Ritz Cracker Chicken Casserole



Ritz Cracker Chicken Casserole

Welcome to a delightful journey of comforting flavors with our Ritz Cracker Chicken Casserole! This recipe is a harmonious blend of creamy, savory goodness with a crunchy topping, perfect for a cozy dinner that the whole family will love. Let’s dive into the ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and some tips to make this dish your new favorite.

Ingredients Overview

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts: These form the hearty base of your casserole. Ensure they are fresh and trimmed for the best results.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste: Essential seasonings to bring out the flavors of the chicken.
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed: Adds a buttery, crunchy topping that complements the creamy layers beneath.
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese: Provides a savory, cheesy depth to the topping.
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted: Binds the cracker topping and adds richness.
  • 1 cup sour cream: Creates a creamy layer that keeps the chicken moist and flavorful.
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup: Adds a smooth, comforting base to the casserole.
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth: Thins out the soup slightly, making it perfect for layering.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (optional): For a touch of freshness and color as a garnish.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Preheat Your Oven Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray to prevent sticking.

Prepare the Chicken Season the boneless, skinless chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper. Place them in the greased baking dish, arranging them in a single layer.

Create the Crunchy Topping In a mixing bowl, combine the crushed Ritz crackers, grated Parmesan cheese, and melted butter. Mix well until the crackers are thoroughly coated with butter and cheese. This topping will bake into a golden, crispy layer that is simply irresistible.

Layer the Sour Cream Spread the sour cream evenly over the chicken breasts. This creamy layer helps keep the chicken moist and adds a delightful tanginess.

Mix the Creamy Sauce In another bowl, whisk together the can of cream of chicken soup and the chicken broth until smooth. Pour this mixture over the chicken and sour cream layer, ensuring it covers everything evenly.

Add the Topping Sprinkle the Ritz cracker mixture evenly over the top of the casserole, covering the entire surface.

Bake to Perfection Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the topping is golden brown and crispy.

Rest and Serve Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired, and serve hot.

Helpful Tips for Cooking

Enhance the Flavor: Feel free to season the chicken with your favorite herbs and spices before baking. Garlic powder, paprika, or Italian seasoning can add a wonderful depth of flavor.

Add Vegetables: Incorporate vegetables like broccoli, peas, or mushrooms into the dish for added texture and nutrition. Simply layer them under the sour cream or mix them into the soup mixture.

Perfect Crunch: To ensure your topping stays crispy, avoid covering the casserole with foil while baking.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Storage: Leftover casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheating: Reheat individual portions in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, or warm the entire casserole in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts? Absolutely! Chicken thighs can be used and will add even more juiciness to the casserole. Just ensure they are boneless and skinless for the best results.

Can I make this casserole ahead of time? Yes, you can assemble the casserole up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate it until you are ready to bake. You may need to add an extra 5-10 minutes to the baking time if it goes into the oven cold.

Is there a substitute for Ritz crackers? If you prefer, you can use other types of buttery crackers or even panko breadcrumbs for a different texture and flavor.

Can I freeze the leftovers? Yes, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

How do I know when the chicken is cooked? The chicken is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). You can use a meat thermometer to check this easily.

Enjoy the comforting embrace of this Ritz Cracker Chicken Casserole. It’s a perfect dish to unwind with after a long day, bringing a touch of warmth and satisfaction to your dining table. Happy cooking!

Add Comment