Southern Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole with it’s buttery Ritz cracker topping is so creamy and delicious, you won’t believe how easily it comes together with just a few kitchen staples! Perfect for busy weeknights, easy to freeze, a classic at potlucks and just the dish to share with a friend in need, this easy chicken dinner is sure to a be regular on your menu!
This simple creamy chicken casserole is the cornerstone of all good church potluck dinners. Chances are if you’ve been to one, you’ve had and already love poppy seed chicken!
A good poppy seed chicken recipe is what Southern hospitality is all about- ridiculously good food that just feels like home without a lot of fuss and is easy to share! With it’s savory chicken, creamy sauce and buttery cracker topping, this is one easy 9×13 recipe whose dish always comes back empty.
Now, don’t scoff at the use cream of something soup in this recipe. You can make your own if you like, but using canned soup is the traditional way to make it, and it’s beyond good. However, this version does amp up the creaminess and flavor of your basic poppy seed chicken by adding cream cheese and a little diced onion. It’s comfort food heaven, you’ll see!
Ingredients For a Creamy Southern Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or rotisserie chicken)
- medium yellow onion
- cream of chicken soup
- sour cream
- cream cheese
- poppy seeds
- salt & pepper
- Ritz crackers (or other buttery cracker)
How To Make The Best Poppy Seed Chicken
Prep. Boil and shred boneless, skinless chicken breasts into large pieces and finely dice 1/2 of a medium onion.
Mix it All Up. In a large mixing bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, sour cream, softened cream cheese, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. Add the shredded chicken and onion. Then give it a good mix again.
Bake. Spoon mixture into bottom of casserole dish. Use a rubber spatula to evenly smooth chicken mixture in the bottom of the dish. Put crackers in a zip top bag & crush with your hands, then top the chicken mixture with them. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle on extra poppy seeds. Bake until bubbly and golden brown!
What To Serve With Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
- White or seasoned wild rice
- Southern Green Beans & New Potatoes
- Broccoli slaw with Apples & Brussel Sprouts
- Green Salad with Creamy Mayo Vinaigrette
- Classic 7 Layer Pea Salad
- Classic Fruit Salad with Old Fashioned Cream Sauce
Add-ins and Options
Make this an all-in-one meal by adding cooked rice to the bottom of the casserole dish before adding the rest of the ingredients. Or maybe veggies are what you’re looking for? Fold in frozen broccoli florets or peas & carrots that have been thawed to the chicken mixture, then bake!
If I’m going low carb, I substitute the cracker topping for sliced almonds or chopped pecans. Drizzle with butter, and it bakes up so delicious!
How to Freeze this Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole Recipe
This chicken casserole is perfect for making a double batch and freezing! Simply prepare the casserole as directed but do NOT add the cracker topping. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, top and bake as directed, adding 10 minutes to the bake time. This casserole can be frozen with the nut topping.
Other Easy Chicken Casseroles You’ll Love
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- 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled and shredded in large pieces
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
- 16 ounces sour cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1.5 sleeves Ritz or other buttery crackers, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cream cheese, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. Add chicken and onion and mix well.
- Spoon mixture into botton of casserole dish. Use a rubber spatula to smooth chicken mixture in bottom of dish. Put crackers in a zip top bag to crush. Top chicken evenly with crushed crackers and drizzled with melted butter. Top with extra poppy seeds, if you like.
- Place casserole in preheated oven and bake until edges begin to bubble and topping is golden brown. Serve by itself or over white or seasoned wild rice.