Have you ever been so busy that you forgot to come up with a plan for dinner?
Let me guess, silly question?
Well it happened to me A LOT when we were living in our one-bedroom apartment this past winter. It’s a humbling thought too considering I make the time to create a hold-your-hand type of meal plan for YOU every month!
As a family, we had too many balls up in the air at the time. Since my husband was at work and the kids are at school (not that they can do what needed to get done anyway), much of the responsibilities fell on my shoulders.
I was overwhelmed beyond belief on most days (and I wish I had thought of the Ultimate Detox Bath sooner!) and every single day without fail, 5pm came too soon. I’d find myself in a scramble to come up with dinner – something that could be cooked in one pan, that didn’t require special kitchen equipment AND something that the family would recognize.
Then on one EXCEPTIONALLY busy day, the dinner hour came and I opened the fridge to find “nothing.”
I’m sure this has happened to you too, right? The fridge isn’t entirely barren, but nothing really stands out at you as desirable for a meal, or even edible at times?
That’s what my fridge looked like, but since we weren’t buying much food, there really truly wasn’t much in there. Hot sauce, mayo, a couple of cheese sticks, pickles, oranges and random vegetables were pretty much it.
It was like some sort of evil magic trick, trying to come up with a nourishing meal out of condiments and food scraps. I was at a loss, but the family still had to eat and going to the store wasn’t an option.
So I pulled out the potatoes, quartered them and roasted them in the oven.
I pulled out the last few carrots from the fridge and shredded them and put them on top. I diced the last bit of celery and when the potatoes were somewhat crispy, I put both the carrots and celery on top.
The dish needed protein, so I dug around the freezer and found a lone bag of shredded chicken hidden behind the bagels. I threw it on the floor (to break up the chicken – we had no microwave) and somewhat evenly covered the celery.
Finally, I pulled apart the cheese sticks and did my best to cover the chicken. The whole pan went back into the oven.
When the cheese was bubbly and slightly browned, I pulled it from the oven and let the family decide what condiment they wanted on top – BBQ sauce, ketchup or hot sauce.
Two bites later, the comments started rolling in.
“Mom, this is so good!”
“Mom, can you make this again?”
“This is really good honey; can we do this again with blue cheese on top too?”
And that’s how this One-pan Buffalo Chicken Potatoes dish was born.
We’ve had it several times since then, changing the veggies slightly, trying different cheeses and playing around with different sauces (adding Homemade Ranch Dressing is exceptionally good). One thing is for sure – it’s a crowd-pleaser every time!
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Cut the potatoes so they're about 1-2" in size and spread into a single layer on the cookie sheet. It's okay if they touch, but you don't want them stacked on top of each other.
- Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes, until the potatoes are medium golden brown.
- Reduce the oven to 400F.
- Cover the potatoes evenly with the carrots, celery and chicken, in that order.
- Top with the cheeses and place back in the oven until the cheese melts and is bubbly, 10-15 minutes.
- Serve with hot sauce and/or ranch dressing, as desired.
Additional Recipe Notes
Line your cookie sheet with aluminum foil for a crazy-fast clean up.
We’ve had leftovers reheated in the microwave AND re-toasted in the oven. The oven is preferred, but the microwave will work in a pinch.
You can halve this recipe for a great appetizer, or make it as-is for a main course (add a salad if you have big eaters).
Be sure to really pack those potatoes in – they shrink a bit while cooking. If you don’t, your family will eat the whole thing and not leave a single portion leftover for lunch!
What’s the best tasting meal you’ve ever made out of “nothing” in the fridge?
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