Pantry Chicken Casserole

"Using pantry items plus a couple of fresh items, you can create a cheesy, comforting casserole your whole family will love. Though it does include RO*TEL® and a can of mild green chile peppers, it's not spicy, but if you like the heat, choose hot RO*TEL® and peppers. This pantry chicken casserole reheats well, too, but I had to hide it, or there would have been no night #2! A crusty bread and a green salad complete this easy pantry meal."

  • Prep time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook time: 40 Minutes
  • Ready in 55 Minutes


  • cooking spray
  • 1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper - stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages processed cheese food (such as Velveeta®), cubed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (such as RO*TEL®), undrained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can mild chopped green chile peppers
  • 4 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain.
  • While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in processed cheese food, diced tomatoes and juice, diced tomatoes and green chiles with juice, and mild chile peppers. Cook and stir until cheese has melted, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cooked pasta and chicken. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information

  • Total Fat: : 24.1g
  • Saturated Fat: : 24.1g
  • Sodium: : 24.1g
  • Potassium: : 24.1g
  • Total Carbohydrates: : 24.1g
  • Dietary Fiber: : 24.1g
  • Protein: : 24.1g
  • Sugars: : 24.1g
  • Vitamin C: : 24.1g
  • Iron: : 24.1g
  • Niacin: : 24.1g
  • Magnesium: : 24.1g


  • Cook's Notes:
  • You may substitute margarine for butter, any shelf-stable processed cheese food for Velveeta®, and two 12 1/2-ounce cans cooked, flaked chicken for leftover chicken.
  • You can use two 4-ounce cans sliced mushrooms instead of fresh mushrooms--just add them when you add the tomatoes.