Easy Chicken and Penne Casserole

Chicken and Penne Casserole
Easy Chicken and Penne Casserole. Photo: Diana Rattray
    60 min
Ratings

Use penne, mini penne, or macaroni pasta in this easy chicken casserole. Condensed soup and frozen vegetables cut down on preparation time, and some sour cream and Parmesan cheese add flavor.

I used poached chicken breasts in the recipe, but if you need a shortcut, rotisserie chicken is a convenient alternative. Or make the dish with refrigerated or frozen fully cooked roasted chicken strips.

Serve this chicken casserole with crusty bread or rolls and a simple tossed salad or sliced tomatoes.

See the tips and variations below the recipe for some substitution ideas and bread crumb topping option.

What You'll Need

  • 8 ounces penne pasta, macaroni, or mini penne*
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, peas, or ​blend of peas and carrots
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • dash freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup or cream of chicken soup with herbs
  • 3/4 cup milk, whole or low-fat
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, full fat or reduced fat
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese or about 3/4 cup grated

How to Make It

Heat oven to 350 F.

Grease a 2-quart casserole. 

Cook pasta in boiling salted water following package directions; rinse and drain.

Cook the vegetables as directed on the package. Drain and set aside.

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter with the extra-virgin olive oil. Add onions and celery to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the parsley, diced chicken, condensed cream of chicken soup, milk, sour cream, and the cooked vegetables. Stir and taste the mixture. Add salt as needed to taste.

Combine the drained cooked pasta with the sauce and vegetables.

Spoon the pasta and chicken mixture into the prepared casserole. Sprinkle the top evenly with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Serves 6.

*Use about 2 3/4 cups of large penne or 2 cups of elbows or mini penne.

Variations

  • Replace the Parmesan cheese with shredded cheddar cheese or a cheddar jack blend.
  • For a crunchy bread crumb topping, toss 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fine fresh bread crumbs with 2 to 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Scatter the bread crumbs over the cheese layer before baking. Bake until bubbly and the crumbs are browned.
  • Alternative Vegetable Ideas: Chopped broccoli, asparagus, cooked lima beans, chopped artichokes, or spinach.

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