Make Ahead Chicken Casserole (5 Different Recipes!)

by Merissa on June 28, 2013

in Recipes

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You better believe that now that I've hit my third trimester, I have been meal planning like a mad woman for when the baby is here! My husband is not much of a cook at all, so having some items in the freezer that I can make ahead of time and he can just pop in the oven is going to be a must-have for my sanity and for his health. Seriously! Poor guy would live off cereal if I didn't make sure he was taken care of, and as his loving wife-that's exactly why I'm making some "make ahead chicken casserole"!

These are so simple to throw together in one pan and pop in the oven at any time. I think every new mom or mom-to-be could agree with me! Another great aspect, is the fact that you can make them healthier and a heck of alot cheaper than store bought prepared meals. Here are five (yup, I said FIVE!) of my favorite chicken casseroles that are super simple and quick.

Green Chilies Chicken Casserole

What You Need:

  • 1 (16 ounce) package elbow noodles
  • 3 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream (Get cultures to make your own Sour Cream here)
  • 2 cups monterey jack cheese
  • 1 (15 ounce) can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 1/4 chopped tomatoes

Directions:

Cook noodles until right before al dente. You don't want them to be overcooked, or they'll get mushy once reheated in the oven.

Mix all ingredients in a 9x13 pan (or split into smaller dinner-for-one meals!)

Sprinkle more cheese on top.

Cover and freeze! (Bake in 350 degree oven until heated through)

Chicken and Green Bean Casserole

What You Need:

  • 2 lbs  chicken breast
  • 2 cups frozen green beans (you can easily add more!)
  • 4 cups cubed red potatoes
  • 1/2 stick of butter (sliced)
  • 2tbs of your favorite seasoning blend

Directions:

Mix green beans and potatoes together

Place veggie mixture and chicken in a casserole dish

Top with butter and seasoning.

Cover and freeze. (cook at 350 degrees until chicken is completely cooked through)

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

What You Need:

  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli
  • 2 lbs cooked chicken breast (cubed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup colby cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Directions:

Cook broccoli according to directions. (You can totally used fresh here too! ).

Add garlic to the broccoli. Place chicken and broccoli in a 1 quart casserole; set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Add salt and pepper; stir well. Add cream cheese, stirring until smooth.

Pour mixture over broccoli and chicken. Sprinkle cheese and bread crumbs on top. Cover and freeze! (cook on 350 degrees until heated throughout!)

That Casserole (this came from my great-grandmother's recipe book!)

What You Need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs cooked chicken (cubed)
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1 15oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1/8 t. of salt
  • 6 oz egg noodles
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 6 chopped green onions
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Cook noodles until al dente.

Mix garlic, chicken, tomato sauce, sugar and salt together.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and green onions together.

Layer each mixture (like a lasagna) in a casserole dish. (noodles, meat sauce, sour cream mixture, noodles, meat sauce, etc.)

Top with cheese.

Cover and freeze. (cook in oven at 350 until heated through)

Chicken and Rice Casserole

What You Need:

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 carrots  (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 cup finely chopped baby spinach
  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken (cubed)
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups cream

Directions:

In a large pot, bring chicken broth, carrots and onion to a rolling boil.  Add rice, stir, and place the lid on the pot.  Reduce heat to low and cook the rice and vegetables in the broth for 45 minutes.

Toss cooked rice mixture and remaining ingredients together in casserole dish.

Cover and freeze! (cook at 350 degrees until heated through)

I buy most of our chicken in bulk from Zaycon Fresh. If you are looking for a great source for bulk chicken and other meats (for a great price!), I highly recommend that you check them out. See my review of Zaycon here and find the latest Zaycon Fresh coupons here.

Whew! Five simple casseroles that can feed an army! You make a ton of cooked chicken ahead of time and throw each one of these recipes together very easily. Trust me, for fear of my already skinny husband wearing away after the baby's birth-I'll be making each and every one of these in bulk for our deep freezer!

What is your favorite make ahead chicken casserole? Do you enjoy making meals ahead or do you wish you were able to do it more?

dombio

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7:00 am

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sharon June 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Please add a Print option for the recipes. Try to copy and paste but all the ads copy too.
Thanks

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2 Merissa June 28, 2013 at 9:45 pm

There is a Green button on the bottom of each post that says “Print”, just click that and you will be able to print without the ads or pictures.

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3 Pweeny June 29, 2013 at 3:25 am

Love the recipes – can’t wait to try ’em!.
I did copy and paste and not an advert in sight!

