Huntington Chicken Casserole (Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole)

This simple and classic chicken dish is what would happen if tuna noodle casserole, pimento cheese, and ranch chicken all collided. Huntington chicken is the name used in parts of the South for the cheddar and pimento studded dish, but the rest of the states might simply call it a creamy chicken noodle casserole.

overhead shot of serving spoon in dish of huntington chicken casserole


At the core of it, this is baked mac and cheese with tender chicken, zesty ranch, and a crunchy topping. This may just be the best comfort food yet.

Why This Recipe is Different

Every casserole recipe claims to be the best, but this one is truly special. So comforting and full of flavor.

  • Upgraded comfort food – This Huntington chicken casserole is like a chicken noodle casserole with an upgrade. Pimentos add both color and flavor.
  • Only 10 minutes of prep – Especially if using a rotisserie chicken, you can have this casserole ready and in the oven in no time at all.
  • A family favorite – Even the pickiest of eaters love this casserole. It’s requested time and time again at our house.


Some recipes may call for packaged ingredients like mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, Velveeta cheese, or pre-made pimento cheese. However, for this recipe I tried to stick with the freshest ingredients to pack in tons of extra flavor.

  • Unsalted Butter – Since the cheeses, ranch seasoning, and crackers all contain salt, it’s best to use unsalted butter to avoid an overly salty casserole.
  • Flour – Flour helps to create the thick, velvety sauce.
  • Heavy Cream – Using heavy cream makes the sauce rich and smooth. 
  • Cream Cheese – Slicing the cheese into cubes and allowing it to come to room temperature will help it to more easily melt and mix into the sauce. 
  • Dry Ranch Seasoning – This seasoning gives the casserole its signature flavor. I used a homemade version, but you can grab a seasoning packet at the store to save time.
  • Low-Sodium Chicken Broth – Using reduced-sodium chicken broth helps to avoid introducing too much salt into the dish. Plain water or vegetable broth can also be swapped.
  • Ground Black Pepper – Black pepper adds a subtle, gentle heat that balances the casserole.
  • Cooked Elbow Macaroni – Cook the macaroni to al dente and toss it with olive oil so that the noodles don’t stick together. 
  • Cooked Chicken – You can cook the chicken fresh for this recipe or use leftover chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or store-bought rotisserie chicken. 
  • Pimento Peppers – Chop the pimentos finely and uniformly. You can usually find these jarred at the grocery store pre-chopped.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese – I prefer to grate my own cheese so that it has the freshest flavor but if you’re short on time, you can buy the bagged cheese at the grocery store. Pre-shredded cheese is tossed in an anti-caking agent that can inhibit meltiness.
  • Club Crackers – Crush these crackers by hand or place them in a resealable plastic bag and roll over them with a rolling pin. They are buttery, soft and salty, making them the perfect topping. Much like how people use potato chips on a tuna noodle casserole.
  • Dried Parsley – While you could garnish with fresh parsley after baking, using dried parsley is easy, especially if you already have it in your spice rack. It honestly doesn’t add much flavor, but I like the pop of green.
overhead shot of huntington chicken casserole ingredients

How to Make Huntington Chicken Casserole

This easy chicken casserole will have everyone rushing to the table when they smell it cooking.

  1. Make roux. Melt butter in a medium saucepan or skillet and stir in flour to make a roux. 
  2. Add cream, cream cheese and ranch. Once browned, add the cream to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Then, add the cream cheese and ranch seasoning mix. 
  3. Add chicken broth. Once the cream cheese melts and the mixture is silky smooth, add the chicken broth. Stir until completely combined before removing from the stove. 
  4. Add remining ingredients. Add the pasta, chicken, pimentos, and cheddar to a large mixing bowl. 
  5. Pour mixture into casserole dish. Spoon the mixture into the lightly greased casserole dish.
  6. Add topping and bake. Sprinkle the crushed crackers and parsley over the top of the mixture. Place in the oven and cook for the recommended time. 
  7. Remove and serve. Once the topping has browned and the casserole is cooked through, remove it from the oven and let it rest briefly. Serve, or allow it to come to room temperature before serving. 

What to Serve With Huntington Chicken Casserole

This dish is a complete meal all on its own, but you can serve it with some sides, too. Every Southern-style dish pairs well with biscuits or you can serve something lighter like a simple side salad

You can also round it out with veggies like broccolini, stewed tomatoes, broccoli, or zucchini fritters.

overhead shot of chicken noodle casserole in baking dish


The best part of making casseroles like this one is that they’re so easy to customize.

