For those of you who don’t know, I write my blogs the night before.  This way, I don’t have to deal with any time constraints or interruptions.  So, as I type this, I’m buried under a down comforter, faux fur blanket, a heating pad, and a 75 pound pit bull, with a hot cup of tea in hand.. wtf?? I’m FREEZING!!! And have been all day! And what’s worse is, I’m trying to think about what I could possible say about a casserole that would take up at least three paragraphs without boring everyone to death.. And you know what I came up with??!! Nada, zip, zilch, zero..

Partly because I’m freezing to death and may not be able to make it out of this post alive, two.. because Chicago PD is on in the background and I’ve lost my senses and purchased season 2, and all I want to do is watch one episode after the next, and because this casserole is so damn delicious, I feel like it will speak for itself..

Ok, I’ll elaborate.. growing up, I don’t recall my mother ever making a casserole.  If I’m not mistaking, I don’t think casseroles or quiches were on my father’s list of favorites, and since I grew up in an Italian family, dinner was NEVER a one pot meal.  It was more like a five course meal, but after years of staying glued to the Pioneer Woman, I was dying to make a casserole, and I’m pretty sure I did Ree proud with this one because it’s de-lish!

One of the things I love about this recipe is that it calls for leftover rotisserie chicken.  Considering we go through rotisserie chickens like wild fire in this house, I thought that was pretty great.  One thing about rotisserie chickens is that they never go to waste, after we’ve eaten all the chicken, I freeze the carcass (I hate that word btw, it sounds like road kill) and use two at a time to make Tyson’s chicken stock (check out my “Pet Friendly Instant Pot Chicken Stock” recipe, I guarantee you won’t get not one complaint from your pooch) Ha!

Aside from the nifty way to use leftovers, it gave me a reason to finally use pork rinds in lieu of bread crumbs, because let’s face it people.. no one wants almond meal on top of their casserole and now that Epic makes pork rinds, they are finally socially acceptable.  Melissa Hartwig even posted a pic recently on Instagram where she dipped them in almond butter and while everyone else was wondering if that was Whole30, I was like.. Yayyyy I can finally eat pork rinds in public with my head held high.  It was a pivotal moment for me, kind of like that moment when woman started admitting they loved meatloaf and could be overheard ordering bacon!!!

Anyway, this casserole really is super duper awesome and if you’ve never tasted Primal Kitchen ranch dressing, you haven’t lived yet, and you need to order it now because it’s the best damn ranch dressing on the planet.  I never liked ranch dressing until I met this one and now you see me on Instagram, adding it to everything.  I guess I didn’t like “fake” ranch dressing, but as it turns out I love the real deal.

And there you have it.. hopefully, I didn’t get too many yawns, but seriously this is truly out of this world, and although it’s filling, it’s not a heavy casserole, it’s actually quite perfect! Now I’m going back to Chicago PD to see who snatched up Hank Voight.. I have no doubt he’ll make them pay.. and I seriously think he has one of the coolest guy voices everrr!!!

Bacon Ranch Chicken Casserole

serves 6

Ingredients

  • coconut oil for greasing the baking dish
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 5 strips of bacon
  • 2 cups leftover rotisserie chicken
  • 1 bottle Primal Kitchen ranch dressing
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2.5 ounce of pork rinds, crushed (I used salt & pepper by Epic)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, generously poke holes in the spaghetti squash using a fork
  • Place the squash on a baking sheet and bake for 25 – 30 minutes
  • Allow the squash to cool before cutting in half then, scoop out the seeds and discard them then
  • Using a fork, shred the flesh of the squash and place it in a baking dish
  • Fry the bacon in a pan until crispy then, set aside
  • Add the onion to the pan and saute until translucent then add the peppers, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, stirring for 1 – 2 minutes
  • Add mixture to baking dish and crumble the bacon into it
  • Add the chicken, ranch dressing, and whisked eggs, and toss it all around until well combined.
  • Sprinkle the pork rinds over the top and garnish with cilantro
  • Bake for 35 minutes, allow to cool for a few minutes before serving

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