Southern Baked Chicken Casserole

This is a slightly modernized take on the very traditional Southern chicken casserole Jennifer Nettles's mother likes to make. The recipe swaps out the usual canned cream of chicken soup in favor of a quick white sauce. A dash of hot sauce is the perfect finish.

Slideshow:More Southern Comfort Foods

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  • Servings: 8


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Tabasco
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pimentos (from a 4-ounce jar)
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed (4 ounces)

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the oil. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Season the mixture with salt, pepper and Tabasco. Remove from the heat and stir in the mayonnaise, chicken and pimentos.

  2. Transfer the chicken mixture to a 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Scatter the crushed crackers on top. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the casserole is golden and bubbling. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published March 2011

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