Cheese doesn’t agree with me, and I think that is a tragedy indeed. Because I LOVE cheese, especially melted cheesy dishes. My mom makes this baked chicken dish with a mayonnaise and sour cream sauce and the whole thing is covered in melted cheese. It is divine but unfortunately my digestive tract cannot handle all of that cheesy glory. I created this dish to fill the void when I crave Mom’s cheesy chicken casserole.
There are a few special ingredients here that aid the transformation from cheeseless to cheesy without cheese (that’s fun to say… try it!). First is butternut squash. It lends a creamy texture and a golden color reminiscent of cheddar. Second is coconut cream, which makes this dish silky with just a touch of sweetness. You can use the substitutes I list for the coconut cream, if you want. Finally, Herbamare seasoning packs a punch of flavor without the work of chopping fresh herbs. (Amazon link disclosure). It is an organic seasoning salt that contains sea salt and gently dehydrated herbs. You can substitute your favorite seasoning salt but I’m telling you… it won’t be as good.
If you want just a few extra minutes of prep, top the casserole with toasted coconut. Yum.
Look at that bite, in all of its cheeseless glory!
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (approximately, you can use more)
- 1 1/3 cups cooked and mashed butternut squash
- 1/4 cup coconut cream (the thick stuff from the top of a can of coconut milk. Don't shake the can) OR substitute yogurt or sour cream
- 1/4 cup ghee or butter or coconut oil
- 1 cup thawed green peas
- 1 tsp. Herbamare seasoning or seasoning salt
- 1 - 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
- Optional: 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut for the topping
- Put everything in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the peas are warmed through and everything is melty and creamy. Top with toasted coconut, if desired.
- If you want, toast the coconut in a skillet over medium heat. Stir until golden and toasty which will take just a few minutes.
Do you eat cheese? Or are you searching for recipes to fill a cheeseless void?