Buffalo Ranch Chicken Casserole
If you’re looking for a hearty entree that’s big on flavor and shockingly good for you you’re going to love this Buffalo Ranch Chicken Casserole.
Update: This recipe was originally published in 2017 and has been republished with all new photos.
Sometimes all I want is comfort food and nothing else can satisfy me. I know I’m not alone in this. So how to deliver and still enjoy a guilt free meal? This recipe is Whole30 compliant, dairy free, and gluten free!
My Buffalo Ranch Chicken Casserole is super creamy and looks cheesy but there’s absolutely no cheese in it. In fact it’s dairy free and uses spaghetti squash instead of traditional spaghetti noodles. Have I blown your mind yet?
This dish feels like a truly amazing casserole that satisfies without any of the guilt that a decadent comfort food can bring. I promise you that when you pull this out of the oven you won’t be thinking about the missing noodles or cheese. It looks, smells, and tastes like heaven. A really spicy, creamy plate of heaven. It is that good.
For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):
- Spaghetti squash
- Green bell pepper
- Red bell pepper
- White or yellow onion
- Minced garlic
- Olive or avocado oil
- Ranch dressing
- Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce
You start by roasting the spaghetti squash. We love spaghetti squash at my house. It’s so yummy with just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper or topped with marinara sauce. But not today, friends. Today we’re going to really dress up that squash.
While the squash is roasting you’ll be sautéing fragrant veggies like onion and two kinds of peppers. Plus garlic of course. If I ever give you a dish without garlic you should wonder what’s wrong with me.
The sauce that produces that cheesy feeling (but has no cheese) is a mix of ranch dressing, hot sauce, and spices. I make my own Easy Ranch Dressing or Dairy Free Ranch Dressing & Dip. Two surprisingly easy dressings because everything goes straight in the blender! You can of course always use a store-bought dressing if you have one.
What chicken is best to use?
Any fully cooked chicken works great! So boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs are both great options. I typically boil chicken breasts but you can shred a store-bought rotisserie chicken if you’re looking to save time. The flavor in this dish doesn’t come from the chicken so how you cook it truly doesn’t matter.
Buffalo Ranch Chicken Casserole
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup ranch dressing, If you want to make your own I have 2 dairy free versions to try!
- 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper powder, Can use chili powder or omit this completely to decrease spiciness of casserole.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups fully cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut your spaghetti squash length wise. Scoop out the seeds and gooey parts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes. You’ll know it’s done because the skin will give a little under pressure and the cut side (with the noodles) will have some browning. While your squash is baking you can go ahead and move forward with the next step. Remove from the oven when squash is complete and set aside.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- In a large sauté pan add your cooking fat of choice, green pepper, red pepper, and onion. Stir. Cook over medium high heat until vegetables are tender. This takes approximately 4-5 minutes. When they’re almost done add in your minced garlic. Stir. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs thoroughly. Then add your ranch dressing, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, chipotle chile pepper, and salt. Stir until well mixed. (If you don’t have one on hand whip up my Easy Ranch Dressing or Dairy Free Ranch Dressing & Dip. Both are dairy free.)
- Use a fork to pull the spaghetti squash out of the skin and add to a 9 x 13 baking dish. You want them to be noodle-like so if they clump together some just separate with your fork.
- Add your sauteed onion, green pepper, red pepper, garlic, cooked chicken, and most of the fresh cilantro to the baking dish. Stir together with your squash using a fork or spoon.
- Pour your dressing mixture over the ingredients. Stir thoroughly to ensure everything is covered. Sprinkle remaining cilantro on top.
- Place in the oven and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 55 minutes to 1 hour. The top will have some browning when it’s finished. Set aside for 5-10 minutes before serving.
122 Comments on “Buffalo Ranch Chicken Casserole”
Once again you are CRUSHING it with those Whole 30 recipes!!! This looks incredible!! And I’m with your son–hot sauce belongs ON ERRTHANG. (Not cereal though.)
Haha I’m so relieved you draw the line at cereal! 😉
Wow, this looks sooo good. I don’t usually cook, but this looks like it is worth giving it a shot!! THanks for the recipe!
Thanks, Michelle! I hope you give it a try!
