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Cheesy Chicken & Zoodles (paleo, Whole30, AIP)


Paleo Meal Dreams Come True!

This is one of those meals that is so clean and yet absolutely delicious, it’s comforting. Cheesy Chicken and Zoodles!
It’s also magic. In the pot goes vegetables and chicken and when it’s done, shredded and lightly cooled… you have tender ย meat in a thick, yellow, CHEESY sauce! Such a creation could only be paleo/AIP. Only those of us who know true food restrictions would venture to get this creative, to cook like magicians with electric cauldrons, hoping for the best.

How can it be cheesy if you don’t eat cheese. Nutritional Yeast. Those mysterious yellow flakes. That UMAMI flavor that just hits the spot.

I’ve made this three times this week. The first time I was in a rush, and was amazed at how good it turned out. The second time I left dinner for the boys while I went to spinning and they didn’t leave me any. Finally tonight, I made it, wrote down everything I added to the pot and was able to thoroughly enjoy it, again.

I love how the sauce, which is thin when you first open the pressure cooker, will quickly thicken to a silky, smooth concoction as it reaches a comfortable, ย warm temperature. Mixed in with disintegrated leeks, carrots and succulent shredded chicken. Magic I tell you. Ok, it’s more like beef gelatin. But that’s another kind of magic. This unflavored white powder that adds gut healing, sauce thickening, protein to your meal. Win win!

Now add fresh zoodles and garlicky sauteed vegetables to the mix, and you tell me if you’re not transported right to a bowl of baked ziti!

If you don’t have an instant pot, you can do this on the stove, with a large pot with a tight fitting lid, it will probably take up to 40 minutes for very tender chicken.

Hop to it folks, this family favorite is just 30 minutes away, and ya’ll know you have most of these ingredients on hand!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE AWESOME INSTANT POT RECIPESย 

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Cheesy Chicken & Green Zoodles
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Ingredients

  • 1.5lb boneless, skinless thighs
  • 1.5 tbsp Tin Star brown butter ghee, use tallow for AIP
  • 1.5-2 cups sliced leeks (or sweet onion)
  • 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 tbsp Great Lakes Beef gelatin
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian herb blend *rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, sage
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • a fist full of greens (arugula, baby kale, spinach)
  • extra ghee (or other cooking fat) and salt for vegetables
  • optional: 2 slices prosciutto or bacon

Instructions

  • Heat pressure cooker in saute mode, add in the ghee (or tallow).
  • As it heats, slice and add leeks, carrots and garlic to the pressure cooker.
  • You don't have to give them a proper browning, but this way the leek caramelize a bit before hand.
  • Once all the veggies are in, add in the vinegar, then the herbs, the chicken and lastly the yeast and beef gelatin.
  • Stir well.
  • Set to pressure cook, poultry mode.
  • My pressure cooker takes about 25 minutes.
  • In that time spiralize 2 zucchini, spread the zoodles out over kitchen towels and sprinkle with salt.
  • Cover with paper towel and pat down. Set aside.
  • Mince a few cloves garlic.
  • Dice up some broccoli or broccoli rabe and saute in a skillet on high heat with more ghee (or tallow).
  • Stir often until the edges are browned, you can also add some prosciutto or bacon to the mix.
  • Turn heat down and add a fist full of greens (spinach, kale or arugula). Mix in.
  • When wilted, remove from heat. Sprinkle with salt.
  • When chicken is done & pot has released pressure, remove the insert from the pressure cooker and set it under a fan to cool off a bit, at this point you can also shred the chicken carefully with a fork.
  • You don't want it to get cold, but as the sauce cools it will thicken to a gravy like consistency (like melted cheese!).
  • Toss zoodles and broccoli mix in a large bowl.
  • Spoon chicken over vegetables generously.
  • Use tongs to plate it.
  • Serves 4!
http://www.thecastawaykitchen.com/cheesy-chicken-and-zoodles-paleo/

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43 thoughts on “Cheesy Chicken & Zoodles (paleo, Whole30, AIP)

  1. Cooks91

    When do I put in the gelatin and the nutritional yeast?

    1. Vinna

      Sorry, meant just when do I add the gelatin?

      1. Thank you for asking that question! You add it in when you add the nutritional yeast. I have made the edit on the recipe! Thanks again!

  2. Byfaithmom

    Can this be made in a traditional pressure cooker?

    1. Sure! I’ve never used a traditional before, so use your best judgement with cooking time ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Kasia

    Hi. Have you done this in instant pot? I am worried that it might get burned if gelatin and yeast flakes are added before cooking. Thank you.

