Buffalo chicken wings were a weekly meal when I was in college. They were easy enough to share, easy on my college budget, and the perfect fare for a quick dinner before a night out with my friends. I remember being at a restaurant my senior year and ordering the same thing I did every week...wings and fries with a huge side of ranch. My diet was SOOOOO healthy, can't you tell?! (Please read that with sarcasm) I ate a few wings and about 20 minutes later I was sick as a dog. I was the only one who ate wings that night so no one else got sick. I'm assuming it was food poisoning...or my body's not-so-subtle way of telling me to quit eating so much junk.
I couldn't eat wings for the LONGEST time after that night. Just the smell would send me back to that dark place ;) Then I met my husband whose favorite restaurant at the time was Buffalo Wild Wings. Of course. I eventually got my taste for wings back again and thank God I did. And I realized it wasn't so much the wings that I loved, but the taste of the wing sauce that I loved the most. After we got married, I tried to bring those same flavors into my kitchen with any buffalo chicken type recipe I could find. My favorite still is...and always will be...Buffalo Chicken Dip. Gracious!!! Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese eventually became another household favorite as did these delectable Buffalo Chicken Pizza Pockets. Oh my yum!
Now that I'm nearing closer to 40, I'm realizing that everything I eat tends to stick around my midsection/thigh region a lot longer than I'd like. And I tend to crave foods that are "cleaner" these days, too. Now don't get me wrong..there's nothing I love more than drowning my food in ranch and finishing up my meals with something sweet...but quite frankly, I just can't eat like that every night like I used to (although I really, REALLY want to :) Everything in moderation, I guess...I'm still getting used to that mantra. I'm always looking for a healthier spin on some of my favorite flavors and when I found this cleaner version of a college favorite, I had to try it out. Now this has become my go-to buffalo chicken recipe. It is remarkably delicious, and pretty much guilt-free, too!! Win, win!
BUFFALO CHICKEN STUFFED PEPPERS
3-4 Anaheim peppers, cut in half and seeded
2 C. cooked, shredded chicken OR one rotisserie chicken, shredded
1/2 C. diced white onion
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
6 TBSP. buffalo sauce (I prefer Frank's Original...the best!)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 TBSP. lime juice
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 avocado, chopped (optional, use for topping)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
First let's start by halving the peppers and removing the seeds. Before you do this though, bring a pot f water to a boil. Then toss in the halved peppers. They'll only need to cook for 3 minutes.
Drain the peppers and pat dry. Evenly spread out in a 9x13 baking dish.
In a large bowl, mix together ALL of the remaining ingredients until combined.
Stuff each of the peppers evenly with the chicken mixture and cook at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. If you like a softer pepper, cook just a little bit longer. Personally, I thought the peppers were more than soft enough cooking for 20 minutes! But that's just my preference.
Top with chopped avocado and serve!
I know the avocado is optional, but I wouldn't skip that additional ingredient!
In all honesty, I thought this recipe would be pretty good, but I didn't anticipate it being as tasty as it was! I kept thinking it was way too delicious to be so "clean". But really, eating cleaner doesn't mean we have to sacrifice the taste! Some of my most favorite recipes are clean!! And this one is no exception!
We had quite a bit of the buffalo chicken mixture leftover the next day, so I heated it up and put it in a pita pocket and ate it for lunch. Ohmiword!!! Amazing!!! This buffalo chicken mixture would be great in ANYTHING...sandwiches, salads, you name it! If you're a fan of buffalo chicken, you definitely want to give this a try!