I Wanted Freedom, Bound And Restricted … I Tried To Give You Up, But I’m Addicted

The meal I’ll be sharing with you today is in no way healthy.  But it’s a comforting, delicious, easy casserole that’s perfect for a busy weeknight.

photo

Casseroles never photograph well, but at least it tasted great!  Personal photo.

I made this casserole for the first time over 3 years ago.  I was living in Omaha, but Eric and I were still in separate apartments.  At the time, I wanted to make something quick that would provide some leftovers, so I searched for a classic staple (a casserole, of course).

I’ve mentioned before that Cassie Craves is one of my favorite food blogs.  Her recipes tend to be relatively simple and great for busy nights.  She also makes a lot of comfort food (including pasta, which is my ultimate comfort food!).  Casseroles definitely fall under the “comfort food” category as well, and there are a bunch of really great ones to choose from on her site (like today’s recipe, for example!).  I haven’t tried all of them, but there are definitely several I’m planning to make in the near future.

Buffalo Chicken Potato Casserole

Recipe taken from cassiecraves.blogspot.com.

Adapted very slightly by me!

Ingredient List:

  • 12 frozen breaded chicken breast tenders (You could use more or less, but I found that 12 tenders fit perfectly in the 9×13 inch pan I used to bake the casserole.)
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot, and I definitely recommend it!)
  • 6 cups frozen shredded hash brown Potatoes O’Brien (The last time I made this, I made it with the diced Potatoes O’Brien.  Both options are good, this just happened to be what Eric picked up at the store.)
  • 1 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing (I used Hidden Valley light ranch.  That’s the only brand of light ranch dressing Eric and I will eat!)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 10 oz. can cream of celery soup
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine (I used low fat margarine.)
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 3 to 4 green onions, chopped

Instructions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.) Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.

3.) In a large bowl, mix together Potatoes O’Brien, dressing, half of the cheddar cheese, and cream of celery soup.  After this is mixed thoroughly, pour evenly into the pan.

4.) Pour the measured hot sauce into a small bowl.  Dip each chicken tender on both sides in the hot sauce, then place on top of the potato mixture in the pan.  Pour any remaining hot sauce over the casserole.

5.) In a second small microwave safe bowl, melt the butter or margarine in the microwave.

6.) Add the Panko breadcrumbs to the melted butter, and sprinkle across the top of the casserole.

7.) Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top of the casserole.

8.) Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

9.) Uncover, and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.  (I baked mine for an additional 23 minutes.)

10.) Sprinkle the green onions across the top of the casserole after removing it from the oven.

11.) Enjoy!  I paired this with a simple side salad, and it made a very filling, comforting meal.  Eric loved this casserole as well, and even with all the hot sauce, it wasn’t overly spicy.  (Feel free to adjust the amount of hot sauce if you want a more mild flavor, though.)

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