    1. My pressure cooker is an electric pressure cooker just like the instant pot, and I know of other readers who have made this in their instant pot with success.

  4. Melissa

    This recipe is amazing! I made it in my Instant Pot and added just a few tablespoons of water before sealing. It was sooo good! My husband says it’s the best AIP recipe I’ve made so far. Thank you!!

    1. Oh Melissa! Thank you! So glad to hear this happy feedback <3

  5. Jodi

    I’ve read this three times and can’t see when or where they oodles are cooked….can you help me out?

    1. Hi Jodi! Sure! You don’t cook the zoodles.
      You make the cheesy chicken in the pressure cooker.
      The zucchini is spiralized and salted and set aside on kitchen towels to release fluid.
      You saute the greens and garlic etc.
      Then you combine all the components before serving. Tossing the zoodles with the hot sauteed veggies and cheesy chicken is all the heating they need ๐Ÿ™‚
      Did that help?

  6. Sue Bunton

    I don’t have an instant pot or pressure cooker. Any suggestions for making this an alternate method?

    1. Yes! You can braise the chicken stove top. Brown, add the liquid, cover with a lid and simmer until tender. Will take a little more time, but with the same effect!

  7. Heidi

    HI! This looks delicious, but with so little liquid (1.5 tbsp ghee and 2 tbsp of ACV) how will this come up to pressure? My Instant Pot says to use 1 cup minimum liquid. I really want to try this but am afraid if I have to add water it won’t turn out right. Any suggestions? Thanks

    1. The chicken will quickly release liquid when it’s cooked in the Instant Pot, when you open the lid, you will see the chicken SWIMMING in fluid. If you’re still unsure about the little liquid, add in 1/2 cup broth or water, then just use the reduce/saute function at the end the simmer and reduce the liquid down. Does that make sense?

  8. What a great (fast!) dinner idea for the week! The sauce sounds so good!

  9. I love me some zoodles and I love me a good bit of nutritional yeast too! this looks sooooo good! <3

    1. Thanks love! Love Nutritional Yeast too!

  10. I love zoodles, and I’m always looking for ways to get in that cheesy flavor without always resorting to tons of dairy!

    1. Me too Kari, me too! Wish I could do more cheese, but lactose and I are not pals.

  11. I love zoodle recipes! It is nice to have dairy free cheesy flavor in there, and oh the pancetta makes it even better. Great recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you Stacey! Can’t go wrong when adding any form of bacon hehe

  12. Sue Bunton

    Another question from me…could I use collagen peptides in place of the gelatin?

    1. Hi Sue! Are peptides the ones you can mix into cold liquid? You need the ones that gel when cooled for the sauce to thicken in the recipe.

      1. Sue Bunton

        Yes, they are water soluble! Looks like I need to order some gelatin ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I absolutely love zoodles and yours came out looking amazing! & I will definitely be throwing in the “optional” bacon! Great recipe, looks amazing.

    1. Thanks! The trick is to just toss the zoodles with the hot components of the meal instead of cooking them. That way they stay “al dente”!

  14. these sounds so freaking good!! I’ll definitely be throwing in that “optional” bacon like Mark too, haha. A bowl of noodles/zoodles with sauce is always so comforting!!

    1. Thanks Dana! And yes, I agree, something about slurping up saucy noodles just hits home ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I took one look at this earlier and immediately scheduled it to be shared on my Facebook page because I wanted to remember to make this ASAP. (half the time I schedule stuff there it’s to remind me to do that, haha). It looks so delicious! I miss cheese SO much, so I’m so excited to eat this!!

    1. That’s awesome Michele, I hope ya’ll love it!

  16. Wow! I bet this is amazing! Love all of those zoodles! I love the added gelatin in there too!

  17. Oh I need to go get some nutritional yeast so that I can try this! It looks amazing.

  18. This looks amazing! I miss cheese so I’m totally making this!

  19. That perfect twirl of zoodles!!! I just want to dive right in.

  20. Now is my idea of comfort food!!!

  21. Wow! This is pure comfort food right here!

  22. I love nutritional yeast, full of B Vitamins. thanks for the inspiration on ways to use it, this looks so yummy!

  23. Amy

    I’ve been on a nutritional yeast kick lately with creamy sauces! And in the Instant Pot?!?! I’m sold! I’ll definitely be trying this one ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. This looks fantastic. Can’t wait to try it!

  25. Totally delicious. I’m mouthwatering just looking at the pictures !

  26. Alice

    Is the Great Lakes Gelatin from the green or orange can?

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