chicken and biscuit casserole
Today I have the best Chicken and Biscuit Casserole made from scratch to share with you. I also have instructions for how to make it with chicken or left-over turkey. There are tons of veggies, including carrots, peas and fresh herbs, and it’s topped with easy whole-grain buttermilk drop biscuits. It’s yummy for the whole family!
This recipe and photography also appears in Edible Green Mountain Magazine, November, 2019. The recipe originally appeared here on healthyseasonalrecipes.com on March 23, 2013 and as a separate post on November 22nd, 2010. I have combined the posts and updated the text and photography today. This post contains affiliate links.
You guys, I have literally made eight batches of this casserole this fall! I am obsessed about it.
As I said above, this recipe has been on the blog since 2010, but I kind of forgot about it. When Edible Green Mountain asked if they could run the recipe in their magazine this fall, that’s when I fell back in love with it. Stephanie and I did these brand new pics for the magazine and after the shoot, I was like, I love this recipe, why don’t I make this ALL. THE. TIME?!! And since then, I have!
How to Make Chicken and Biscuit Casserole
This healthy chicken casserole recipe is crazy easy to make. You prep the chicken, cook down the veggies, make the drop biscuit dough, assemble and bake! I’ll walk you through how to do it.
Cook The Chicken
The easiest way to cook the chicken is to poach it.
- To poach the chicken, just set it in a saucepan, cover it with cold water and bring it to a simmer. You don’t want to boil the chicken, just gently simmer, so make sure to turn the heat down once it comes up to a simmer. I also turn the chicken over in the poaching liquid occasionally so that if some of it bobs above the surface it will get cooked too.
- Note that some chicken breasts are very large (a half pound each) so, if you have larger ones then you’ll have to cook them for longer. I have an instant read thermometer that I use, and I make sure my chicken is 165 degrees.
- Remove the chicken and cut it into cubes. If you prefer to shred the chicken, you can let it cool then shred it with two forks or just use clean hands.
How To Sub In Leftover Turkey or Cooked Chicken
This recipe back in 2010 was originally designed to be a leftover turkey recipe for after Thanksgiving. So if you’re reading this recipe after Thanksgiving, and wondering if you can use the cooked turkey instead of chicken, the answer is emphatically yes! You can also use leftover chicken as well. Just skip step one and use 3 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken or turkey instead.
Make The Filling
The filling for this chicken and biscuits casserole is a lot like chicken pot pie. Here is how you make it:
- Sauté the mirepoix (that’s a combo of two parts onions, one part each carrots and celery) with some salt and pepper and some fresh chopped garlic in a heavy large saucepan. Take your time here, and let the onions sweat and soften. It’ll take 10 minutes or so.
- Next, sprinkle on the flour. Doing this, instead of making a butter roux will help to keep the calories in check. Just make sure to stir the flour into the veggies to coat them and let it dissolve. That will keep the flour from clumping once you add the broth.
- Add the chicken broth. I like to use a high quality organic chicken broth, or use homemade chicken stock. If you’re making this with your Thanksgiving leftovers, you can use turkey stock. Just make sure to add extra salt to taste if you’re using homemade stock.
- I want to point out that the mixture will seem a little loose at this point. But the thing is, that the biscuits are very absorbent, so you need to give them a little extra liquid.
- Add in some chopped herbs. Note that you’ll need extra herbs for the topping, but the total amount (2 tablespoons) is divided. I like to use a blend of rosemary, sage and thyme. We’ve already had a killing frost here in Vermont, so I don’t have any chives in my garden. If I did, I would use them too.
- Another note: if you want to make this a little more indulgent, you can stir in two tablespoons cold unsalted butter once the mixture comes off the heat. This will add about 36 calories per serving, but will make the mouthfeel a little more velvety. Nutrition facts below do not include the extra butter. I’ll let you decide.
Make The Whole-Grain Drop Biscuits
On top of the chicken filling are simple drop biscuits which are made light and fluffy with buttermilk instead of butter. A lot of chicken and biscuit casseroles are made with purchased refrigerated canned biscuits which have such “delicious” ingredients as Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Calcium Chloride and TBHQ. So in other words, make your biscuits from scratch, yo! These fluffy biscuits are perfect for soaking up the creamy herb sauce.
- First whisk together the dry ingredients. I use a combination of white whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. Look for unbleached unbromated flour. I use King Arthur Flour. For leavening I use both baking soda and baking powder.
