkey) Casserole

Cheesy Chicken (or Turkey) Noodle Casserole

If you’re looking for a dynamite casserole, one that practically screams “comfort” and one that’s easy to make, serves a crowd and comes in at a budget, this is the one.

Cheesy Chicken (or Turkey) Noodle Casserole
Cheesy Chicken (or Turkey) Noodle Casserole

From the gorgeous topping to the creamy noodles studded with veggies, this Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole always goes over great. People just seem to love it, and I’ve served it to neighbors, friends, and he occasional “Gourmand.”

Because it makes a large amount, this is the casserole I turn to when a friend is ailing or had a loss; I simply divide it in two and I have dinner for my family and theirs. Unless I’m serving a crowd, I divide it in two anyway, and freeze half for later. I just put the topping in a ziploc and put it on top of the casserole so it can be added when heated.

Cheesy Chicken (or Turkey) Casserole
Cheesy Chicken (or Turkey) Casserole – close up

As far as how this is made? Let that be our little secret! It’s sad to feel “food-shamed!” That being said, it can be made without the Velveeta and canned soups, and the directions are below, under “put your own spin on it.”

My version of this casserole was inspired by a friend of my Mom’s who put out a little cookbook called “If it’s Good, it’s Gourmet.” Her’s was a lot fancier and used green Spinach noodles, mushrooms and sliced green olives and had a beautiful sprinkling of slivered almonds on the top instead of breadcrumbs.

Cheesy Chicken (or Turkey) Casserole
Cheesy Chicken (or Turkey) Casserole

I needed fast, filling family food my kids would eat, so I made a few changes and I use rototini to catch the wonderful sauce and replaced the mushrooms with diced carrots. Who has time to argue about food?

By the way, this is a go-to recipe for us after Thanksgiving Turkey! Well, you can see why!

Cheesy Chicken (or Turkey) Casserole
Cheesy Chicken (or Turkey) Casserole

Cheesy Chicken (or Turkey) Casserole

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 40 - 50 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 cups white meat chicken or turkey, cooked
  • 1 chopped bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Velveeta, cubed, about 8 ounces
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms, or freshly sliced, sautéed in butter or 1 cup of finely diced carrots
  • 2 cans cream of chicken or celery soup
  • 1 cup chicken broth, may be reserved from cooking chicken or turkey
  • 14 ounces spinach egg noodles or other pasta – a pound is fine if that is the amount the package comes in
  • 4 ounces slivered almonds or bread crumb topping

If not using leftovers, cook poultry in broth. (Reserve about a cup of the broth in case sauce needs to be thinned. if you don’t have broth, don’t sweat it, just thin with a bit of water, if needed.)

Cook noodles till al dente. Saute vegetables in the butter until tender.

Cube up Velveeta and melt in the microwave in a large bowl with the soups until melted, about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Don’t burn it! Add the vegetables. Add a little broth if needed – should be creamy, not thick and gloppy.

Fold in pasta. Give it a gentle stir and add a little more additional broth if needed. The consistency should be thick but still able to “flow” over and through the pasta.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 – 40 minutes, until warmed through and bubbly. Top with almonds or bread crumbs during last 20 minutes.

From the kitchen of, inspired by “If it’s Good, it’s Gourmet”

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.


Per Serving: 198 Calories; Fat (12% calories from fat); 8g; Sat 3g; Mono 1g; Poly 1g; Chol 48mg 16%; Sod 781mg; Pot 27 16%; Carb 17g 16%; Fib 2g 7%; Sug 4g; Protein; 13g 7%; Vit A 11%; Vit C 12%; Calc 20%; Iron 6%

Put Your Own Spin on It:

  • Vegetables can be varied: Red Pepper can be added as well as Carrots, Broccoli, etc., it’s really not particular and is a very forgiving recipe.
  • Topping: A buttered bread crumb topping like the one in Make Your Own Casserole is fantastic on this.
  • If you are opposed to the Velveeta and canned soups in this, you could certainly cook your vegetables in the butter, but increase to about 4 tablespoons. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons flour, working it into the butter and cooking for about two minutes. Slowly add 3 1/2 cups of liquid. Use about 2 cups of milk and the rest chicken broth. Bring to a boil until thickened enough to leave a clean trail on the back of a spoon. Turn off heat and add, bit by bit about two to three cups of shredded cheese. Seasoning will need to be adjusted to taste, salt, pepper, perhaps a bit of celery salt. A half teaspoon of Worcestershire will help, as well. See the recipe for “cream of anything soup.” 
  • This is fun to make in individual ramekins and there is the added bonus, when served this way, of your family being less likely to over eat. I like to serve this with a dark green salad or a cooked green like kale or turnip greens.


When I freeze casseroles like this before baking, I line my casserole dish with foil, letting the foil hang over the dish so it can be completely wrapped, add in the mixture and freeze. When frozen, I take it out of the dish, wrap well with aluminum foil a second time, label with name, date and reheating instructions and freeze. To bake: Unwrap the first layer of foil, plop it into the casserole dish in the initial layer of foil and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bake as directed above, may need to add a few minutes time. Hopefully the clean up is easy because of the foil.

My Pay Off:

A very easy few minutes work to make this, and I have one large or two smaller casseroles with a few leftovers.  I’ll often freeze one of the casseroles or take one to a friend or family in need.

Cheesy Chicken Casserole made October 2011.

This is part of my 12 Days of Turkey posting – Twelve Ways to Use those Thanksgiving Leftovers. Click the link or check out the tags on the bottom of the post.

13 thoughts on “Cheesy Chicken (or Turkey) Noodle Casserole”

  1. I loved the blend of creamy cheesiness and delicious crunchy topping great dish for a big family to enjoy!

  2. I made this for a friend who had a surgery and needed something to tide her over and it was a huge hit at her house! I wish I would have kept some for me – but I tasted it when I was putting it in the casserole dish and it was really good.

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