Vintage Chicken Noodle Casserole is my take on vintage tuna noodle casserole.
A kid-friendly, easy and economical dinner with just a few ingredients.
I have never liked tuna, so anytime this turned up at dinner I carefully removed as much tuna from the noodles as possible.
Now that I control how things get cooked, I use chicken.
Canned chicken to be exact!
Rotisserie chicken can be used in this noodle casserole, as can any leftover chicken that might be hanging around.
Canned chicken shreds more like canned tuna than the other kinds of chicken so my chicken needle casserole is similar in texture to vintage tuna noodle casserole.
Our version does use canned cream of chicken soup.
If canned soup just isn’t your thing, you can make your own cream of chicken soup. You will need to increase the recipe though.
I use 1 family-size can of cream of chicken and 1 small can cream of mushroom condensed soup.
Mix all of the casserole ingredients except the peas and noodles.
Once the peas and noodles are ready, just add them to the other ingredients and stir just until all the noodles are coated and the peas are well distributed.
My preferred noodle for casseroles is an extra wide egg noodle. I also buy the 12-ounce bag rather than the 16-ounce.
If you have a 16-ounce bag, add a touch more milk or some chicken broth to keep a creamy texture after cooking.
Use the smallest amount of time called for on whatever package of noodles you have.
You are looking for a firm texture. If your bag just has a time for al dente, cook your noodles for one minute less than that.
The noodles will cook more when the casserole goes into the oven.
Many recipes call for cooking the peas with the noodles, but I prefer my peas to have bit more texture.
I pour the frozen peas into the colander I am going to drain my pasta in.
Pour the hot water onto the peas and then dump the noodles on top of the peas and allow them to drain for a few minutes.
This will partially cook the peas.
The peas will not be completely cooked, they will continue to cook in the oven.
Growing up, crushed potato chips as a topping were in vogue so that is what I use.
I like the ruffled or wavy type of chips. They seem to hold up better during the baking process.
Other casserole toppings can be used with this chicken noodle casserole. It’ really just a matter of personal preference.
You can also forego the topping and just serve it as a pasta dish.
What if I don’t want to bake the Chicken Noodle Casserole?
Then just serve it as a pasta dish.
To serve this as a pasta dish, cook the noodles for the time indicated on the package for your desired firmness.
The noodles need to be completely cooked first if the chicken noodle casserole is not going into an oven to finish cooking.
Go ahead and cook the peas with the pasta during the last 2 or 3 minutes. Just like the noodles, these need to be completely cooked first.
Mix all of the other ingredients in a large pan and heat over low heat until heated through.
Add the noodles and peas just before serving and stir until everything is well mixed.
Chicken Noodle Casserole leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator.
To reheat all of the leftovers at once, place the casserole in a 350 Degree F oven until heated through.
Single servings can be reheated in the microwave on high for 60 to 0 seconds.
This casserole can also be made in advance, stored in the refrigerator and baked right before serving. Add 5 minutes to the cooking time.
Other quick night dinner ideas from Pear Tree Kitchen
- 12 ounces extra wide egg noodles
- 2 12.5-ounce cans chicken, drained
- 10 ounces frozen peas
- 26 ounces condensed cream of chicken soup
- 10.5 ounces condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups potato chips, crushed
- Preheat an oven to 350 Degrees F.
- Prepare a casserole dish or 9 X 13 by spraying with a non-stick cooking spray.
- Cook egg noodles to al dente according to package directions.
- While egg noodles are cooking, place frozen peas into a colander in the sink.
- In a large bowl mix together the drained chicken, soup, milk, and black pepper.
- When noodles are done cooking, strain them into the colander with the frozen peas.
- Add the noodles and peas to the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
- Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish and cover with the crushed potato chips.
- Place into the preheated oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and serve.
4 cups of cooked chicken can be substituted for the canned chicken.
Tuna can be used in place of chicken.
Other condensed cream soup flavors can be substituted.
More potato chips can be used as a topping.
Alternative toppings like buttered cracker or bread crumbs can be used.
Serving Size:About 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 388 Total Fat: 13.6g Saturated Fat: 4.2g Cholesterol: 82mg Sodium: 576mg Carbohydrates: 40.6g Fiber: 3.7g Sugar: 4g Protein: 25.7g