Tag Archives: Chicken Casserole

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

Am I the only cook on the planet who hasn’t heard of Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole?  Apparently, when it comes to church food Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole has been a hit for a long, long time!  My friend, Lila, made this casserole for a Community Bible Study fellowship lunch this spring.  At first, I thought I must have just been really, really, hungry because I couldn’t get enough of this creamy, crunchy, tasty casserole.  Other members of our class seemed equally hungry, because I noticed most of us had second helpings!

I couldn’t figure out all the ingredients my first time around, but by the second helping, I discovered a layer of Rice A Roni that seemed a lot more flavorful than I ever remembered for Rice A Roni.

If you are not familiar with Rice A Roni it is a pilaf-like boxed food mix that consists of rice, vermicelli pasta, and seasonings. To prepare, the rice and pasta are browned in butter, then water and seasonings are added and simmered until the water is absorbed.

“I’ve had this recipe for years,” Lila told our group as we ooh’d and aah’d quite appropriately!

Although lately, she has had trouble finding the exact rice called for in the recipe which is Rice-A-Roni Fried Rice with Almonds.  I couldn’t find that exact flavor and so I used a mixture of one box chicken and garlic and one box chicken and broccoli. Whew!  I highly recommend the chicken and garlic. The garlic creates a flavor layer that really adds to the overall taste of the casserole. The broccoli gave me that false sense that I was eating healthy! 😜

The Rice A Roni is made according to box directions and then becomes the bottom layer in a 9″x13″ baking dish.

I always start any chicken casserole with gently boiled chicken breast, trimmed to remove any fat or stringy pieces.  Then I shred it and the resulting chicken is so white, fresh, and ready for my casserole. (For speed and ease, canned chicken breast will work well in this recipe also.)

Mix the cooked chicken with soup and sour cream for the next layer.  Crushed Ritz crackers and poppy seeds top the chicken layer.  Lila’s recipe calls for a cup of melted butter mixed with the crushed crackers.  I omitted the butter and sprinkled the top with slivered almonds.  Oh my goodness!  Can you just taste it now?  

I know our vegetable should be about twice the amount of the main dish, but I promise, you can start with a smaller amount of casserole but you will be back for more before the broccoli cools off!

Thank you, Lila, for the outstanding recipe!  Keep ’em coming!

Blessings and Happy Cooking!

P.S.  Can you taste poppy seeds? My Chief Casserole Eater husband says he couldn’t taste the poppy seeds.  I don’t think they are meant to be tasted as much as they add texture and color.  What do you think?

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Love it! Packed with flavor, very versatile and especially easy to make.
Recipe type: Main Dish, Casserole
Serves: 12 servings
  • 1 to 2 lb. chicken breast, cooked, chopped or shredded
  • 16 oz. light sour cream
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 3 cups Ritz crackers, crumbled
  • 1 cup butter, melted *Optional
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 boxes Rice-A-Roni (Fried Rice with Almonds or any favorite flavor)
  • Slivered Almonds *Optional
  1. Cook rice according to the package directions.
  2. Heat oven to 350⁰. Spray bottom of 9 x 13 pan.
  3. Spread rice in bottom of 9"x13" baking dish.
  4. Combine chicken, sour cream, and soup. Spread on top of rice mixture.
  5. Mix melted butter and crushed Ritz crackers. Layer over chicken.
  6. Top with poppy seeds and slivered almonds.
  7. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes, uncovered.
1 lb. of chicken works fine, originally recipe calls for 2 lbs.
Any flavor of Rice A Roni will work well.
May use canned or fresh chicken breast.
Poppy seeds and almonds optional.
Melted butter mixed with the crushed crackers optional.




Friends Hot Chicken Salad

Hot Chicken Salad
Hot Chicken Salad

This recipe for hot chicken salad reminds me so much of my new favorite veggie casserole!  Before you think I’ve mixed up my fowl and my veggies let me explain.  Every once in a while I eat something that I just can’t get enough of.  It is usually when lots of people are around and I either make a complete pig of myself or I restrain and then can’t wait to get the recipe and head to the kitchen!

mixed veggie casserole tabled

This happened to me when I ate the veggie casserole.  I was at a potluck function and I only took a little spoonful because I couldn’t quite decide what was in it.  Bad move. After the first bite, I was trying to act inconspicuous as I quickly made my way back to the food table! 🙂

Alice's Chicken Salad
Alice’s Chicken Salad

My friend Sue has always called me a chicken eater because I really do like most everything CHICKEN!  But chicken salad usually puts me over the moon.  Such is the case with my  sous-chef dish-washing mom’s chicken salad.  Yum.

Hot chicken salad
Hot Chicken Salad

But hold the fork … make way for my new favorite hot chicken salad!
But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Feeling Blessed

Early Morning Kitchen Activities
Early Morning Kitchen Activities

This morning I woke up early and headed to the kitchen. All week I have tried to get time to cook up the last of the fall apples. Now was the moment.  I sliced and chunked apples into a big pot, added a splash of apple cider and let them simmer.
Granny smith apples sink But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Penne Chicken Casserole

penne chicken plated

Last spring I had the pleasure of eating a fabulous Seafood Lasagne at my friend Cheryl’s home.  Cheryl is a great cook and always sharing a new recipe or two when we go to visit.  Her seafood lasagne was so delicious and I was well on my way to a second helping when we discussed the recipe.  With recipe in hand several months later I headed to the kitchen to set out ingredients for the evening meal.

I had already bought the Alfredo Sauce and mixed vegetables.  But a quick check of my freezer revealed lots of chicken and no shrimp or crab.  So, chicken it will be.  A not-s0-quick check of the pantry found me rearranging pantry shelves and organizing the ingredients with no lasagne noodles in sight.  I came up with 3 boxes of whole wheat penne pasta!  At this point my recipe began to change shape.

penne chicken tabled

Oh my gosh this dinner turned out to be one for the cookbooks! The chicken, vegetables, and Alfredo sauce blended beautifully while the whole wheat penne gave the casserole that wholesome taste!  A side salad completed the dinner.  I am still going to make the Seafood Lasagna and you will be the first to know when I do.  In the meantime, I promise this is a keeper casserole!

Happy Cooking and Have a Blessed Day!

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.    Psalm 29:2

Penne Chicken Casserole
Dinner's ready! This fast and easy casserole is as good as a leftover as it is the first day. Problem will be -- no leftovers! It's that good.
  • 8 ounces whole wheat Penne pasta
  • 1 jar Light Alfredo Sauce (15 ounces)
  • 1 bag mixed frozen vegetables
  • 2 to 3 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  1. Cook penne noodles according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Lightly grease a 8" x 12" baking dish.
  4. Combine garlic and onion with the Alfredo sauce.
  5. Layer with penne pasta on the bottom, add mixed frozen vegetables, and top with diced chicken.
  6. Pour Alfredo sauce over all the pasta/chicken layers.
  7. Top with grated cheese.
  8. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until brown and bubbly.