Easy Chicken and Macaroni Casserole

Chicken and macaroni casserole
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
754 Calories
44g Fat
56g Carbs
35g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 754
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 44g 57%
Saturated Fat 23g 116%
Cholesterol 170mg 57%
Sodium 697mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 56g 21%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 35g
Calcium 324mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Perhaps a little bit retro, this one-dish chicken macaroni casserole is pure comfort food in a pan. Chicken and pasta combine with peas and pimentos in a simple sauce made with cream of chicken soup and milk.

The pimientos add some color and depth of flavor to the sauce mixture, and a buttery crumb crust finishes this casserole perfectly. The shredded cheese is optional but adds a creamy texture and a nice taste. You can also add other vegetables to this casserole—try mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, and even corn

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces uncooked macaroni
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (thawed, about 1 to 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can​ condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar chopped pimientos (drained)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese or a cheddar/Jack blend
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 400 F. Grease a 2 1/2-quart casserole dish.

  2. Cook the macaroni in salted boiling water 2 to 3 minutes less than indicated on the package directions. Drain thoroughly.

  3. Combine cooked macaroni, chicken, peas, soup, milk, pimientos, salt, and pepper in the prepared casserole dish and gently mix well. 

  4. If desired, sprinkle with shredded cheese.

  5. In a small bowl, toss bread crumbs with melted butter; sprinkle over casserole.

  6. Bake the casserole uncovered for 25 minutes, or until the bread crumb topping is lightly browned and the filling is hot and bubbling.

Tips

  • This recipe calls for soft bread crumbs instead of dried. Packaged dried bread crumbs are too fine to use as a topping for this casserole. To make your own soft bread crumbs, take fresh bread or bread that is about a day old and process it in the food processor until small (but not fine) crumbs form. 

Recipe Variations

  • For even faster preparation, use a rotisserie chicken or fully-cooked pre-packaged refrigerated chicken strips to make this dish. 
  • You can make this recipe vegetarian by eliminating the chicken and swapping out the cream of chicken soup for cream of mushroom. Add a few more vegetables to keep the casserole hearty while adding extra nutrition.
  • If you would rather not use the condensed soup, you can replace it (and the 1 cup milk) with 2 cups of medium white sauce made with half milk (or cream) and half chicken stock.
  • Swap out the macaroni for other pasta shapes such as mini penne, farfalle (bow ties), fusilli (corkscrews), and orecchiette.