Easy Chicken Rotini Casserole (Family Favorite Recipe)

Chicken rotini casserole is the perfect combination of flavors and textures for a hearty, satisfying meal. The tender chicken, perfectly cooked rotini pasta, and creamy homemade sauce create a delightful contrast of textures. And the parmesan cheese on top adds a sharp, tangy note, taking this dish to another level.

chicken rotini casserole

The chicken rotini casserole is a hearty and satisfying dish that’s perfect for a family dinner or a potluck with friends. It’s a versatile dish you can easily modify to suit your taste. The ingredients are simple and easy to find, and the process is straightforward, making it a great dish to whip up at home!

Why I Love This Recipe

Easy to Make: This Chicken Rotini Casserole recipe is straightforward and simple. With easy-to-follow instructions, you can whip up this dish with confidence, even if you’re a beginner!

Perfect for the Family: With ingredients like chicken, rotini pasta, and parmesan cheese, this recipe is a hit with both kids and adults. The rich, cheesy white sauce is sure to make this a dish your family will request again and again.

Crowd Pleaser: This Chicken Rotini Casserole is not only delicious but also makes a hearty meal that’s perfect for feeding a crowd. Whether you’re having a family gathering or a potluck with friends, this dish is sure to impress.

ingredients to make chicken rotini casserole

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Key Ingredients

Rotini Pasta: This spiral pasta holds onto the sauce beautifully, making every bite a delight. 

Chicken: Cooked and diced or shredded, it adds a hearty protein to the dish. 

Butter: This ingredient not only adds a rich flavor to the dish but also helps in sautéing the peppers.

Green Bell Pepper & Red Bell Pepper: These add a splash of color and a sweet crunch, enhancing the overall texture and taste of the casserole.

All-purpose Flour: This is used to thicken the sauce, guaranteeing a creamy consistency. Remember to let the flour soak into the peppers before adding the liquids. 

Chicken Bouillon: This brings a depth of flavor to the dish, making the sauce even more delicious. 

Water & Half and Half: These are used to create the creamy sauce, with the half and half adding a rich, creamy texture. 

Salt & Black Pepper: These seasonings enhance all the other flavors in the casserole. 

Dried Basil & Dried Oregano: These herbs give the dish a wonderful aromatic quality, adding to the overall flavor profile. 

Parmesan Cheese: This cheese adds a savory, nutty flavor to the casserole. Plus, it melts beautifully, creating a creamy, cheesy sauce. 

chicken rotini before baking

Equipment

Large Skillet – A large skillet is necessary for sautéing your diced peppers in butter over medium heat. You’ll also be using it to create your homemade sauce. Look for one that’s deep enough to hold all of your ingredients and distribute heat evenly.

Baking Dish – You’ll need a baking dish, specifically a size of around 13×9 inches. This is where you’ll combine your chicken, homemade sauce, rotini noodles, and parmesan cheese and then bake it in the oven.

Cheese Grater – A cheese grater is required for grating your parmesan cheese, which you’ll sprinkle on top of your dish before serving. It is always best to use freshly grated cheese, as it melts better and has a superior flavor compared to pre-grated varieties.

How to Make Chicken Rotini Casserole

Preparation 

Before we dive into the cooking process, gather all your ingredients and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 1 – Cook Chicken and Pasta

First things first, you’ll need to cook and dice your chicken. While the chicken is cooking, boil water in a separate pot for your rotini pasta. Once the pasta is al dente, drain it well and set it aside.

Step 2 – Prepare the Sauce

Now, let’s move on to the sauce. Start by sautéing diced peppers in butter over medium heat. After that, stir in some flour. Continue stirring as you add half and half, water, and bouillon to the mixture. Season it with salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Bring your sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer until it thickens and becomes creamy.

chicken and rotini pasta in stock pot

Step 3 – Combine Ingredients and Bake

Next, in a large bowl, combine your cooked chicken, homemade sauce, cooked rotini pasta, and parmesan cheese. Mix all these ingredients thoroughly. Pour this mixture into a baking dish, preferably a size of around 13×9. Bake it in the oven at a temperature of about 350˚F for roughly 30 minutes or until it is bubbly.

Step 4 – Serve

Finally, take your casserole out of the oven and sprinkle some more parmesan cheese on top. Now, your delicious chicken rotini casserole is ready to be served. Enjoy!

chicken rotini casserole with slice out of it

Expert Tips

Prepare your ingredients beforehand: Before starting to cook, dice your chicken, chop your peppers, and grate your parmesan cheese. Having all your ingredients ready will make the cooking process smoother.

Take time to create the roux: The roux, made with flour and butter, is crucial for a thick, creamy sauce. Let the flour soak into the peppers and stir constantly over medium heat for a flavorful sauce. This tip will also give you the perfect thick sauce. 

Freeze for future meals: This recipe is excellent for freezer cooking. If you’re prepping it for a freezer meal, follow all the steps, but freeze it before baking. Just remember to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before baking. 

Use quality chicken broth: I highly recommend purchasing Better than Bouillon to make your chicken broth.  I keep mine in the refrigerator, ready to use whenever needed!  If you don’t have it, you can just use 2 cups of chicken broth.  Just keep in mind that the type of chicken broth will affect the flavor, so taste test the sauce.

