Country Casserole

In my family, if you die, get sick, have a car accident, have a baby, have a potluck, have a family reunion, have a picnic, get bad news, get hungry, or get last minute dinner guests…You get a Country Casserole!
This is our standard family casserole. It shows up everywhere! Why? Because we love it! This casserole is quick, easy, filling, great tasting, an inexpensive way to feed a crowd, a complete meal in one, freezes AMAZINGLY well, can be made even MORE easy by using canned chicken when you’re not in the mood to cook chicken ahead of time, and more importantly, its my husband’s personal favorite.
There! You ready for the recipe now?
Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!

You’ll need: small shell pasta, cream of chicken soup, garlic powder (just a bit), milk, shredded cheddar cheese, canned french fried onions, and frozen mixed vegetables.
Also some salt and pepper.

I’m warning you: I am making a little more than double recipe of this. I never make a single recipe. I showed the ingredients for a single (only one can of soup and such), but in the photographs I am taking you are going to think “WOW, that thing is huge!”. I never make just one of these casseroles because they freeze so incredibly well. With the effort of a single casserole and just a little more cost wise you can have an extra casserole anytime you need it! I go into some nifty reheating instructions as well as convenient storage instructions for the extra casserole later in this post.
You’ll also need chicken! You can cook it and shred it or you can just buy a large can of chicken and dump that right in when the time comes!
I have made this so many times, I have it down to a streamlined art. Set some water on to boil and pour your pasta in…….
Now pour your frozen mixed vegetables in right on top of it.
That’s right, we’re going to cook them all together at the same time and they will turn out just as fine as if you cooked them separately.
Cook until pasta is almost done. Drain well and pour into a large bowl.
At this point I am using my trusty red dishpan!
Add chicken.
I usually shred my chicken finer than this but my parents stopped by and Daddy was looking at a problem with my car so Mama insisted on staying outside due to that old martyr thing of “Well, he’s hot so I can’t be cool” and so I was in a hurry to get back outside due to the whole “Well, they’re outside so I can’t be inside….”
Pour in cream of chicken soup…
And milk
Add salt
Add garlic powder (Keep in mind the quantities you see here are for an almost triple recipe!)
Toss in cheese
Add pepper…
Pour in french fried onions.
Stir all of that up really well!
Spoon into a 9×13 inch pan and bake at 350 for thirty minutes.
Remove from oven and top with more french fried onions….
and more CHEESE!!!
Return to oven for a few minutes until all of the cheese melts.
Country Casserole
  • 2 cups small shell pasta, cooked and drained
  • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
  • One can French fried onions, divided
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (can use canned chicken or rotisserie )
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine everything in a large bowl, reserving half of the cheese and half of the onions for topping later. Spoon into 9x13 casserole dish. Bake for twenty five minutes. Top with remaining onions and cheese, bake until cheese is melted, about five minutes more.

Freezing options: Instead of freezing this in your casserole dish, simply spoon it into a gallon ziploc bag. Lay the bag flat so that it will thaw out quicker and place it in your freezer.
On the day you want it, take it out the night before and refrigerate or place in fridge that morning.
If you forget to do all of this, no sweat! Just microwave the bag until it thaws just a bit, pour into your casserole, and bake!
To bake a casserole that is still frozen, simply place in the oven while the oven preheats. This allows the casserole to thaw quickly and then bake to perfection!

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  1. Aunt Charley says

    i needed a good main dish casserole recipe to share with teacher friends next week. This is great!! When you “almost triple” it – how many bags of veggies, how much chicken soup? Double is easy to figure, but I want to make LOTS and most of the ones I will share it with are just two folks at home, so I figure I can get four easy from this if it is almost tripled.

