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Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole

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Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole: A Hearty Family Favorite

Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole recipe. Packed with tender chicken, hearty egg noodles, and a creamy sauce, this dish is sure to become a staple on your dinner table. Whether you’re feeding a crowd or simply craving a cozy meal, this casserole is the perfect solution. Let’s dive into the details of how to make this delicious dish!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use leftover chicken for this recipe? A: Yes, absolutely! Leftover cooked chicken works perfectly in this recipe. Simply chop or shred the chicken and use it in place of the chopped cooked chicken called for in the recipe.

Q: Can I make this casserole ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking. Simply cover the assembled casserole dish tightly with foil or plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature while preheating the oven. Bake as directed in the recipe, adding a few extra minutes if needed to ensure it’s heated through.

Q: Can I freeze this casserole? A: Yes, this casserole can be frozen before or after baking. If freezing before baking, assemble the casserole as directed in a freezer-safe dish, then cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw the casserole overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed in the recipe. If freezing after baking, let the casserole cool completely, then wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake at 350°F (175°C) until heated through.

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Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted (divided)
  • 12 ounces uncooked extra broad egg noodles
  • 2 cans (10.5 ounces each) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 cup fresh shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups frozen corn, about 12 ounces, thawed
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots, about 12 ounces, thawed
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, about 34 crackers, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

Instructions:

1. Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

2. Cook the Noodles:

  • Cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

3. Prepare the Sauce:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, whole milk, and Italian seasoning. Stir until well combined.

4. Assemble the Casserole:

  • In the prepared baking dish, layer half of the cooked egg noodles followed by half of the chopped chicken, shredded Cheddar cheese, thawed corn, and peas and carrots. Pour half of the sauce mixture over the layers.

5. Repeat the Layers:

  • Repeat the layering process with the remaining ingredients, ending with a layer of the sauce mixture on top.

6. Add the Topping:

  • In a separate bowl, mix together the crushed Ritz crackers, melted butter, and dried parsley. Sprinkle the cracker mixture evenly over the top of the casserole.

7. Bake the Casserole:

  • Transfer the assembled casserole to the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the casserole is hot and bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

8. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired, then dish up generous servings and enjoy the creamy goodness!

Cook Notes:

  • For added flavor, you can sauté diced onions and garlic in butter before adding them to the sauce mixture.
  • Feel free to customize the vegetables in this casserole based on your preferences. Broccoli, bell peppers, or green beans would all be delicious additions or substitutions.

Variations:

  1. Cheesy Twist: Add extra shredded cheese between the layers for an extra cheesy casserole.
  2. Herbaceous Flavor: Experiment with different herbs and spices in the sauce mixture, such as thyme, rosemary, or smoked paprika.

Keto and Low-Carb Version:

For a keto-friendly or low-carb version of this casserole, you can make the following substitutions:

  • Replace the egg noodles with spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash for a low-carb option.
  • Substitute the cream of chicken soup with a homemade keto-friendly cream sauce made with heavy cream, cream cheese, and chicken broth.
  • Omit the Ritz crackers from the topping and instead use a mixture of almond flour, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning for a crunchy keto-friendly topping.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole is the ultimate comfort food that’s perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or meal prep. With its creamy sauce, tender chicken, and comforting noodles, it’s a dish that appeals to both kids and adults alike. Whether you follow the classic recipe or put your own spin on it with creative variations, this casserole is sure to become a beloved favorite in your recipe collection. So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to enjoy a hearty and satisfying meal with this delicious Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole!