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Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole is a classic casserole that’s wonderfully creamy with a buttery cracker crub topping. So simple to make for a weeknight meal!

Wooden spoon scooping Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole.

This creamy Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole topped with a cheesy Ritz cracker topping is comfort food at its finest. Who doesn’t love a buttery Ritz cracker topping? Especially when there is some cheese mixed in. It’s the best part.

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole is a classic southern dish that you’ll find a recipe for in practically every community or church cookbook. And strangely enough, you’ll find little variation between recipes. Or maybe that’s not strange, because why tinker with something that tastes as good as Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole?

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole in an oval casserole dish.

How To Make Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole

Shredded or diced chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken) is mixed with Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup and sour cream and topped with poppy seeds and a Ritz cracker topping. I also like to add just a little celery salt and some Cheddar cheese.  This casserole only takes a few minutes to mix together and then it just needs a little over 30 minutes on the oven.

It’s a super easy comfort meal that will appeal to the whole family. And make sure you get dibs on the leftovers. It reheats really well too.

Freeze For Later

This recipe freezes really well. You can double it and bake one for now and freeze one for later. It’s the perfect casserole to give to a friend who has just had a baby or a neighbor who is going through a rough patch. Just pair it with a green salad or some rice and green beans for a full meal.

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

More Chicken Casseroles

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

Pure comfort food. Creamy chicken casserole topped with a cheesy Ritz cracker crumb mixture.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 40 minutes
TOTAL: 50 minutes


  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken condensed soup
  • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers (about 32), crushed
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly coat a 2-quart baking dish with butter.
  • In a large bowl, mix chicken, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, poppy seeds, celery salt, black pepper, 1/2 of cheddar, 1/2 Ritz crackers.
  • Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese and cracker crumbs on top. Drizzle butter over topping and sprinkle with paprika.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.


Leftover turkey can be used instead of chicken.


Calories: 376kcal
Course: Casserole
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: chicken casserole

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Originally published December 28, 2013

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

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22 thoughts on “Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole”

  1. Barbara Essinger

    Made this once before and flavors were wondefully tasty. Making again tonight. Have no celery so will add chopped water chestnuts instead for the crunch and serve over some lightly buttered angel hair pasta. Didnt serve anything last time other than a veggie and husband was missing his starch substance

  2. Thank you Christen. I’m new on here and an old retired Millwright Mechanic. I like your recipes that I can freeze for later. I’m always making large 1 pot meals that can be frozen in smaller containers. I don’t do many oven baked meals but am certainly going to invest some time in some casseroles now. I’m leaning towards using Smoked Paprika and Aged Block Cheese in your Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole.

  3. My mother made this for years and I do to. I remember that the original recipe had Ritz cracker bits but we use Peppridge Farm Herb Stuffing. We mix the poppy seeds in the stuffing/butter mixture.
    I’ll have to try it with the poppy seeds mixed in the main art of the dish and may try the Ritz crackers for authenticity!

  4. OMG I haven’t had Poppy Seed Chicken in a REALLY long time! Love it! Will have to try! Looks delish!

  5. I substitute French onion dip for the sour cream and I add green peas., my seven girls love it. So does my only male companion, Gus, my male yellow lab.

  6. I made this the other night. It was delicious. Only problem was that I ate too much. The buttery cracker topping was so tasty on top of the creamy poppy seed chicken. I will be making this again. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Amy (Savory Moments)

    Being a Northerner, I’ve never been lucky enough to experience this casserole — but, it looks delicious and I may just need to try to make it myself. Perfect winter comfort food!

  8. Irina @ wandercrush

    Yay for poppy seeds! I don’t believe I’ve used them often with savoury dishes—certainly not a casserole. What a great idea though, and I had no idea it was a classic southern dish. Have a wonderful New Year, Christin 🙂

  9. Vicky and Ruth / May I Have That Recipe?

    We have enjoyed reading your posts. Just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year!

  10. Christin, this looks so delicious! I can’t believe I’ve never had a ritz cracker topping — it sounds great. I’m going to have to put that on my list for 2014!

  11. Shundara@SavyNaturalista

    I can almost taste the casserole it looks really.. Happy New year to you and your family Christin and keep the recipes coming… 🙂

  12. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    There is something so comforting about casserole and this one looks perfect, Christin! Love the ritz topping. Have a great week!

  13. I have not had enough chicken casseroles in my life. This looks wonderful! I am also in the Ritz cracker fan club. : )

  14. Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen

    Oh my… you had me right here: “buttery Ritz cracker topping”. 🙂 Looks delicious!

  15. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl

    I know how big of a hit this casserole would be, major! Looks delicious!

    1. Poppy Seed Chicken is a favorite of ours. I use the recipe for Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup from Brooklyn Farm Girl. Instead of buying a can, make 1.5X the recipe, omitt the mushrooms, and add half milk and half homemade chicken broth for the liquid, added 1/2 teas. garlic powder plus 1/2 teas. fresh minced garlic to change the recipe to Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup. In the homemade chicken broth I added a little Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base to boost the chicken flavor to the water, carrots and onion I boiled than simmered the store-bought rotisserie chicken bones in for a few hours after saving the meat for the recipe to make homemade chicken broth which makes enough for this recipe plus a few other containers to freeze.

  16. Consuelo @ Honey & Figs

    This is what I call comfort food made the right way. Mmm, it is making my mouth water. Especially with that lovely topping ;–)
    I hope you’ve enjoyed your weekend! xx

  17. Layla @ Brunch Time Baker

    What a wonderful recipe for the holidays! I love the fact that you incorporated poppy seeds, they are so healthy and will sure add extra depth to the recipe!

  18. This looks like such a great comforting casserole Christin. It sounds delicious especially topped with the buttery Ritz crackers 🙂

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