Chicken casserole – Paleo style!
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.
Since I haven’t had cheese in ages, I my taste buds may be a bit skewed… I think this tastes cheesy, but it is not intended to replicate the exact flavor and texture of a real cheese casserole. Because that would be impossible. The main idea here is that it’s a creamy paleo chicken casserole. And it’s delicious.
There are a few special ingredients here that create this Creamy Paleo Chicken Casserole. First is butternut squash. It lends a creamy texture and a golden color reminiscent of cheddar. An easy way to prepare butternut squash puree is by throwing your squash in the crockpot – here’s how! 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, which you can find here or at most health food stores, packs a punch of flavor without the work of chopping fresh herbs. It is an organic seasoning salt that contains sea salt and gently dehydrated herbs. You can substitute your favorite seasoning salt. I also love Real Salt’s All-Purpose Seasoning Salt, which you can find here. I get mine from that Amazon link because I haven’t been able to find in my health food store.
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!
Feel free to use your choice of vegetables, such as steamed carrots, in place of the peas. I love the peas in this recipe, but they are not technically paleo. This recipe is Autoimmune Paleo Friendly if you use coconut oil in place of ghee and omit the peas.
- 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 (coconut oil will impart a stronger coconut taste)
- 1 cup thawed green peas
- 1 tsp. Herbamare seasoning salt (find here) or Real Salt Seasoning Salt (find here) or your favorite seasoning salt
- 1 - 2 Tbs. raw apple cider vinegar (Bragg's)
- 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.