Cheesy Chicken Zucchini Casserole

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Chicken Zucchini Casserole is packed with juicy pieces of chicken breast, tender zucchini, diced bell pepper, corn kernels, and more. Topped with gooey mozzarella cheese and cooked in a creamy cheese sauce, this baked chicken casserole is a dinner you don’t want to miss!

overhead shot of a cooked cheesy chicken zucchini casserole in a baking dish


 

Creamy Chicken Zucchini Casserole

Okay, so I know you’ve had many chicken casseroles, but stick with me here, because you’re going to want to try just one more. More specifically, you’re going to want to try this Chicken Zucchini Casserole recipe, because it’s out-of-this-world delicious.

Before I get into what makes this chicken and veggie casserole so good, I just want to mention that this is a dinner and a side dish all in one. We’ve got chicken for the main source of protein, veggies that would normally go on the side, and a cheesy sauce to top it all off, just for kicks! Good deal, right?

With that said, let’s talk details. Chopped chicken breast, tender zucchini, and juicy corn are smothered in a rich, creamy sauce, and topped with a layer or stringy mozzarella cheese. (Because cheese makes everything better!)

So, now that you know that this is no casual chicken casserole recipe, let’s get started!

diced zucchini and diced red bell pepper cooking in a black skillet

What You’ll Need

First things first, you’ll want to round up all of the essential ingredients. Here’s what is needed to make this chicken zucchini casserole:

  • Olive Oil: You can use other cooking oils like canola oil if you want to.
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted both work – I tend to use unsalted since you’ll season the sauce with salt and pepper later.
  • Chicken: Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • Zucchini: Dice them into 1/2-inch pieces before starting.
  • Pepper: I like to use a red bell pepper, but you can switch up the color if you like.
  • Garlic: Minced, for extra savory flavor.
  • Corn: Make sure to rinse and drain your corn kernels.
  • Flour: I always use all-purpose flour for this recipe.
  • Chicken Broth: I prefer low sodium chicken broth for the sauce, but you can use regular if you like.
  • Half and Half: If you want richer flavor, you can substitute in heavy cream.
  • Cream Cheese: Make sure to bring to room temperature before starting.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: I like to use shredded because it melts into the sauce really well.
  • Seasoning: Simply season your sauce with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
making a creamy cheese sauce in a skillet

How to Make Chicken Zucchini Casserole

This easy baked casserole starts with diced chicken breast, which you’ll cook until it’s nice and juicy. Then the fresh zucchini and red bell pepper are sautéed until tender, along with some bright corn kernels. Next, cream cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese combine to create a flavor-packed, cheesy sauce.

Finally, throw all three components together for one of the best chicken casseroles you’ve ever tasted!

This is how it all comes together, in greater detail:

  • Preheat the Oven to 400˚F.
  • Cook the Chicken: Add olive oil to a large 12-inch skillet and set it over medium-high heat. Put the diced chicken in the pan, and cook it while stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes, or until it’s browned and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a medium mixing bowl and set it aside.
  • Sauté the Vegetables: Add zucchini and bell peppers to the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender. Add garlic and cook for 20 seconds. Stir in the corn and cook for 1 minute, or until it’s heated through. Transfer the zucchini mixture to the bowl with the chicken. Set aside once more.
  • Make the Cheese Sauce: Add butter to the pan and melt. Stir in flour; cook, stirring constantly, until the flour starts to brown, for about 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and half & half, bringing the mixture to a boil and whisking often. Remove from the heat; stir in cream cheese and some mozzarella, then continue to stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Combine: Drain liquid, if any, from the chicken and vegetable mixture. Stir the chicken and vegetables into the cheese sauce. Transfer the chicken and veggies to a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Add Cheese and Bake: Sprinkle the casserole with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
overhead shot of a cooked chicken zucchini casserole in a baking dish

Tips for Success

It may look like a lot of steps, but time flies by when you’re making this chicken zucchini casserole – it’ll be out of the oven and cooling in a flash!