You had me at buffalo and ranch. It being a casserole just make it that much more awesome. Can’t wait to try this.
Thanks, Candy! I love a great casserole too!
I love that this is Paleo! Goodness gracious this sounds amazing, I love finding new paleo recipes to try!
I hope you make it, Chanel! It’s sooooooo good!
Omg this looks so mouth watering. I need to get on making this this weekend! My sis and boyfriend love anything buffalo chicken.
They sound just like my husband! Thanks, Carlie! I hope you enjoy it!
This looks absolutely delicious! I’m not doing the Whole 30, but I’d eat this anyway! I love anything buffalo flavored.
Thank you, Tricia! Yes this is staple in our home now. No need to be on Whole 30 to do a spaghetti squash casserole for sure!
I love the fact that it is cheesy without the cheese! This is something that I would like to try because I am pretty sure my family will love it. I am not doing the Paleo 30 but I can eat this anyday!
Absolutely! I hope you give it a try!
It looks good. I wish I wasn’t such a baby about buffalo chicken though!
Haha! It’s spicy for sure!
This looks really good. We love chicken, ranch, and Frank’s hot sauce!
Thank you! I bet you’d love it, Stacy!
This sounds and looks SO good! But dang, that is A LOT of hot sauce! I like a little bit of heat but… do you think I could make this with reduced hot sauce? What would be the best way to substitute the liquid?
It’s spicy for sure but the ranch definitely counters it. My 6 year old eats it (although he does like a little heat). You could increase the ranch, decrease the hot sauce, and cut out the chipotle chile pepper powder to make a milder version.
Has anyone ever tried this with zucchini noodles in place of spaghetti squash? I assume it would work the same. This is way I can get my husband to try it😂
This looks amazing! Look forward to trying it out in OurCookery!
This recipe is calling my name. It looks delicious, Christina.
Thank you, Barbara!
Yes, PLEASE! This looks yummy!!
Thanks, Amanda! It’s REALLY good!
I’m not usually a fan of casseroles but this looks AMAZING!
Thanks, Allison! I tend to avoid the cream of mushroom soup variety of casseroles. 😉 This one is cream of mushroom soup free and worth trying I promise!
We just started trying out a Paleo diet and this sounds amazing! I’m putting it on the menu for next week!
Awesome! I hope you love it, Andi!
This definitely looks like something my family would like, I’ll have to add it in next week
Thanks, Bonnie! I hope you love it!
I love Buffalo chicken dishes, and this one sounds perfect for dinner next week!
I hope you give it a try! Thanks, Vicki!
OMG this looks amazing!!
Thanks, Shannon! It’s really yummy!
Wow, this looks amazing!
I absolutely love anything with buffalo & ranch sauce.:)
This recipe looks AMAZING! 🙂 I will definitely try it for my family.
Oh me too, Latasha! Thank you! I hope you enjoy it!
Sounds so good! I love the idea of using rotisserie chicken to make it even easier.
Yessss! I’m always on board for a shortcut!
I am a sucker for casseroles and since starting to eat more Paleo, it has been hard to find anything that I can just throw together and have a dinner. Thank you for this one! It looks delicious.
Thanks, Krysten! I hope you enjoy it!
Need to try this asap! Looks like such an indulgent meal, can’t believe it’s whole 30!
What a unique recipe! I’ve been looking for ways to try spaghetti squash so really want to try this…yum!
Oh that looks delicious! Would also be great for large crowds! Just whip up a big batch of it!
This recipe looks incredible! I love cooking things from scratch so will be adding this to my to-do recipe list. Thanks for sharing 🙂
This is my FAVORITE recipe to make. And my husband likes it too, even if he isn’t a fan of spaghetti squash.
This looks great, but is ranch Whole 30 approved?
Some ranch is. I believe Tessamae’s makes an approved version. I also have a recipe and I always recommend Dump Ranch (google it, it’s a really popular recipe by another blogger).
This sounds like a great dish that is made with wholesome ingredients. So glad you didn’t omit garlic. 😉
Love this flavor combination. And is it just me or is Frank’s the kitchen wizard? I use it in so many things. Great recipe!
