If you are a fan of buffalo chicken, you will love this Creamy Buffalo Chicken, Cauliflower, and Sweet Potato Casserole recipe! It's creamy and delicious just like traditional buffalo chicken dip, but with a hearty serving of roasted vegetables to make this dinner recipe a little more nutritious. I enjoy serving this dish like a dip with tortilla chips or pita chips or even over a bed rice with a non-starchy vegetable on the side for a balanced meal.
Why is Buffalo Chicken a Thing?
Before Buffalo chicken dip became a thing, buffalo chicken WINGS became a thing. Although the true inventor of the Buffalo chicken wing is up for debate, according to the Smithsonian Magazine, National Chicken Council, and What's Cooking America the Buffalo chicken wing first originated in 1964 in Buffalo, New York.
Chicken wings were relatively inexpensive compared to other proteins at the time as they were considered a less desirable cut of chicken. Restaurants and bars started selling buffalo chicken wings with bleu cheese and celery and quickly learned that people often bought more beer when they ate the spicy wings. In turn, football fans would gather at sports bars to share wings and beer and watch the game, hence the buffalo chicken-football association was born.
Throughout the 1970's and 1980's buffalo chicken wings continued to grow in popularity, and today buffalo flavored things - chicken wings, chicken dip, cauliflower "wings," pretzels, chips, and more - are often favored.
Step-By-Step Instructions for Creamy Buffalo Chicken, Cauliflower, and Sweet Potato Casserole
Now that the buffalo chicken history lesson is over, it's time to make this recipe! I want you to feel confident making this Creamy Buffalo Chicken, Cauliflower, and Sweet Potato Casserole recipe on your first try, so I've laid out 4 simple, step-by-step instructions for you to follow!
Step 1: Roast the cubed sweet potato and cauliflower florets. Toss them the veggies into a bowl along with canola oil and spices then transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper (parchment paper makes clean up so much easier!) at 400°F for 20-22 minutes. Once they are cooked, turn the temp down to 350oF.
Step 2: Make the creamy sauce. While the sweet potato and cauliflower roast, saute the onion, celery, and half of the scallions with olive oil in a skillet. After about 5 minutes of cooking the vegetables, add the milk, cream cheese, 1/2 tsp. paprika, and 1/2 tsp. garlic powder. Cook and stir constantly for about 1 minute until the sauce is thick and smooth, then remove it from the heat. Stir in the roasted veggies when they are done, the chicken, buffalo sauce, and the remaining scallions.
Step 3: Assemble and bake the casserole. If you used an oven safe skillet (like a cast iron skillet) to make the creamy chicken and veggie mixture/sauce, use this skillet as your baking dish. If not, transfer sauce to a 7x11” baking dish coated in nonstick spray. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and bake for 15 minutes until the mixture is bubbly and the cheese has melted.
Step 4: Garnish with scallions, crumbled goat cheese or bleu cheese, and additional hot sauce if desired and serve.
You were already ready to eat Creamy Buffalo Chicken, Cauliflower, and Sweet Potato Casserole like a pro, and now you're ready to prepare it like a pro!
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Vegetable Sides with Overlapping Ingredients
What’s in This Recipe?
Cauliflower – contains vitamin C, folate, fiber, and antioxidants
Sweet potato – starchy vegetable that contains vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, energizing carbohydrates, and fiber
Seasoning – salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and turmeric
Olive oil – rich in monounsaturated fatty acids; linked with lower LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels and higher HDL cholesterol levels
Onion – contains quercetin and organosulfur compounds
Celery – non-starchy vegetable that contains dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin C
Scallions – contains vitamin K
Whole milk – cow's milk contains protein, calcium, and vitamin D for strong bones and muscle recovery
Cream cheese – contains calcium and protein; provides flavor
Cooked chicken – rich in protein, contains iron and several B vitamins; I like to use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken in this recipe for convenience
Hot sauce – adds spice and flavor
Shredded mozzarella cheese – contains calcium, vitamin D, and protein
Goat cheese or bleu cheese – contains calcium and protein; lower in lactose than cow’s milk cheese
Notes: This recipe is naturally gluten free, grain free, and nut free.
Creamy Buffalo Chicken, Cauliflower, and Sweet Potato Casserole
Prep time: 0 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
4-5 cups cauliflower florets
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
2 tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp. paprika, divided
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cups chopped white or yellow onion
1/2 cup diagonally sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped scallions, divided, plus more for serving
1 cups whole milk
8 oz cream cheese
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup buffalo sauce, plus more for serving
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Crumbled goat cheese or bleu cheese, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the cauliflower and sweet potato to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the canola oil, and sprinkle with salt, black pepper to taste, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. garlic powder, and turmeric. Mix well to coat.
Spread the coated veggies onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for 20-22 minutes until the veggies are tender. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
While the cauliflower and sweet potato cook, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat (I like to use a large cast iron skillet). Add the onion, celery, and 1/4 cup of the scallions and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are fragrant and slightly softened (~5 minutes). Add the milk, cream cheese, 1/2 tsp. paprika, and 1/2 tsp. garlic powder to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened and smooth, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Add the roasted veggies, chicken, buffalo sauce, and the remaining 1/4 cup scallions to the skillet. Stir until well combined.
If using a cast iron skillet, skip to step 7. Coat a 7x11” baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon the creamy chicken and veggie mixture into the baking dish.
Sprinkle evenly mozzarella cheese. Bake until the mixture is bubbly and the cheese has melted (15 minutes). Garnish with additional scallions, crumbled goat cheese or bleu cheese, and hot sauce if desired.
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