Chicken Stuffing Casserole
Chicken Stuffing Casserole

Thanksgiving flavors every season? Yes, please! Impress your family with this creamy, crispy and delicious Chicken Stuffed Casserole!

In this recipe

  • The best bread for filling
  • What is béchamel sauce?
  • Smart shortcuts and tips
  • Tasty swaps
  • plan ahead

This chicken casserole has two layers: a creamy filling of chicken and a trio of onions, carrots, and peas tossed in an easy homemade béchamel sauce. It’s topped with a Thanksgiving-inspired filling of toasted bread, celery, onions, and fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme. The casserole is baked until the filling is bubbly and the filling is crisp and browned.

This is the perfect meal plan recipe. Make it on a slow weekend to serve up in your busy week. It’s also a great recipe for a crowd – easily serves 6 to 8 people – with a simple green salad on the side, tossed with this light colored dressing.

I like the taste of sourdough, but a baguette, ciabatta, or any Italian-style loaf would work. I would avoid rye or pumpernickel as their flavors are too assertive for this dish.

Pre-cut or packaged filling mixes come in small loaf cubes – I prefer to buy a whole loaf and cut the cubes slightly larger (about 1 inch).

What is béchamel sauce?

Considered the French mother sauce, béchamel is a white sauce made with just three basic ingredients. Cook equal parts butter and flour (called roux), then stir in warm milk until sauce is thick and creamy.

The trick to getting a smooth béchamel is to stir the mixture constantly as it cooks. The ideal consistency is like a pourable pancake batter. If it gets too thick, just add a little more milk while stirring. If it’s too thin, continue cooking it over the heat until it thickens.

Smart shortcuts and tips

Chicken: I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they have more flavor and are less likely to dry out. Chicken breast is perfectly acceptable. This simple method will walk you through the cooking process.

You can also use leftover chicken from another meal. Just make sure the spices on top are savory with the flavors of sage, rosemary and thyme. Of course, shredding a store-bought fried chicken is another great shortcut.

vegetables: Save a little prep time with store-bought pre-diced onions, celery, and carrots. Even frozen vegetables are always available and ready to hand. Feel free to use it here. Thaw, drain excess liquid and stir into the béchamel (no need to boil it first).

Herbs: Fresh herbs spice up the flavor and are worth seeking out. Look in the produce department for packets of fresh herbs labeled as poultry mix. They contain smaller amounts of sage, rosemary, and thyme, so you don’t have to buy three separate bundles. Dried herbs can be used – cut the amounts in half as their flavor is stronger.

bread: Some stores sell pre-diced bread, which can save you some prep time. Look for unseasoned ones so you can control the salt and flavor.

Tasty swaps

This casserole is great for ingredients you may already have on hand. Here are some swaps that would be delicious:

  • Instead of chicken, try turkey, Italian sausage, or diced boiled ham.
  • Do you have leftover fillings? Use it here!
  • Add shredded cheese like cheddar or Monterey Jack to the béchamel for added richness.
  • Stir in the grated parmesan into the filling before topping the casserole.
  • The recipe calls for carrots, onions, and peas — they’re a classic trio often found in casseroles. There are many other vegetables that would work here. Broccoli is great! Use any type of onion you can have, such as leeks, red onions, or shallots. Green beans, peppers or parsnips also go well with the filling. Leafy greens like spinach or kale might also work. In the filling is celery; put some in the filling.
  • A restriction: I love garlic in almost everything, but I found it too spicy in this dish.

plan ahead

This casserole can be fully assembled in advance, covered tightly with foil, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours until ready to bake. It can even be frozen for up to 3 months for future meals – thaw completely in the fridge overnight before baking.

Our favorite casserole recipes

  • Chicken and Rice Casserole
  • Reuben casserole
  • Potato and sausage casserole
  • Turkey tetrazzini
  • Easy shepherd’s pie

Casserole with chicken filling

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
85 minutes

total time
100 minutes

up to 8 servings

1 9×13 inch casserole


For the filling

  • 5 tablespoon unsalted butterdivided

  • 7 ounces one day old sourdough loaf, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher saltdivided

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepperdivided

  • 3 stems celeryHalve lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (approx 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 medium yellow onionchopped (approx 1 1/4 cups)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemarychopped

  • 2 teaspoon fresh sage leaveschopped

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon fresh thymechopped

  • 1/2 Cup low sodium chicken broth

For the creamy chicken filling

  • 5 tablespoon unsalted butterdivided

  • 1 medium yellow onionchopped (approx 1 1/4 cups)

  • 1 big carrottrimmed and chopped (approx 1 Cup)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher saltdivided

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepperdivided

  • 1 Cup frozen peasthawed

  • 1/3 Cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • 2 pounds (approx 4 cups) shredded boiled chicken

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1/4 Cup all purpose flour


  1. Preheat the oven:

    Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter.

  2. Toast the bread:

    In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add the diced bread, turning to coat evenly with the butter. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and toss to combine. Toast the bread until lightly browned all over, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Keep an eye on them and turn down the heat if they brown too quickly or start to burn. Turn off the heat and place the bread in a large bowl. Set aside to cool.

  3. Cook stuffing vegetables:

    Place the same pan back on the stove over medium-high heat and melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add the celery, onions, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add rosemary, sage, and thyme and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

    Turn off the heat and scrape the vegetables into the bowl with the bread. Pour in the chicken broth and set the bowl aside. This is your filling.

  4. make filling:

    Place the same pan back on the stove over medium-high heat and melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add the onions, carrots, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the peas, parsley and chicken. Turn off the heat and set the pan with the filling aside while you prepare the béchamel.

  5. Make the béchamel:

    Pour the milk into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 15-second intervals until warmed through but not boiling. It is used in the béchamel.

    In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter. When it bubbles gently, stir in the flour until there are no lumps. Continue beating until the roux (the mixture of butter and flour) is slightly darkened and smells like toasting, 4 to 5 minutes.

    Pour in some warm milk and stir. Slowly pour in more milk, beating the roux continuously to avoid clumping. You can switch to a rubber spatula or wooden spoon at this point to get into the bottom edges of the pot. Add the remaining milk and continue beating until the béchamel thickens to a pancake-like consistency, about 5 minutes.

    Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Scrape the béchamel into the pan with the chicken and stir to combine. This is your creamy chicken filling.

  6. Assemble casserole:

    Pour the creamy chicken filling into the prepared casserole dish and spread into an even layer. Spread the filling evenly over it. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the filling is warmed through and bubbly. Carefully remove the foil and continue to bake until the filling is crisp and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

    Once baked, leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

nutritional information (per serving)
455 calories
26g Fat
32g carbohydrates
24g protein
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