We’ve been having the dreariest, dark, cold, wet weather all week. How about you? I know it’s good for the plants but I get feeling a little blue. I want to get outside and DO things! Instead, we’ve tucked in and made something warm and comforting and creamy and cheesy! Three Cheese Chicken Casserole!
This Three Cheese Chicken Casserole has just about everything going for it. It’s not only delish, but it’s also pretty easy, fairly fast, and even faster if you use leftover chicken or turkey.
About Three Cheese Chicken Casserole:
I found this recipe in my little cookbook of family recipes I typed up for my daughter years ago. I seem to turn to these old faves even more during crummy weather! I guess I’m looking for a little comfort and this one delivers! Years ago we had a neighbor who loved casseroles, and while I make some, I never really “got” them. It seemed to me that when you make a casserole, you cook a bunch of food and then recook it! But my son, who was going through a picky stage, would come from their house and tell me how “the Mom” would pull a casserole out of the oven and call, “Dinner!” Now that I get!!
So we, my son and I, started exploring the world of casseroles and this one “stuck.” We love the creamy, cheesy deliciousness and I really love that it makes a bunch and freezes well; that means I can easily bake up half and stash half in the freezer for a rainy (or cold and dreary) day. And if you’re wondering about the mushrooms with a picky eater? Well, my little one had long figured out how to work around those!
This is a great casserole, too, if you’re ever looking for a casserole to take to a family who needs a little pick me up; a good dose of cheesy pasta deliciousness in a time of need can do wonders for the spirit.
Making Three Cheese Chicken Casserole:
I love starting casseroles like this with leftover chicken or turkey; if I don’t have leftovers since I so often have chicken on my menu, I’ll just make something earlier in the week with chicken and make extras so that portion of the casserole is done and at the ready. Bonus, right!
This is really super easy and even if you don’t like cottage cheese, you’ll never know it’s in here. It just makes the whole casserole creamy and delish and adds a lot of protein.
I almost always use the pricier colored bells in this casserole; it looks nicer and I find my little one will often eat orange or yellow bell peppers in this. Maybe it’s because they blend so well with the colors of the casserole! They’re also a little sweeter than the green bells.
Saving Money on Three Cheese Chicken Casserole:
As far as cost, this is a pretty inexpensive casserole to make, especially if you have leftover chicken (and it works just as well with turkey) that you’ve brought at a bargain price. And yes, you can use Rotisserie chicken in this recipe, but you’ll likely find that sales priced raw chicken is going to be a better bargain.
If you’re a couponer, so many of these items can be bought with coupons. The cheese is the priciest item, and cottage cheese may very well be more than the block cheese. Watch for the block cheese on special and keep your fridge stocked. It keeps forever, unopened, and can be frozen. It’s not so great for eating after it’s frozen (it gets crumbly) but will be fine in a casserole. Cottage cheese goes in and out of rotation on sale regularly.
When bell peppers are on sale I always pick up enough to cook with for the current week and a little extra for any dishes I’ll be making the following week. The red, yellow or orange are almost always pricier than the green. Mushrooms used to keep pretty well although lately, I’ve found packages go fast. When you get home, turn the package over and pierce it several times with a knife. That helps let out some of the condensation which is the enemy of mushrooms! Keep the package upside down in your fridge. You’ll find you can buy a couple of days on the mushrooms.Print
Three Cheese Chicken Casserole
An old school casserole that’s pure comfort food! Great made with leftovers.
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Casseroles
- Cuisine: American
- 8 ounces egg noodles, rigatoni or penne pasta, cooked and drained
- 2 to three cups of cooked & shredded chicken
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups (16 ounces) cottage cheese
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 cups (8 ounces) grated Cheddar or Colby (reserve 1/2 cup for top)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago (reserve 1/4 cup for top)
- 1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken or mushroom soup
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried, or to taste (Italian seasoning is good, too.)
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Butter or Oil a large casserole dish.
In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat until melted. Add vegetables and stir, then cover for several minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until excess liquid has evaporated, the vegetables are softened and the mushrooms slightly browned, stirring as necessary.
Place cottage cheese and milk in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.
In a large bowl, add the cottage cheese mixture, cheeses (except the reserved) the soup, herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Mix together. Add in the pasta and chicken.
Place in casserole, cover with cheese, and bake 20 to 25 minutes until warm and bubbly.
- Prepackaged shredded cheese works well in this, but has anti-clumping agents. Shredding your own makes for the creamiest casserole.
- As far as the herbs and seasoning, I often add a little more! I just go by taste.
Keywords: Bell Peppers, Canned Soup, Casserole, cheddar, Cheese, cottage cheese, Freezes Well, leftover Chicken, leftover turkey, mushrooms, parmesan, Pasta
|Nutrition Facts – based on 16 oz chicken|
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 22 g||33 %|
|Saturated Fat 10 g||48 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 2 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 64 mg||21 %|
|Sodium 1304 mg||54 %|
|Potassium 301 mg||9 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 20 g||7 %|
|Dietary Fiber 2 g||7 %|
|Sugars 6 g|
|Protein 33 g||66 %|
|Vitamin A||17 %|
|Vitamin C||35 %|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
If you came to this recipe looking for a way to use leftover turkey or chicken, be sure to check out the link below for 12 Days of Turkey for other great ideas. You might want to see the sister post for 12 Days of Ham, too.