Warm, comforting and totally satisfying, chicken and mushroom casserole gets a healthy twist with whole wheat pasta, lean chicken breast, and creamy plain yogurt.
Compared to the average family Midwestern family, we didn’t eat a ton of casseroles growing up. However, there are two casseroles my mom makes quite frequently that I inevitably crave when temperatures plummet: tuna noodle and chicken mushroom. To give this casserole a nutritional face-lift I’ve made a few changes.
How to make a healthier casserole:
Swap Egg Noodles for Whole Wheat Bow-Ties:
Egg noodles are totally delicious but essentially they are pure sugar. Whole wheat bow-ties are fun to eat and give the dish added protein, fiber, and other minerals. These added nutrients help stabilize your blood sugar and helps prevent a post-casserole energy crash.
Skip the Canned Cream Soups:
Mushroom/Chicken/Celery soups but friends, making your own takes less than 10 minutes and is SO much more flavorful. Plus, you get to control the quality of ingredients when you make your own. I know those cans are cute and make you feel warm and fuzzy but don’t let clever marketing trick you into thinking you can’t make your own cream soups.
Use Plain Low Fat Yogurt:
Technically, this isn’t a change from my mom’s recipe. She has always added plain yogurt to her casseroles for adding creaminess and a subtle tanginess that adds tons of flavor to the dish. Low-fat plain yogurt is also high in protein, low in sugar and packed with calcium and other vitamins.
The end result? Ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness that takes nothing like healthy food. Jacob had 3 servings himself which is always a good sign.
Chicken and Mushroom Casserole
- 1 pound whole wheat bow-ties (or short pasta of choice)
- 1 tablespoon butter (unsalted)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 celery stalks (diced)
- 2 teaspoons salt (divided)
- 2 cloves garlic (grated)
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
- 3 cups cooked chicken – diced (rotisserie works well!)
- 32 ounces plain low fat yogurt
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup panko
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray.
- Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat until melted. Stir in onion, celery and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until softened, 3-4 minutes before adding garlic and mushrooms. Continue cooking until mushrooms are soft, 3-4 additional minutes.
- Sprinkle flour into the pan and stir for 30-60 seconds or until flour is absorbed into the pan. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce thickens, 7-9 minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss together cooked pasta with diced chicken, plain yogurt, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, half of the cheese (1 cup), lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Add in reduced mushroom sauce to the bowl and stir again.
- Pour pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread in an even layer.
- In a small bowl, mix together remaining 1 cup cheese with panko and olive oil. Sprinkle mixture evenly on top of the casserole.
- Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 45-50 minutes. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving to let the casserole settle.
73 thoughts on “Chicken and Mushroom Casserole”
I linked to your casserole from my homemade cream of mushroom soup. Love your work!
Oh I’m so glad!
Can you make this with plain Greek yogurt? It would provide even more protein that way. Please let me know.
Yes for sure!! Great idea!
Couple of questions:
How long do you reheat this dish for?
Do you cover with aluminum or not cover?
I would do 350 for 45 minutes or until bubbly – yes with aluminum!
Why do you promote cows in cages ? Is there a reason you do not get your dairy from farms that do not keep there cows in cages?
I was simply sharing about my visit to a dairy farm. You’re more than welcome to get your milk from any type of dairy farm you wish. :)
Did I miss where to ad the pepper? I can’t find it in the recipe.
Sorry about that – I just edited the recipe but you add it when you add the Worcestershire sauce!
This recipe looks and sounds delicious but when I saw the pictures of all those calves in separate enclosures I suddenly felt less enticed. Our love affair with milk and all of its derivations as well as beef, veal and other meats has really condemned these animals to a horrific life no matter how short or long it may be. Looking behind the scenes, or rather hearing about and seeing pictures and videos about it, gives me pause and makes me want to avoid it all or eat less and really appreciate that it is coming from an animal from whom it was taken. Can you find another way to make something that resembles the taste of this dish without using ingredients from animals? I would love to try that recipe. Thank you for creativity and sharing your recipes.
Hi Erin – Thanks so much for writing. I’m a huge fan of learning about where our food comes from and my readers love learning about it as well but I apologize that it didn’t sit well with you. I’m afraid I can’t give you a recipe that doesn’t use ingredients from animals but if you google vegan blogs I bet you’ll find tons of great options!!
Does this really have 32 oz of yogurt
Yes it does Sandy – a lot of the liquid gets absorbed by the noodles.
This recipe sounds delicious! I want to make this today but am in a dilemma. My 9 x 13 glass dish broke so for now, I have a 11 x 7 glass dish. Would that be too small? I also have a round 2.5 quart ceramic baking dish. Which would substitute better, and if neither, then what other sizes may work? Thanks! :)
Hmmm… I would just use the 11 x 7!!! :) Maybe put it on top of a cookie sheet when you bake unless it spills over a little but you should be fine!
This recipe looks awesome! I was wondering if you could make ahead and refrigerate?
Now this is my kind of health food!! this looks fantastic!
See – who said health food had to be boring? :)
My family would love this casserole! Totally trying this soon.
My boys loved it – I hope yours do too Lori!
Thank you or the nice recipe Liz. Have a Great Weekend.
Happy Holidays Liz!
This casserole looks delicious. Can it be frozen?
Yes it freezes really well!
Casseroles are my weakness..love this!
I love your take on a classic healthying it up!! Looks so good!
I know Greek yogurt is all the rage in healthy recipes but I really like using regular plain yogurt. A little less thick but still tangy.
This casserole is calling my name, Liz! Those mushrooms and crispy panko topping… delish! Will be trying this VERY soon. Pinned!
Oh yay I hope you like it!
Love this recipe and love this mission for giving gallons! Thanks for the healthified tips, too! Although I am guilty of using the canned stuff every once in a while, you are right that homemade is easy and more flavorful! :)
We used it all the time growing up!! Once I realized how easy it was to make my own I love not having to waste the cupboard space – haha
I would make this in a second – and I probably will very soon – but my husband HATES mushrooms. What would you use instead for the non-mushroom eaters in the family?
I often use whole wheat bows in dishes like this for exactly the reasons you list. Our market actually carries whole wheat egg noodles so sometimes I use those, too. But the bows really are so cute, especially if you can find mini-bows. Do you ever use whole wheat panko? That has been one of my favorite finds.
Hmm…how about peas instead of mushrooms?? And yes whole wheat panko works great!! I can’t always find it though.