First of all, I don’t think I can post a casserole recipe without addressing the ongoing hotdish/casserole debate. Growing up in Minnesota, I know it is common to refer to a casserole as a hot dish. Honestly, I don’t remember one way or another. I know these types of dishes are popular in Minnesota (we’ll blame it on the cold winters and the never ending need for comfort food) but I don’t remember having many casserole’s growing up. So I guess I have been persuaded later in life with the catchy titles on Pinterest referring to casseroles.
I still find myself waffling between the two, so I could be persuaded either way, but let me tell you, this is a hot topic in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Anyway… as I have been experimenting in the land of clean eating/Paleo/Whole30, I have been enjoying trying on new recipes. I have found several that I like and have been able to adapt many of my personal favorite recipes to meet the requirements and rules of the Paleo Diet. This one has been adapted from Julie Bauer’s PALEOMG PaleoCookbook (BBQ Chicken Casserole) and Fed and Fit’s Buffalo Chicken Casserole (Similar recipe here). I have to say that I love Paleo/Whole30 casseroles because they have the feeling of comfort food and you get your protein, starchy vegetable, and veggies all in one serving! It’s an all around win and you can feed a crowd. It seriously doesn’t get much better than that!
I decided to go with regular potatoes because my husband far prefers regular potatoes to sweet potatoes, although I would have loved this recipe with sweet potatoes. Whatever way you spin it, you could get way with making this from whatever your is your favorite starchy vegetable. I have made these recipes with spaghetti squash and sweet potatoes and while I love them still, they don’t please a crowd like regular potatoes do (at least not in the hot dish lovin’ midwest).
Recently, I have been throwing my sweet potatoes in a food processor and then frying them to make a sweet potato hash for breakfast. I decided to try this with regular potatoes for this casserole. To make the potatoes softer and easier to cut into chunks, I put the potatoes in the microwave for 3-4 minutes before cutting them into chunck. I through the chunks into the food processor attachment to my Ninja Blender (<—seriously I love this thing! I have had it for more than 2 years, use it multiple times a day and have never had any problems with it!)
I process it until I get a rice or hashed consistency like you see below.
Next I take my shredded chicken (to shred my chicken, I usually boil it or put it in the crock pot with water in the morning on high for 4 hours or low for 8 then shred it up with forks). Add the hot sauce (I love Frank’s Hot Sauce) and Whole30 Mayo. Whole 30 Mayo you can either make or buy. I make it for recipes like this but if I want to use it in something I don’t bake, I have trouble getting the right consistency.
At the same time, I have my veggies sauteing. You can honestly use whatever vegetable you have on hand. In the recipe I included celery, bell pepper, and onion. For this recipe that I made, I just included spinach and bell pepper because that was all I had on hand and couldn’t get to the store that day. I sauted my harder vegetable first (bell pepper, onion, celery) and then, after the onion was translucent, added a couple of handfuls of spinach towards the end.
I baked this at 350 until the top crusted and turned hard. It took about 50 minutes.
Ad of course I couldn’t have done it without my little helper! Is there anything better than the Tupperware drawer?? I don’t think so.