Pantry Chicken Casserole


Using pantry items plus a couple of fresh items, you can create a cheesy, comforting casserole your whole family will love. Though it includes RO*TEL and a can of mild green chile peppers, it's not spicy; if you like the heat, choose hot RO*TEL and peppers. This pantry chicken casserole reheats well, too, but I had to hide it, or there would have been no night #2! A crusty bread and a green salad complete this easy pantry meal.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
55 mins


  • cooking spray

  • 1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper - stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped

  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages processed cheese food (such as Velveeta®), cubed

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (such as RO*TEL®), undrained

  • 1 (4 ounce) can mild chopped green chile peppers

  • 4 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.

  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain.

  3. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until their liquid is released, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  4. Stir in processed cheese food, diced tomatoes with juice, diced tomatoes and green chiles with juice, and mild chile peppers. Cook and stir until cheese has melted, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cooked pasta and chicken. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.


You may substitute margarine for butter, any shelf-stable processed cheese food for Velveeta, and two (12 1/2-ounce) cans cooked, flaked chicken for leftover chicken.

You can use two (4-ounce) cans sliced mushrooms instead of fresh mushrooms. Add them when you add the tomatoes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

502 Calories
24g Fat
42g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 502
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 12g 59%
Cholesterol 92mg 31%
Sodium 949mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 24mg 119%
Calcium 300mg 23%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 527mg 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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