Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Noodle Bake
Buffalo chicken zucchini noodle bake is grain-free, primal, low carb with a paleo option. This came about from a quest to satisfy my cravings for buffalo chicken with cheesy macaroni.
But this version uses low-carb zucchini noodles and chicken with a creamy buffalo sauce.
This dish is also full of healthy veggies. The first batch I made was a little spicy and I loved it, but my hubby thought I was trying to burn him.
So I reworked the recipe to make it milder. I used 2 tablespoon of red pepper sauce in the second batch, but you could use 1 ½ tablespoon for a very mild batch.
This was pretty easy, budget-friendly, and you can use frozen chicken, as long as you cook it first or in advance.
I just pre-bake the chicken in the oven at 400 F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until done. Then cool and chop it up. This is filling, creamy, low-carb comfort food.
The zucchini noodles I made with a vegetable spiralizer like these ones:
Scroll to the bottom of the page for recipe, directions and printable recipe card
📖 Printable Recipe Card
Creamy Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Noodle Bake
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cooked and chopped
- 2 large or 3 smaller sized zucchini squash spiral cut in noodle shapes
- 1 medium stalk celery chopped finely
- 2 tablespoon red bell pepper chopped *optional
- 1 ½ tablespoon Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup organic sour cream or can use ½ cup mayonnaise for paleo
- 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
- 1 ½ tablespoon to 2 red pepper sauce or to taste I used Frank’s original red pepper sauce
- 3 tablespoon unsweetened canned pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree found in the baby food section
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard spice
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup cheddar cheese grated, omit for paleo option.
- Preheat oven to 400 F, and grease or oil a 9X6X2 inch casserole dish.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine: 1 tablespoon butter or ghee, ½ cup sour cream or mayo, 2 tablespoon red pepper sauce, 3 tablespoon pumpkin puree, ½ teaspoon ground mustard spice, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese. Melt all ingredients and mix together until combined. Turn heat off.
- Place zucchini noodles in a bowl and press down on noodles with a paper towel to remove excess water from noodles.
- Spread zucchini noodles over bottom of casserole dish.
- Place chopped cooked chicken and chopped celery on top of zucchini noodles.
- Pour or spoon the creamy buffalo sauce from the stove top, over the chicken and celery.
- Sprinkle optional chopped red bell pepper over the top of casserole.
- Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with optional grated cheese.
- Let cool until sauce has thickened again and cheese has melted.
- Serve and enjoy.
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Nutrition Facts: Serving size: 1 of 5 servings, Calories: 325, Fat: 13.4 g, Carbohydrates: 6 g / Net Carbs: 4.2 g, Sugar: 3.6 g, Fiber: 1.8 g, Protein: 38 g
*all nutritional data are estimates based on the products I used*
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I just tried this tonight. I was worried about the addition of the pumpkin, to be honest!
It was AWESOME!
My husband is out of town this weekend, so I’ve been trying new recipes to get him on board with keto.
I used a Tbsp of the hot pepper sauce and the “kick” was perfect. I used a whole package of spirilized zucchini from the grocery store, as I don’t have a spirilizer, and a whole ready cooked chicken in a 9x13 dish. Next time I may double the sauce
Can I freeze this for later?
This is definitely a “keeper”!
(First time in all my Pinterest years that I’ve commented!)
Thank you so much, Sharon. The pumpkin just adds a tiny bit of sweetness and thickens the sauce, but it is not enough pumpkin to add the pumpkin flavor. I think you can freeze it, but upon reheating the noodle could possibly get mushy. Might be better to freeze without noodles and add partway through heating??
I buy the zucchini already spiralled. How much do you think it is this way in cups?
Liz, It would be about just over
3 cups of noodles. It is so awesome that you can buy them pre-spiraled now.
Is there anything you can substitute the pumpkin puree or squash puree for? My husband dislikes both..
Can he have sweet potato puree?
ok -- this one is a KEEPER! Zoodles did not get watery at all - and I did double the sauce recipe. My husband is requesting shrimp instead of chicken next time 🙂
Stacey, Thank you for trying recipe, your kind words, and for taking the time to comment. Shrimp would be lovely in this 🙂 Good idea!
This sounds delicious, I want to make it but don't currently have a veggie spiraler, do you think spaghetti squash would work too?
