Creamy Chicken and Mini Penne Casserole

Creamy Chicken and Mini Penne Casserole

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
551 Calories
27g Fat
39g Carbs
36g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 551
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 11g 54%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 429mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 36g
Calcium 297mg 23%
*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.)

Casseroles like this one are pure comfort food and have the benefit of being a one-dish meal. In this recipe, chicken and pasta are baked along with vegetables in a creamy sauce made of milk, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup, and the dish is finished off with grated Parmesan cheese.

The condensed soup and frozen vegetables cut down on preparation time, and some sour cream and Parmesan cheese add flavor. You can use 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, rolls, or biscuits and a simple tossed salad or sliced tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces mini penne pasta (or penne or macaroni)
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 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 of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups diced, cooked chicken
  • 1 (10 1/2-ounce) can 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 freshly shredded Parmesan cheese (or about 3/4 cup grated)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Creamy Chicken and Mini Penne Casserole ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 2-quart casserole. 

    greased casserole dish

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water following the package directions; rinse under cold water and drain.

    pasta in a colander

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    vegetables in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Melt the butter with the extra-virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and celery to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender.

    onions and celery in the pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Stir in the parsley, pepper, diced chicken, condensed soup, milk, sour cream, and the cooked vegetables. Stir and taste the mixture; add salt as needed.

    parsley, pepper, diced chicken, condensed soup, milk, sour cream, and the cooked vegetables in a pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Combine the drained cooked pasta with the sauce and vegetables.

    pasta added to the chicken cream sauce in a pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Creamy Chicken and Mini Penne Casserole in a casserole dish

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Creamy Chicken and Mini Penne Casserole

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tip

Make sure to add cooked chicken to the casserole; although the dish is baked, raw chicken will not cook properly.

Recipe Variations

  • Replace the Parmesan cheese with shredded cheddar cheese or a cheddar Jack blend.
  • For a crunchy breadcrumb topping, toss 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fine fresh breadcrumbs 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.
  • Instead of the mixed vegetables, use chopped broccoli, asparagus, cooked lima beans, chopped artichokes, or spinach.
  • For a vegetarian version, eliminate the chicken and use cream of celery soup.