  • Crackers – Instead of Club crackers, use Ritz crackers, Saltines, oyster crackers, potato chips, or even crushed pork rinds. 
  • Breadcrumbs – You can use standard bread crumbs instead of crackers — just add a teaspoon of coarse Kosher salt to the sauce. Panko breadcrumbs can be substituted, too. 
  • Cheese – For the shredded cheese, you can substitute Monterey Jack, gouda, or colby for some or all of the cheddar. 
  • Spiciness – To add a little bit of a spicy kick, incorporate diced jalapenos, cayenne pepper powder, or red pepper flakes. You can even buy a spicy ranch dressing mix.
  • Veggies – Sneak in some vegetables by folding in diced mushrooms, peas, onion, carrots or chopped broccoli florets.
  • Pasta – Choose any noodle shape that you like. Cavatappi, orechiette, or penne will all work well. You can use egg noodles, too, but they’ll likely be less firm than the other varieties.

Storage and Freezing

This casserole will last for a few days in the fridge, making it perfect for meal prep. You can have dinner ready in minutes, or pack it in containers meant for individual serving sizes for a hearty lunch you can take to work or school and warm up mid-day.

Can I make this casserole ahead of time?

Make the whole casserole ahead of time and eat throughout the week, or prepare the chicken ahead of time and toss the ingredients together when ready to bake. 

How to Store Huntington Chicken Casserole

Store the chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.  Reheat in the oven or in the microwave.

How to Freeze Chicken Noodle Casserole

Freeze the casserole in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. You can freeze it whole or in single servings. Either way, it is best to reheat it from frozen in the oven. Place the frozen food in an oven safe dish and cook at 350°F for 10-15 minutes for a single serving, but up to an hour for a whole casserole. Heat casseroles to an internal temperature of 165°F.

Common Questions about Huntington Chicken Casserole

What do you serve with chicken casserole?

Chicken casseroles go well with nearly any side dish. Steamed or roasted vegetables, salads, and even soups are all great pairings.

How do I add flavor to bland chicken casserole?

For spicy flavor, try chili powder, cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper. If you’re looking for herbaceousness, try fresh herbs like rosemary, tarragon, sage, and thyme.

How long can casserole keep in fridge?

While it depends on what ingredients are in your casserole, typically one will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

More Mouthwatering Recipes for Casseroles

There’s nothing better than a comforting casserole when you need an easy dinner. Here are some of our favorites.

wooden spoon digging into casserole

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Hashbrown and Sausage Casserole

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This Sausage Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole is loaded with delicious breakfast sausage, hash browns, and lots of cheese. One of the best breakfast casserole recipes for holiday breakfasts, Sunday brunch, or any other occasion.
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Chicken Broccoli Casserole

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This award winning cheesy chicken broccoli casserole is the easiest one-dish dinner that is perfect for make ahead, freezer and parties!
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close up of serving of huntington chicken casserole with text overlay
overhead shot of serving spoon in dish of huntington chicken casserole

Huntington Chicken Casserole Recipe (Chicken Noodle Casserole)

5 from 6 votes
Huntington Chicken Casserole is baked mac and cheese with tender chicken, zesty ranch, and a crunchy topping — comfort food at its finest!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6


Huntington Chicken Casserole:


  • 1/2 cup Club crackers , coarsely crushed by hand
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×9 or 2.5 quart baking dish with cooking spray, butter or shortening. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour until it forms a paste, continue to whisk until it lightly browns.
  • Whisk in the cream until warm, then the cream cheese, and dry ranch seasoning.
  • After the cream cheese is smooth, whisk in the chicken broth. Remove them from the heat and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, toss together the cooked elbow macaroni, cooked chicken, pimento peppers and cheddar cheese. Pour the cream mixture over the top, tossing again to combine.
  • transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and evenly smooth out.
  • Top with the crushed Club crackers and dried parsley.
  • Cook uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until the top has lightly browned.
  • Remove and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.


Other cracker alternatives include Ritz, Saltine Cracker, Oyster Crackers or Potato Chips. Ideally, you are looking for something salty. 
If using standard breadcrumbs, add 1 teaspoon of coarse kosher salt to the cream sauce to balance out the salt you are losing from the topping. 


Calories: 453 kcal, Carbohydrates: 32 g, Protein: 13 g, Fat: 31 g, Saturated Fat: 17 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8 g, Trans Fat: 0.1 g, Cholesterol: 84 mg, Sodium: 780 mg, Potassium: 171 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g, Vitamin A: 1087 IU, Vitamin C: 4 mg, Calcium: 202 mg, Iron: 1 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 453
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: huntington chicken casserole
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of huntington chicken casserole for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This is the perfect comfort food. I love the addition of the crackers for a crunchy taste. Looks simple to make and a meal I know the kids would love. I’m excited to make it soon. Cheers.

  2. 5 stars
    This is not a typical chicken noodle casserole. The addition of the ranch seasoning and pimentos, takes this over-the-top. I can’t wait to share this with my family.