The following are some tips and tricks that will help you get the best possible results with your casserole:

  • How to Know When the Casserole is Done: Oven cooking capability can vary from brand to brand, so you might need to adjust the cooking time, just slightly. If the edges of the casserole are bubbly and the top is a nice golden-brown, you’re good to go.
  • Cut the Chicken into Same-Size Pieces: If there are some big cubes and some smaller ones, the chicken pieces could turn come out underdone or overdone. Keeping them the same size is a good way to ensure that all the chicken gets cooked through.
  • Use Leftover Chicken: If you have leftover cooked chicken from a previous dinner, feel free to use it in this recipe – it’s a real time saver!

Serving Suggestions for Chicken Zucchini Casserole

I know I said that you didn’t need side dishes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have them! Here are some side dish ideas that go well with this chicken zucchini casserole:

  • Rice or Pasta: I like to serve this dinner with a side of rice or any kind of pasta (usually spaghetti). Mix it in with the cheesy sauce and enjoy!
  • Bread: Another great way to soak up that cream sauce. Slices of crusty bread, or even garlic bread, are perfect for this meal!
  • Potatoes: You can do oven roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes… even mashed cauliflower works!
  • Salad: If you’re looking to keep things light and nutritious, a big green salad is always a good idea.
close up shot of a large spoon scooping out cheesy chicken zucchini casserole

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • I would recommend refrigerating any leftover casserole in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.
  • When you want to reheat it, put it back in the oven at 400˚F (with a little extra cheese) and bake for a few minutes, or until warmed through.

Can I Make this Ahead?

  • Definitely. You can make this whole chicken zucchini casserole a day ahead of time and store it in the fridge to reheat later, or you can just assemble parts of it.
  • Sometimes I like to cook the chicken and vegetables plus prepare the sauce, but store each part in a separate airtight container until I’m ready to make dinner later. This works great for when you want to freeze the casserole before it’s baked.

ENJOY!

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4.91 from 30 votes

Cheesy Chicken Zucchini Casserole

Chopped chicken plus sautéed corn and zucchini tossed in a cheesy cream sauce, combine to make a delicious chicken zucchini casserole!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts,, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 large zucchini,, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper,, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic,, minced
  • 1 cup corn kernels,, rinsed and drained
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 3 ounces cream cheese,, room temperature, cut up in cubes
  • 1 ¼ cups shredded mozzarella cheese,, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt,, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper,, to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley,, for garnish
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  • Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Add olive oil to a 12-inch skillet and set over medium-high heat. Add diced chicken to the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, or until chicken is browned and cooked through.
    Transfer the chicken to a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Add zucchini and bell peppers to the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender. Add garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
    Stir in corn and cook for 1 minute, or until heated through. Transfer the zucchini mixture to the bowl with the chicken. Set aside.
  • Add butter to the same pan and melt. Stir in flour; cook, stirring constantly, until the flour starts to brown, about 1 minute.
    Whisk in broth and half & half; bring to a boil, whisking often.
  • Remove from heat; stir in cream cheese and 3/4 cup mozzarella; continue to whisk and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Drain liquid from the chicken and vegetable mixture. Stir the chicken and vegetables into the cheese sauce.
    Transfer chicken and veggies to previously prepared baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the casserole with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until edges are bubbly and top is browned.
    Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes.
  • Taste for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve.

Notes

Notes:
  • How to Know When the Casserole is Done: Oven cooking capability can vary from brand to brand, so you might need to adjust the cooking time, just slightly. If the edges of the casserole are bubbly and the top is a nice golden-brown, you’re good to go.
  • Cut the Chicken into Same-Size Pieces: If there are some big cubes and some smaller ones, the chicken pieces could turn come out underdone or overdone. Keeping them the same size is a good way to ensure that all the chicken gets cooked through.
  • Use Leftover Chicken: If you have leftover cooked chicken from a previous dinner, feel free to use it in this recipe – it’s a real time saver!
Recipe inspired by EatingWell

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 480mg | Potassium: 689mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1118IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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39 Comments

  1. Shirley says:

    I loved this recipe!
    I substituted fresh carrot for the corn. It reminded me of pot pie.

  2. Jean says:

    Wow, love this recipe use fat reduced
    cream cheese and added a little
    Tobacco . This recipe is delicious .
    Will definitely make this again !

  3. Jacqueline Howsare says:

    How on earth can you say this is a 10 minute prep time?!