This easy chicken noodle casserole is everything you love about chicken noodle soup in comforting casserole form, and vegan! Tender, hearty noodles, onion, celery, and carrot cooked in a creamy dairy free sauce with meaty chunks of soy curls throughout. It’s no-boil and dump-and-bake, so it’s even easy to make on a busy work night or you can meal prep for a week of plant-based dinners the whole family will love. Leftovers can also be frozen for later!
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We love our classic vegan chicken noodle soup recipe and make a lot of it during the colder months. But I also love a delicious casserole, and recently I saw a lot of variations of the creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole recipe on the internet. I just knew I had to make a vegan version, so I decided to make my own with our favorite soup as a model!
The result? OMG! It’s like creamy chicken noodle soup you eat with a knife and a fork! It may just be the ultimate comfort food! An easy dinner made with simple ingredients, this creamy, cozy casserole is going to be your new winter BFF!
You know, next to that soft, warm blanket you wear around the house as a cape all winter long. (That’s not just me, right?)
Anyway, I won’t even waste any more of your time talking the casserole up; let’s get to it!
Why We Love This Easy Vegan Casserole
- It’s no-boil and dump-and-bake with basic ingredients. An easy meal doesn’t get much easier than that!
- It’s so cozy and comforting. That classic “hug-in-a-bowl” flavor gets us every time!
- It’s a spot-on veganized version combining the classic Campbell’s chicken noodle casserole and our vegan chicken noodle soup recipe!
- Like any truly fantastic casserole recipe, it makes great leftovers!
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Ingredients in Creamy Vegan Noodle Casserole
This creamy vegan casserole has two components: the casserole itself and the crispy cracker topping.
For the casserole, you’ll need 10 ingredients + water:
- Vegan Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup – You can also use our Vegan Cream of Mushroom soup if you want more of a stroganoff vibe. You’ll want to make the condensed soup at least a few hours (or up to 2 days) ahead of time to give it time to thicken properly. If you can’t wait for the vegan condensed soup to thicken, you can use the soup out of the blender (about 2 cups for this recipe – not the whole thing) and reduce the water in this recipe by about 3/4 cup.
- Plain unsweetened non-dairy milk – Make sure you’re using a non-dairy milk that is both unsweetened and plain. A neutral-flavored milk is crucial for casserole recipes! We like the No Sugar Oat Milk from Chobani, Califia’s unsweetened almond milk, or the unsweetened cashew milk from Elmhurst.
- Veggies: Fresh carrots, celery, onion. You could also use frozen veggies for ease.
- Soy curls – Broken into 1/2 inch pieces. Soy curls are great to use as a replacement for the chopped rotisserie chicken or chicken breasts you might find in non-vegan versions of this dish.
- Salt + black pepper
- Uncooked noodles – We used vegan-friendly Pappardelle from Shoprite to replace wide egg noodles for this recipe and they worked great! Vegan egg noodles, macaroni dumplings, rotini, broken lasagna noodles or fettuccine / linguine pasta would also work. If you’re using long noodles, it’s best to break them in half.
For the crispy topping, you’ll need:
- Ritz crackers – Original Ritz crackers are vegan and many store brand versions are usually vegan also. Always check ingredients before buying.
- Vegan butter – We love the Plant Butter sticks from Country Crock for this recipe! The non-dairy butter from ShopRite and Earth Balance’s Buttery Sticks are also great options.
If you don’t have or can’t tolerate one of the above ingredients, here are our best substitution tips. Remember though, substituting any of the ingredients may lead to a varied degree of difference in the final product. Let us know in the comments if you try any substitutes and how they work out for you!
For the vegan cream of chicken: You can use any of our condensed soup substitutes for this recipe – especially our vegan cream of mushroom! I can’t vouch for store-bought vegan cream of mushroom soup brands, but if you’re using something that’s not condensed, make sure you reduce the water you use.
For the non-dairy milk: You can sub more water for the non-dairy milk if needed.
For the Ritz crackers: You can replace the Ritz crackers with fine or panko breadcrumbs. If you have a stale baguette, you can make them at home! Potato chips are another option, but I would wait to sprinkle them on after the casserole finishes baking.
For the noodles: See the noodle options in the list above! Gluten-free noodles or pasta could also work, but you would have to adjust the water depending on what kind of pasta you’re using. This may take some experimenting! Rice or potatoes could also work for this, but again, that would take some experimenting. Check out our Vegan Chicken and Rice Casserole for a brown rice version.
For the soy curls:
Substitute 1:1 with TVP chunks or strips. You can also use your favorite vegan chicken (like Tofurky), but if you’re using something that doesn’t come dehydrated, I would reduce the water you add to the casserole by 1.5 cups and wait to add the vegan chicken until right before topping with the cracker crumbs.
If using frozen vegan chicken, you might want to let it defrost before using. I wouldn’t suggest using breaded chicken for this because it could get soggy. Results will vary depending on the brand you use.
Shake up the veggies however you like! Feel free to swap out the celery for peas or the carrots for corn. Shallots can work for the yellow / white onion. Red onion could work too but may add a bit of a purple color and overly pungent flavor to the filling. Mushrooms can be another great addition to this simple dish!
