This week, we’re going to celebrate rotisserie chicken.
There are some weeks where I’m just not feeling the meal planning thing. On those occasions, I’ll throw a rotisserie chicken in my shopping cart. I can figure it out from there.
Kroger carries these colossal rotisserie chickens under their Simple Truth Organic brand. They are massive (hence the name) and once shredded, I can usually get a good 2 or 3 recipes from just one chicken! First up- a lightened up honey buffalo chicken casserole.
The weather has been cooler than normal. Cooler as in 80 degrees. In Texas. In AUGUST! I’m using it as an excuse to make casseroles. Tomorrow, I think I’ll make a soup. 80 degrees you guys! And it’s rained for maybe the past seven days straight, so it’s basically winter outside. Or it’s basically Seattle outside. Either way, I’m totally for it.
So, this casserole? It’s pretty amazing. I dreamed it up after I had a moment of weakness and had a buffalo chicken pizza delivered to my house courtesy of Pizza Hut. Buffalo-flavored anything is practically a food group in our house, right next to fruit, vegetables, donuts, and ice cream. I crave that stupid buffalo sauce all the time! They even make this buffalo-flavored popcorn at a local popcorn shop- ugh. I can’t even talk about it without getting upset that I don’t have any in the house. My craving was particularly bad when I was pregnant with my youngest, and the heartburn was totally worth it. Or perhaps the heartburn was the result of me trying to kick my margarita craving by sucking on limes sprinkled with sea salt. (Yes, I actually did this.)
This casserole is super simple, but as you walk through the recipe, you may find that the steps are a bit unusual. So, you know when you order boneless buffalo chicken wings, and they have that delicious, crispy breading on the outside? That breading is the reason why I always order boneless wings. Also, they’re less messy and they’re so much easier to eat than bone-in wings. I realize I’m probably in the minority on this, and that boneless wings are essentially chicken nuggets, but if you’re on a first date and are trying to show some tact (or you’re wearing a white shirt) you should plan accordingly and order boneless. They’re better anyway. Also, you can always get the right amount of ranch dressing on them. It’s way too hard to do that with bone-in wings. Yes, ranch dressing > blue cheese dressing, but we don’t have time to get into that right now!
Anyway, back to the breading. This casserole basically has that! In the form of toasted breadcrumbs. You toss the toasted breadcrumbs with the shredded chicken and add a little bit of honey and a lot of Frank’s buffalo sauce. The combination of spicy and tangy and the sweetness of the honey is nothing short of perfection, and you’ll want to eat the sauce with a spoon. By all means, go right ahead. There’s no judgement here.
- 16 oz. whole wheat farfalle pasta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs, whole wheat or regular
- ½ cup Frank's RedHot buffalo wings sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1½ cups plain greek yogurt
- 4 oz. low-fat cream cheese, room temperature.
- ½ ranch seasoning packet
- shredded chicken (I used ½ a colossal rotisserie chicken shredded, about 2 cups worth)
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
- pepper (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Coat a 13"x9" pan with non-stick spray.
- Cook farfalle pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the greek yogurt, cream cheese and ranch seasoning. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and saute until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Remove onions from pan and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and add breadcrumbs. Stir breadcrumbs frequently and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, season with pepper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss the shredded chicken with the hot sauce and honey. Dump in the toasted breadcrumbs and toss well until combined. Fold in the onions and the greek yogurt mixture.
- Pour everything into the 13"x9" pan and bake, uncovered in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and top the casserole with the mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.