Ooh! I love spaghetti squash! What a yummy casseroles, this looks just amazing and with the buffalo sauce? YUM!!!
This sounds delicious. I’ve still not been able to get my hands on a spaghetti squash yet. Will keep searching!!!
Trying to find your easy ranch dressing recipe. The link is broke😕This does sound amazing.
Thanks so much for letting me know. It’s working now! Here you go! https://thewholecook.com/2017/02/10/easy-ranch-dressing/
Big hearts eyes for this!!! I bet this casserole is crazy good!
Yes pleeeease to everything about this recipe! Buffalo chicken and ranch are my husband’s favorite things in the world so I can’t wait to cook this for him.
Woah this looks bomb diggity!
Hahaha thank you, Joni!
of course, now I am dying to see original pictures!! (; This casserole looks totally amazing…comforting and flavorful!
LOL well they were not as good. A decent camera makes a mighty big difference!
Sounds fabulous! I always forget about casseroles! I need to make them more.
I am in a casserole phase right now. Can’t get enough of them!
We love spaghetti squash around here too! I love this creamy + spicy, plus veggies and protein, perfect family meal for us. Thank you!
I’m so glad you like it, Megan! It’s amazing all the ways you can use spaghetti squash!
I just happen to have some chicken and 2 spaghetti squash in my pantry right now! Eeeek!
Time to get cooking! 😉
This looks like some awesome comfort food! Love the idea of using a store bought chicken to save time – they can make a really great meal!
Agreed! We can always use a little extra time in our day!
This recipe looks so delicious, but then you had me at “buffalo chicken”!
That sucks me right in too! Thanks, Yvonne!
That looks so comforting! Perfect for all this cold weather!
Comfort food is a must on chilly evenings like we’ve been having! Thanks, Carrie!
It does look cheesy! Good fake-out! I have a friend who is obsessed with buffalo chicken, I’ll have to forward this on to her!
Thanks for sharing it!
I like comfort food, especially if it’s whole30 and dairy free… sound great on a busy weeknight too!
Exactly! Thank you!
I love this casserole, looks delicious!
Thank you! It’s really yummy!
OMG, stop it. This is amazing. I have to make it this weekend, and I have nearly all of the ingredients. You’re going to make me Wife of the Year, so thanks in advance 😉
Thanks, Danielle! I hope you enjoy it!
If you didn’t have spaghetti squash…. what would you rec as a sub?? Thanks!!
I wouldn’t recommend a substitute for the spaghetti squash because it would drastically change the cooking time and process. I hope you get a chance to try this one! It’s SOOOOO GOOOOOOD. 🙂
AMAZING. WOW. There aren’t enough words to say how delicious this is. My hubby won’t eat cilantro so I omitted it yet so creamy and delicious. Shocking it doesn’t have dairy. YAAY! Great go to recipe. Thank you so much. We were both shocked at how wonderful it was… and will be because with 2 of us there are LEFTOVERS!
Yes!!! Thank you for the kind words! I love this recipe too! <3
This looks so good! Is there any substitution for the egg in the ranch dressing? Thank you!
I’m sorry, I’ve never tried it with an egg substitute but you could always use a different ranch if you have another that you prefer!
This dish is delicious! Can you freeze it?
Great recipe! Can you reheat this casserole? Should I wait until completely cool before refrigerating?
This was a lot of work to make! While it was in the oven, I told my husband that it would have to be insanely good for me to make again…
I will probably make this every week, it is THAT GOOD. I didn’t use cilantro or the chipotle chili powder. My spaghetti squash was pitifully small but I had butternut squash noodles in the fridge so I dumped those in too. I used dump ranch.
Seriously amazing recipe, thank you!!
Hahaha there are totally more steps to this recipe than any other recipe I have! But I think it’s worth it too. So glad you enjoyed it!
Hey Christina! I have to tell you that I have made this casserole a ridiculous number of times! We love it so much. Thank you for sharing such a fantastic recipe!
My whole family loved this, one and two year-olds included! I’m back, getting the ingredients to put on my shopping list so we can have it again this week. The toddlers have it with extra ranch and my husband with extra hot sauce. I think it’s just perfect as written.
