This is one of my favorite recipes to double and freeze. It's classic southern comfort food that's quick and easy!
❤️ Why you'll love it
- This tasty and creamy poppy seed chicken casserole recipe is an easy dinner for the whole family to enjoy!
- Great to prep ahead for the perfect weeknight meal.
- This is picky eater approved.
There are some foods that just are an essential part of Southern Casserole Culture and this is one of them!
One reader says, "I made this this week, splitting it into two casserole dishes. I took one to my 85 year old mom, who is self quarantined, and she loved it. I added broccoli , and because we're gluten intolerant I used GF crackers. So, so good! Thank you for a wonderful comfort food recipe!!"
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.
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- Chicken breast
- Sour cream
- Cream of chicken soup
- Pepper Jack cheese
- Poppy seeds
- Ritz crackers, or any buttery cracker
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Mix together cheese, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and poppy seeds in a mixing bowl and stir in the cooked chicken.
- Add the chicken mixture to a baking dish.
- Mix the cracker crumbs and melted butter.
- Top the chicken with the buttery cracker mixture and bake.
You'll need the following items to make this recipe successfully.
Store this dish in an airtight container or tightly wrapped with plastic wrap in the fridge for up to three days.
Poppy seed chicken is one of those dishes that freezes well but you'll want to leave the cracker crumbs off until you are ready to bake.
Freeze for up to 3 months.
Put it in the refrigerator to thaw the night before you're ready to serve it then follow the instructions in the recipe card. It's best to let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight but you can bake it from frozen - plan on it taking an hour or so.
You can also assemble it ahead of time (leave the cracker crumbs off until ready to bake) and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Substitute Cheddar or Swiss for the Pepper Jack.
- Use Corn Flakes for the topping.
- Use cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup.
- Try adding in a can of drained chopped green chiles.
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: Save time by using a rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken.
- You can use any type of neutral-flavored leftover chicken that you have on hand.
- Parmesan cheese is a great addition to this creamy sauce.
- Add a dash of garlic powder to the cream soup for even more flavor in this family favorite casserole.
- If you don't want to use cream of chicken soup you can use your own, homemade white sauce.
Poppy seeds are a good source of calcium and iron.
For this casserole, yes you need to cook the chicken first.
This casserole should not be covered so that the buttery Ritz Cracker topping gets golden brown and crispy.
📚 Related recipes
- Southern Smothered Chicken is a delicious and easy dinner recipe. This golden brown chicken covered in an oh-so-creamy chicken gravy will bring the neighbors to the door with plates in hand!
- Chicken Spaghetti is pure comfort food! Gooey cheese, tender pasta, and juicy chicken are baked together in a creamy sauce. RoTel tomatoes and chiles adds just a little kick of southwestern spice
- King Ranch Chicken is a super quick and easy creamy chicken casserole that the entire family will enjoy.
🍽️ Serve with...
- Use this Southern Green Beans recipe to make a delicious side of green beans to pair with this dish.
- Southern Fried Cabbage is a low-carb southern side dish that you pair well with this dish.
- These soft breadsticks go with everything.
- There is no better to end a hearty meal than with a bowl of light and creamy Pineapple Fluff.
📞 The last word
Creamy Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole topped with buttery Ritz crackers just couldn't be easier! Tender chicken in a cheesy, creamy sauce is perfect for taking to a sick neighbor and, since it freezes well, you can have it ready in no time at all.
It's one of those easy chicken casseroles you want to keep on speed dial!
We also love this easy brown sugar chicken!
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. Don't forget that you can click on "add to collection" to save it to your own, private recipe box!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Poppy Seed ChickenPrint Pin Recipe Save Go to Collections
- 1-½ pounds chicken breast, boneless - or thighs
- 10.75 ounces cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 2 cups Ritz crackers, crushed, 1 sleeve
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- Spray a casserole with non-stick spray.
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- Cook chicken and cube.
- Mix the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, Pepper Jack, and poppy seeds until smooth.
- Stir in the chicken.
- Add the mixture to the casserole dish.
- Mix the crumbs and the melted butter.
- Spread over the chicken mixture.
- Bake for 20 -30 minutes or until heated through.
- Serve hot.
- Add cooked rice in with the chicken and use less chicken
- Cut back on the cheese
- Use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast, they're less expensive
- Cut back on the amount of chicken and fill in with steamed cauliflower, broccoli, or asparagus
- Use cooked turkey instead of chicken
- Leave out the chicken and use cooked, white beans, rice, and broccoli. Use a cream of broccoli or cream of celery soup to make it vegetarian.
- Substitute Cheddar or Swiss for the Pepper Jack
- Use Corn Flakes for the topping
- Use cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup
- Try adding in a can of drained chopped green chiles
- Make it even quicker by using rotisserie chicken from the deli
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First published March 18, 2020. Last updated February 25, 2022 for better images and more tips.