- For the liquid ingredients, I used a combo of buttermilk, egg and oil. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a substitute by placing a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in the bottom of a measuring cup. Then fill the cup up to the 1 cup mark with milk. Let it sit for a minute to “sour” and then continue on with the recipe.
- Here’s where you add in the herbs that you set aside earlier. They get mixed right into the biscuit dough to add a little more savory flavor.
- Just stir the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture together until it is a shaggy dough. You don’t want to overwork it, but make sure that there aren’t big pockets of flour left unmoistened.
How To Assemble the Chicken and Biscuits Casserole
- Don’t forget to heat your oven!
- Once the chicken filling is made, transfer it to a large baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. This recipe fits into a 9 by 13 baking dish perfectly.
- Top the chicken filling with the biscuits. I like to use two spoons. I scoop up the filling with one, and then use the other spoon to scrape it off onto the chicken filling. I try to fit three across and four down making twelve total biscuits. Don’t worry if they aren’t perfect! This is comfort food and perfection makes people uncomfortable!
To Bake the Casserole
Once the biscuits are on top, pop it right into the oven. You’ll know the casserole is done when the biscuits are browned and the filling is bubbling all along the edges. I let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving. And it can sit even loger, because it will hold its heat for a while!
How To Make Chicken and Biscuits Casserole in Advance
If you are serving this to company (I did last week.) Here is the best way to make it ahead. This can be done up to two days in advance!
- Make a wet mix and a dry mix for the biscuits. Store the wet mix in the fridge in a resealable container.
- Make the filling completely, and let it cool. Then cover it and store it in the fridge for up to two days.
- To make the casserole, rewarm the filling on the stove top over medium-low heat, or in the microwave, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes (depending on how powerful your microwave is.)
- Mix together the biscuit dough.
- Then transfer the chicken mixture to a prepared baking dish and top with the biscuits and bake as directed.
More Comfort Food Chicken Recipes:
This Chicken and Leek Shepherd’s Pie is from my friend Aimee’s cookbook, and it is delicious! My kids made it for me one night after a long and tiring trip for my book tour. It truly is a comfort for a tired soul!
This cold season, try my super healthy Chicken and Quinoa Soup with mustard greens and turmeric. It will sock your cold right outta town!
If you love creamy chicken recipes, you can’t miss my Chicken Divan. It’s loaded with fresh broccoli and creamy Parmesan cheese sauce.
For pasta lovers, this Healthy Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli will satisfy!
Thanks so much for reading. Please make sure you check out Edible Green Mountain. If you make this recipe, please come back and let me know by leaving a star rating and review!
Chicken and Biscuit Casserole made from scratch with carrots, peas and fresh herbs and an easy whole-grain buttermilk drop biscuit topping. Yum!
- 2 large chicken breasts, about 1 pound 4 oz.
- 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 2 cups diced onion
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as sage, parsley, thyme and/or chives, divided
- 1 cup white whole-wheat flour, or whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Place chicken breast in a medium saucepan and cover completely with cold tap water. Place over high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, turning in the poaching liquid occasionally until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes, depending on thickness of the meat. Remove the chicken and let cool. Cut chicken into cubes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened and starting to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle 1/4 cup all-purpose flour over the vegetable mixture and stir to coat. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring often. Stir in the chicken, peas and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon herbs and return to a simmer, stirring often. Transfer the chicken mixture to the prepared baking dish.
- Whisk the remaining 1 cup all-purpose flour, white-whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk egg, buttermilk, the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil and the remaining 2 teaspoons herb mixture in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture into the buttermilk mixture and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls over the chicken mixture. Transfer to the oven and bake until the biscuits are puffed and golden and the sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes.
To substitute cooked chicken or leftover turkey, skip step one and use 3 cups cubed or shredded chicken or turkey.
To make this casserole in advance: Make a wet mix and a dry mix for the biscuits. Store the wet mix in the fridge in a resealable container. Make the filling completely, and let it cool. Then cover it and store it in the fridge for up to two days. To make the casserole, rewarm the filling on the stove top over medium-low heat until it bubbles, or in the microwave, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes (depending on how powerful your microwave is.) Mix together the biscuit dough. Then transfer the chicken mixture to a prepared baking dish and top with the biscuits and bake as directed.
- Serving Size: 1/8 casserole
- Calories: 298
- Sugar: 6 grams
- Sodium: 542 mg
- Fat: 8 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.3 grams
- Carbohydrates: 37 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Protein: 19 grams