Pizza Chicken Casserole is an easy, family-pleasing recipe ready in under 1 hour. Use rotisserie chicken and a few other simple ingredients to make this satisfying casserole chock-full of your favorite pizza flavors!
To me, casseroles are the ultimate comfort food. Warm, cheesy and filling, what could be more satisfying? Well, what about pizza? I don’t know too many people that can turn down a hot slice of cheesy pizza stacked with toppings. So what do you get when you combine these two, most beautiful, perfect dishes? Pizza chicken casserole – a match made in heaven!
This pizza chicken casserole combines rotisserie chicken, veggies, lots of cheese, and pizza sauce to form a deliciously saucy, cheesy and meaty base. Then, more cheese is piled on top, along with a generous layer of pepperoni. Oh man, my mouth is already watering!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this pizza chicken casserole:
- Rotisserie chicken: you’ll need 3 1/2 cups of shredded chicken, which about is what you’ll get from an average sized rotisserie chicken. See the next section “Do I need to use rotisserie chicken?” for substitution ideas.
- Bell pepper, onion and mushrooms: these veggie pizza toppings get sauteed and mixed in with the chicken before being baked. If you don’t like one of these, you can double up on one of the other veggies. Or, substitute your own favorite vegetable. Frozen, thawed spinach would be good (wring out excess moisture before adding in). Or even chopped broccoli or artichoke hearts!
- Oil: just a bit to saute the vegetables. I used olive oil; use your favorite cooking oil.
- Salt and pepper, dried oregano: these are to flavor the vegetables during cooking; a bit of oregano is also sprinkled on the top of the casserole.
- Low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese: I shredded my own cheese instead of buying pre-shredded cheese. This gives the most melty, oozy texture, since pre-shredded cheese is coated in a starchy substance to keep it from sticking together. However, if I’m really short on time I will still totally buy pre-shredded cheese, so, it’s up to you! And whole milk cheese was a little too rich when paired with the pepperoni, so that’s why I went with the part-skim variety.
- Pizza sauce: this coats the chicken and veggies and adds moisture to the casserole filling. Use your own favorite kind!
- Pepperoni: this is added to the top of the casserole before baking. You can use turkey or vegetarian pepperoni. Or, leave it off altogether and substitute with another pizza topping. (Extra veggies, olives, or cooked sausage crumbles would be delicious!).
Do I need to use rotisserie chicken?
I used rotisserie chicken for this recipe because it’s so easy! Nearly every supermarket has rotisserie chicken sitting around ready to grab, and it’s relatively inexpensive, at least in my usual grocery stores.
However, if you don’t want to use rotisserie chicken or it’s not available, you can use any leftover chicken you have on hand, or cook your own! All you need is 3 1/2 cups of boneless, skinless chicken shredded into medium-sized pieces. You can use dark meat, light meat, or a combination of both.
If you are going to cook your own chicken, prepare it in any way that’s easy for you – baked or pan fried would both work. Just be sure to season the chicken with salt and pepper during cooking time, since rotisserie chicken comes pre-seasoned.
What kind of casserole dish should I use?
I used a 2 quart capacity oval casserole dish. Your particular dish doesn’t need to be oval – a square, rectangular, or round shape will work as long as it will hold 2 quarts of volume (8 cups).
Also, stick to a wide shape that has about 2 1/2 – 3 inch high sides (as opposed to narrow and deep). This will ensure you get enough surface area on top to add all your pepperoni and it will finish cooking around the same time instructed in the recipe.
If you don’t have a casserole dish that size, you can also substitute a 9 x 9 inch baking pan!
Here are a couple quick tips to help you hit this Pizza Chicken Casserole out of the park!
- Make sure you cut the pepper, onion and mushroom in small enough sizes. I cut the pepper and onion in thin (but not super thin) strips, and chopped the mushroom. (I cheated a bit because I bought pre-sliced mushrooms, then just ran my knife through them a few more times!) If you cut your vegetables in too-large pieces, not enough of the moisture will come out of them during the saute process, which can make your casserole watery.
- And along the same lines, make sure to keep cooking those veggies until you see most of the moisture in the pan dissipate. As you can see from these pictures, the liquid in the mushrooms will start to seep out a minute or two after cooking and the pan will get super watery. Just keep going until all that liquid cooks off, like in the second picture. That way you won’t have a soggy casserole!
If you’ve tried this recipe for Pizza Chicken Casserole, please let me know what you thought about it in the comments down below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see more delicious recipes from Nibble and Dine!
And if you love casseroles like me, here are a few of my other favorite casserole recipes for you to check out:
- Creamy Spinach Artichoke Chicken Casserole: another easy and relatively quick casserole using rotisserie chicken
- Cheesy Chili Cornbread Casserole: a chili base, topped with cheese, then a layer of cheesy cornbread!
- Italian Breakfast Casserole: I could eat this delicious casserole day or night! Italian sausage, 3 kinds of cheese, eggs, and soft bread cubes all cooked together into one heavenly breakfast treat.
An easy casserole ready in under 1 hour, chock-full of chicken and all your favorite pizza flavors!
- 3 1/2 c. shredded chicken (from 1 rotisserie chicken)
- 1 lb. low moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 8 oz. mushrooms
- 1 tbsp. oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, divided
- 14 oz. pizza sauce
- 2 oz. pepperoni
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Using your hands, shred the rotisserie chicken into medium-sized pieces (make sure to exclude all skin and bones from the shredded chicken). Measure out 3 1/2 cups of chicken, set aside.
- If needed, shred the mozzarella. Then separate out 1 1/2 c. of the cheese, which will be used to top the casserole. Set the cheese aside.
- Cut the onion and pepper into thin strips. Chop the mushrooms.
- Add the oil to a large skillet set over high heat (see note about pan size). Swirl the pan around so the oil coats the bottom of the pan, then add the onion, mushroom and bell pepper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1/4 tsp. of dried oregano. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the moisture from the vegetables has been released and then cooked off, and the vegetables are tender, about 6 – 8 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to low and add the pizza sauce and chicken. Cook for an additional 1 – 2 minutes, stirring to disperse the sauce evenly throughout the chicken and vegetables.
- Turn the heat off and stir in the mozzarella cheese, minus the 1 1/2 c. reserved cheese.
- Add the chicken mixture to a 2 quart capacity casserole dish and spread it out so the top is smooth. Top with the reserved cheese and pepperoni. Sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 tsp. dried oregano.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the edges of the casserole are bubbly and the pepperoni is browned, about 20 minutes.
You will use the skillet to saute the vegetables, and then the chicken, cheese, and pizza sauce will be stirred in at the end. Since the pan needs to hold a large volume, use the largest skillet you have – I used a 12 inch skillet which was just large enough.
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