Poppy Seed Chicken is a classic, creamy and easy chicken casserole recipe topped with buttery Ritz crackers and poppy seeds!
There is nothing more comforting to me than a creamy chicken casserole. Maybe because I am a child of the 80s or maybe because I spent a decent amount of my childhood at church potluck dinners, but either way, a simple casserole makes my heart happy. I’ve shared a few of my favorites like Chicken Divan and Chicken Cornbread Casserole already, but Poppy Seed Chicken is an all-time favorite.
I’m not sure of the origin of adding Poppy Seeds to this recipe, but it adds a little visual interest for sure! Just be prepared to floss!
Poppy Seed Chicken is One of My Favorite Chicken Casseroles From Childhood
So this recipe is one of the rare exceptions that I use Cream of Chicken Soup. I feel like there really isn’t a substitute that works the exact same. I have tried variations of all sour cream/ sour cream and heavy cream/sour cream and broth/cream cheese and broth etc and it just isn’t the same. So I wanted to share the classic version that my mom made, albeit with a few extra flavor boosters like:
- Parmesan Cheese
- Worcestershire sauce
- Garlic Powder
What Other Seasonings Would Be Good in Poppy Seed Chicken?
This basic dish just screams for adaptations. Chicken breasts are chopped up and mixed in with cream of chicken soup and sour cream topped with crushed seasoned Ritz crackers. Like i said above, I added some simple flavors, but that’s just the beginning. Here are some other easy spices that would work:
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Italian Seasoning
- Smoked Paprika
How Do You Make Poppy Seed Chicken?
This chicken recipe is embarrassingly easy. It’s a few staple ingredients and then it’s time to get creative. I gave you a few flavor options above, but don’t let seasoning be the only way you make this dish your own.
- Don’t feel like you have to use Ritz Crackers. Any salted butter cracker will work great!
- Fresh herbs would be fantastic in this recipe as well. I use dried parsley, because I always have that on-hand, but if you have fresh, go for it! You will just need to at least double the amount of fresh herbs to dried.
- To save a step use shredded Rotisserie Chicken.
- Add a veggie right into the casserole! Blanched, steamed or frozen (and thawed) veggies work best, for example, green beans, broccoli, or peas!
How To Cook the Chicken for This Recipe
This recipe calls for cooked and cubed chicken, which makes it a great recipe to use up leftovers. BUT if you don’t have leftover chicken you are going to have to cook it. An easy way to do so is salt and pepper 4 boneless chicken breasts, and bake them for about 20 minutes at 400°F, until the juices run clear.
The best part of Poppy Seed Chicken, in my opinion, is the buttery, crunchy topping. Honestly, I could double the topping amount for this recipe and be happy about it. The buttery, salty crackers paired with the creamy chicken is so delicious.
Can You Freeze Poppy Seed Chicken?
Yes, absolutely! Prepare the recipe as stated, but don’t cook it. Since everything in the recipe is already cooked, it’s really a matter of heating it through and crisping up the crackers on top!
- Cover the casserole with plastic wrap. Press the plastic wrap lightly into the topping, to minimize the amount of air. Cover the plastic wrap with foil, and freeze for up to a month.
- To reheat the chicken, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator the day before baking. Once it’s thawed, bake according to the recipe directions, until bubbly.
What Can You Serve With Poppy Seed Chicken?
This recipe works perfectly paired with so many sides. Here are a few ides:
- Green Salad
- Green Beans
- Mashed Potatoes
Looking for More Chicken Recipes? Try These:Print
This easy Poppy Seed Chicken is a family favorite chicken recipe that everyone loves!
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley, divided
- 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat an 8×8″ or 2 quart baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine soup, sour cream, Worcestershire, pepper, and 1 tablespoon parsley. Stir to combine. Add in the cooked chicken into the soup mixture and stir to coat. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl stir together the Ritz crackers, poppy seeds, Parmesan cheese, butter, and remaining tablespoon parsley until evenly combined.
- Pour chicken mixture into the prepared pan. Top evenly with Ritz mixture and bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are bubbly.
Serve warm over rice or pasta, or on its own.
Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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