I apologize if this has already been asked, but do you know if this freezes well? I’m due to have a baby in a few weeks and wanted to pre make some meals to freeze. I’ve never tried freezing a spaghetti squash casserole, so just curious!
Buffalo Ranch Chicken Casserole is super cheesey…….No wonder I am so fat…… Just loved it.
I can’t do bell peppers, my body does not tolerate them well. . Do you think this would be flavorful enough without them?
This was a HUGE hit with my family tonite! I made a batch of homemade ranch and used that with this casserole and holllly smokes! Everyone was so happy. Thanks for such a great recipe 🙂
Perfect!! This one is a favorite of mine too! Happy your family enjoyed it!
This was delicious and a nice change from regular meat and veggies! I put the leftovers in the freezer and it freezes great!
I’ve made this 3 times in 2 weeks and my husband has requested it be put on our rotation weekly. So good! It’s great leftover for lunches and our 11-year old is a fan, too. Thanks!
Yum, yum, yum. I like anything Buffalo Chicken! I didn’t have spaghetti squash and subbed cauliflower rice. It was delicious. I love one-pot meals. Thanks for sharing.
LOVE this casserole. My store had zero spaghetti squash so I improvised and used spiralized butternut squash (frozen) and it turned out amazingly! My husband is getting this for his lunches for the week and he’s gonna be thanking me all week!
This is hands down one of the most delicious things you can make. My kids love it. My husband loves it and it freezes great!
This was a big hit! So tasty! Haven’t made spaghetti squash very often so we were hesitant but it works perfect in this dish! Recipe printed and added to my binder!
This was so tasty and great for meal prep!
Currently in the oven!!! I bought a non dairy ranch from Primal Gourmet and it was only a cup. lol
So, I added some mayo and a little lemon. Cant wait to try it.
I’ve made this recipe multiple times. It is truly delicious. Everyone that I’ve made it for always wants the recipe. No one can believe it doesn’t have cheese in it!
This is so great! My non-paleo husband thought the spaghetti squash was was cheese! 😀 We are used to the typical dip made with cheddar and cream cheese, but we love this more. Satisfies that craving, gives you healthy veggies, and you can still dip celery and corn chips in it! Mmmm. Thank you!
Made this tonight….love it!! So creamy and cheesy..without cheese. So yummy!!
Holy heck, if you’ve not made this… MAKE IT NOW!!!!!!!! I think this just moved to the top of my favorites list. I couldn’t stop mmm-ing while eating it last night ( and today for lunch!) . We served ours with steamed broccoli and garlic toast. Can’t wait to make this again and share it with friends.
I told you this one will get ya!! It requires a little more work than my usual recipes but I think it’s worth it! Thanks so much for trying it and sharing, Jayme!
A favorite in our house.
There are a lot of steps to this recipe, but it is honestly one of my favorite things I have ever made. I would encourage you to double it so you have plenty to enjoy. It reheats wonderfully. This is also coming from someone who doesn’t really enjoy spaghetti squash. This is so delicious and it is hard to believe that it has good for you ingredients.
I LOVE to hear such great feedback! This recipe is definitely more labor intensive than my others but I agree that it’s worth it! Thanks so much, Tessa!
Delicious, perfect comfort food with a kick!! My son said it was “amazing”.
I think I may have commented on this recipe previously, but I made this again and am back to say how dang good this is! Every time I make it, I am literally astonished at how delicious it is. I am not a huge spaghetti squash fan, but I promise you that you can’t taste it. I have made plenty of bad spaghetti squash recipes, this is not a bad one. It tastes so creamy and cheesy with zero dairy. All of the separate steps can take some time, but I promise you it will be worth it—this time I made a double batch and may try to freeze some! Stop reading and go make this recipe! Thanks for great recipes, Christina!
Just wondering your thoughts about cutting out one step and using frozen spaghetti squash? I’ve made this recipe a dozen times (i love it!!) and have always roasted the spaghetti squash, but when I’m short on time, I’d love to hear how you think it would cook/taste with the frozen kind. Thanks!
Hi Alex! So happy you enjoy this recipe! My only concern with the frozen spaghetti squash is that it make the casserole too watery. If you do try it I’d love to know what happens!