Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

Part of what makes comfort food so appealing this time of the year is few things can combat the rapidly fluctuating dance of warm and frigid weather being hurled at us … sometimes over the course of a single day. Rich sauces, tender protein, the brightness that only our favorite vegetables can add, and the tangy touch that cheese can bring to the party are all part of what these foods bring to us. In a word: comfort.

But for many of these treasured dishes, a lot of time and energy go into them as well and, while I'm the first to sing the praises of recipes prepared lovingly for those you love, I also subscribe to the notion that it's entirely okay to make something lovely without pouring every drop of energy you have into it. Save some of that for spending time with the aforementioned loved ones or - gasp - spend a little of that time entirely on yourself.

This Chicken Pot Pie Casserole takes the tried and true flavors of chicken pot pie and gives them a super simple crust of buttered, cheesy crackers instead of the more traditional pie crust or biscuits, both of which take substantially longer than tossing cracker crumbs and shredded cheese with a bit of melted butter. The result is all your favorite comfort food flavors in a casserole that's baked in the skillet you prepared everything … so there are fewer dishes too! There's a lot to love here. Oh - and did I mention that the lion's share of the time involved in making this casserole falls into baking time? Why not find a good book to curl up with or just a cozy corner to rest your eyes for a bit?

Since the brightly colored vegetables in this dish bring a bit of the rainbow to it, why not keep that going by serving this casserole with a fresh salad that's choke full of greens, red cabbage, chopped peppers, and sliced cucumbers? As the weather fights it out to figure out when spring will arrive, it's particularly nice to have a bright plate to remind us that it is on its way and comfort food casseroles are here to help us on the journey there.

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, divided
  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • 1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crumbled
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat and cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side before removing the chicken to a plate and chopping it coarsely.

Add two more tablespoons of the butter to the skillet with the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and black pepper over medium heat; cook for 4-5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

Add the frozen peas, frozen corn, shredded carrot, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, milk, and chopped chicken; mix well.

Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter; toss with the ritz crackers and cheddar cheese. Sprinkle it over the chicken mixture and bake for 30-35 minutes. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 50 minutes