I have a criteria for recipes that I cook. They have to be easy, quick, delicious, and they can’t cost an arm and a leg. Like most folks these day, I’ve always had to watch the budget. This casserole with chicken and noodles definitely fits the bill.
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This recipe has been in my family since I was about five years old. My mom got it from our neighbor across the alley (thank you Karmen B.!) and it was our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. I’m not sure what it was called originally, but it got renamed in our family because of when Mom always served it.
Now, I have to admit that I tend to play around and “tweak” recipes. The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s a very basic, and mild, casserole as is. I’ve changed things up a lot at different times depending on what particular ingredients I’ve had around. I’ve used Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Chicken, and a combination of the cream soups. Whatever combination, it always tastes good. I’ve even substituted a can of diced green chilies for the celery.
The original recipe called for chopped green pepper, chopped red pepper, and diced pimento. When the kids were younger I didn’t always add the bell peppers because they would pick them out. However, as they’ve grown up and are less picky, I include the peppers again and I love the color they add. In fact, the green and red chunks in the casserole is probably what originally prompted my mom to serve it to us that first Christmas Eve (and it does give the dish a little oomph so it’s great to add if it suits your family’s taste). Our love for the dish was what kept her serving it every year thereafter. At our house, it just wasn’t Christmas without this dish on the table.
Christmas Eve Casserole
- Cooked chicken breast (you can use canned chicken if you like)
- 2 12 ounce bags of wide egg noodles
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cans Cream of Celery soup
- 1 pound Velveeta cheese
- 1 small jar diced pimento
- 1/2 onion, chopped
Cook and dice chicken, reserve broth. Cook egg noodles in water (add chicken broth to the water) till done, drain. Add Velveeta to hot noodles and stir to melt before adding soups, pimento, celery, onions, and pimentos.
Pour mixture into casserole dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake covered in 350 degree oven till cheese and soups are melted through, approximately 45 minutes.
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If you’ve got to take a dish to your mother-in-law’s house or to a potluck dinner these casserole carriers will help keep your dish from turning into a mess or spilling while it’s in transit.