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Italian Cream Cheese Chicken Casserole

Cream Cheese Chicken CasseroleWe love this casserole around here, and it’s such a fabulous comfort food for these cool fall days.

The warmth and richness of the cream cheese sauce, mixed with plenty of vegetables, lends to a dish that everyone loves. This was one of my first recipes posted on this blog and it is still one of the most tried and gets some of the most traffic here at NKU.

To those who knock a casserole, or say they aren’t “healthy”, this dish is whatever you make of it. If you’re gluten free, just use a gluten free pasta, or rice, or potatoes. On a primal diet but eat dairy? Just use extra vegetables instead of grains or potato.

I’ve made a few variations of it and we’ve enjoyed each one.

Italian Cream Cheese Chicken Casserole
 
Author:
Recipe type: Meat, Poultry, and Seafood
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour or organic/non-GMO cornstarch
  • 3 cups chicken broth*
  • 8 oz cream cheese*
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Dressing Mix
  • ½ Tbsp dried minced onion
  • ½ Tbsp dried minced garlic
  • 2-3 cooked and cubed chicken breasts
  • 1 box of rotini pasta (we use brown rice pasta)*
  • 2 heads of steamed broccoli or 1 bag of frozen broccoli (you can also use whatever vegetable mix you enjoy)
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta until al dente or slightly firm. (if you’re freezing this under cook it about 3 minutes)
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour or cornstarch (cornstarch for you gluten free folks) to make a rue. Once mixed together well, add the broth in slowly while whisking. When it gets to a gentle boil, whisk occasionally and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.
  3. Add in cream cheese and all the seasonings, mix well and taste. If you like more seasoning, add it now. Let simmer for a few minutes while you grease a 9×13 pan and place the pasta, chicken, and broccoli into it.
  4. Pour cream cheese mixture over everything and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Take out, stir, and enjoy!
Notes
Variations we like:
Use 4 cups of cooked rice instead of the pasta. (If using rice, soak overnight to increase nutrient absorption.)
For an extra creamy version you can use milk in place of all but 1 cup of broth
This is also great over potatoes! Just cut up about 5 medium-sized potatoes, mix together the sauce, chicken, veggies, and potatoes. Bake until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 30-35 minutes.

 

italian cream cheese chicken casserole

Donielle Baker

Donielle Baker

owner and editor of Natural Fertility and Wellness at Natural Fertility and Wellness
Donielle is an author, amateur herbalist, lover of real food, and an advocate for natural health. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health, so much so that she is currently taking courses to become a master herbalist. Her personal background includes both infertility and miscarriage and she began this blog in order to share all of the information she found helpful in her journey to healing.
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
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Comments

  1. Oh yum! This looks soooo good. I am putting it on the menu next week for sure!

  2. Ooooo YUMMY!!! And just in time for when I go grocery shopping tomorrow!!!!

  3. This looks yummy! It will be on next month’s menu!

  4. This looks DELICIOUS!

  5. I’m really excited about having this for dinner tonight! I taste-tested it when I did my freezer cooking Saturday and the sauce was sure yummy!!

  6. Sounds really good- I am sure that my family will like this! I better give it a try quickly before we get on the GAPS diet and it becomes a temporary no-no! :)

    • donielle says:

      @Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home, Ha! I can’t wait to hear about your GAPS journey. This next month or so I’m trying to replace some our our non GAPS foods to GAPS approved foods since some of them I haven’t made before. I figure this way, we can ease into it a bit.

  7. Mary Krueger says:

    Oooo…I made this tonight with my first EVER batch of homemade chicken stock and shredded organic, free-range chicken! Very good! I topped it with some breadcrumbs to give a little crunch. Next time, I’ll add more liquid. Thank you!!!

  8. You really want to stop using CORNSTARCH all together! It’s a corn by-product and most of the corn in the US is GMO!

    • @nancy, Yes Nancy, Thank you for clarifying that! I do use an organic non-GMO cornstarch and it’s actually the only corn product I use besides some organic popcorn every month and a half or so. The reason I use it is that we are a gluten free household so flour is not an option for us. I’ve tried other GF sources for making a rue and was not pleased with the results.

