Classic comfort food made quick and easy! Perfect for those busy weeknights.
Love this old-fashioned recipe? Try this slow cooker chicken and noodles, too.
Table of Contents
🗝️ Key takeaways
- This easy recipe only takes about 30 minutes. The creamy sauce and tender chicken make it the ultimate comfort food.
- Creamy chicken casseroles are a must on chilly, blustery days!
- This simple recipe is done on top of the stove to save time on those busy weeknights.
Gone are the days when mom had to spend 3-4 hours sweating in the kitchen just to get dinner on the table.
This old-fashioned chicken and noodles recipe has the great flavor you crave, without any of the hard work.
Love noodles as much as we do? Try this classic tuna noodle casserole!
This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the green recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
Check out this article on the various ways to cook chicken for a casserole. It will give you a head start.
Forgot to pick up something at the grocery store? Dealing with allergies or picky eaters? Don't worry! There are a few ways to alter the recipe if you need to.
Let's start with the protein:
- Instead of chicken breasts, use chicken thighs or meat from other parts.
- You can use bone-in chicken (or a whole chicken, like those cheap and quick rotisseries from your fave bulk food store!) Just pick the cooked chicken meat from the bones and stir it into the skillet.
- Extra ham or turkey from Thanksgiving dinner? It's great in this recipe.
- Use your favorite pork, veal, or game instead of chicken.
- Need a vegetarian-friendly dish? You can use white beans, tofu, or tempeh.
Now, about the noodles:
- You can use pretty much any kind of pasta or macaroni you want—it is an easy dinner recipe after all.
- Sub the noodles for rice, quinoa, or couscous.
- The creamy chicken and veggie mixture is also delicious over grits, polenta, or mashed potatoes.
- Make creamy chicken and "dumplings" instead of noodles by rolling out biscuit dough thinly and cutting it into squares. Then, drop the raw dough into the simmering chicken broth for about 3 minutes, or until done.
Finally, the fun stuff:
- Stir in cooked cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, or asparagus.
- Add some mushrooms or minced cloves of garlic to the saute mixture.
- Dump a little bit of frozen corn in place of (or in addition to) the peas.
- If you don't have the cream of celery or cream of chicken soup, any "cream of" variety will work, but it'll alter the flavor slightly. Cream of mushroom and asparagus are good substitutes.
- You can swap the half-and-half with milk or a non-dairy cream alternative if you need to, but you definitely lose some richness!
- Make a homemade cream sauce instead of canned.
- Use your favorite gravy as the creamy base instead of soup.
- You can use either store-bought or homemade chicken broth.
- I like to add a bay leaf to the chicken stock and about half a teaspoon of herbes de Provence or a thyme sprig to the sauce for some more great flavor. It's not exactly traditional, but it's really good!
- Try this crispy, copycat French's Fried Onions as a topping!
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Saute the carrots, onion, and celery.
- Add in the chopped/shredded chicken, soups, half and half, and peas.
- Stir in the cooked noodles.
- Combine to warm noodles, and top with breadcrumbs. Broil 'til toasted.
🥫 How to store leftover chicken and noodles
Easy recipe? Check. Feed the whole family in less than a half hour with leftovers for tomorrow? Double check.
Homemade noodles and chicken stores pretty well. Simply put the leftovers into an airtight container (or a storage bowl covered with plastic wrap) and refrigerate for three or four days.
You can also freeze chicken and noodles for up to three months as long as you make it with the condensed soups. A homemade sauce won't freeze as well.
To reheat the leftover chicken and noodles, let it thaw in the refrigerator if frozen. Then, microwave smaller portions until warmed through, or heat in a large pot on the stove.
Just know that the noodles will continue to soak up some of the sauce as the dish sits. For best results, I recommend stirring in a little more milk or cream when reheating to loosen everything up and make it perfectly creamy again.
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: Use good chicken stock and a piece of celery to flavor the chicken better than any other method. With simple ingredients like stock, quality makes a difference!
- Set a bowl or large stock pot under your strainer before you start cooking so you don't accidentally strain the broth right down the drain!
- Use the leftover stock in this homemade chicken noodle soup recipe.
- Feel free to dice or shred the chicken breast depending on the texture you prefer. I like shredding it because it soaks up more sauce!
- Follow the package directions when cooking your dry noodles. I prefer to cook them slightly past al dente, then simmer them in the sauce for a few minutes to make them even more tender and soft.
- Wide egg noodles have more surface area than medium or thin ones so they grab onto the yummy sauce better.
- Frozen peas work best in this easy chicken recipe. Canned peas will get mushy.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked egg noodles straight from their boiling water into the creamy chicken base. It's okay if they're a little wet—the starchy water will help the sauce stick to the noodles.