  2. Erika says

    Thanks! I’m in a unique situation and recently moved out of the country, but all of my stuff hasn’t been shipped over yet, so I’ve got an (almost) empty kitchen! We had not one, but TWO, potlucks at work last week and we have ANOTHER one tomorrow. This casserole has been PERFECT because I was able to make it in the one pot I have, and use some foil cake pans I got at the grocery store. I also don’t have a car, and the ingredients all fit nicely into the baskets on my bike. Perfect! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Annarose says

    I made this tonight along with homemade baked beans and salad. My husband just loves casseroles and always asks for casserole when I ask him what he wants me to make. I used ham because it’s what I had, and frozen peas and carrots instead of the mixed veggies because he doesn’t like too many kinds of veggies mixed up in his casseroles. I also used half onions to try to cut back on the calories some (though it would’ve been great with the full amount). Turned out quite well anyway and I’ll definitely make this easy casserole again. Thanks!

  4. Claudia says

    A week ago, I had never heard of Southern Plate. I purchased your book at Sam’s Club, because it looked interesting. I have a major cookbook addiction, which I am trying to overcome, but I fell off the wagon;). I followed from there to this website, and have become hooked on it, too. Your recipes are like a step back into my childhood. My mother is still living, but has memory problems and doesn’t cook anymore. Many, many of your recipes are the same things that I was raised on, and most of your recipes are exactly the why we cooked them. I made your Country Casserole today,sort of doubled it to feed a crowd of 10, forgot to add the milk, which caused it to be too dry, so I added an extra can of cream of mushroom soup. In spite of my errors, it was still very good. It was well received by the adults and the 5 children, aged 12, 8, 6, 3 and 18 months. You are delightful, and I am sorry that I wasn’t able to attend the Oklahoma City stop in your book tour. Thanks.

  5. BARBARA says


  6. Lori says

    I played clean out the pantry and freezer tonight with this as inspiration. I used a prepared mac n cheese, canned mixed veggies, no soup, extra milk, the french onions and some frozen cooked ground beef. Could not have been easier and was delicious. Thanks again!

  7. says

    i am sooo excited to see this recipe. sounds perfect. i am going to use it as part of a gift of several meals for a young, single, mommy friend of mine…. simple enough for a toddler to eat, yet comforting enough for mommy. many thanks!

  8. says

    This was SOOOO good! The crispy onion-cheese topping was the perfect topping. I did add to the recipe, partly because I like to experiment and partly because I don’t like to be told what to do. I added cream cheese and Italian seasoning;. We made a double batch and just three adults ate half of it! This WILL be repeated, and often. (Well, not the overeating part. Maybe.)

  9. Victoria says


    First, I must say that I absolutely adore you.

    Second, girl you make me laugh out loud. You had me rolling with whole momma martyr thing which made you have to follow in the same path so as to not offend. I soooo saw myself playing that out. Thank you for always just being down to earth and REAL. I love how you approach life with love, energy and the realization of the truly important things in life.

  10. Marla says

    My Mom made something similar to this. She used rice instead of noodles and called it Confetti casserole. Wow this brings back great memories… Think I’ll make it tonight. Thanks.

  11. Chris says

    I have to tell you I have made this casserole twice this week! Had it for supper (in Georgia, we eat supper), then I carried leftovers to work for lunch. Well, today hubby asked for the leftovers and I had to confess I took them to work. My Father-in-law is visiting for the weekend so I made one for them today. I added some chopped green peppers and about 1/4 cup chicken broth (that I made from the bones, etc with the rotisserie chicken I used). They both loved it. My FIL is taking a copy of the recipe home with him this weekend so his daughter can cook it for him again. Thanks for such a great recipe!

  12. Jennifer says

    I think this would be great to make when you have all those leftover vegetables you have cooked the last couple of days. Also need little trick I stick a freezer bowl in the freezer any unused vegetables gets dumped in their. Makes your own frozen mixed vegetables instead of throwing them out. :)

  13. Redawna says

    Perfect timing for you to re-post this! I have a pot-luck at church Sunday and was wondering what to take that was easy and inexpensive and I just got invited to another pot-luck at work next week! I think I will be making double!

  14. cathy rice says

    Oh Girl! Bless your heart! Perfect….We have head cold/virus and are on day 6. I truly want chicken and noodles over mashed tatas but sure don’t want to go to that much effort. Guess what, this will be perfect for Happy Valentines supper for two folks who think romance shall wait a few days until we’re not blowin and hackin!

