This Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole is made with a delicious cheese sauce, chicken, broccoli, and crispy onions. It’s perfect as a quick dinner option, a great way to use up leftovers, or as a make-ahead freezer meal.
It’s officially casserole season! This Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole is hands down one of my favorite casseroles. The great thing about it is that it’s a great way to sneak in those veggies. It has protein, veggies, dairy, and pasta for a well-rounded dinner the whole family will love. This casserole is also a great way to use up some leftover turkey or holiday ham! (You can also make it with a chopped-up rotisserie chicken or shredded Instant Pot chicken breast and a bag of frozen broccoli florets, making it even easier to make.)
As the weather begins to get chilly, I’m all about quick and easy comfort meals that the whole family will love. Casseroles are so easy to make and are the best way to feed a small family for a few days. If you have a bigger family, this is a great way to feed them all at once! This Broccoli Noodle Casserole is different than a Traditional Broccoli Casserole; this one is more like a tetrazzini and is also a great recipe to use up leftover ham.
Table of Contents
- 🥘 Ingredients Needed
- 🍽 Equipment Needed
- 🥣 How to Make Chicken Noodle Casserole
- 🍱 Recipe Yield
- 🙋♀️ Frequently Asked Questions
- 🍳 What to Serve with This Delicious Casserole
- 🥫 How to Store Leftover Casserole
- How to Reheat Leftover Chicken Noodle Casserole
- ✏️ Helpful Tips
- Other Tasty Stick to Your Ribs Recipes
- Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole Recipe
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- Noodles – I use about a half of a bag of egg noodles for this recipe, but you can use any pasta or noodles that you prefer. (Just be sure to cook them as directed.) To make this gluten-free, you can use gluten-free pasta.
- Broccoli Florets – Fresh broccoli works the best and is packed full of nutrients, but you can use frozen in a pinch.
- Butter – I like to use salted butter as I like the flavor that the extra salt adds, but you can use unsalted if you have to watch your salt intake.
- Flour – You need regular all-purpose flour to help thicken the sauce, but if you are gluten-free, you can use a flour that is 1-1 for baking or a smaller amount of cornstarch.
- Seasonings – For this recipe, you will need garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and black pepper.
- Milk – I use 2% or whole milk, but you can use skim, plain almond milk, or whatever you have.
- Chicken Stock or Broth – I like to use homemade stock (that’s why it is so jiggly in the video!) If you don’t have broth, you can easily make it with water and chicken bouillon cubes.
- Shredded Cheese – I use a mix of ½ cup parmesan and ½ cup either Gruyere or sharp cheddar. (We used Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar once and WOW that was tasty.)
- Chicken Breast or Thighs – You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or leftover roasted chicken. (I like to use leftover whole chicken so you get a mix of light and dark meat.) You can also use leftover turkey or ham from Thanksgiving!
- Crispy Onions – Also known as French’s Fried onions – the best addition to any dish.
- Bread Crumbs – I use Panko bread crumbs.
🍽 Equipment Needed
- Baking Dish and/or Skillet – My favorite pan for these types of meals is this Staub Paella Pan. It isn’t cheap, but it is a great investment. It is really easy to clean and heats/cooks evenly because it is cast iron. (It is just big and a little heavy.)
- Large Pot or Stock Pot to cook the pasta
- Small frying pan to make the topping
🥣 How to Make Chicken Noodle Casserole
This casserole is quick, easy, and delicious. Get out your ingredients and supplies and let’s get started!
- First, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the egg noodles as directed on the package. Toss in your broccoli for about 3 minutes. Drain and set to the side. (Pictures 1 – 3) (Dice up your chicken, turkey, or ham as well if you have not yet done so.)
- While your pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a skillet. (Pitcure 4) Then, add the flour to the roux (Picture 5) and cook until the roux thickens and starts to form a sauce. (Picture 6)
- Add spices to the roux and cook for about 5 minutes. (Picture 7)
- Next, add the milk a little at a time so you don’t shock the roux. It might get a little chunky at first, but continue whisking it and the mixture will form a thick sauce. (Pictures 8 – 9) Cook for about 5 minutes until it thickens, then add the broth. (My broth was homemade and a little gelatinous!) (Picture 10)
- While your sauce is thickening, preheat your oven to 350°F.
- After the sauce has thickened, stir in your shredded cheese until it melts. (Picture 11)
- Add the cooked noodles, broccoli, and chicken to your sauce and mix. (Pictures 12 – 13)
- If you choose, add in the crispy onions. (Pictures 14 – 15)
- Then, either pour your mixture into a 13 x 9 baking dish or pop your skillet right into the oven. (Much easier this way if you have an oven-safe skillet!) Bake your casserole for 15 minutes.
- While the casserole is baking, melt butter and mix it with the remaining crispy onions and panko breadcrumbs and cook for a few minutes. (Pictures 16 – 17)
- Once your casserole is done, remove it from the oven and stir it really well. (Picture 18) Here’s a larger picture to see what the inside looks like – it is so yummy and creamy!
- Then, top it with the bread crumb mixture. (Picture 19) Place it back in the oven for 7 more minutes to brown the topping.
- Finally, remove the casserole from the oven and allow it to cool. (Picture 20)
Serve and enjoy! We like to top it with a little bit more grated parmesan cheese.