Jenn, Yes I think pre-cooked spaghetti squash would work in this recipe 🙂
Hi. This looks great. I'm concerned though, because I don't like it when zucchini noodles get mushy and watery. 400 for 30 minutes seems like it will turn to mush with a watery sauce. Convince me please......
Annie, you could press the zucchini noodles between paper towels to drain some water first before baking, and bake for less time for a firmer noodle. Sorry, I'm terrible at being persuasive or convincing, lol.
How many cups of zucchini do you need? Can't wait to make this!
Hi Casey, I usually just spiral cut 2 (8 inch) or 3 (4 to 5 inch) zucchini. I have not measured them after spiral cut, but I'm guessing it is about 2 1/2 to 3 cups.
i can't have dairy. Could I do the sauce with everything except the sour cream? Or just go for plain BBQ sauce? I would have to leave out the cheddar. But can do Parmesan
Rosemary, I would suggest subbing mayo or homemade mayo for the sour cream in the recipe. It is a creamy dairy free alternative.
I made this a while back and it was super tasty. The only things I did different were that I let the zucchini sweat for 10 min with a couple tsp of salt, that makes it release more water so the "noodles" aren't so watery and the sauce doesn't water down. I also made a little more sauce because I like my zucchini noodles to be really well sauced. Overall my family loved it (we're really into buffalo flavored things right now) and I will def make it in the future. Thanks for the recipe!
DJ, thank you for trying the recipe and giving us some extra tips. I think you can drain the zucchini first, but the water seemed to leave during the baking process. Extra sauce is always a good idea, as zucchini noodles are best extra saucy.
This is wonderful, made it last night and my husband loved it! Next time I think I will double the sauce.
Jeannine, thank you and I think I will double the sauce too next time I make this!
Made this for dinner tonight, but cut the zucchini like lasagna noodles instead and layered it. It was delicious!! So glad there are leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for sharing this recipe!!
Lucinda, thank you for your kind words and for trying the recipe. I like the lasagna noodle idea, very clever. 🙂
Was wondering what the role of the pumpkin purée was? Thickening? Flavor?
Sounds good tho and will have to try it soon!
Linda, this is a great question. I put the pumpkin purée in the recipe for thickening and for color. It does not seem to add much flavor in this amount. I like the texture, the color, and fiber it adds to the dish.
This recipe sounds amazing and can't wait to try it! I am new to the low carb world and was wondering what the kitchen device you use to make the zoodles is actually called? I would like to get one ASAP because I have been actually cutting these by hand! Thanks!
Stacy, I use a spiral vegetable slicer that I bought at Amazon. It so easy and fast to use. I put a link in the post where I bought mine, but they probably have these at most stores that have kitchen tools.
Great recipe! Everyone in my house loved it....even fussy hubby! 🙂
Hi Pam, that is great to hear. Thank you for trying it. Haha, my hubby is fussy too and stubborn 🙂
The ingredients say "2 tbsp cup red bell pepper" which is it? 2 tbsp or 2 cups?
Teri, oops, it is Tbsp not cups. How did that get there? Sorry for the confusion.
This was delicious! I thought there would be too much zucchini too, but then thought maybe even a little more would be good after it cooked down!
Hi Emily, thank you. I thought that too when I first made it. Then the magic disappearing zucchini happened, lol.
Is there an approximate weight or measurement for "large" zucchini? There are some whopper-sized zucchini so this time of year.
Tiffany, goodness you are right. I will put an estimated measurement for that "large" size. I have seen some insanely large ones out there, lol.
~ Stacey 🙂
This looks delicious! My kids actually love vegetable noodles, so I may have to try this out on them. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂
Lauren, thank you for trying the recipe. I was just stalking all your lovely cookie recipes on your blog. I might need to try a few.
This is absoultely wonderful. When first putting it together, it seems like there's too many zoodles but they cook down perfectly! My non-low carb husband said he would eat it again. It was easy and quick to prepare. Thyis will be added to our favorite recipe list. Thanks for sharing.
Sherri, I thought the same thing at first about too many zoodles, but then I remembered how much they shrink. I'm so glad you tried it and it went over well with the hubby. Thank you for trying the recipe and taking the time to leave feedback.