  15. Peggy says

    Do the onions stay crunchy? I love them, but they have to be crunchy, don’t don’t do the soggy thing. I would make this, but put the veggies on the side, not everyone in our house eats the same ones. LOL

  16. Lisa Howard says

    once again….Christy to the rescue! Woman, I just love you to pieces! My hubby also is not a casserole fan :-(. I love them! But, this sounds like a winner! I’m guilty of “name dropping” often. When I make your fried rice, I mention your name. When I make Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen’s apple cake, I mention her name. I guess it’s conditioning? lol Not just those dishes, those are just examples. I don’t do it with everyone……Just you two and a couple of others. That way when I want to spring something new on him, I mention the name and he automatically eats it! I have him convinced that you are the next Paula Deen! He would eat dirt if that woman fixed it! lol Anyway…..I ramble! Thanks so much for just being you and giving me a reason to think positive thoughts every day. So glad that you are healing well! God Bless you and your sweet family!

  17. Debara says

    I just have quick freezer tip. When I want to make a casserole to freeze I put it in a zip loc freezer bag and then spread the bag out in the dish I want to cook it in. Put it to freeze and then when it is frozen I just lift it out and store in the size and shape of the dish. I can still use the dish for shaping more freezer meals and the casserole thaws quickly. I hope this helps some.

  18. Patsy says

    I am leery of freezing anything with pasta in it. My Mom use to freeze beef and noodles or chili with spaghetti in it and both always came out with the pasta mushy which to me is just GROSS. Is there some trick I don’t know of to keep this from happening or is it standard that frozen pasta will be mushy? I would love to be able to freeze some dishes without fear of the Dreaded Mushy Pasta Syndrome. lol

  19. Sherry says

    HI! Just a question. This recipe calls for 1/4 cup of milk and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. Your book which I just bought calls for 1/2 cup milk and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. (This is your first book)I really liked the first, but the one in the book is fantastic! Which one is correct?
    PS Less garlic more milk

  20. Loretta Rush says

    How much uncooked pasta do you use for two cups cooked? You said 2 cups cooked but show cooking it with the vegetables. I love your recipes and have really been enjoying your new book! Thank you for sharing!

      • Anna says

        It’s 2 cups uncooked :) When a recipe says “2 cups pasta, cooked and drained” it means to measure the pasta before cooking it. If it had said “2 cups cooked pasta” that would mean to measure after it’s cooked. She just showed photos of the entire cooking process. When I make this casserole, I actually measure the pasta by weight and do 1/2 lb, which is the weight of 2 C shell pasta. Different shapes of pasta have different volumes, so 2 C penne is not the same amount as 2 C shells. It’s just more consistent to weigh it if you don’t use small shells.

  21. Jen says

    Made this casserole for us last week and we loved it. I used leftover chicken from a whole chicken I had cooked in the crockpot earlier that week. Since there are two of us I baked half of a single batch and froze the other half for a freezer meal for another time. Loved how easy this was to throw together and how versitle it is. Thanks for another great go to recipe Christy.

  22. Freda says

    Someone may have asked this – I scanned but didn’t see it. Do you add the extra onions and cheese on top before you freeze it? Or do you wait and add those when you actually bake it?

    My husband’s out of town this weekend and I’m planning a cooking/freezing marathon! Thanks for answering!

  23. Chris A. says

    I have made this SO many times and it is always so good! Even the time I made it for a funeral meal and by mistake left the chicken in the fridge! I made two that day and planned on my family having one. My daughter mentioned she could not see any chicken in it and I said I was sure I put it in there. After supper found the chicken in fridge! Was so embarrassed I took one off without chicken but everyone said it was very tasty without it. I did make the other family a correct one at a later date so they could see how really good it was.


  1. […] Country Casserole: From the site’s description–”This casserole is quick, easy, filling, great tasting, an inexpensive way to feed a crowd, a complete meal in one, freezes AMAZINGLY well, can be made even MORE easy by using canned chicken when you’re not in the mood to cook chicken ahead of time”. Sounds like a winner to me! Ingredients include chicken, pasta and veggies. Found at Southern Plate. […]

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