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April 08, 2021 3 min read

There’s been a recent resurgence of casseroles, and we can safely report: they are cool again! Try our simple cheesy chicken recipe cooked in a cream sauce that is a fantastic way to use up any chicken or veggie leftovers sitting in your fridge.

Sometimes, we don’t feel like cooking an elaborate dinner. And by sometimes, we mean usually. 

That’s why we’re so happy that casseroles seem to be in the middle of a resurgence, and for good reason – they’re generally easy to make, transport, and bake for your family and friends. 

Better yet, we like to freeze them for later, as you can do with this simple pasta casserole recipe, great for using up old chicken breast you cooked for dinner the night before. 

Follow our simple recipe below to make this cheesy chicken and pasta bake we promise your family will love!

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Baked Chicken Pasta Casserole - FAQ

Do I need to use a cast-iron casserole dish?

You don’t need a cast-iron casserole dish to make this recipe, but it certainly makes the cooking process much easier and is the best way to get those ooey, gooey, casserole edges perfectly crisp.

We love using our cast-iron dish to first cook the ingredients on the stovetop, toss in our other ingredients, and pop it right into the oven. Otherwise, you’ll need a few separate dishes to do the work.

If you don’t own a cast-iron casserole dish, you’ll need a skillet, a mixing bowl, and another casserole dish to make this meal! 

Can I substitute another type of pasta?

Absolutely! If you don’t have any pasta shells on hand, any medium-sized pasta will work in their place for this chicken and noodles casserole. We often substitute for whichever pasta we have on-hand instead of making an extra trip to the grocery store.

Whichever noodle type you choose, make sure you cook your pasta al dente so that it’s still firm as the noodles will continue to cook in the leftover chicken pasta.

Can I swap out the chicken?

We love the taste of chicken in this cheesy chicken pasta, though its flavors adapt quite nicely to other proteins and ingredients, too. Baked pasta casseroles are a great way to use up any leftover meat you don’t want to eat for days on end – try swapping cooked ham or turkey for chicken. 

You can also add extra veggies to your dish; just be sure they’re pre-cooked, so they don’t mess up the baking time. 

How can I add a crispy topping?

If you want to make your chicken casseroles with pasta a little crispy on the top, you can whip up this super simple breadcrumb crumble. 

To make, combine 3 Tbsp of panko bread crumbs with 1 Tbsp melted butter, and stir well. Sprinkle the mixture over the casserole after you add the cheese, and bake as directed. It creates the perfect balance of creaminess and crunch!

Chicken Pasta Casserole: Final Note & Storage Tips

This easy chicken pasta bake is pretty easy to store and reheat too! You can keep this casserole covered in the fridge for up to 3 days or toss it in the freezer in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

You can freeze your cheesy chicken casserole baked or unbaked, but remember that the cooking times may be much longer, especially if cooking straight from frozen without thawing first. If you’re reheating an already-baked casserole from frozen in the oven, cover it with aluminum foil, so it doesn’t dry out. 

Enjoy your cheesy baked chicken with pasta casserole! Bon appetit!


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