There’s nothing that says comfort food in big, flashing, neon letters better than this easy chicken and noodles recipe! This chicken noodle casserole can be finished in the oven with a crispy topping or on top of the stove for old fashioned, creamy chicken and noodles goodness. I’ve added peas and carrots for color and texture but feel free to leave them out if you’re not a fan. This is the quick and easy version.
For this recipe you’ll need: wide egg noodles or dumplings pasta, chicken breast, cream of chicken soup, celery, carrots, frozen peas, onions, chicken broth, salt, pepper, half & half cream, fresh parsley (optional)
What do you think of when you think of comfort food?
I think of rich smothered chicken or this easy chicken and noodles recipe! Tender chicken breast that falls apart with every buttery bite, a creamy sauce that bathes your tastebuds in happiness, and chewy noodles – because what kind of comfort food would it be without carbs? The aroma that dances up to your face with the first steamy bite is the stuff that childhood memories are made of.
And this recipe would be totally awesome if it took hours to make but it doesn’t. What makes it even MORE fabulous is that the stovetop version will take about 20 minutes (less if you use precooked chicken) and the oven version will take about 30. Either way it’s fast enough to get on the table that you can enjoy it on the busiest night of the week.
Tips for Perfect Chicken and Noodles
Chicken and noodles is one of those recipes that you’ll find in most cultures. I’ve had it as chicken and dumplings in the south and I’ve had it as chicken pot pie in the northeast. I’ve enjoyed it as chicken and noodles casserole in the midwest – and I’m not sure WHAT they call it on the West Coast. In Italy it’s chicken Alfredo and in France it’s a cassoulet.
- 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
- I prefer chicken breast but chicken thighs work well, too
- 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
Creamy Chicken and Noodles FAQs
While you’d think making old fashioned chicken and noodles is pretty straight forward I do get tons of questions about it – things I don’t always remember to add to the actual recipe. Here are the most common questions and their answers:
- How do you thicken up chicken and noodles? In this version there’s no need to thicken up the chicken and noodles because the cream of chicken soup does it for you. However, in most recipes you’ll need to make a roux with butter and flour to thicken it.
- Can you freeze chicken and noodles? Yes and no. You can freeze THIS recipe for chicken and noodles because it’s made with a commercial condensed soup. If you make a homemade sauce thickened with flour or cornstarch it is likely to separate when you freeze it.
- What do you serve with chicken and noodles? I think that a crispy salad on the side and hot biscuits to sop up the sauce are about all you need. Spiced apple rings or apple pie are a nice way to end the meal. If you want a bit more add some green beans with cider vinegar sprinkled over them. The acidity in the vinegar enhances the richness of the chicken and noodles.
You May Need…
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!!
Easy Chicken and Noodles Casserole Recipe
This is chicken and noodles recipe is super quick and easy so it uses cream of chicken soup. If you’re looking for a more traditional recipe you might like this Amish Chicken and Noodles Skillet recipe.
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- 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
- 1/2 cup celery, , sliced
- 12 ounces pasta dumplings or egg noodles, ,cooked and drained - I used Skinner
- 10 1/2 ounces condensed cream of chicken soup
- 10 1/2 ounces condensed cream of celery soup, , cream of asparagus or mushroom are good, too
- 1/2 cup 1/2 & 1/2 cream, , may use milk if desired but some of the richness is lost
- 1/2 cup chicken stock, , left over from poaching chicken
- 1 cup peas, , frozen works best
- 2 cups breadcrumbs, , if desired
- black pepper
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped - optional
- 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 1/2 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.
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