Easy-to-make comfort food at its best, this family friendly chicken dish has stood the test of time…and got a little lighter along the way!
I was in high school when I scribbled the following recipe on a piece of pink scrap paper as my grandmother prepared it in her kitchen. That was the original Fountain Avenue Kitchen－and believe it or not, I still have that little piece of paper.
Over the years, I’ve modified the dish, which I think of as a warm chicken salad (but better thanks to the crunchy topping!) to make it lighter and more in line with 21st century tastebuds, so to speak.
If you cook extra chicken one night, this meal will come together in minutes and I’m hopeful you will enjoy it as much as my family does. Below the recipe, I’ve linked two simple ways to produce extra cooked chicken. Rotisserie chicken may also be used for those who enjoy that convenience.
I first posted this recipe years ago when my Fountain Avenue Kitchen Facebook page hit 925 “likes.” At the time, most would have considered 1,000 to be the more anticipated milestone. The slightly lower number, however, matched my grandparents’ street number on Fountain Avenue, so it had meaning to me.
Truly, when I began this labor of love, I had no expectations. I figured I’d share recipes that worked for my family with hopes that they might help a friend on a busy night. Who would have thought that roughly 64,000 more people would have clicked on that little “like” button since. Or that I would have the pleasure of connecting with so many loyal readers. That’s definitely the best part.
Because my photo-taking skills have improved somewhat over the years, I snapped a few new pictures recently. For the fun of it, however, I didn’t delete the decidedly inferior shot.
Readers occasionally send a photo of a recipe they made and enjoyed (which I love to see!), and they sometimes comment that their picture didn’t look as pretty as mine. I always say that it doesn’t matter what the finished product looks like as long as it tastes good. (And my plates don’t look picture perfect every night, that’s for sure!)
Ultimately, I think we deserve the bigger pat on the back for getting dinner on the table in the first place. Night after night, it’s not always easy. My hope is that a regular stream of doable, family-friendly recipes will make that task a little easier. We’re all in this together, right?
As an added note, this is a great dish to bake and serve in individual ramekins. Depending on size, adjust the cooking time down to 15 minutes or so.
- 2 lightly rounded cups cubed, cooked chicken
- 2 cups diced or thinly sliced celery (include leaves if you have them)
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt (I like 2%; may use whole or nonfat)*
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup minced onion
- 1 scant tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds (optional)
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- ⅓ cup crumbled potato chips (or a few more to taste)
Combine all of the ingredients except the cheese and potato chips. Pile lightly into 1½ quart casserole (no need to grease). Sprinkle with cheese, then with chips.
Bake at 400℉ for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Check midway and cover lightly with foil if chips are already nicely browned.
*My grandmother’s original recipe called for all mayonnaise (⅔ cup) and no Greek yogurt. She also used more lemon juice. If you prefer to make the all-mayo version, feel free to add additional lemon juice to taste, as the Greek yogurt supplies its own element of tang. Do taste as you go, however. The lemon juice adds dimension to the flavor, but a little goes a long way.
*Calculations based on 2% Greek yogurt.
Chicken Chip Bake is an especially easy dinner if you use leftovers from another delicious yet simple meal, like Slow Cooked Chicken for the Week (or to freeze) ⇧⇧ or Slow Roasted Whole Chicken ⇩⇩.
originally posted on 2/25/12
My mother made this casserole often …. such a “walk down memory lane” for me! And I love the lightened version! The only (slight) problem that I had was that I made it a day ahead of my “ladies luncheon” and it seemed to become a bit watery after baking … maybe because of the Greek yogurt? ??
Although I don’t want to double the mayo for health reasons, I might try using a bit more mayonnaise and a bit less yogurt next time I make it.
Thank you for your feedback, Anne. My guess is that the excess liquid the next day came from the celery. Celery has a very high water content, and over time, the salt in recipes draws out that moisture. A little wateriness in leftovers usually dries out when reheated in the oven. But I can see how some may have accumulated and not cooked off when the whole casserole was reheated. Now I’m wondering if salting and sweating the celery (as is often done with high-moisture veggies like zucchini and eggplant) would be helpful when wishing to prepare this the day before.
My goodness! Another great sounding recipe I am trying this weekend! Thanks ! :)))
Awesome, Katie! Enjoy!
This is my new favorite way to stretch leftover chicken into a new meal…and a reason to make enough chicken to guarantee leftovers!
I so agree, Joan…a very good reason to make extra chicken!
I was thinking the exact same thing:)
Thank you for providing information about this great recipe
My pleasure, Rewari!
Many thanks. I am going to try this. My mother’s original recipe used mayonnaise and condensed cream of chicken soup!!
I love that you grew up with a variation of this recipe, Alicelynne, and hope you enjoy this one as well!
Needing to know the approximate carb content of a serving. Doesn’t need to be exact 🙂
Hi Stephanie, I didn’t have them for this recipe but took a minute to calculate and just added them under the recipe card. Hope it helps!
We enjoyed this very much and I will definitely be making it again. I made your homemade Bisquick with the gluten-free option, too. It is hard to find good gluten free recipes sometimes!
Great news, Peggy! I’m delighted you found some new recipes to enjoy!
I am planning on making this recipe for my book club. Very pleased I found a “lightened” version with the Greek yogurt mixed with the mayonnaise. My question is what else should I serve with this casserole? There will be be 6 of us for a lunch time meeting. I am so bad at planning what to serve with what, so I would appreciate any suggestions.
Hi Diane, Coincidentally, I made this last week and served with a side of roasted broccoli. Everyone I served seemed to really enjoy that pairing. Another green vegetable or a simple green salad would pair well, too. In the summer, sliced vine-ripened tomatoes complement nicely. Grape tomatoes are a good cold weather alternative. I tend to prefer something simple and with a little color, which looks pretty and lets the flavor of the casserole shine. I hope that helps and that you enjoy!
So good. This was a staple when I was growing up. My mom also made it with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving each year. She always used Lay’s chips so that is what I use. Another good one Ann!
Lay’s are a favorite around here, Donna! So glad you like this and that it brings back fond memories!
Hi Ann, I am wondering how this would be using tuna instead of chicken?
I might have to try it and let you know.. I do love a good tuna casserole even though it is usually looked upon with disdain by many people.
I haven’t tried, but you might be onto something, Mary Lou. I love a good old tuna noodle casserole, too! If you try, please report back!
Hi, after reading this yummy post i am going to try it!
This turned out wonderfully!
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