While football season has come and gone, I still am constantly on the search for the perfect “gameday meal”…because I love any excuse to eat hot wings and dip. While some have a sweet tooth, my guilty pleasure happens to be salty/greasy food. You can imagine how thrilled I was after stumbling upon the healthiest buffalo chicken casserole I’ve ever seen. I have decided to share the love with all other salty-tooth (I may or may not have just made that phrase up) friends.
Buffalo Chicken Casserole from Juli Bauer of Paleomg.com
- 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 2 1⁄2 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons butter, ghee, or coconut oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1⁄2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup hot sauce (Frank’s RedHot is my favorite)
- 1⁄4 cup store-bought mayo (I use Sir Kensington’s sunflower oil mayo instead of regular)
- 3 large eggs, whisked
- chopped scallions, for garnish
- sliced avocado, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the skin gives when you press your finger to it. Remove the squash from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
- Grease a Dutch oven or an 8-inch square glass baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the butter.
- Let the squash cool for 5 minutes, remove the seeds, and then use a fork to remove the threads and place them in the greased baking dish.
- In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the garlic, carrot, celery, onion, and bell pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the ground chicken, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and cook, using a wooden spatula to break up the chicken into small pieces, until the chicken is no longer pink, about 8 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, then add the hot sauce and mayo and mix well to combine.
- Add the chicken mixture to the baking dish and mix well with the spaghetti squash threads. Add the whisked eggs and mix everything together until you can no longer see the eggs.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the top forms a slight crust that doesn’t give when you press it in the middle. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped scallion and avocado slices.
Kelsey Garcia PT, DPT, PMA-CPT