Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Nothing screams comfort food to me like a nice casserole. In fact, this recipe was birthed when my boyfriend Sam was away for a month for work and I was feeling particularly lonely and in need of some consolation…so I turned to casserole. As one does.

Can we take a moment to consider the word casserole? What’s up with that word? Who made that up? Why is it so weird? Apparently the Internet says it’s French, stemming from the word cassa meaning “pan,” and quite frankly that makes the whole word seem a lot more elegant. Glad we took the time to dive into this. Appreciate the beauty of the casserole.

Now as for the buffalo chicken, it kinda throws all that elegant French out the window and right into the laps of an American football game viewing party. And while I’m no avid football fan, I am a fan of tasty food, and buffalo chicken is damn tasty. After some inspiration from a buffalo chicken dip my boyfriend’s mom served at a recent football party (hi Kathy!), as well as the recipes of Julie Bauer and Cassy Joy Garcia, I whipped up one of my all-time favorite dishes for comfort, health, and flavor. Now that just can’t be beat.

I wanted to pack this dish full of nutrients, featuring sweet potatoes (which are, in my opinion, the star of this casserole), kale (gotta get those greens in!), carrots and onions. Mmm. This one-dish wonder is sure to please. Now go on, hop to it! No time to waste!

 

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Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken breast
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 white onion
  • 3 cups kale
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 3/4 cups avocado oil mayo (see notes for brands)
  • 1 cup hot sauce (I like Frank's Red)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • coconut oil for cooking

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. In a casserole dish or cast iron pan (I used a 10 inch cast iron), add chicken breasts. Drizzle with coconut oil and add a little salt and pepper. Bake for 35 minutes or until cooked through.

  3. Chop the sweet potato and carrot into 1 inch cubes and spread out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with coconut oil and add salt and pepper to your liking. Add to the 350 degree oven for around 30 minutes or until soft and cooked through. 

  4. While the chicken and vegetables are baking, heat a medium-sized frying pan on low-medium. Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil.

  5. Dice the onion and add to the frying pan. Add minced garlic and 3 cups of kale--make sure you remove the stems! Cover pan with a lid to allow the kale to steam and remove from heat once onions are translucent and kale is wilted.

  6. While everything is cooking, prepare the buffalo sauce. Add mayo, hot sauce and a pinch or two of salt to a small bowl and combine. Taste and adjust salt and hot sauce to your liking.

  7. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove from oven and allow to cool until it's not too hot to touch. Shred the chicken with two forks--don't forget to leave all the tasty juices in the pan!

  8. Add roasted sweet potato, carrot and kale/garlic/onions to to the shredded chicken in the casserole dish. Add buffalo sauce and stir to combine until the sauce coats everything. Add more salt or pepper if desired.

  9. Put the casserole back in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes to heat through.

  10. Serve! I topped mine with green onions, but cilantro, avocado, or whatever your heart desires would also be delicious I'm sure.

Recipe Notes

My favorite brands of paleo/avocado oil-based mayos are Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo and Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Mayo. You want to avoid mayos that contain canola oil or other nasty seed oils which cause inflammation in the body and are damaging to your health!

 

xx Kennedy

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