Creamy Chicken and Ham Casserole is a baked dish made with onions, garlic, Italian herbs, bechamel sauce, rice, mustard, chicken, ham, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese. It’s the perfect comfort food for a cold day when you want to eat something that reminds you of why it’s good to be warm and cozy inside.
- What is Creamy Chicken and Ham Casserole?
- Video Recipe
- How to make creamy chicken and ham casserole:
- Tips for success:
- How can I make this casserole in a crockpot?
- What other types of meat can I use?
- What else can I add to this creamy chicken and ham casserole?
- How to store:
- Creamy Chicken and Ham Casserole
What is Creamy Chicken and Ham Casserole?
This creamy chicken and ham casserole recipe is the perfect complement to a chilly day. You can use leftover ham or chicken from holiday dinners as well. It’s a great way to use all the food you have in the refrigerator. Your entire family will find the chunks of ham, creamy sauce, and toasted breadcrumbs impossible to resist.
- 2 tablespoon olive oil: Any neutral oil will work for this recipe.
- 1 small onion, chopped: White onions are perfect for this dish.
- 2 garlic cloves, minced: Make sure the garlic smells sharp and looks fresh after peeling the skin off. If it’s dry, it won’t taste as good.
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs: You can use a spice blend for the herbs.
- 2 cups chicken stock: Use the best chicken stock you can find or make your own.
- 1 cup bechamel sauce: You can find jarred bechamel sauce by the alfredo and pesto sauces in the grocery store.
- 1 cup rice: Short-grain white rice works best. Be sure to rinse it until the water runs clear.
- 1 1⁄2 cup milk: Whole milk works best since it will thicken up better than a less fat milk.
- 2 teaspoon mustard: Yellow mustard provides a little acid that will balance the flavors of the dish.
- 1 cup cooked chicken, cut into cubes: You can poach, grill, or saute the chicken first and then cut it up into pieces for this casserole.
- 1 cup ham, cut into cubes: The best ham to use here is thick, cut from the bone.
- 1⁄4 cup panko breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are crunchier than other types of breadcrumbs.
- 3 tablespoon butter, melted: Unsalted butter works well to combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan: Parmesan cheese is slightly salty and is perfect with this dish.
How to make creamy chicken and ham casserole:
Here’s a brief overview of how to make this dish. See the recipe card below for the specific recipe instructions.
1. Preheat the oven.
2. Heat olive oil over medium heat.
3. Saute onion for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
4. Mix in Italian herbs and rice. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
5. Pour in chicken stock and cook for 10 minutes.
6. Combine rice with cream and bechamel, add mustard, chicken, and ham cubes.
7. Transfer the mixture into a baking dish.
8. Combine panko with butter and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the mixture on top.
9. Bake at 190C/375F for 20 minutes.
Tips for success:
Here are a few tips for success and variations you can try to make this the best creamy chicken and ham casserole you've ever had.
- If you aren’t able to find bechamel sauce, you can use cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup instead.
- If you’d like to add a bit more cheese to the dish you can try, swiss, Havarti, Gruyere, or mozzarella.
How can I make this casserole in a crockpot?
If you need to use the oven for another dish or just want to pull out your slow cooker, you can make this casserole in there too.
Saute the onions, and garlic, then add the herbs, rice, chicken stock, cream, bechamel, mustard, chicken, and ham to the pan by following the directions provided. Pour the mixture into the bowl of the crockpot, place the lid on top, and cook for four hours.
Toast the breadcrumb mixture in a pan on the stove or in the oven and then sprinkle it on top of the casserole before serving.
What other types of meat can I use?
This recipe uses chicken and ham, but you can use other combinations. Try shredded rotisserie chicken, ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground pork. Any of these would provide great flavor with the other ingredients.
What else can I add to this creamy chicken and ham casserole?
If you want to substitute other items or add more into the dish, some great options include hashbrowns, diced potatoes, rice, leeks, bacon, green beans, asparagus, or cauliflower.
How to store:
Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat it in the microwave with 30-second increments until it’s hot all the way through.
To freeze the entire casserole, wrap it in aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Label it with what it is, how to cook, and the date. Labeling will help you remember later. Remember that if you cook it from frozen, it will take longer to cook in the oven without thawing first. Keep the foil on until the last 30 minutes of cooking so the top can brown.
What can I serve with chicken rice casserole?
Some chewy french bread, whole wheat dinner rolls, roasted vegetables, a fruit salad, or crunchy green salad would all go well with this dish.
How can I make this dish spicy?
If you’d like to add a little spice to this chicken casserole, you can add some red chili flakes or diced jalapenos. Be sure to taste the jalapenos before adding them to make sure they aren’t too hot.
What else can I top chicken and ham casserole with?
Cooked, crumbled bacon, chopped walnuts, or fried onions strings would all go well on top of this dish. When you’re thinking about what to add, try to offset the creaminess of the casserole. Different textures make a dish very pleasing.
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup bechamel sauce
- 1 cup rice
- 1 1⁄2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoon mustard
- 1 cup cooked chicken, cut into cubes
- 1 cup ham, cut into cubes
- 1⁄4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan
- Heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Saute onion for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Mix in Italian herbs and rice. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Pour over some chicken stock and cook for 10 minutes.
- Combine rice with cream and bechamel, add in mustard, chicken, and ham cubes.
- Transfer the mixture into a baking dish.
- Combine panko with butter and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the mixture on top.
- Bake at 190C/375F for 20 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 367Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 592mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 19g