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Friday, March 23, 2012

Slimmed Down Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole

IMG_3715eMy friend Lisa recently had surgery and while she recovered I wanted to make dinner for her and her family.  Lisa has been on Weight Watchers and she really liked the sound of my Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole so I set out to make a healthier version for her and her family. 

IMG_3686eI cut way back on the oil that I used in the recipe and it made for a thicker coating on the potatoes which I really liked.

IMG_3691eI used less potatoes, creating only a single layer in the pan.

IMG_3693eBecause I used less oil I had less leftover oil/hot sauce left in the bowl to use for marinating the chicken.

IMG_3695eThough there was enough to coat the chicken, I think that next time I will just add a few dashes of extra hot sauce to the chicken.

IMG_3706eThe potatoes roasted up beautifully with the reduced oil and I loved the thicker coating of the hot sauce mixture.

IMG_3708eRaw marinated chicken placed on top of the roasted potatoes,

IMG_3710eIn place of the regular bacon I used turkey bacon and for the cheese I used Weight Watchers Reduced-fat shredded Mexican-style cheese.

IMG_3712eReady for the oven.

The casserole baked up the nicely though not quite as gooey melty as when I use other cheese.  The reviews, well Lisa and her family loved the casserole and finished off the entire pan and if asked to make a slimmed down version again I wouldn’t hesitate to make this exactly as written below.  Also, after making this slimmed down version and seeing how it worked out, I think that in the future I will only use the reduced amount of olive oil and if needed I’ll add a bit of extra hot sauce to help marinate the chicken. As far as the bacon and cheese, just because of my personal taste preferences I’ll most likely continue using real bacon and regular cheese.  So in the future our family will enjoy a less slimmed down version but I guess cutting any bit of fat out of a recipe is good for the diet. 

IMG_3716eSlimmed Down Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole

  • 24 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 30 oz. potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes  (I leave the skin on)
  • 2 TBS. olive oil 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 TBS. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 TBS. paprika 
  • 2 TBS. garlic powder 
  • 6 TBS. hot sauce 

Topping:

  • 8 oz. Weight Watchers Reduced-fat shredded Mexican-style cheese
  • 6 oz. turkey bacon, diced and pan fried until crispy
  • 1 c diced green onion

Preheat oven to 500F.  In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder & hot sauce.  Add the cubed potatoes and stir to coat.  Carefully scoop the potatoes into a cooking spray coated 9 x 13 inch baking dish, leaving behind as much of the olive oil/hot sauce mix as possible.  Bake the potatoes for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until cooked through and crispy & browned on the outside.  While the potatoes are cooking, add the cubed chicken to the bowl with the leftover olive oil/hot sauce mix and stir to coat.  Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 400F.  Top the cooked potatoes with the raw marinated chicken.  In a bowl mix together the cheese, cooked turkey bacon & green onion and top the raw chicken with the cheese mix.  Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the topping is bubbly delicious.  Serve with extra hot sauce and/or ranch dressing.

Enjoy!

36 comments:

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this :)
    Pinning so I can make it later!
    I would love if you would link this up on my linky if you have a chance :)
    http://successful2gether.blogspot.com/2012/03/successful-saturday-linkup-5.html

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  2. My son and I are fans of all things buffalo! And adding potatoes to this casserole makes it that much better for me! This looks absolutely scrumptious! : )

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  3. Lisa, this looks wonderful and you did a fantastic job of slimming it down! Of course you'd never know by looking at it - it looks quite indulgent!

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  4. Love that you slimmed this down! I'd totally make it this way

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  5. Yum! Must pin this. I awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award. Head on over to my blog to claim it. Have a great day!

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  6. I made this AMAZING!! I reposted on my blog and shouted out to you :) <3 Thank you!
    http://successful2gether.blogspot.com/2012/04/slimmed-down-loaded-potato-buffalo.html

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  7. Cooked this tonight and it was really good. What brand of hot sauce do you use? We use the Louisiana Hot Sauce. I only used 4 TBSP of hot sauce because I have twin one-year olds and a three year-old. My husband who normally can handle really hot foods even commented that it was rather hot to him.

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    Replies
    1. Toni, glad that you liked this dish. I use Franks Hot Sauce and it really is not overly hot, my husband and I generally add a bit of extra hot sauce at the table so you probably have some real hot - hot sauce with the Louisiana brand.

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  8. I cooked this tonight and it was really good. One question though - what brand of hot sauce do you use? I used the Louisiana hot sauce and only 4 TBSP of it because of my small chidren. However, my husband (who can normally handle really hot foods) commented that it was really hot.

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  9. Any suggestions for something to replace the hot sauce, we cannot do very spicy foodds in our house?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Samantha, I would use a little of the hot sauce maybe mixed with some tomato paste or tomato sauce. The hot sauce adds a nice peppery taste so I wouldn't leave it out completely but if needed you can cut it back. If you make it, let me know how it works out. Hope that you enjoy.