      Thanks again for your input! I agree the issue is very important and I’ll update the recipe so it reads non-GMO.

      • @donielle,
        Great to hear! I have been reading recently at some websites about using arrowroot for gluten free recipes. Is this like a cornstarch or flour? Have you tried this?

        thanks
        all your recips sound delicious! and most of them quick.

  9. I make something similar to this that I found when I was searching for a recipe for Chicken Stroganoff. It was called … Crockpot Chicken Stroganoff! Anyway, the ingredients are similar (though not the same) but it’s made in a slow cooker (except for cooking the pasta).
    My version of the recipe is as follows:

    Cut 2 raw chicken breasts (the original recipe called for 4) into bite sized pieces. Put them in your slow cooker with 2 tbsp of Italian dressing mix (less would probably be ok; more might be too much – the original recipe called for 1 packet) and 2 tbsp. butter. (optional: Add a splash or two of wine – the original recipe doesn’t call for this, but I’ve made it at different times with red wine, white wine, and sherry. All turn out great. Obviously whether or not you want to do this is going to depend on various factors. If you don’t add this, don’t worry about the lack of liquid in the pot; it should be fine). Cook on low for ~5 to 6 hours (or on high for 2 or 3 hours).

    Once the allotted time has passed, add 8 oz. of cream cheese and the equivalent of 1 can of cream of chicken soup. Put the lid back on and wait until these have melted down enough to stir in (optionally, turn the heat up to high to speed this up). Stir them in. At the end, add 1/4 cup or so of sour cream and stir in (the orig. recipe didn’t call for this). Serve over cooked pasta. (I usually cook about 2/3 lb. of pasta, and I often stir the cooked pasta in to the chicken/sauce and serve it all together.

    I’ve never mixed any vegetables into it, but there’s absolutely no reason why you couldn’t.

    I just thought I’d through that out here for anyone who might like a slow cooker version of a similar recipe.

  10. I made this last night after looking for something to do with our massive amount of leftover turkey. It was delicious and really easy to do. I loved it. My partner and I agreed that it’s going into the rotation of meals. Not only was it our first step away from cream of crud soup casseroles, but I think the sauce will absolutely replace our tuna helper addiction.

    Thank you!

  11. Thanks for the many different variations. That was really helpful! Now I want to make this for dinner!!

  12. This was great and very easy to do, I’ve made other similar dishes in the past but this was great with the cream cheese sauce perfect replacement for those who use cream soups….I need to make sure to cook my rue a little longer before adding the liquid as it cooks out the flour taste the longer you cook the rue but you don’t want to overcook it.

    This is a super versatile dish though, you can use lots of different seasonings/flavors and any veggies you like, we used frozen sweet peas, but broccoli is excellent too. I used boneless chicken breasts but I think a roasted or rotisserie chicken would be more flavorful.

  13. Sarah Beth says:

    I’ve been making this for a few months and my husband and I absolutely love it! I usually double the recipe and stick the second in the freezer for another time. It freezes really well and we always feel so satisfied and nourished after this meal. Thanks!

  14. This sounds absolutely delicious!! I’m going to be making this recipe with some of my friends for a freezer meal party coming up this weekend, but I had one quick question—How many servings does this recipe make?

    • donielle says:

      @Amanda M., I’d say it’s about 6-8 servings depending on how much the adults like to eat. We usually get 4 adult servings for dinner and two leftover lunches for my husband. (this is his favorite meal…..so he tends to have large servings of this. :-) )

  15. I just tried this recipe. It is fabulous! My kids ate broccoli without argument. Thanks for the great recipe.

  16. Danielle Mattos says:

    I made your Italian Cream Chesse Chicken Casserole tonight but used my leftover turkey from thanksgiving… All I can say is FABULOUS it is a 5 star recipe

  17. What are the instructions to freeze this? Thanks!

    • donielle says:

      @Suzann, You’ll basically just want to undercook the pasta a bit, usually by a few minutes so that it is slightly firm. Everything else can be made according to the directions, just put it all together and place in the freezer.

  18. Hi! Do you home-make the Italian Dressing Mix?

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