Doritos Cheesy Chicken Pasta Casserole


Doritos Cheesy Chicken Pasta Casserole

There’s something so comforting about a casserole, especially one that’s bursting with cheesy goodness and a delightful crunch. This Doritos Cheesy Chicken Pasta Casserole is a family favorite, combining tender chicken, perfectly cooked pasta, and a medley of savory ingredients topped with everyone’s favorite snack—Doritos. It’s the ultimate comfort food that’s sure to bring joy to any table.

Ingredients Overview

Cooked Chicken: Use 2 cups of shredded cooked chicken. This can be from a rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken breasts. The chicken adds a hearty protein to the dish.

Uncooked Pasta: You’ll need 2 cups of uncooked pasta, such as penne or rotini. These shapes hold the sauce well, ensuring every bite is flavorful.

Cream of Chicken Soup: One can of cream of chicken soup provides a creamy base and rich flavor.

Cream of Mushroom Soup: One can of cream of mushroom soup adds depth and a savory note to the casserole.

Sour Cream: One cup of sour cream adds a tangy richness that balances the dish.

Shredded Cheddar Cheese: One cup of shredded cheddar cheese offers a sharp, cheesy flavor that melts beautifully.

Shredded Mozzarella Cheese: One cup of shredded mozzarella cheese adds a gooey, stretchy texture.

Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies: One can, drained, brings a hint of spice and a pop of color.

Diced Onion: Half a cup of diced onion introduces a mild sweetness and slight crunch.

Diced Bell Pepper: Half a cup of diced bell pepper adds a fresh, crisp texture.

Crushed Doritos: Half a cup of crushed Doritos provides a fun, crunchy topping that’s irresistible.

Salt and Pepper: Season to taste to enhance all the flavors.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Preheat the Oven
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. This ensures the casserole won’t stick and makes for easy cleanup.

Cook the Pasta
Cook 2 cups of pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside. Al dente pasta will hold up better in the casserole without becoming mushy.

Mix Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of cooked chicken, cooked pasta, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (drained), 1/2 cup of diced onion, and 1/2 cup of diced bell pepper. Mix until well combined.

Season and Transfer
Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Then, transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.

Add the Crunch
Top the casserole with 1/2 cup of crushed Doritos. This adds a delightful crunch and a burst of flavor.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and the Doritos are golden brown. This ensures the cheese is melted and everything is heated through.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use instead of cream of chicken soup?
You can substitute with cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup.

Can I use different types of cheese?
Yes, feel free to use any melting cheese like Monterey Jack or Colby.

Can I make this casserole ahead of time?
Absolutely, you can assemble it a day ahead and bake it when ready.

Can I freeze the leftovers?
Yes, this casserole freezes well for up to 3 months.

How do I reheat this casserole?
Reheat in the oven at 350°F until warmed through.

Is this recipe spicy?
It has a mild kick from the diced tomatoes with green chilies, but it’s not overly spicy.

Can I add more vegetables?
Yes, adding vegetables like corn or peas can enhance the dish.

What type of Doritos should I use?
Nacho Cheese flavor works best, but you can experiment with other flavors.

Can I use leftover turkey instead of chicken?
Yes, leftover turkey works well in this recipe.

Is this dish gluten-free?
Ensure you use gluten-free pasta and soups to make it gluten-free.

Can I use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream?
Yes, Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream.

How do I make it less salty?
Use low-sodium soups and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned?
Yes, but you may need to add a bit of extra seasoning.

Is this casserole kid-friendly?
Absolutely, kids love the cheesy, crunchy combination.

Can I add beans to this casserole?
Yes, black beans or kidney beans make a great addition.

Can I cook this in a slow cooker?
Yes, cook on low for 3-4 hours or until heated through.

How do I store leftovers?
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can I make this dairy-free?
Use dairy-free cheese and yogurt to make it dairy-free.

Is this recipe budget-friendly?
Yes, it uses common ingredients that are typically inexpensive.

Helpful Tips

Use Rotisserie Chicken
Using a rotisserie chicken saves time and adds extra flavor.

Pre-shred Cheese
Shred your own cheese for better melting and texture.

Drain the Tomatoes Well
Ensure the diced tomatoes are well-drained to avoid a watery casserole.

Let the Casserole Rest
Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes before serving to let it set.

Use a Food Processor for Crushing Doritos
A few pulses in a food processor will give you evenly crushed Doritos.

Customize the Spice Level
Adjust the amount of diced tomatoes with green chilies based on your spice preference.

Double the Recipe
This recipe can easily be doubled to feed a crowd or for meal prep.

Add Fresh Herbs
Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley for a burst of freshness.

Cook the Pasta Just Right
Don’t overcook the pasta; it should be al dente to hold up in the casserole.

Layer the Ingredients
For a more structured casserole, you can layer the ingredients instead of mixing them all together.

Storage Tips

Refrigerate Promptly
Store leftovers in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking.

Use Airtight Containers
Keep the casserole in airtight containers to maintain freshness.

Freeze in Portions
Freeze the casserole in individual portions for easy reheating.

Label and Date
Always label and date your frozen leftovers to keep track of their freshness.

Reheat in the Oven
For best results, reheat in the oven to retain the crunchy topping.

Microwave with Care
If microwaving, cover with a microwave-safe lid to avoid drying out.

Thaw Properly
Thaw frozen portions in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Avoid Overcrowding
Don’t overcrowd the storage container to prevent the casserole from getting soggy.

Use Within 3 Days
Consume refrigerated leftovers within 3 days for optimal taste.

Refresh with Fresh Toppings
Add a fresh sprinkle of crushed Doritos after reheating to restore crunchiness.

Recipe Secrets

Homemade Soups
Make your own cream of chicken and mushroom soups for a richer flavor.

Extra Cheese Layer
Add an extra layer of cheese on top before adding the Doritos for an extra cheesy crust.

Use Different Chips
Experiment with different types of chips for the topping, like tortilla chips or even potato chips.

Add Spices
Enhance the flavor with additional spices like garlic powder, onion powder, or paprika.

Sauté Vegetables
Sauté the onions and bell peppers before adding them to the casserole for a deeper flavor.

Add a Crunchy Veggie
Include a crunchy vegetable like celery for added texture.

Broil at the End
Broil the casserole for the last 2 minutes of baking for an extra crispy topping.

Fresh Jalapeños
Add fresh jalapeño slices on top for a spicy kick.

Mix of Cheeses
Use a blend of different cheeses like pepper jack and gouda for a gourmet twist.

Healthy Twist
Use whole wheat pasta and reduced-fat cheeses for a healthier version.

Enhance with Bacon
Add cooked, crumbled bacon for an extra layer of flavor.

Herb Infusion
Infuse the casserole with fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary.

Cream Cheese
Mix in a bit of cream cheese for an ultra-creamy texture.

Lemon Zest
Add a hint of lemon zest for a fresh, bright flavor.

Panko Breadcrumbs
Combine Panko breadcrumbs with Doritos for an extra crunchy topping.

Bacon Fat
Use a bit of bacon fat instead of butter to grease the baking dish for added flavor.

Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
Use fire-roasted diced tomatoes for a smoky depth of flavor.

Corn Addition
Add a cup of corn kernels for a touch of sweetness and extra texture.


This Doritos Cheesy Chicken Pasta Casserole is more than just a meal; it’s an experience that brings warmth and joy to the table. With its perfect blend of creamy, cheesy, and crunchy elements, it’s sure to become a favorite in your home. Enjoy the simplicity of preparation and the rich, comforting flavors that make this dish so special. Happy cooking!

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