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  10. Weird I didn't comment on this one because I made it and we really enjoyed it! I'll definitely make it again. Yum.

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  11. So what are the points plus for this?

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, I am not a Weight Watchers person so I don't know how the points exactly work. Making this was my attempt to make a slimmed down version of my full fat recipe for my friend who is a WW person and she fit this into her diet without problems. If you figure out the points I'd love for you to leave it in a comment as I know that others would appreciate the info.

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  12. Made this tonight and it was delicious! All the flavors of being at my favorite wing joint for way less calories. I had Sweet Baby Rays Buffalo Marinade on hand and I used that in place of the hot sauce. I also used baby red potatoes. 366 calories for about 1 cup so not bad paired with a veggie or side salad for dinner. This will def make another showing on my table!

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  13. Made this tonight and it was delicious! All the flavors of being at my favorite wing joint for way less calories. I had Sweet Baby Rays Buffalo Marinade on hand and I used that in place of the hot sauce. I also used baby red potatoes. 366 calories for about 1 cup so not bad paired with a veggie or side salad for dinner. This will def make another showing on my table!

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  14. Made this tonight and it was delicious! I used baby red potatoes and Sweet Baby Ray's Buffalo Wing Marinade in place of the hot sauce. Still used regular bacon but 1/2 the amount. About 366 for a 1 cup serving so not bad paired with a side salad for dinner. All the flavors of my favorite wing joint with way less calories! This will definitely be a repeat at my dinner table. Thanks!

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  15. This looks great! I can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing.
    I calculated the PointsPlus value to be 9 points (8 servings).

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    Replies
    1. Adrienne, I hope that you enjoy and thank you for calculating & posting the PointsPlus for the WW folks.

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  16. Was so upset when I couldn't pull this up again on pinterest. Took a bit but finally found by googling it.

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    Replies
    1. Glad that you found this recipe and I hope that you make and love it!

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  17. Hi, this looks great and I would love to make it..I was just wondering, is it safe to cook the raw chicken on top of the potatoes. I may bake the chicken separately..But it looks yummy!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, it is completely safe to put the raw chicken on the cooked potatoes because you are going to put the whole thing back in the oven and cook everything so anything that was raw will be cooked and very safe. If you have concerns though, cook your chicken separately, put it on the cooked potatoes, top with the cheese mixture and then put the dish under the broiler to melt the cheese. If you pre-cook the chicken only use the broiler to melt the cheese, don't cook for too long in the oven as you don't want to dry out the chicken.

      Enjoy!

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  18. I am in to make ahead meals to freeze...any reason why this wouldn't work? Planning to do my cooking for the month in a couple of weeks. I can let you know. I just wondered if you had already tried it.

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    Replies
    1. Sadie, this freezes beautifully either partially cooked (The potatoes fully cooked and the chicken still raw, toppings added) or fully cooked (my preferred method.) Just defrost fully before either baking the partially cooked one or microwaving the fully cooked version. As I said, I prefer to cook fully, then I portion it out into one or two servings per container and freeze. This (well the full fat version) is a staple in my freezer for when the craving for this casserole hits as it's a favorite in our home.

      Enjoy!

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  19. Has anyone tried this in the crock pot? Just curious to know how long and whether it comes out as good as the oven version.

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    Replies
    1. I guess that the recipe would work in a crock pot but you'd miss out on the gorgeous roasted crispy potatoes which give the dish so much of its flavor. If you were to roast the potatoes first and then crock pot it, well that's just not worth it plus this is nice as a one pan meal. If you give it a try, please come back and let me know how it works.

      Enjoy!

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  20. I made this tonight for dinner... although, to make it a bit healthier, I added chopped fresh broccoli on top of the raw chicken, then put on the cheese mixture. It was really good! Didn't quite look like yours, but tasted pretty good! Thanks for sharing this recipe. :)

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  21. This looks delicious!! Would sweet potatoes change the flavor of this at all?

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  22. This looks wonderful! Do you think sweet potatoes would make a good substitution or wold it change the flavor too much?

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  23. Amazing dish! Thanks for the recipe

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  24. Are the spice measurements correct? When I made the sauce it was more of a thick paste with a tablespoon of paprika and two tablespoons of garlic. Should it be teaspoons? I haven't tasted the finished product yet but it worries me that the measurements may be off.

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  25. Can I put it in a crockpot instead of the oven

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    Replies
    1. Megan, I have never tried it but you wouldn't be able to crisp up the potatoes in the crock pot so you'd really end up with a different dish. If you try it, let me know how it comes out. Enjoy!

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  26. Can I use this recipe in a crockpot instead of a oven

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