Recipe Variations

Add Greens: If you’re a fan of green vegetables, this variation is perfect for you. Stir in a cup of chopped green beans or broccoli into the casserole before baking. Not only does this add a pop of color to your dish, but it also adds more texture.

Make it Creamier: For a luxurious touch, swap the half and half with cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup. This gives the casserole a richer and creamier texture. Just remember to adjust the salt as these soups can be quite salty.

Try it with a Tomato Twist: For a tangy twist on the conventional chicken rotini casserole, try adding a cup of diced tomatoes to the mixture. This adds a fresh and zesty flavor that compliments the creamy sauce beautifully

What to Serve With

  • Enjoy this chicken rotini casserole with a side of sauteed green beans or your choice of vegetables. The crispness of the vegetables pairs beautifully with the creamy casserole.
  • For a heartier meal, serve this casserole with garlic bread. The garlic flavor compliments the cheesy goodness of the casserole, and the bread is perfect for soaking up any extra sauce.
  • Pair this casserole with a fresh German cucumber salad. The lightness of the salad balances the richness of the casserole, making for a well-rounded meal.
  • For a fun, Italian-inspired twist, serve the casserole with a side of bruschetta. The tomatoes and onions in the bruschetta offer a refreshing contrast to the creamy casserole.

Recipe FAQs

What kind of chicken should I use for this recipe?

You can use any type of cooked chicken you prefer for this chicken rotini casserole. This could be leftover roasted chicken, boiled chicken, or even store-bought rotisserie chicken. Just make sure it is cooked and either diced or shredded.

Can I replace the rotini pasta with another type of pasta?

Yes, you can substitute rotini pasta with other pasta shapes like penne, fusilli, or farfalle. The key is to make sure the pasta cooks until it is al dente, as it will continue to cook in the oven.

How can I make the sauce thicker?

The thickness of the sauce depends on the roux, which is a mixture of butter, flour, and half-and-half in this recipe. Let this mixture simmer over medium heat for about ten minutes, stirring constantly. This process will help the sauce to thicken.

Storing and Reheating

Refrigerate: After enjoying your chicken rotini casserole, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The casserole will stay fresh for up to three days.

Freeze: If you’ve made extra or want to prepare this dish for future meals, you can freeze it before baking. Pour the mixture into a well-covered baking dish and freeze. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

Thawing Instructions: When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen casserole, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. If it’s uncooked, make sure to bake it according to the recipe instructions.

Reheating Instructions: Reheat the casserole in the oven. Make sure to cover it with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. Bake until it is heated through and the cheese has melted.

Serving Size

What to Expect: This recipe makes one 9×13 inch casserole for 12 servings.

How to Scale: If you want to make more than one casserole, you can double the recipe and follow the instructions as directed. Make sure to use two casserole dishes so that it can be baked evenly.

chicken rotini baked in baking dish
Created by: Lynette Rice

Chicken Rotini Casserole


Course Casserole
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings
12 servings
Take comfort food to the next level with this Chicken Rotini Casserole recipe. A creamy, cheesy, flavorful dish that will leave your family asking for seconds!

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz rotini pasta
  • 3 cups chicken cooked (diced or shredded)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon chicken better than bouillon
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1 Cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/3 cups Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Cook and dice chicken.  Boil water and cook the Rotini pasta. Drain.
  • Saute diced peppers in butter over medium heat.  Add flour and stir.  Then add half and half and water and bouillon.  Add salt, pepper, basil and oregano.  Bring to boil and lower heat to simmer until thick and creamy.
  • Combine chicken, homemade sauce, rotini noodles and parmesan cheese.  Mix and then add to greased 13×9 baking dish.  Bake at 350˚ F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Top with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Notes

Freezer Cooking:  If making this for the freezer.  Complete all directions except for baking and freeze in well covered baking dish.  When ready to enjoy, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed.
Thick Sauce Tips:  It’s really important to let the flour really soak into the peppers before you add the half and half and chicken broth.  You are creating a roux that will bring a flavorful sauce.  Let thicken before adding to other ingredients.  It will take about 10 minutes of simmering over medium heat.  Stir constantly as you don’t want the milk to overboil and spill over your pan.
Chicken Broth:  I highly recommend purchasing Better than Bouillon to make your chicken broth.  I keep mine in the refrigerator ready to use whenever I need it!  If you don’t have it, you can just use 2 cups of chicken broth.  Just keep in mind, the type of chicken broth will affect the flavor so taste test the sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 528mg | Potassium: 201mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 594IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 1mg

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This recipe was originally published in 2014.  It has been updated to reflect better pictures as well as recipe.

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! Added onions, garlic, red peppers and spinach.

    1. Lynette Rice says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I just tried this out because I was looking for easy freezer meals for my order of Zaycon chicken.

    Turned out great! I ended up adding some fresh minced garlic and red onion to the sauce and a little salt and pepper to taste and it was sooooo good! Bought a bunch of foil loaf type pans from dollar tree and stashed away 6 of them in the freezer. Thanks for the great recipe!!!

    1. Hi! If I used 2 cups chicken broth , do I omit the 2 cups of water?

      1. Yes, you only want 2 cups of liquid. The 2 cups of water with the Chicken Bouillon are the same as 2 cups of chicken broth.