Million Dollar Chicken Casserole is a treasure of a recipe. It’s smothered in a rich creamy sauce, chicken, and a generous sprinkle of buttery Ritz crackers. This chicken bake is the perfect party dish and an easy base to add more ingredients to customize it further.
This dish can be thrown together within minutes and with the most common basic kitchen staple ingredients.
It’s the ultimate comfort food and is cheap too!
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My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
You only need a 9-inch baking dish and a handful of simple ingredients for this chicken recipe. Most of them you already have in your kitchen.
- Chicken – This recipe calls for chicken breasts, but you can also use boneless chicken thighs or chicken tenders instead. Cook them ahead of time or for a quick fix use rotisserie chicken or any leftover chicken from dinner. When cooking the chicken only add a little seasoning if any at all. Chicken doesn't have to be shredded but you can also cut it into bite-sized pieces.
- Cream Cheese – for a better blend of flavors, make sure to bring all cheeses to room temperature. You can definitely use low-fat cream cheese here too. But the texture may be slightly different.
- Cottage cheese - if you don’t have this you can use ricotta cheese. But the main thing is that you can’t skip this! This makes things ultra creamy and is the star dish in this recipe. You will not feel the flavor so much as it is blended with other cheeses. What it does, it makes the texture a million-dollar recipe for sure.
- Herbs - chives, green onions, parsley, and fresh thyme stalks are the best.
- Cheese - I used mozzarella cheese for its ultra-creamy cheesy texture. Other melty cheeses such as Cheddar cheese, Colby Jack, Gruyere, Gouda, or Mexican blend cheeses can be used.
- A sleeve of Ritz crackers - if it’s hard to find these gluten free, other options can be substituted as well. Schar makes great gluten free products. Panko, pretzels, or nacho chips.
- Seasonings - I used just these seasonings listed in the recipe. I didn’t add any salt or pepper as this dish is very well seasoned already. Especially be careful if you are using store-bought canned cream of chicken soup as it is often high in sodium.
Perfectly quick and easy to whip up, and it tastes incredible.
Just throw everything together in a bowl, pour into a casserole dish, and top with buttery crackers and bake!
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 8 x 11 (or 9x9 inches) inches baking dish with cooking oil or butter.
In a large bowl combine the cottage cheese, mozzarella, cream cheese, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and seasonings. Stir to combine with a spatula.
Add in the cooked chicken and mix again. Transfer the chicken mixture into a 9-inch prepared baking dish.
In a separate medium bowl add Ritz crackers and melted butter. Toss to coat.
Top the casserole with the Ritz crackers.
Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Garnish with green onions or fresh herbs (thyme or parsley works well here).
This million-dollar chicken casserole recipe is perfect as it is, but an even more, wonderful thing about it is that you can customize it further.
- You can add about ¾ cup of crispy bacon or pancetta to the dish. My favorite way is to make it ahead by cooking bacon in the oven. It’s very easy!
- This recipe is perfect with a base of cream of chicken soup as well as my Condensed Cream Of Mushroom Soup.
- I also like to add some fresh jalapenos, chilies, or pickled for added heat.
- Add in a bunch of other goodies too. Simple veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, bell peppers, and grated carrots can be added to the chicken mixture. You can lightly steam those before adding them. Also, fresh spinach leaves will add extra nutrition. Make sure they're fresh and not frozen.
- For some added bulk, you can add grains such as quinoa which is naturally gluten-free, or rice. These should go in cooked.
- Seasonings - on top of instead of the listed seasonings you can add ranch packet seasoning, poultry seasoning, or a mix of Italian seasoning and herbs. Both of these work amazingly with creamy chicken.
- I recommend buying a ball of mozzarella cheese and grating it yourself. It gives melts better but store-bought should be fine too.
- Drain the liquid from cottage cheese - Depending on brands, cottage cheese will generally have plenty of liquid in it. It is fine, but I recommend draining it over a fine mesh strainer with a cheesecloth or a linen towel napkin in between. Wrap the chees in it and squeeze as long as you don’t have much liquid coming out.
- Cooking time may depend on your oven but mine usually bakes into perfect creamy goodness for about 40 minutes.
If you see that the crackers are getting too brown towards the end of baking you can cover the casserole with a sheet of aluminum foil. However, after baking, the Ritz crackers should be golden brown in color.
We like to serve most of our casseroles with a simple salad as the casserole is a meal itself. You don't really need any side dishes here.
You gonna love these salad suggestions:
Freezing And Storing Instructions
To store. Although I always like to make things as fresh as they come, you can definitely store the baked casserole in an airtight container for up to 48 hours.
Reheat in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. For a very quick fix, this can be definitely reheated in the microwave but flavor and texture are not as good as reheating in the oven.
To freeze. The best is to freeze this casserole unbaked for up to 2-3 months. But freezing baked or leftovers is not the best idea in my opinion.
This is because you have a lot of creamy components here and crispy crackers. After freezing you will have to add some broth or milk to thin it out as this chicken bake will become thick.
I also recommend adding more crackers on top when reheating. If you need to freeze it, thaw it first in the fridge overnight.
Then cover it with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven to 350 degrees F.
To make ahead you can whip up all the ingredients (just don’t add the crackers layer just yet), pour them into the casserole, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
Then on the day, top with butter and crackers and bake it as per recipe instructions.
We don’t cover the chicken casserole in this recipe. However, it will greatly depend on the altitude and type of oven you are using. If the top layers start to get too brown during baking, cover it will aluminum foil (but towards the end of cooking is better). In this case, you may need to bake it for additional minutes.
If you end up with too much liquid in the casserole there can be a couple of things.
Naturally chicken will release some liquid. However, as we are using cooked chicken in this million dollar chicken casserole it should not have too much liquid. Don’t cover the dish with foil as it will help the liquid to evaporate. Also if you are using low-fat sour cream or cream cheese the texture can end up with more moisture.
Absolutely, you can use either or both chicken thighs or chicken breast. Additionally chicken tenders for equally well.
I wouldn’t substitute cottage cream cheese as it is the main ingredient along with the crema cheese that adds an utterly creamy texture. The only substitution I could recommend in this million-dollar chicken bake is to use ricotta cheese instead.
More Rotisserie Chicken Recipes
If you love chicken casserole recipes, you should definitely try one or all of these next time.
I hope you'll enjoy this million dollar chicken casserole recipe, please leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo of your food and tag me on Instagram @theyummy_bowl. I love seeing your creations!
Thank you for reading,
Million Dollar Chicken Casserole
- 4 cups cooked chicken breast or thighs shredded
- 4 ounce cream cheese softened at room temperature
- 1 cup cottage cheese or ricotta
- ⅓ cup grated mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 cups of my recipe for cream of chicken soup
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 32 Ritz crackers or any gluten-free crackers, crushed
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 2 stalks of green onion for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl combine the cottage cheese, mozzarella, cream cheese, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and seasonings. Stir to connect with a spatula.
- Add in the cooked chicken and mix again. Transfer the chicken mixture into a 8x11 (or 9x9 is perfectly fine too) casserole dish.
- In a separate medium bowl add Ritz crackers and melted butter. Toss to coat.
- Top the casserole with the Ritz crackers.
- Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Garnish with green onions or fresh herbs (thyme or parsley works well here).
This recipe has been inspired by this recipe.