How to Make Dairy Free Chicken Noodle Casserole
This no-boil, dump-and-bake vegan casserole is an easy recipe to make on busy weeknights when you want something delicious but have no energy to cook!
Step 1: Assemble and bake the casserole.
Get started by heating your oven to 400F.
Stir all the casserole ingredients (except the noodles!) in a 3-quart casserole baking dish. Most commonly, a 3-quart casserole dish is a 9×13 inch dish.
Then, submerge the noodles in this mixture. It helps to break the noodles in half if you’re using a long noodle.
Next, cover this dish tightly with aluminum foil (or an oven-safe lid if you have one!) and bake for 40 minutes or until the noodles are cooked al dente. Do not remove the cover or open the oven too much during this duration. Those noodles need to cook!
Step 2: Top with Ritz cracker crumbs.
When time is almost up, stir the Ritz cracker crumbs and melted vegan butter in a small bowl. I usually mash up the Ritz crackers in a bowl with a potato masher. You can also use a rolling pin and a sealed zip-lock bag.
Feel free to also add a little nutritional yeast to give it a nutty, cheesy flavor if you like.
Remove the casserole dish from the oven and stir the noodle mixture completely. Top this with the cracker crumb mixture and bake for another 5-10 minutes uncovered until the topping is slightly browned.
Step 3: Rest and set.
Finally, let the casserole sit uncovered for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. This part is vital!
The casserole will thicken up and set as it cools during this stage. After 10 minutes, you’re ready to serve!
Do you have to boil noodles before baking?
Although many noodle casserole recipes tell you to cook them before baking, this no-boil version proves that is totally unnecessary. Just add everything to your casserole dish, make sure it has a tight cover, and bake until al dente!
How to Serve Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Casserole
Serve this vegan chicken noodle casserole hot with a sprinkle of freshly minced parsley for a touch of beautiful green if you wish!
How to Store Leftover Noodle Casserole
This makes 6 hefty servings or 8 modest servings. And just like any good casserole, leftovers store great!
Store this casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat: Reheat in the oven or microwave. If you are using the oven, preheat it to 400F and reheat, covered, in an oven-safe dish for about 10 minutes until warmed through. If microwaving, reheat at about 70-80% power (med high) for 2 minutes until warmed through. To help keep the casserole moist in both cases, add about a tablespoon of liquid per slice.
Can you freeze chicken noodle casserole?
You can freeze this casserole in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 weeks. Make sure you let the casserole cool completely before moving it to the freezer. We like to freeze leftover casserole in 1-cup or 2-cup Souper Cubes for easy grab-and-go single portions.
To reheat from the freezer: Defrost in the microwave on a medium to medium low power setting. About 40-50% power for 4-5 minutes until mostly thawed through. Then you can reheat at 70-80% power for 3-4 minutes until warm. If using the oven, preheat to 400F and reheat the casserole covered in an oven-safe dish for about 30-40 minutes until warmed through.
I hope you’ll try this recipe – especially if you love our Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup! I can’t wait to hear what you think when you do.
When you make it, please leave a star rating and review below. It really helps more people find our vegan recipes, and we just love joining in on your kitchen wins!
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 2 (8-oz.) jar Vegan Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 3/4 cup small diced celery (about 2 medium)
- 2/3 cup small diced carrots (about 1 medium)
- 1/2 cup small diced onion (about 1 small)
- 2 cups dry soy curls (broken into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 6 oz. uncooked noodles (see notes)
For the topping:
- 3/4 cup crushed Ritz crackers
- 3 Tbsp melted vegan butter
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir everything except the noodles in a 3-quart casserole dish (most commonly a 9x13x2 inch dish). Then, submerge the noodles in this mixture. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until the noodles are cooked al dente.
- When time is almost up, stir the bread crumbs or Ritz and melted vegan butter in a small bowl. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and stir the mixture completely. Top this with the crumb mixture and bake for 5-10 minutes uncovered until the top is lightly browned.
- Let the casserole sit uncovered for 10 minutes before serving.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 6 weeks. We like to freeze our leftovers in our 1 or 2-cup Souper Cubes for easy portioning!
Noodle options: We used vegan-friendly Pappardelle from Shoprite for this recipe which worked pretty good! Vegan egg noodles, macaroni dumplings, rotini, broken lasagna noodles or fettuccine / linguine pasta would also work. If you’re using long noodles, it’s best to break them in half.
Condensed Soup options: Can use our vegan cream of mushroom or any of our condensed soup substitutes to replace the cream of chicken. If you can’t wait for the vegan condensed soup to thicken, you can use the soup out of the blender (about 2 cups for this recipe - not the whole thing) and reduce the water you add to the casserole by 3/4 cup.
Non-Dairy Milk Notes: Make sure you’re using a non-dairy milk that is both unsweetened and plain. A neutral-flavored milk is crucial for this recipe! We like the No Sugar Oat Milk from Chobani, Califia’s unsweetened almond milk, or the unsweetened cashew milk from Elmhurst.
Serving Size:1/8 of the casserole
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 147Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 495mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.