Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Asparagus Casserole
It’s a good day to pull out your slow cooker and make this delicious Cheesy Chicken Asparagus Casserole. It’s the ultimate slow-cooker comfort food.
I’m totally dating myself here, but do you remember The Magic Pan? It was an ‘70-80s chain restaurant that specialized in crepes. I honestly have no idea if they only served crepes, or if they had other things on their menu, because I loved The Magic Pan for one dish, and one dish only – The Chicken Divan Crepes. I remember eating there pretty often, but I never remember eating anything but that one dish.
For some reason, I was thinking about that Chicken Divan the other day when I was trying to decide what to scrape together for dinner. Unfortunately I had no time for crepe making, and I was out of broccoli (a chicken divan staple), but I did have asparagus and the ingredients for the creamy cheese sauce, so I improvised with this version made in my slow cooker. Chicken, Mushrooms, Asparagus and Pasta in a creamy cheesy sauce is the perfect comfort food for a chilly night. While it’s not quite as fancy as the crepe version, I gotta say, it took me right back to my favorite table at the Magic Pan.
If you are inclined to try your hand at crepes, skip the pasta and spoon the deliciousness into the crepes. I think they might even make pre-made crepes…
You could, of course just cook this on the stovetop instead of in the slow cooker. Just poach the chicken ahead of time and then shred it and toss it into the sauce. Either way, it’s totally yum!
Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Asparagus Casserole
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 12 ounces educed fat evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock low sodium
- 4 ounces can sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups pasta shells
- 3/4 pound asparagus tough stems snapped off, and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- salt to taste
- Place the chicken in a slow cooker, cover, and set to low.
- Heat a saute pan over medium high heat. Heat the olive oil and add the flour. Stir for about 30 seconds.
- Whisk in the evaporated milk and chicken stock. Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken, and continue to cook for about 3-4 hours, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Shred the chicken with 2 forks. Add the mushrooms, pasta, and asparagus, and continue to cook for about 30 more minutes or until the pasta is cooked through. Stir the pasta a few times while cooking. If there is not enough liquid, add up to 1/2 cup additional water for the pasta.
- Sprinkle the cheese over, and stir to combine and melt. Add salt to taste and serve.
Did you ever eat at the Magic Pan? What was your favorite dish?
Made this for dinner tonight (one of my 2020 Quarantine meals from my pinterest account that I had yet to make!) Delicious. Didn’t have evaporated milk on hand, so I used heavy cream & just added 2T corn starch at the end of cooking. Turned out good!
Hi Paige! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And I love that you have a Quarantine meals Pinterest board!!
Yummy, cheesy deliciousness! This looks SO good. And, I totally remember The Magic Pan too 🙂
Thanks EA! I’m so glad to know someone else remembers it! I guess it was a long time ago 🙂
I see the ingredients where is the recipe
Oh my goodness John! Thanks for letting me know – I recently changed recipe plug-ins, and it looks like some of my older recipes didn’t transfer correctly. I edited it so the instructions are there now.
Can you use the Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base instead of the chicken base?
Yes! absolutely you can substitute. Have you tried their roasted garlic? It provides an amazing, rich flavor that would work well here too 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
I had trouble getting it to thicken enough for crepes. Any suggestions? Would you recommend adding any spices such as basil or…? My husband and I thought it could use some spices…
Hi Julie – Maybe try additional flour to your roux? Or you can always try mixing in a bit of cornstarch with water to thicken the sauce further. Of course, you can add any spices you like. Curry powder might be nice…
I have three questions:
1. If I substitute the cubed chicken bouillon instead of the chicken base, how many cubes (grams) should I use? (I’m in Japan, so can’t find the base!)
2. I”m surprised there are no onions in this? Could I add some onions or would that not taste as good?
3. What vegetable could I substitute if I can’t find asparagus?
Thank you very much!
Hi Julie! If you use bouillon cubes, I would use 3. Absolutely you can add onions, or minced garlic, or even some leeks. I love it when people tweak a recipe to make it their own! Instead of asparagus – My next choice would be broccoli. Spinach might work too – whatever you like with the cheddar and mushrooms. Experiment and let me know what you come up with! Thanks for visiting 🙂
Is it possible to make this for an all day crock pot meal at work??
Hi, and thanks for your questions! I would put the raw chicken, and the sauce in the crockpot on low, and let it cook while you’re at work, and then just boil the pasta, and toss the asparagus in with the pasta for the last minute. Drain the pasta/asparagus and stir that into the chicken and sauce (shred the chicken up with 2 forks first). If you did the recipe as it’s written, the pasta and asparagus would be too mushy. Let me know if it works!
Is it possible to substitute the better than bullion with regular chicken broth? And if so what measurements?
Hi Kelsey – You can use regular chicken broth in place of the water, and just cut out the Better than Bouillon. So substitute 1 1/2 cups broth or chicken stock for the water. You may need a little extra salt though, so taste it first! Thanks for visiting 🙂
This looks wonderful- true comfort food! I love your use of the reduced fat evaporated milk to make it creamy and delicious! Pinning now 🙂
Thanks Sonali – Hope you enjoy it 🙂
I have not heard of the Magic Pan. Maybe not a Pacific Northwest thing? But never the less this looks super yummy! I love the use of non fat evaporated milk. I’ve used it for years to make things light and creamy. This is a must try!
Thanks Kathi! The evaporated milk makes this really creamy and delicious! I know we had Magic Pans in Chicago growing up and Boston where I lived after college. Not sure if they were out west, but you missed a good one!