This Creamy Chicken Casserole is a delicious combination of shredded or chopped chicken combined with a creamy sauce, poppy seeds, and topped with a crisp, buttery Ritz cracker topping! It's an easy 30-minute chicken dinner that you can put together any day of the week.
Chicken casseroles with Ritz crackers are classic Southern comfort food. Poppy seed chicken casserole has been popular for many years. Why? Because it's delicious, that's why! It's creamy comfort food that's packed with flavor.
Use some leftover poppy seeds to make my moist and delicious Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes! Homemade cupcakes with lemon butter icing (yum).
Why This Recipe Works
Quick and Easy - This is one of those recipes that makes getting supper on the table quick and easy. Take some shredded rotisserie chicken, add the creamy soup mixture, and top with crushed Ritz crackers. Ready in 30 minutes. Tada!
Family-Friendly - Poppy seed chicken is a family-friendly dinner meal. My children loved it and still do now that they're grown. It's special enough for any holiday meal, such as Thanksgiving or Easter.
Comfort Food - The ultimate comfort food that's creamy and satisfying. The crisp, buttery cracker topping pairs so well with the creamy chicken filling - it's the best thing ever!
Why We Love This Meal
This poppy seed chicken with cream of mushroom soup, cream of celery soup, and sour cream makes it super creamy and flavorful. It's so creamy you can serve it over rice or any kind of pasta (egg noodles or linguine).
Honestly, at our house, we usually eat it as-is. It's such a family-friendly recipe, even the kids will devour it!
Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole Ingredients
please scroll down to the recipe card for the printable version
Rotisserie Chicken - what's not to love about store-bought, cooked chicken that's juicy and flavorful. Note: The recipe uses a whole Rotisserie chicken and, to me, it adds an extra nice flavor to the casserole. But you can use 3-4 large cooked chicken breasts instead. Just shred or chop them.
Cream of Mushroom Soup - adds a rich earthy flavor.
Cream of Celery Soup - use cream of chicken soup if that's all you have.
Sour Cream - makes this dish extra cream. Choose unflavored greek yogurt if you prefer.
Minced Garlic - the jarred minced garlic is very handy to have in the refrigerator; it lasts a long time.
Black Pepper - fresh crushed black pepper is best.
Poppy Seeds - add a slightly nutty flavor and a little crunch.
Crushed Ritz Crackers - irresistible cracker topping that's the bomb.
Melted Butter - use the real stuff - need I say more!
- You can use leftover turkey instead of chicken.
- Add 1 cup sliced mushrooms in Step 2.
- Add 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce in Step 2 to add a savory flavor boost.
- Sprinkle a small amount of cayenne pepper in Step 2 to add a little kick.
- Sprinkle with thinly sliced almonds just before baking.
- Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the soup/sour cream mixture to add a little zing!
- Substitute Cheez It crackers or Club crackers for the Ritz crackers if that's all you can find.
How to Make This Recipe
Just four easy steps to the most comforting Poppy Seed Casserole!
(1) Preheat oven to 350F. Place shredded or chopped rotisserie chicken into a large casserole dish.
(2) In a separate bowl, combine soups, sour cream, poppy seeds, minced garlic, and black pepper.
(3) Pour soup and sour cream mixture into the casserole dish with the chicken. Mix well.
(4) Crush the crackers and sprinkle them on top of the casserole. Melt the butter and drizzle on top of the crushed crackers. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes. Such a golden, buttery, crispy topping!
This recipe makes 4 generous servings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Mix up all the ingredients except for the cracker topping. Cover and place in the fridge for 24-48 hours. When ready to bake, place into a casserole dish, top with cracker topping and melted butter, bake as directed.
You can freeze leftover poppy seed chicken casserole for up to 3 months. Allow the casserole to completely cool. Try to remove most of the cracker topping as it may get soggy when it thaws. Be sure to freeze in an airtight container to prevent ice crystals from forming. When you're ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then heat in a 350F oven (or heat in the microwave) until piping hot.
Store any leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I prefer to use BPA-free glass containers with locking lids. Check out this 18-piece set of glass food storage containers with locking lids from Bayco, available now on Amazon.
- Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the sour cream/soup mixture to add a light, lemon accent to the dish.
- Add some sliced or diced water chestnuts for added crunch!
- This casserole is perfect eaten as is, however, if you're wondering what some good side dishes are to serve with poppy seed chicken, it's wonderful served over cooked white rice, wild rice, or pasta. Baby lima beans, green beans, corn, and broccoli are nice side dishes.
- Try my Roasted Brussels Sprouts with this casserole. A simple side salad of cucumbers and tomatoes goes well. Quick rolls or french bread add a great finishing touch.
More Casserole Recipes
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Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Cutting board
- measuring spoons
- measuring cup (½)
- large mixing bowl
- casserole dish (9x12 works well)
- 1 Rotisserie chicken deboned, shredded or chopped
- 1 10.5 oz can cream of celery soup
- 1 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup
- 8 oz sour cream
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tube Ritz crackers, crushed
- ½ cup melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350F. Place shredded or chopped chicken into a casserole dish (9" x 12" works well).
- In a separate bowl, combine soups, sour cream, poppy seeds, minced garlic, and black pepper. A whisk works well for this.
- Pour soup and sour cream mixture into the casserole dish with the chicken. Mix well.
- Sprinkle the crushed crackers on top of the casserole. Drizzle the butter on top of the crushed crackers.
- Bake in the oven, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes.
This recipe was originally published in 2018 and was updated in 2021.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy to my readers. I'm not a nutritionist and I don't guarantee the accuracy of this data. The data may differ according to the brands I used versus the brands you use. To calculate the data yourself using your brands, try using an online nutrition calculator or app.
This looks/sounds incredible. Creamy and comforting!
Thanks for your comment, Jessie! We LOVE this recipe and hope you do, too!
I have seen poppy seed chicken a few times now, but have never tried it. I really need to get on changing that! This looks delicious!
This was so good! I prepared the night before, then baked the next day. Our new go-to chicken casserole!
Found this site/recipe through Southern Plate. I'm so glad I did. I am going to try this casserole next week. What do you think about adding water chestnuts to it? I look for any excuse I can to add them. LOL!
Hi, Georgia! Thank you for visiting my site. I think water chestnuts would be a great addition. They would add a really nice texture and crunch. I love water chestnuts! Thanks for the great idea!