Million Dollar chicken casserole is the ultimate easy comfort food, combining pre-cooked chicken smothered in a rich and creamy sauce topped with buttery Ritz cracker crumbs. A crowd-pleasing dinner for busy weeknights!
If you’re on the hunt for an easy weeknight dinner that not only the whole family will love but is easy to throw together with inexpensive, common pantry ingredients, you’ve found it. Million dollar chicken casserole is a family staple (great for potlucks, too!) that’s creamy, flavorful, hearty, and super satisfying – and so easy to prepare!
With a filling of cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup, it’s no wonder this casserole is super luxurious and creamy. Combine that with pre-cooked chicken (home-cooked or rotisserie) and a buttery, crunchy, crushed Ritz cracker topping, and this easy chicken casserole tastes like a million bucks!
Its fairly neutral creamy base makes for tons of opportunity for customization, too. So head over to the recipe card notes section for all my favorite optional mix-ins. No matter what you add, this creamy casserole with cooked chicken can be thrown together in minutes and even made in advance to refrigerate or freeze for later.
Once baked, enjoy the cream casserole with crusty bread, pasta, rice, or a side of greens or salad for the ultimate cheap comfort food meal that’s sure to be a hit!
Million Dollar Chicken Casserole Ingredients
To make the best chicken casserole, you only need simple, easy-to-find, pantry-friendly ingredients:
- Chicken: You’ll need cooked, shredded chicken – either home-cooked (breast, thighs, or tenders) or rotisserie chicken, though note that the latter contains more sodium. Leftover turkey would work, too.
- Cream of chicken soup: You can use store-bought or homemade cream of chicken soup. Cream of mushroom soup will work in a pinch but will change the base flavor.
- Dairy: This easy chicken casserole uses a selection of dairy products:
- Cream cheese (softened),
- Cottage cheese (or full-fat ricotta cheese, if that’s all you can find),
- Sour cream.
- Seasonings: All you need are onion powder and garlic powder for a flavorful base, though you can add kosher salt & black pepper if preferred.
- Butter: Unsalted works best – to combine with the crackers for the topping.
- Ritz crackers: You’ll need a sleeve of crackers (about 30-32 crackers). Alternatively, you could experiment with lightly salted potato chips, tortilla chips, or even crushed pretzels. Use a gluten-free version if necessary.
You could also add some fresh parsley or green onions to garnish.
How to Make Million Dollar Chicken Casserole
First, preheat the oven to 350ºF/175ºC and shred the chicken (or cut it into bite-sized pieces) if it isn’t already.
Then, in a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and seasonings. Mix well.
Then stir in the chicken until thoroughly coated.
Next, crush the Ritz crackers. I often do this directly in a medium bowl. However, you may find it easier to add them to a large Ziplock bag and use a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy glass to crush them into a chunky consistency.
Meanwhile, melt the butter. Then combine the melted butter with the crushed crackers, and toss to coat.
Pour the chicken mixture into a casserole dish/baking dish (around 8×8 inches or 9.5×6.5 inches). Top with the crushed Ritz crackers mixture.
Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling is bubbling, and the crust is golden brown.
Finally, allow it to cool for about 10-15 minutes (it will thicken as it cools), then garnish with parsley if desired, and enjoy.
What to Serve with Million Dollar Chicken Casserole?
Because the easy chicken casserole is so rich and creamy, I love serving it with healthy veggie-based sides like:
- Green beans,
- Broccoli and cauliflower,
- Brussel sprouts,
- Sauteed spinach,
- Corn on the cob,
- A simple side salad.
You can also enjoy it with some crusty bread, garlic bread, or cornbread, for dipping, or even some pasta/noodles.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
This chicken casserole is a great make-ahead and freezer meal, perfect for making a double batch to save for later.
Make ahead: You can prepare the casserole the night ahead, minus the Ritz crackers. When you’re ready to bake, let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, add the cracker topping, and bake as usual.
Store: After baking, allow it to cool (though ensure it isn’t out of the fridge for longer than two hours) and store any leftovers plastic-wrapped or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freeze: You can freeze this creamy casserole baked or unbaked (without the Ritz crackers works best, so they don’t become soggy) tightly wrapped in clingfilm/plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before bringing it to room temperature and reheating/cooking in the oven.
Reheat: To reheat small portions, I often microwave them for a couple of minutes. For larger amounts, cover the casserole with foil and bake at 350ºF/175ºC until piping hot (20-30 minutes).
More Chicken Recipes
- Instant Pot Chicken Breast
- Chinese Orange Chicken
- Easy Chicken Piccata
- Crispy Breaded Chicken Cutlets
If you try this easy million dollar chicken casserole recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Million Dollar Chicken Casserole
- 16 oz chicken cooked, shredded or cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 oz cream cheese 1/2 cup
- 4 oz cottage cheese 1 cup OR full-fat ricotta
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup in a pinch
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder you might also want to add a little salt and pepper to taste
- 4.2 oz crackers 1 sleeve or 30 Ritz crackers
- 2.15 oz butter unsalted, 1/4 cup melted
- Baking dish around 8×8 inches or 9.5×6.5 inches
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF/175ºC.Shred the chicken (or cut it into bite-sized pieces) if it isn't already.
- In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and seasonings, and mix well.Stir in the chicken until thoroughly coated.
- Crush the Ritz crackers. Do so directly in a medium bowl OR, if easier, add them to a large Ziplock bag and use a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy glass to crush them into a chunky consistency.
- Melt the butter. Then combine the melted butter with the crushed crackers, and toss to coat.
- Pour the chicken mixture into the casserole dish/baking dish and top with the crushed Ritz crackers mixture.
- Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling is bubbling, and the crust is golden brown.
- Allow the casserole to cool for about 10-15 minutes (it will thicken as it cools), then garnish with parsley if desired, and enjoy!
- Soften the cream cheese: Leave it to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes so it will combine well with the remaining ingredients.
- If using a 13×9-inch pan: It’s best to double all the ingredients.
- To avoid burn: If the Ritz topping is browning too quickly, loosely tent the dish with foil to keep it from burning.
- To make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free cream of mushroom soup and crackers.
- Add a can of green chilies, fresh chopped jalapeños, and/or a little cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning for spice.
- Add 1- 1 ½ cups of canned or cooked vegetables. I.e., carrots, peas, spinach (fresh not frozen), blanched broccoli, green beans, etc.
- Add a layer of melty cheese beneath the Ritz. I.e., cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, Mexican blend, Colby Jack, Gruyere, etc.
- Sprinkle some fried onions over the topping, like in a green bean casserole.
- Add 1- 1 ½ cups of cooked grain (al dente) like rice or quinoa.
- Add 2 cups-ish of cooked egg noodles.
Dear lord, this was so good! I added frozen peas and broccoli and served over fresh egg noodles. Thanks for the recipe!
Support @ Alphafoodie
Glad you enjoyed it, Suzi. Thank you for your comment!