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4 Janet E. Monroe July 2, 2013 at 7:21 pm

While this recipe doesn’t have rice, broccoli, or ranch dressing in it, it’s quite yummy! Chicken & Vegetable Scallop 2 cups cubed cooked chicken 1 package (10 oz.) frozen corn, thawed 1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas, thawed 2 tbsp. butter or margarine 2 tbsp. chopped onions (although I always us an entire onion) 2 tbsp. flour 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper 1 cup chicken broth1/2 cup milk 2 eggs, beaten 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese 1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine chicken, corn & peas in a 13x9x2-inch greased baking dish. 2. In a medium-size sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, approx. 3 minutes (more for the whole onion). Blend in flour, salt, and pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes without browning. Gradually whisk in broth & milk. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly until thick & smooth. 3. Remove from heat & stir in eggs. pour sauce over chicken mixture. 4. Combine bread crumbs & cheese in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of casserole. Cover with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes until lightly browned on top.

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5 Michele July 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I have to leave town for a week on a business trip and my husband loves chicken. I’m definitely going to make a couple of these up and freeze them with the instructions for him. These look great! Thanks for sharing this post at I Should be Mopping the Floor: Mop It Up Monday. That’s where I found your post.

Michele

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6 Brittney Gay July 2, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; add mushrooms, and cook until tender, stirring constantly. Remove from saucepan and set aside. Melt 1/3 cup butter in saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in whipping cream and next five ingredients. Cook, stirring constantly, until cheese melts and mixture is smooth; stir in chicken and ham. Add enough of remaining 1/2 cup milk for a thinner consistency. To serve, spoon into shells. Yield of sauce is for 10 shells. Note: This can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Either microwave or place on the stove to gently warm. May be served over pasta. Serve with a crisp green salad.

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7 Susan July 6, 2013 at 9:54 pm

What a smart mama to make dinners ahead in preparation for your little one’s arrival! They all sound delish. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday.

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8 Dominque July 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Aww thanks!!

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9 Kristina & Millie July 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Found this at I should be mopping the floor too. Awesome sounding recipes, these will be tried out. And the ones in comments! Thanks for sharing!

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10 Sarah July 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Any ideas on how to alter the one recipe with gluten free noodles? Thanks!

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11 Dominque July 8, 2013 at 6:24 pm

You can honestly replace them noodles with whatever you want! Shouldn’t changed anything at all!

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12 Rebecca July 7, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Some of these sound really good. I will be moving out of the country but have been cooking for my dad and mom (my mom has dementia) at least 2x per week. So I will make a TON of freezer meals for my dad to at least tide him over for a couple months after I leave. I was gathering recipes when I saw this blog post come into my email inbox. Perfect timing.

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13 Dominque July 8, 2013 at 6:23 pm

That is perfect timing! How sweet to do such a service for your dad!

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14 Miz Helen July 8, 2013 at 8:40 am

What a fabulous collection of recipes, can’t wait to try them out! Have a fantastic week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

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15 Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile July 9, 2013 at 12:43 am

I love casseroles, the Green Chili Chicken one sounds delicious. I am a new follower and signed up to get your e-mails. Pinned
I would love for you to come join my link party Tuesday Trivia tomorrow at http://www.memoriesbythemile.com/
Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

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16 Vienna July 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm

How much sugar is added to the That Casserole sauce.? It’s not listed in the ingredients.

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17 Dominque July 9, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Haha! I have NO idea why I typed sugar! Thanks for pointing that out!

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18 Vicki November 9, 2013 at 9:39 am

When you say bake until heated through, can you give a time estimate? I’m making one of these dishes for a new mom & I’d like to give her a time – 45 minutes, 60 minutes? Also, do you think the dish would come out alright – texture-wise – if it just sat in the fridge for a few hours, rather than freezing it? Thanks!

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19 Jamie June 29, 2014 at 8:29 pm

What is the best way to freeze these meals?

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20 Jennifer K August 3, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Hi, how long do these recipes stay good for once they’re in the freezer? I would love to be able to make some stuff ahead of time, but have never done it….mainly because I’m not sure how long it will be ok for….and partly because my husband and I live in an apartment with a small fridge/freezer, and it’s just the two of us. Thanks in advance.

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21 Merissa August 4, 2014 at 8:17 am

I would say these would last at least a couple of months in the freezer but would taste the best if eaten within the first 1 to 2 months of freezing.

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22 Helen October 11, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Love the idea of freezer meals. Thank you for some great recipes would like to see more.

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