Southern Living

Recipe: Poppy Seed Chicken

Learn how to make this simple Southern staple for quick weeknight dinners. It's speedy, easy to prepare, loaded with rich flavor, and sure to please each and every hungry member of the family (including picky eaters). It’s also an outstanding one-pot meal, making cleanup a breeze. By utilizing pantry and refrigerator staples like cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and basic cooked chicken, our poppy seed chicken recipe is also a handy, go-to inexpensive main dish for your next church potluck or supper club. Though you may have to purchase a bottle of poppy seeds for this dish, you’ll also find that poppy seeds are perfect to have on hand for quick and easy recipes like freezer-friendly Lemon-Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread or Lemon-Poppy Seed Waffles, in addition to this weeknight-casserole favorite.

Perfect for a busy family, the best part of this meal—what makes it ideal for weeknights—is that it involves minimal mess and effort, with only 10 minutes (or less!) of active hands-on time, and 40 minutes of hands-free time in the oven. And though you can cook the chicken any way you prefer—roasted, boiled, or even in the slow cooker—consider making this dish even easier by purchasing and shredding a prepared rotisserie chicken (click here to see our guide to carving a chicken at home). Keep in mind that a typical store-bought rotisserie chicken will yield about 3 to 4 cups of shredded chicken.

Though round buttery crackers are the perfect crispy, crunchy topping for this dish, you can also use other kinds of crackers—feel free to experiment with what you have on hand in your pantry, but always be sure to mix the crackers with ¼ cup butter to keep them moist.

Serve up this classic Southern comfort food alongside a healthy side with a different texture, like a big green salad or some roasted veggies. Meet your new favorite 6-ingredient casserole recipe—trust us, your family will ask for it by name, and you'll want to prepare this again and again.

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