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!
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (approximately, you can use more)
- 1⅓ cups cooked and mashed butternut squash
- ¼ 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
- ¼ 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: ½ 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.
made this for a church luncheon today and it was an enormous hit!
Made this tonight and my son fell in love with it! My husband and I thought the coconut flavor was over powering though. Do you know of an alternative to the coconut oil that would still work well? We have to stay dairy free.
A friend emailed this recipe, and I made it for my husband per the recipe. He said it tasted really good, but it didn’t have the saucy, creamy texture we thought it would. We made it tonight with shrimp, and we put the cooked squash in the Vitamix with the whole can of coconut milk, and all the other ingredients (except chicken and peas).. Then we heated it in the stove, and when it got to a simmer, we put in the peas and shrimp for five minutes. It was the most amazing thing I’ve eaten in a long time, almost like a soup, and made so much “sauce” that my husband scooped some out for his leftover chicken casserole from the night before. The “sauce” would be great as a soup even with no shrimp, chicken or peas, and I think it would also be great over spaghetti squash, broccoli, zucchini noodles, etc. it is funny how it looks like a cheese sauce and the coconut cream and oil give it a similar mouth feel to cheese sauce. I put a few spoons of nutritional yeast in top. What a great recipe, thanks so much for posting it. We’ll be trying the flatbread next!
I tried this with Greek yoghurt and added some baby kale, it was so good! Will definitely make again, thanks Lauren 🙂
I made this twice over the weekend, it was so incredible!!!! I loved how rich the flavours were and how it felt like I was eating something with a thousand calories but I didn’t have to feel about it because it wasn’t heavily calorie laden! I added mushrooms and garlic to mine and it was delicious. I really can’t say enough about this dish 🙂
Also, I didn’t use the apple cider vinegar or the shredded coconut, and I omit the peas because I’m doing whole30
This is excellent! I used canned pumpkin puree to make it easier. I didn’t put the coconut on it. Our family loved it! I gave my husband this to take to work. Apparently he panicked after he ate a few bites because he’s lactose intolerant and it was so cheesy/creamy that he thought I put cream in it! So yeah, it tastes cheesy!
I make this recipe using cultured butter and 24-hour cultured creme fraiche and it seriously tastes identical to cheese! Even my partner who is not on the GAPS diet agrees it tastes like cheese. I’ve made this recipe at least 5 times since discovering it last month with different veggie combos- thank you!
This turned out great!! Finally, a safe meal with flavor that fills me up! Thank you!
Paleogrubs has taken this recipe and posted it as their own – not sure if you care or not, but I would be annoyed.
Absolutely delicious. Thank you.