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🍱 Recipe Yield
If you follow this recipe exactly, you will end up with anywhere from 6 to 12 servings depending on your serving size. (Between just me and my husband, we usually end up with about three dinners out of this.)
🙋♀️ Frequently Asked Questions
To keep your casserole from drying out, do not overcook it. The 15 minute cook time + 7 for the topping is just the right amount. Alternatively, you can cover it with aluminum foil during the first half of the baking time. (This is how I like to reheat it. Reheating while covered will help it to heat through without drying out or burning the top.)
If you follow the recipe above, the casserole should be done. Everything is already cooked before going into the oven, so the baking process is really just to build the flavor. If you are worried, you can check it with a thermometer – you want the casserole to be 165℉.
This casserole is great for making in advance and freezing (instructions above) but if you aren’t freezing it, I would not cook the noodles or broccoli ahead of time or they will get soggy. (Chicken, turkey, or ham can obviously be made ahead of time.)
🍳 What to Serve with This Delicious Casserole
This delicious chicken and broccoli casserole is a whole meal all on its own. It has protein, carbs, dairy, and veggies. However, you can serve it with simple sides like:
- Sweet Cornbread
- A Chopped Blue Cheese & Bacon Salad
- Southern Sour Cream Biscuits
- Buttermilk Muffins
- 5 Ingredient Drop Biscuits
🥫 How to Store Leftover Casserole
This chicken and broccoli casserole is just as tasty the next day. To store any leftovers, simply cover your casserole dish tightly in plastic wrap or foil and store it in the refrigerator. The leftover casserole is good for about 3 days. (If your dish won’t fit in the fridge, you can use an air-tight container, just try to scoop it carefully to keep the topping on top.)
This casserole is great as a freezer meal. To freeze it, wait until it cools completely. Then, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then wrap it in aluminum foil (or vacuum seal if you have big enough bags.) Freeze the dish for up to 3 months.
I’ve found that I can get a lot of meals prepped if I make “mini-casseroles” in square foil pans. Once cooled, I cover the top with a layer of plastic wrap and then vacuum seal them. The 8-inch pans fit in my largest vacuum bags. Depending on how full you make the pans, you can get 2 – 3 out of this recipe. I like to let the frozen casserole defrost, then bake it in the oven at 325°F for 20 – 30 minutes, covered for about 15 minutes of the cooking time.
How to Reheat Leftover Chicken Noodle Casserole
You can easily reheat this chicken and noodle casserole in the microwave or you can warm it up in the oven. To reheat it in the oven, bake at 325℉, for 20 – 30 minutes – covered for about 15 minutes of the cooking time.
✏️ Helpful Tips
- Use an oven-safe skillet. I like to use an oven-safe skillet, so that I can just bake the casserole in the skillet instead of dirtying a baking dish. My favorite pan for these types of meals is this Staub Paella Pan. It isn’t cheap, but it is a great investment. It is really easy to clean and heats/cooks evenly because it is cast iron. (It is just big and a little heavy.)
- Top with parmesan. We love to top this dish with a little extra grated parmesan.
- Use leftover meat. This recipe would be a great way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey or ham and that random amount of fried onions after making Green Bean Casserole. That’s kind of how this recipe came to be.
Other Tasty Stick to Your Ribs Recipes
- One Pot Pasta e Fagioli
- Cheesy Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole
- Instant Pot Creamy Chicken and Noodles
- Paleo Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- Slow Cooker White Bean and Ham Soup
Have You Tried This Recipe?
Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!
Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole
- a baking dish
- a large pot
- a small pan
- 2 – 2 ½ cups egg noodles about half a bag
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ cup milk
- 1½ cup chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup shredded cheese I use mix of ½ cup parmesan and ½ cup either Gruyere or sharp cheddar.
- 2 cups chicken breast or thigh meat cooked and diced. I like to use the meat from a leftover whole chicken – you can also use turkey.
- ⅓ cup crispy onions
For the Topping
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- ½ cup fried crispy onions
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook noodles as directed on their package. Toss in broccoli florets for the last 3 minutes of cook time. Drain and set aside.2 – 2 ½ cups egg noodles, 4 cups broccoli florets
- While the pasta is cooking, start making the base of the sauce, the roux. Melt butter then add spices and flour until it thickens. (I like to make this in a large, oven-safe skillet so I can go right into the oven with it.)3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Cook for about 5 minutes to cook off the flour taste.
- Slowly add in milk, then stock and cook until it thickens into a sauce. (About 5 minutes.) If there are large chunks of flour, whisk until they dissolve.1½ cup milk, 1½ cup chicken stock or broth
- While the sauce thickens, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- When the sauce has thickened, stir in the cheese until it melts.1 cup shredded cheese
- Now, mix in the cooked noodles and broccoli along with the diced chicken.2 cups chicken breast or thigh meat
- Mix in crispy onions if desired.⅓ cup crispy onions
- Pour the sauced chicken mixture into a 13 x 9 baking dish or bake in the skillet you are working in (if it is oven-safe.)
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the casserole is baking, melt butter and mix with remaining crispy onions and panko breadcrumbs.½ cup panko bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons butter, ½ cup fried crispy onions
- After 15 minutes, remove the casserole from the oven and stir it really well. Then top with breadcrumb mixture and bake for 7 more minutes. (22 minutes total.)
- Remove from oven and let the casserole cool a little. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.