This Buffalo Chicken and Butternut Squash Casserole is quick, simple, and delicious.
Buffalo Chicken and Butternut Squash Casserole. What?
Please look beyond the name and go with me. We have an unnamed someone in our house who is on a buffalo chicken tenders kick. It’s a special order, maybe twice a week, at our neighborhood restaurant. So I started wondering if there was a way to get the buffalo chicken flavor in a healthier vehicle. And who knew – all over the internet there are recipes for Buffalo Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Casserole. Which I thought sounded like a very good idea. But when I went to the store – no spaghetti squash. So here we are.
Buffalo Chicken and Butternut Squash Casserole hit the mark, even for our friend who prefers this spicy-vinegary-cheesy flavor delivered atop fried chicken strips. The butternut squash cubes not only add a little veggie nourishment to this casserole, they also are textural and delicious, taking on the sauce and cheese almost like little bits of pasta, just with a few more vitamins hidden inside. This buffalo chicken version is super fast, super simple, and super yum. No fried chicken needed.
Buffalo Chicken and Butternut Squash Casserole
4 cups butternut squash cubes (you can buy pre-cut butternut squash in the produce section)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup buffalo hot sauce (such as Frank’s Red Hot)
½ cup ranch dressing
About 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken from a purchased rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed
½ cup minced celery
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
3 green onions, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash cubes with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, stir together the buffalo hot sauce and the ranch dressing. Spray a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Put the chicken, celery, and 1 ½ cups of the cheddar cheese in the baking dish, and pour the hot sauce-ranch mixture over. Toss to coat everything with the sauce. Top with the remaining 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the blue cheese over the top, and then the green onions. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is bubbly. Let the casserole sit for 10 minutes before serving.