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Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole

This Chicken Noodle Casserole tastes rich and decadent but is made with whole wheat pasta, kale, chicken and peas. A super flavorful dinner that is nutritious and comforting.

A baking dish filled with chicken noodle casserole on a marble table.

Last week I dropped off a baking dish of this chicken noodle casserole to my neighbors who just had their second baby. It was like a magic wand that cured all the hard stuff about having a newborn—if only for a minute or two while they were in food heaven.

I saw her the next day and she shouted me down from across the street to thank me and say how good it was. “It was so flavorful!” she exclaimed. And it’s true.

This comforting casserole has a mouthwatering combination of whole wheat pasta, cream, two kinds of cheese, chicken, and tender vegetables. It’s chewy and creamy with an irresistible crunchy panko-parmesan crust.

Perfect for soothing tired souls or having people over! Serve with roasted Brussels sprouts or sautéed broccolini. It’s the kind of recipe you want to make and eat. Put this one in your forever file.


All the ingredients to make the chicken noodle casserole including rotisserie chicken, whole wheat pasta, and more.

How To Make This Chicken Noodle Casserole

step one

Boil pasta. Heat the oven to 400°F and grease the casserole dish. I use a 4-quart casserole dish like this one, but mine doesn’t have a lid. You could also use a 13-inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook 4 minutes less than the package directions say. It will cook the rest of the way in the oven.

Drain pasta and set aside.

A metal colander in a white sink with whole wheat cooked penne pasta in the colander.

step two

Make the sauce. Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat (or melt butter if that’s what you’re using). Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook until they become translucent, but not browned. Add the kale and season again. Sauté until the kale wilts then lower to medium heat and add cream, sage, red pepper flakes, the 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Bring this mixture to a simmer then stir in the Fontina and half the Parmesan. Keep stirring until the cheese has melted then turn off the heat.

A black frying pan with kale in cream sauce with a wood spoon stirring the mixture.

step three

Add pasta and chicken. Stir in the pasta, peas and cooked chicken. Keep stirring until everything is coated well in the sauce. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

Time saving tip:This would be great and ready to eat at this stage if you wanted to skip the baking part.

A black frying pan with pasta, peas, kale in a creamy sauce with a wood spoon stirring the mixture.

step four

Make topping. In a large bowl combine the panko and remaining shredded parmesan cheese.

A glass bowl filled with shredded parmesan and panko bread crumbs sitting on a white counter.

step five

Bake! Evenly sprinkle the panko-parmesan topping over the pasta then bake uncovered until lightly golden and bubbling, about 30-35 minutes.

A baking dish of chicken noodle casserole prepared to be baked in the oven with bread crumbs on top.

step six

Enjoy! Let the chicken noodle casserole cool for 10 minutes before digging in. Then spoon onto plates and be prepared to be in heaven.

Chicken Casserole FAQ’s

A baking dish with chicken noodle casserole with a spoon in the baking dish.

Can I make this ahead? Sure! Prepare up to the baking stage, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove plastic wrap, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered the last 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Reheating leftovers in the microwave is easy!

What other veggies would be good? You could add blanched or frozen carrots or broccoli (or both!) or sauté some chopped celery with the onions. It’s a great place to use leftover sautéed broccoli if you have it.

How do I cook chicken breasts instead of using rotisserie chicken? Lay the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and roast in the 400°F oven until browned and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool, then shred.

More Comfort Food Recipes You’ll Love!

A Better Chicken Noodle Casserole Recipe

Forget the cream of chicken soup and Ritz crackers. This chicken casserole is full of wholesome ingredients and packed with flavor. When you try it, let me know how it went! Share a photo and tag me on Instagram using @katesbestrecipes so that I can see (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating)! Also, sign up for my weekly recipe newsletter so you never miss a thing.

A white plate with a serving of chicken noodle casserole.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole

Author: Kate
This Chicken Noodle Casserole tastes rich and decadent but is made with whole wheat pasta, kale, chicken and peasA super flavorful dinner that is nutritious and comforting.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 718kcal


  • 1/2 pound whole wheat pasta like penne or shells
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion small dice
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 ounces Fontina shredded
  • 4 ounces shredded Parmesan, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken, like rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup panko


  • Heat oven to 400°F. Grease a 4-quart baking dish. Bring a large saucepan of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook 3 minutes short of al dente, drain pasta.
  • Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until translucent then add kale, season again and cook until kale is slightly wilted.
  • Lower heat to medium-low and add cream, measured 3/4 teaspoon salt, sage, pepper flakes, and measured 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a simmer, then stir in all the Fontina and 2 ounces of the Parmesan. Keep stirring until cheese is melted then turn off the heat.
  • Stir in pasta, chicken and peas. Toss until well coated. Taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper then pour into the prepared baking dish.
  • Combine panko and remaining 2 ounces shredded Parmesan in a medium bowl and sprinkle this mixture over the top of the casserole.
  • Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 30-35 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes, then enjoy!

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