Poppyseed Chicken Casserole
I’ve debated over whether or not to post this recipe for some time. And some of you are going to roll your eyes and turn up your noses at me. But this is seriously one of the most delicious and easiest meals I’ve ever made, and one that gets the husband (and myself, to be completely honest) super excited about dinner. A friend of mine made this for me back in college, and someone brought it to us when Betsy was born. You might already know about the wonders of this casserole yourself and have a recipe that you like. I’ve tried several and after some tweaking here and there I found this one to be our favorite.
This casserole is great when you don’t have a ton of time but still want something home cooked. I know, some of you will argue that it’s not really cooking. And you can go right on ahead and judge me, but I’m sticking to my guns here and telling you that this is really good. Just close your eyes while you’re mixing it up…
The ingredient list for this casserole is short and sweet. I typically use a rotisserie chicken (1 whole chicken is just about right) but you can use leftover chicken from another meal if you’d like. If the chicken you use is flavored in any way that flavor will really come through. I made this once with leftover grilled chicken that we’d marinated in Italian dressing and it was very different in flavor than when I’d used poached chicken or a rotisserie chicken.
Now you’re going to cringe, but all you need other than the chicken is a can of cream of chicken soup (I like to use reduced sodium) a 16 ounce container of sour cream (low fat is fine) a sleeve of Ritz crackers, poppyseeds and a few tablespoons of butter. Just go with me on this one.
You can bake this in any dish, but I prefer one that isn’t too big and isn’t too small. An 11×7 casserole dish is what I usually use. An 8×8 is fine, but then the chicken and cracker layers are thicker. If you use a 9×13 the layers will be very thin.
I always serve this with white rice. You could use brown. I’m sure it would be wonderful and add more heartiness to the meal. I’ve just always used white, and so that’s what I will probably always use. Creature of habit.
And I always serve this with steamed broccoli. Not sure what it is I love about the combination, but getting a little sauce from the chicken onto a piece of broccoli isn’t at all bad. Green beans, asparagus, carrots, all good options. I will continue to serve it with broccoli. Again, creature of habit. Whatever side you serve, make sure it has some color. Color typically means more nutritional value, and if you serve this with steamed cauliflower you’re serving a super neutral colored meal, which isn’t quite as lovely on your plate.
After baking you have a creamy casserole with a terrifically crunchy topping with just a touch of sweetness from the poppyseeds. This is a comfort food for me. I know the thought of cream of chicken soup and 2 cups of sour cream is hard to handle, but please, please make it. You will not be sorry. You might even thank me.
Poppyseed Chicken Casserole
- 3-4 cups of cooked chicken, chopped or shredded into fairly large pieces
- 1 can of cream of chicken soup, reduced sodium
- 1 16-ounce container of low fat sour cream
- 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers
- 1 tablespoon poppyseeds
- 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
- cooked white rice for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 11×17 or 8×8 inch dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine chicken, cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Mix well then spread into prepared dish.
- In a large zip top bag crush crackers into pieces, then pour in poppyseeds and butter. Seal bag and then toss around until everything is mixed well.
- Spread cracker mixture evenly on top of the chicken.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, until bubbly.
- Let cool for a few minutes before serving.