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Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

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This Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole is ready in 30 minutes and makes the perfect weeknight meal for the busy, modern cook! Kid-friendly and guest approved,  this is the ultimate comfort food that is sure to become a favorite!



This Poppy Seed Chicken casserole is a wonderful way to fill your home with mouthwatering smells and have a sharable dish that makes for easy leftovers. It’s also a recipe that is easy to double and easier to share.  



How to make poppy seed chicken: 

This easy poppy seed chicken recipe is simple to put together and you’ll be enjoying a mouthful of goodness in no time! 

  1. Shred and mix: Shred your chicken and mix it with everything but the cracker topping!
  2. Top it:  Spread your mixture into your casserole dish and top with your buttery crackers!
  3. Bake & Serve: It really is that easy!



Make it a one stop meal! 

You could add rice or noodles to your poppy seed chicken casserole if you’re looking to make it more filling! 

  • Pasta: Prepare it before putting it in the casserole dish. 
  • Rice: For rice, add a cup of minute rice bottom of your casserole dish with a little chicken broth so there is enough liquid to cook the rice. Then add your chicken mix!
  • Mashed Potatoes:  I know quite a few people who prefer to put this on top of a nice pile of potatoes!


  • This recipe is easy to double if you want to make more to go around, or to ensure you have leftovers! 
  • If you don’t have Ritz crackers, you could substitute them with any other buttery cracker! 
  • If you make this dish ahead of time, be sure to cover it in the fridge. You might need to add a few extra minutes in the oven to make sure it is cooked all the way through. 



How to Make Gluten Free Poppy Seed Chicken?

How to make poppy seed chicken casserole with Ritz crackers gluten free?  Well, it’s not just the Ritz crackers you have to pay attention to.  Most cans of pre-made chicken soup may contain wheat as a thickener.  Here are a few suggestions for substitutes for each of these items. 

The Crackers – Watch That Crumbliness!

When looking for a gluten free replacement for Ritz crackers, you’ll want to find something that can crumble easily.  But it can’t be dusty when it’s broken up!  I suggest Glutino’s Original Gluten Free Crackers or Crunchmaster’s Multi-Grain Crisps.  These aren’t too thin, so they wont reduce to powder when cooked with the poppy seed chicken.

If you don’t have a choice selection of gluten-free crackers, and the ones you pick up are crumbly, just do your best not to crush the crackers too fine.  Too small of pieces, when added to the melted butter, could make the crumbly top more of a hard crust once cooked.

The Chicken Soup – Buy Special or Make your Own!

It goes without saying that to replace cream of chicken soup, you’ll want to look for a can in the gluten-free aisle or with a gluten-free label.

If you don’t have access to gluten free soup options, you can make your own.  Just use:

  • Butter
  • Chicken broth
  • A gluten-free flour or substitute

A thickener will still be needed, so rice flour is a nice, bland taste that wont overwhelm the other flavors. But it’ll still do the job!

This version will taste a little basic, so feel free to add in spices; a little bit of garlic certainly can’t hurt!

Additionally you’ll need to find a gluten-free broth, as most commercial broths do contain at least a small amount of wheat. You can also make your own chicken or turkey broth with this Turkey Bone Broth recipe.  You’re goal is 1 cup of soup when replacing an existing can of store bought.



How to cook frozen poppy seed chicken: 

One of the best things about this poppy seed chicken recipe is that it is a great casserole to make ahead of time. You can totally prepare it and then freeze it. It’ll stay great for 2-3 months if you store it in an airtight container! When you’re ready to bake it, allow it to thaw, and then bake it for an extra 10 minutes. 

If you are planning on preparing this ahead of time, I would recommend only freezing the poppy seed chicken, and waiting to put the cracker mix together until right before baking. This will help the topping stay delightfully crispy! 



How to make poppy seed chicken casserole with ritz crackers: 

One of the best parts of this poppy seed chicken recipe is the amazing buttery ritz crackers topping. The topping takes the casserole to a whole new level! 

Can you freeze poppy seed chicken casserole:  

Absolutely! You can freeze poppy seed chicken before baking the chicken, or you can freeze leftovers! The most important thing is to remember to store your poppy seed chicken casserole 



What Side Dishes go with Poppy Seed Chicken? 

Your poppy seed chicken may be the main event – but those side dishes make all the difference! I’ve found that these recipes go great with it:



Can you cook poppy seed chicken without poppy seeds? 

Well, the world of cooking is full of possibilities. However, making poppy seed chicken without poppy seeds will certainly change the dish.

If you aren’t a huge fan of poppy seeds, you can always cut back how many you put into the mix. Trust me though, this poppy seed chicken recipe just might change your mind and turn you into a poppy seed fan! 



More Casseroles you’ll love…



Casseroles are a comforting and easy dish. This poppy seed chicken is just different enough from other casseroles that it will be a fun addition to your casserole repertoire. This recipe calls for so many kitchen staples, that it won’t be a wild goose chase to gather all of the ingredients you’ll need.

I love bringing this poppy seed chicken casserole to potlucks, dinner parties, and gatherings. It is always a crowd-pleaser.  Once you make it and share it, everyone will be asking for your poppy seed chicken recipe! Enjoy! 


Yield: 4 Servings

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

Serving spoon scooping casserole out of dish

This Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole is ready in 30 minutes and makes the perfect weeknight meal for the busy, modern cook! Kid-friendly and guest approved, it’s sure to become a favorite!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken or 3 cups of boneless cooked Chicken or Turkey meat
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 cup of crushed Ritz Crackers - approximately 3/4 a sleeve
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Spray an 8x8 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Shred boneless chicken or turkey meat and toss into a medium bowl.
  4. Add sour cream, cream of chicken soup and poppy seeds to the chicken. Mix well.
  5. Spread chicken mixture into prepared casserole dish.
  6. In a small bowl combined crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter. Mix well.
  7. Spread cracker mixture over chicken mixture.
  8. Cook in oven for 25 minutes until top is golden and mixture is starting to bubble.
  9. Serve Immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 500Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 768mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 37g
Originally Posted: December 15, 2014

Photos & Text Updated: January 14, 2021



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Sunday 19th of November 2023

Simple, tasty recipe. I sautéed then added mushrooms for my husband. Quite good!


Tuesday 3rd of May 2022

Could you adapt this to make with whole chicken breasts (apposed to shredded?)


Tuesday 10th of May 2022

Hi Trish. I'm sure you could. I personally never have though so it's just a theory. Just note that if you are cooking with raw chicken, your bake time will need to increase and you'll want to check the thickest part of your chicken breast with a digital thermometer to ensure it comes to 165*F before eating. If you try it, let us know how it turns out.


Saturday 12th of February 2022

I melt a block of cream cheese in with the cream of chicken soup it takes it to another level. All my family ask for this when we get together.


Thursday 30th of April 2020

I want to make this with egg noodles for a Mother's Day brunch. Yummy


Wednesday 19th of August 2020

Egg Noodles would be a great pairing! Yum!

Pam Greer

Thursday 30th of April 2020

This is my families favorite chicken casserole! Anytime we have roast chicken, I make sure and save enough to make this!


Wednesday 19th of August 2020

Great idea! We've been making this for almost 20 years and still aren't tired of it!

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