It’s hard to find a dish more reminiscent of childhood for me than a good, creamy chicken noodle casserole.
With winter weather still in full effect for much of the country, it’s time to bring this classic back into our kitchens again.
I gave this recipe an update by making it with a from-scratch cream of mushroom base that doesn’t come from a can. This is simple to make in just a few minutes. All you do is whisk flour into some cooked shallots and mushrooms, and then whisk in some milk and broth to make a creamy sauce.
I used brown cremini mushrooms, but you can mix and match with whatever you have available to you. Chantarelles or Portobellos are also wonderful.
Chicken Noodle Casserole Recipe
- 3 cups uncooked egg noodles
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 3/4 cup minced cremini mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth, plus more if needed
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 4 cups, loosely packed, cooked shredded chicken breast (from 2 whole chicken breasts or 1 pound raw chicken)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 Preheat oven to 400F.
2 Cook the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and add the egg noodles. Cook until al dente, or according to package directions. Strain and set aside.
3 Cook the shallots and mushrooms: In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter (save the remaining 2 tablespoons for later). Add the shallots and sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced mushrooms, and cook until they start to soften and shrink, 4 to 5 minutes.
4 Make the sauce: Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and shallots, and stir to coat completely. Cook until the flour turns into a thick paste, in about 2 minutes.
Slowly whisk in the broth, followed by the milk. Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Bring to a simmer and allow it to thicken, 5 to 7 minutes. The finished sauce should be creamy and loose; if it seems to thick, stir in up to a half cup additional broth.
5 Assemble the casserole: In a 3-quart casserole dish, combine the mushroom sauce, shredded chicken, cooked egg noodles, and cheeses and stir until mixed. Spread out into an even layer.
6 Top the casserole with buttered breadcrumbs: In a small dish, microwave the last 2 tablespoons of butter for 20 to 30 seconds, until melted. Stir in the Panko crumbs to coat with butter. Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs over the top of the casserole.
7 Bake the casserole for 25 to 30 minutes. Cover loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil if the panko topping is browning too quickly. When done, the edges of the casserole should be bubbling.
8 Cool briefly, then serve. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for about a week. Reheat in the microwave or a low oven.