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Cheesy Chicken Casserole Lightened Up

Course dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Author Joyful Homemaking


  • 4 cups cooked and drained pasta I like Penne rigate or Cavatappi
  • 2 cups cooked and diced chicken breast or could use leftover Rotisserie
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or butter spread I use Smart Balance
  • 2 teaspoons minced dried onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced jarred garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups regular shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Optional: Pinch of salt and pepper


  • Prepare your chicken breast however you like to cook it, then dice enough for 2 cups.
  • Boil, drain and rinse your pasta.
  • Then In a large frying pan, melt your butter, and then add garlic, onion and flour while whisking.
  • Then add milk and sour cream and continue whisking. Move off the heat and lightly whisk in 2 1/2 cups of the cheese and the red pepper flakes.
  • If you like, add salt and pepper to taste. In our house we add the salt and pepper at the table.
  • Stir in pasta and chicken, until it’s coated with the cheese mixture.
  • Now pour into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, then remove foil and top with the leftover 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, and bake for 5 more minutes uncovered.
  • Let cool for a few minutes, then serve.