Poppy Seed Chicken

Poppy Seed Chicken is a classic comfort food dish that has been a family favorite for generations. This creamy and flavorful casserole features tender chicken, a rich and savory sauce, and a delightful poppy seed and cracker crumb topping. It’s the kind of meal that warms your heart and satisfies your taste buds. In this recipe, we’ll walk you through how to make this beloved dish, provide some helpful cook’s notes, offer variations to suit your preferences, and even share a keto-friendly version for those looking to reduce their carb intake.


For the Poppy Seed Chicken:

  • 4 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups crushed buttery crackers (such as Ritz)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup crushed buttery crackers
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set it aside.
  2. Mix the Sauce: In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and melted butter. Mix until the ingredients are well combined.
  3. Chicken and Seasoning: Add the cooked chicken to the sauce mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir everything together until the chicken is well coated with the sauce.
  4. Layer the Casserole: Spread the chicken and sauce mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish.
  5. Cracker Crumb Topping: In a separate bowl, mix the 2 cups of crushed crackers and poppy seeds. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the chicken and sauce in the baking dish.
  6. Extra Topping: Combine the remaining 1 cup of crushed crackers with the melted butter. Sprinkle this mixture over the cracker crumb topping.
  7. Bake: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and the top is golden brown.
  8. Serve and Enjoy: Once done, remove it from the oven, let it cool for a few minutes, and then serve. Poppy Seed Chicken is excellent when served over cooked rice or with a side of your favorite vegetables.

Cook’s Notes:

  • You can use leftover cooked chicken, rotisserie chicken, or cook chicken breasts specifically for this recipe.
  • Crush the crackers for the topping by placing them in a zip-top bag and gently crushing them with a rolling pin.
  • Adjust the seasoning to your preference by adding more or less salt and pepper.


1. Vegetable Addition

To add some veggies to your dish, consider mixing in 1 to 1.5 cups of steamed or sautéed vegetables like broccoli, peas, or spinach with the chicken and sauce mixture. This provides extra color, flavor, and nutrients.

2. Different Toppings

Feel free to get creative with your topping. Instead of the classic buttery cracker topping, experiment with ingredients like breadcrumbs, crushed potato chips, or shredded cheese.

3. Spicy Kick

For a touch of heat, incorporate a dash of cayenne pepper or a few drops of hot sauce into the sauce mixture.

Keto-Friendly Version:

If you’re following a low-carb or keto diet, you can make Poppy Seed Chicken without the classic cracker topping. Instead, use a combination of almond flour, crushed pork rinds, and a keto-friendly breadcrumb substitute. This version maintains the creamy and savory essence of the dish while keeping it low in carbs.

Poppy Seed Chicken is a beloved classic that never goes out of style. With its creamy sauce, tender chicken, and satisfyingly crunchy topping, it’s a dish that pleases both kids and adults alike. Whether you enjoy the traditional version or opt for a keto-friendly alternative, Poppy Seed Chicken is sure to be a family favorite

Poppy Seed Chicken: A Timeless Classic

Poppy Seed Chicken is an enduring classic that has stood the test of time. Its combination of creamy sauce, tender chicken, and a satisfyingly crunchy topping makes it a hit with kids and adults alike. Whether you prefer the traditional recipe or opt for a keto-friendly alternative, Poppy Seed Chicken is guaranteed to be a family favorite that you’ll return to time and time again.

Explore the rich history and flavors of this Southern gem, and add it to your repertoire of beloved family recipes. Whether you’re serving it for Sunday dinner or bringing it to a potluck, Poppy Seed Chicken is a dish that never goes out of style.

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