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21Nov, 21
Clean Food Love
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Buffalo Chicken + Pumpkin Casserole

Oh, man!🔥 This recipe may seem a little strange, but it’s surprisingly GOOD! I had a few pumpkins sitting in my kitchen that needed to be used up – and I was also in the mood for buffalo chicken. This recipe is the result of my little experiment, and something I’ll be making each year with leftover pumpkins!
🎃Are you a pumpkin fan? I’m not just a fan. I’m completely obsessed. COMPLETELY.

There are SO MANY reasons to add pumpkin to your diet – it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that are good for you.

PLUS … it’s low in calories and tastes great.

Here are just a few of pumpkin’s benefits: it’s good for your vision, immune health, and it may even help reduce your risk of cancer!

Pumpkin also protects your heart, lungs, and kidneys, helps battle high blood pressure and it’s good for your skin.

Eating pumpkin can keep us looking young thanks to beta-carotene that helps protect us from the sun’s wrinkle-causing UV rays = younger-looking skin.


Pumpkins are Edible? Can we eat just*any* Pumpkin?

Yes! We can. Every pumpkin is totally edible…but some pumpkins are better than others.

Every part of the pumpkin is edible: young stems, leaves, shoots, and tendrils of pumpkin plants. If you are harvesting your own pumpkin stems, be sure to only use the young bright green shoots. We’re NOT talking about the thick dried-up stem (that would be like eating a tree branch – I’m only guessing here, lol). So try the leaves, shoots, and stems when they are young and still tender enough to eat. You can try adding them to soups, stir-fries, and skillet meals. I even remember my grandmother stuffing pumpkin blossoms for a special harvest meal once when I was young.

You can eat the pumpkin plant leaves, the pumpkin blossoms, the entire pumpkin itself, and the seeds inside any pumpkin.

BUT – just because every pumpkin is edible doesn’t mean they will all equally taste good.

Some pumpkin varieties are truly best for carving or decorating, and then there are others that taste best for eating.

Have fun experimenting with different types of pumpkins if you have a few different ones you want to try cooking with! Hit up those local farm stands for the best variety.

Best Pumpkins for Eating:

The VERY BEST tasting pumpkins for roasting and cooking (like this recipe below, soups, and treats) are those labeled as “sugar” or “pie” pumpkins which are smaller and sweeter pumpkins.

There are a few larger pumpkin varieties such as cinderella pumpkins, fairytale pumpkins, and jarrahdale pumpkins that are also pretty good to cook up and use in your recipes!

The pumpkins typically used to make Jack O’ Lanterns are still fine to eat but they are pretty bland. Save the seeds because they are great for roasting though!

One other thing to note: Butternut squash can be substituted for pumpkin in pretty much any pumpkin recipe, which is great because some years pumpkins are more difficult to find.

✅ Canned pumpkin puree can also be a great way to get your pumpkin in. Add it to your oatmeal, soups, chili, smoothies, casseroles – and you can even make delicious pumpkin pancakes.

Just make sure you don’t accidentally pick up a can of pumpkin pie filling instead because they are two completely different things!

Pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin puree often sit in cans or cartons right next to each other on the grocery store shelf. It can be easy to grab one thinking it is the other because the two products look very similar.

However, they are VERY different products!

Pumpkin Puree (that can also be made at home very easily) should say ONLY Pumpkin on the ingredient label.

Pumpkin pie filling usually has many ingredients, one of which is SUGAR.

➡️ All-natural buffalo-style sauce: check the ingredients! Should only contain water, vinegar, and spices. I use Tobasco Buffalo sauce because there are only 5 REAL ingredients in Tobasco.

➡️ I used this ranch dressing, but any all-natural ranch dressing will work.

makes 8 servings


  • 1 small pumpkin
  • avocado oil cooking spray
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 lbs raw chicken breast or thighs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, slightly crushed
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce or buffalo sauce of choice
  • 1/2 cup homemade ranch dressing
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 Tbsp chopped chives


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees f. and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

Cut your pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, and place the two halves onto the prepared baking sheet as shown.

Season with sea salt and pepper, then very lightly with avocado oil.

Roast in your preheated oven until soft, about 30-40 minutes.

In the meantime, add your raw chicken into a large stockpot with sliced onions, a few bay leaves, and fresh garlic cloves. Cover with water, and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until chicken is cooked, tender, and falling apart. Discard everything except for the chicken then gently shred with forks or in your stand mixer with a paddle.

Remove your pumpkin from the oven and allow your pumpkin to cool a bit.

Spoon out the pumpkin flesh into the bowl of your food processor.

Add in the buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, eggs, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt and pepper, and process until smooth.

Add the shredded chicken into a large bowl then pour in your pumpkin mixture.

Using a wooden spoon, stir until thoroughly combined.

Lightly spray a 9X13 casserole dish with avocado oil.

Evenly spread the buffalo chicken and pumpkin mixture, then place the casserole into your preheated oven.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly with a golden brown top.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese and freshly chopped chives.

Serve while hot and enjoy!


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