Friday, July 15, 2016

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Casserole

I'm looking forward to football season.  Not that (American) football is my favorite sport, but football means fall is coming, and I love getting together with friends, food, and a firepit, and having some fellowship around whatever big game is on over any given weekend.

In my small circle, I've become famous for my Buffalo Chicken Dip.  It's delicious, and always a crowd pleaser, but in no way is it even remotely healthy, let alone Paleo (more on that later).  I found a good recipe for Buffalo Chicken Salad, which I recently brought to a Gender Reveal party, and it will suffice; but I wanted to find something special that would really satisfy those Buffalo cravings, and really amp up the nutrition.  Enter: Buffalo Chicken Casserole.


I guess I need to work on my food photography skills.  Or, I'll just ask Jeff to take all my photos.  And it would probably help if I didn't try to take them at night and could use the natural light; but, I digress.  It's not the prettiest dish I'll ever make, but doesn't it look scrumptious?  You probably wouldn't guess what is in it, but I'm going to let you in on the secret.

Spaghetti squash!  And lots of it.  I'm pretty sure I scraped every morsel of spaghetti out of that roasted squash.  There are also lots of carrots and onions inside, and in hindsight, I could probably add celery too.  I adapted the recipe from Jay's Baking Me Crazy, to make it 21 Day Fix friendly for me and Jeff, and also to change up a couple of things more to our taste.  I measured using the color-coded containers, but I will provide measurements here to the closest unit of measure.

Yield: 6 servings

6 cups cooked* spaghetti squash, shredded (1 large squash)
2 cups sweet onion, diced (approximately 1 medium-large onion)
1 cup diced carrots
7 cups cooked chicken, shredded (about 2 lbs)
3 eggs
1 cup Frank's Original Red Hot
¼ cup mayonnaise (homemade or this Primal Kitchen option for Paleo)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp homemade ranch seasoning (recipe below, or use Hidden Valley if non-Paleo)
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt & pepper, to taste 

1.  Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a 13 x 9 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
2.  Sauté onions and carrots in olive oil over medium to medium high heat for 5-7 minutes, until softened to your liking.
3.  If you haven't already, use a clean towel and a colander to press the liquid out of the squash, which helps prevent the casserole from becoming watery.  Place it in a large bowl, and then add the onions and carrots to the squash, followed by all the remaining ingredients except for the eggs.  Stir well.
4.  Add the eggs to the bowl and mix well.  Spread mixture into the prepared pan, and use a spatula to smooth it evenly throughout.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.

You could serve this with extra ranch by mixing some of the ranch seasoning into some mayonnaise.

Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix (Paleo/Whole 30 compliant)

Yield: ½ pint 


1 tsp Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
4 tbsp parsley
3 tsp dill weed 
2 tsp dried chives
4 tsp garlic powder
4 tsp onion powder
4 tsp dried onion flakes
2 tsp black pepper


Mix all ingredients together well in a bowl.  Store in an airtight glass jar.  2 tbsp of this mixture equals 1 packet of Hidden Valley ranch seasoning, and is MUCH healthier!  I adapted the recipe from The Pinning Mama to reduce the salt.

*Note: If you have never cooked spaghetti squash before, check out these tips for how to make it without losing a finger ;)

If you are following the 21 Day Fix meal plan like I am, each serving will give you 1½ green, 1½ red, and ½ teaspoon.  You could eat ½ cup steamed broccoli or raw celery with the casserole to round out 2 green containers, and you could also scoop ⅓ cup Greek yogurt onto your serving of casserole to make up 2 red containers.

No comments:

Post a Comment