Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Bake

13 11 2014

Are you a sucker for cheesy fries or anything buffalo chicken? Who isn’t! Here’s a healthy rendition of a riff on both, featuring leftover chicken and sweet potatoes. Using Greek yogurt and reduced-fat cheese helps keep this dish lighter, while still offering the classic creamy flavors we all love in our less-healthy favs.

Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Bake

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated garlic
  • Smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup buffalo hot sauce like Frank’s
  • 1-1 and 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1-2 small celery stalks, chopped
  • Reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium bowl, toss cubed potatoes with just a little olive oil along with salt, garlic and paprika to taste. Toss well. Spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with a silpat or foil sprayed with non-stick spray.

Roast potatoes until browned, about 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Meanwhile, mix the yogurt and buffalo sauce together in a bowl. Add the chicken and mix well. Season lightly with salt to taste.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and cool slightly. Using your hands or a spatula, move the potatoes to the center of the baking sheet until they’re all touching. Top with celery, a little cheese and then spread the buffalo chicken mixture evenly on top. Finally, top with another layer of cheese.

Bake until hot and cheese melts, about 10 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and top with parsley or cilantro before serving. Garnish with more hot sauce if desired and serve with a side salad. Pictured above is shredded cabbage tossed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Buffalo Chicken Mac-n-Cheese

3 02 2014

Reinventing the classic buffalo chicken dip never gets old because everyone loves it. Huddle up, kids…I turned the go-to party dip into a healthy mac-n-cheese for game day! Trust me, you’ll score a touchdown at your parties with this dish!

Buffalo Chicken Mac-n-Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac-n-Cheese

The following makes a 9×13 casserole (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 lb whole wheat macaroni
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded or cubed
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 – 1 cup Frank’s original hot sauce (amount depends on your taste)
  • 2 (8 oz) bricks of reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 oz blue cheese crumbles
  • Chopped chives or green onion for garnish

Preheat oven to 375.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt and cook pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Strain pasta and set aside.

Shred or cube the chicken while the pasta cooks and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in the same pot you used to cook the pasta and saute celery for a few minutes. Remove from the pot, add to the chicken and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil to the same pot. When the oil is heated through, remove from the heat and whisk in the flour. Turn the heat back on to medium and add chicken stock, whisking constantly – stir until sauce thickens a little and is smooth. Next add the cream cheese and just a pinch of salt to taste. Whisk the sauce until the cream cheese is melted, stirring occasionally. Next add the hot sauce and mix well. Start with 1/2 cup and taste the sauce, adjust to your liking. I ended up adding a full cup because I wanted the buffalo taste to be more prominent.

Once you get the flavor of your sauce adjusted to your liking, remove from the heat and add the pasta, chicken and celery to the sauce and stir until well mixed. Add the mac-n-cheese mixture to a 9×13 casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle the top with the blue cheese crumbles and bake uncovered a for about 20-25 minutes, until bubbly and browned on top.

You can either garnish with chopped chives or green onion for a pop of color, or serve them along the side for people to top themselves.

Light (and easy) Buffalo Chicken Dip

28 10 2013

Who isn’t a fan of buffalo chicken dip?! But must of us fans can do without all the butter, grease and extra cheese that comes with traditional buffalo chicken dip. This recipe comes from Claire Robinson (with a few tweaks from This Girl), and in addition to it being super easy, there’s only a few ingredients, none of which are butter! I’ll be whipping up this delicious, light version again and again 🙂

Light (and easy) Buffalo Chicken Dip

Light (and easy) Buffalo Chicken Dip

The following makes 6-8 servings:

  • 8 oz cream cheese (I used light)
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • Heaping 1/2 cup Franks hot sauce, few extra dashes if you like it hot!
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (white and dark meat)
  • 1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • Whole grain chips, crackers and/or veggies for serving

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt cream cheese until smooth. Add the hot sauce and stir to combine.

Mix the cream cheese/hot sauce mixture with the chicken and celery and mix well. Fold in blue cheese and transfer to crockpot. Cook on high or medium until bubbly, then lower temp to warm. Serve with whole wheat crackers, multi-grain chips and/or veggies.

If you wanted to enjoy right away and not use a crockpot, Claire’s recipe says to transfer the mixture to a 9-in pie plate and bake in the oven at 425 until hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes.

Buffalo Chicken Dip or Tortilla Roll-ups

19 09 2011

One of my Cuisine at Home magazines has a great spread on how to do your own backyard bruschetta bar (which I do plan on trying) – and one of the recipes is for a buffalo chicken topping. I used the base of the topping recipe and added cream cheese to turn it into a creamy dip. Then I got creative and tested the dip out as a tortilla roll-up filling. You can make the below recipe in two ways like I tried it – as a dip or as tortilla roll-ups, either way it came out great!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Roll-ups

The following can be made as a straight dip or, to think outside the dip, the following would make 24 roll-ups:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, minus the skin and bones ($5), cut up into chunks – include both white and dark meat or canned chicken, about 6 or so 5 oz cans
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 4 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (such as Frank’s)
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • If you want to make the roll-ups, add 24 small tortilla (taco size) to your list

To make the dip:

  • Whisk together melted butter, honey and hot sauce in a bowl. Toss with chicken, celery, blue cheese and chives. Next fold in cream cheese and add another dash or so of hot sauce. Transfer dip to a casserole dip sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes until the dip thickens up and starts to brown on top. This is good served with cut up crusty bread such as a baguette or tortilla chips.

To make the roll-ups:

  • Make the dip following the instructions above the day before (or at least give yourself enough time to let the dip cool if you want to make it the same day) you want to make the roll-ups.
  • Melt 2 Tbsp of butter. Put about 2 Tbsp of the buffalo chicken filling on one the inside of the flat tortilla. Brush some melted butter on the inside of the opposite side. Roll the tortilla up and place seam side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Continue rolling the rest of the tortillas until all the filling is gone. Brush the tops of the roll-ups with the remaining melted butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the tops start to brown.