- If you don't have a large skillet, or if you want to double the recipe, you can use a Dutch oven.
It takes the best parts of chicken noodle soup and combines them with the best parts of chicken noodle casserole! It tastes creamy, with a nice poultry flavor, accented by whatever veggies you choose to stir in!
It is similar in taste. However, the cooking police will say that a casserole meal is cooked in an oven. Technically, we could get away with saying that it is a casserole since we do bake the bread crumb topping in the oven, but it's a stretch since most of the action takes place on the stovetop!
If you have leftover crockpot chicken to use up, you definitely can stir it into the recipe. However, I do recommend cooking the meat in the stock, as it really enhances the flavor of the chicken. Though, if you need to, you can use the slow cooker—I won't argue against an easier step!
If you need to, swap the butter for olive oil one-to-one. However, blame it on my Southern roots, but I feel that butter adds a rich, creaminess that olive oil just doesn't.
📚 Related recipes
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta has all the best parts of a noodle casserole, but with a delicious Southern twist—a new take on a cravable classic!
- Looking for a dish to take you down memory lane? This comforting Cheesy Ham and Noodles Casserole tastes as good as you remember!
- With a tangy, creamy, cheesy sauce and tender egg noodles, Mom's Noodles Romanoff is a vintage classic that still delivers on flavor!
- Unstuffed cabbage/ lazy cabbage rolls are an easy and budget friendly family dinner.
- Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese is a budget friendly casserole that's been around a long time.
🍽️ Serve with...
This simple Italian Green Bean Salad is full of crisp crunch and tangy flavor. It complements the creamy chicken and noodles perfectly.
Easy Buttermilk Biscuits are a classic Southern side dish! Stack a big, steaming bowlful of biscuits on the table and watch 'em disappear.
If ever there was a perfect fall dessert this Pumpkin Cheesecake is it! Creamy, rich, and amazing.
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I love my Lodge Cast Iron Skillet!! It's perfect for this dish because you can add the topping and throw it under the broiler - quick quick!!
📞 The last word
You'll also like this 30 minute chicken pot pie skillet with biscuits.
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need.
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Easy Chicken and NoodlesPrint Pin Recipe Save Recipe
- 1 pound chicken breast, or thighs - or 3 cups cooked chicken
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, sliced
- ½ cup celery, sliced
- 12 ounces pasta dumplings or egg noodles, cooked and drained - I used Skinner
- 10 ½ ounces condensed cream of chicken soup
- 10 ½ ounces condensed cream of celery soup, cream of asparagus or mushroom are good, too
- ½ cup ½ & ½ cream, may use milk if desired but some of the richness is lost
- ½ cup chicken stock, left over from poaching chicken
- 1 cup peas, frozen works best
- 2 cups breadcrumbs, if desired
- black pepper
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped - optional
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- Add the chicken stock, chicken, and 1 stalk of celery to a saucepan. (omit this and the next step if using cooked chicken)
- Simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
- Drain the stock, reserving ½ cup for this recipe and saving the remaining stock for another recipe.
- Dice or shred chicken, as desired.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy, iron skillet.
- Add the sliced celery, onions, and carrots.
- Saute until tender.
- Add the cooked chicken to the skillet.
- Add the remaining ingredients except the breadcrumbs and let simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir often to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
- If the dish is too "saucy" let simmer a little longer, stirring often, until the liquid is reduced.
- Taste and add salt if needed.
- Sprinkle with cracked black pepper - I like a generous amount!
- Stir in parsley if desired.
- Serve as is...or sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs and place under the broiler for a few minutes until golden brown.
Homemade White Sauce (If you don't have or don't want to use cream soups)
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Use immediately or refrigerate.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk in flour and salt until smooth.
- Cook over low heat for 2 minutes whisking constantly.
- Add the milk and whisk until smooth.
- Cook, whisking occasionally, until thick.
- You can add chicken bullion or use half milk and half chicken broth if you like.
- Poach the chicken breast in a good chicken stock with a piece of celery in it - this gives it more flavor that any other cooking method. Be sure to keep the stock for other recipes
- Frozen peas work best in this recipe. Canned peas are too mushy
- While most pasta dishes call for a la dente pasta you'll want to cook these noodles until they are very tender. I like to cook them a la dente then simmer them in the sauce for a few minutes
- I like to add about a half teaspoon of herbes de Provence. It gives the recipe a great flavor but that's completely up to you - it's not traditional
- It's a great way to use up leftover chicken
- If you hold it in the fridge overnight you will want to add a little milk or cream when you warm it up because the noodles will soak up the liquid
- You can dice the cooked chicken breast or shred it, depending on what texture you prefer. I like it shredded because it soaks up more sauce that way
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
First published January 4, 2018. Last updated October 26, 2023, to improve readability and add tips and information.