Dinner Freezer Meals Make Ahead - Heat & Serve Recipes

Creamy Chicken and Potato Casserole

A white plate with cubed red potatoes, creamy shredded chicken, melted cheddar cheese, bacon bits and chopped scallions sits on a striped towel in front of a a casserole dish.
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A great casserole is my go to dinner option on busy nights and this Creamy Chicken and Potato Casserole never disappoints. Like all great casseroles it’s easy to assemble, saves me time because I can make it in advance and requires very little clean up during prep. It almost sounds too good to be true but it’s not.

Creamy Chicken and Potato Casserole is a straight forward combination of shredded chicken and bite sized, fork tender potatoes cooked with a cream of chicken based dressing. As the casserole bakes the creamy sauce coats the chicken and potatoes, giving the dish a smooth overall texture. Top it off with melted cheddar cheese and some crumbled bacon to add a contrasting texture to the dish, providing a slight crunch alongside the creamy components.

Similar to a loaded baked potato this casserole pairs perfectly with baked potato toppings and side dishes. Serve it with guacamole, baked beans or a corn salad to round out your weeknight dinner.

About the Ingredients for Chicken and Potato Casserole

Shredded chicken – about 2 1/2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken. If you don’t have any leftovers in the fridge, check out the FAQ section below for how I bake and shred chicken breasts.

Potatoes – baby potatoes (red bliss, yukon gold or mixed are all fine) cut into small 1/2 inch cubes. The best part? No need to peel or cook them. They get added to the casserole raw.

Aromatics – diced onion and garlic.

Cream of chicken soup – a 10.5 oz can like Campbell’s

Sour cream and milk – any fat content is fine. I like to use fat free because it makes me feel like I’m being healthier but whatever you like best will work just fine.

Cheddar cheese – shredded will spread and melt the best.

Bacon – 4 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon.

Scallions – these are entirely optional garnish. The color makes the plate look a lot more appetizing and scallions have a hint of spice that balances out the savoriness of the cream sauce and cheese.

A casserole dish filled with melted cheddar cheese topped with bacon bits and chopped scallions on a marble countertop.

How to Make Creamy Chicken and Potato Casserole

Begin by prepping your ingredients. I like to get everything ready and then just assemble the casserole in the baking dish real quick. To do this, shred your chicken, cut the potatoes, and dice the onion.

Place the potatoes in the bottom of a baking dish lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Now spread the onions and minced garlic over the top and season everything with a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Then evenly spread the chicken across the top the potatoes.

Mix up your cream sauce by combining the condensed soup, sour cream, milk, a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and pinch each of salt and pepper. The mixture should be thick but easily spreadable. Pour it over the chicken and using a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon gently spread it to the edges of the baking dish. Try not to mix it into the chicken because the chicken will absorb the cream and dry out the dish a little.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 400°F for 40 minutes. This will cook the potatoes and onions. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and top the casserole with more cheddar cheese and some crumbled bacon and return it to the oven. Bake it just long enough to melt the cheese and make the whole thing hot and bubbly.

Garnish the casserole with chopped scallions and serve it with your favorite twice baked potato toppings!

A serving spoons takes a scoop of creamy chicken and potato casserole from the baking dish. The melted cheddar cheese is dripping from the spoon.

Recipe Substitutions & Variations

Turn it into Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole

When I think of a loaded baked potato my mind immediately goes to buffalo sauce. I love a little Frank’s Red Hot to balance out the creamy cheesy filling. This casserole has that same flavor and texture so why not add some buffalo sauce here too?

To turn this loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole into Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole, mix the shredded chicken with 1/2 cup of buffalo sauce before adding the chicken to the baking dish. Then continue with the recipe as written. The boost of flavor from the buffalo sauce will be dynamite.

Turn it into Chicken Potato Ranch Casserole

To turn this loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole into Chicken Potato Ranch Casserole, mix the shredded chicken with 1/2 cup of ranch dressing before adding the chicken to the baking dish. Then continue with the recipe as written. The cool ranch flavor will be a hit with kids too!

Make Ahead Instructions

Don’t you love a casserole that can be made ahead of time? This Creamy Chicken and Potato Casserole can be assembled and baked up to 3 days in advance and then all you need to do is warm it up and serve it.

To make it ahead of time, follow the recipe through baking for 40 minutes. After that let casserole cool to room temperature, then cover it and move it to the refrigerator.

When you’re ready to warm the casserole, let it sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes to let it come to room temperature. Then bake it in a 375°F oven for 20 minutes, covered with foil. The foil helps keep the moisture in so the casserole doesn’t dry out. Remove the casserole from the oven and top it with one cup of cheddar cheese and four pieces of cooked and crumbled bacon. Returned the baking dish to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Freezer Meal Instructions

Having a casserole in the freezer at the ready is one of the best tricks for getting dinner on the table on busy weeknights. No cooking. No mess to clean. Just grab it out of the freezer the night before so it has time to thaw and warm it up at dinner time. For a busy mom this is like a dream come true.

To turn this easy Chicken and Potato Casserole into a freezer meal just follow the recipe through baking for 40 minutes. Let casserole cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic and then foil and move the casserole to the freezer. Frozen this dish will save for up to two months.

When you’re ready to thaw the casserole, move it to the refrigerator overnight the day before. This will help the casserole defrost. 

To warm the casserole, let it sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes to let it come to room temperature. Then bake it in a 375°F oven for 20 minutes, covered with foil. The foil helps keep the moisture in so the casserole doesn’t dry out. Remove the casserole from the oven and top it with one cup of cheddar cheese and four pieces of cooked and crumbled bacon. Returned the baking dish to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

A plate with cubed red potatoes, creamy shredded chicken, melted cheddar cheese, bacon bits and chopped scallions. A brass fork is beside the food.

FAQ’s and Recipe Tips

What do you use when a recipe calls for shredded chicken?

I like to use boneless chicken, either breasts or thighs, depending on the recipe. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray, and place the chicken directly on the pan. Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper and bake it in a preheated oven at 375°F for about 25 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. You will know the chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Then I take the hot chicken and move it to my electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn on the mixer to medium speed for about 30 seconds and you will have perfectly shredded chicken.When cooking couscous add salt and either olive oil or butter to the boiling water. This will give your couscous a nice flavor base.

Do I have to cook potatoes before putting them in a casserole?

No, the cubed potatoes can be added to the casserole raw. Be sure to bake the casserole long enough to cook the potatoes and that you have some liquid so things don’t dry out.

Can a casserole with potatoes be frozen?

Yes you can freeze a casserole with potatoes. Cook the casserole first and then once it cools to room temperature, cover it and freeze it for up to 2 months.

The Recipe for Creamy Chicken and Potato Casserole

The recipe is attached below for easy downloading and printing.  If you test it out be sure to leave a note in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you thought. Serve your Chicken and Potato Casserole with simple roasted carrots to complete your meal. Enjoy!

A white plate with cubed red potatoes, creamy shredded chicken, melted cheddar cheese, bacon bits and chopped scallions sits on a striped towel in front of a a casserole dish.

Creamy Chicken and Potato Casserole

Similar to a loaded baked potato but with lots of shredded chicken and baked into a hot, melty casserole. Serve it with your favorite potato toppings like buffalo hot sauce and avocado mash.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • lbs shredded chicken
  • lbs baby potatoes cubbed
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 1 ½ tbsp minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • 4 pieces bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • cooking spray

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
    cooking spray
  • Distribute the potatoes, onion, and garlic in evenly across the bottom of the dish. Season with salt and pepper.
    1½ lbs baby potatoes, 1 sweet onion, 1 ½ tbsp minced garlic, salt and pepper
  • Spread the shredded chicken on top of the potatoes and onion.
    1¼ lbs shredded chicken
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk, and one cup of shredded chicken, and a heavy pinch each of salt and pepper. Pour mixture over the chicken and spread evenly.
    1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, 1 cup sour cream, ½ cup milk, 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, salt and pepper
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove casserole from oven and discard foil. Top casserole with another cup of shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon and returned to the oven to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
    2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 4 pieces bacon
  • Garnish with chopped scallions.
    2 scallions

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions:
Follow the recipe through baking for 40 minutes. Let casserole cool to room temperature, then move to the refrigerator. When you’re ready to warm the casserole, move it to the counter for about 30 minutes to let it come to room temperature. Then bake it in a 375°F oven For 20 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and top it with one cup of cheddar cheese and four pieces of cooked and crumbled bacon. Returned the baking dish to the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. 
 
Freezer Instructions :
Follow the recipe through baking for 40 minutes. Let casserole cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic and then foil and move the casserole to the freezer. Frozen this dish will save for up to two months.
 
When you’re ready to thaw the casserole, move it to the refrigerator overnight the day before. This will help the casserole defrost. To warm the casserole move it to the counter for about 30 minutes to let it come to room temperature. Then bake it in a 375°F oven For 20 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and top it with one cup of cheddar cheese and four pieces of cooked and crumbled bacon. Returned the baking dish to the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Keyword casserole, freezer meal, make ahead, potatoes, shredded chicken

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