I love potatoes. Why God created me to love all the starches, breads, & sweets in the world, I guess I won’t know until I get to heaven! You name it though, french fries, hash browns, roasted potatoes, potato salad…If it has a potato in it, I probably love it. We don’t eat potatoes everyday, but every now and then I love a big, loaded baked potato! Because, that’s the best way to eat them, of course!
Enter Cheesy Chicken Philly Stuffed Baked Potatoes!
Now, this on it’s own makes a great meal. To me, when you have a little baked potato and you add pat of butter and dollop of sour cream, that’s just a side to a meal. I like to pile on some protein and veggies, and a slather of creamy “cheese” sauce doesn’t hurt either!
I say “cheese” because, technically, there is no cheese in this sauce. Yeah, I know, you’re thinking “how do you make cheese sauce without any cheese?!” Well, let me tell you…
I made a new friend the other day. Her name is nutritional yeast. Doesn’t really sound cheesy or appealing, right? I thought the same thing. But, I’ve been curious about it so I broke down and bought some. Why does everything you’d just like to try seem to come in a ginormous bag?! If any of want to make this dish and need some nutritional yeast, just come on over and get some from me…I have a stash to last the next few years! Lot’s of “cheese” sauce in the foreseeable future, haha!
So, what is nutritional yeast, you’re wondering? Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast which comes from sugar cane and beet molasses. It’s rich in B vitamins, including B-12, and some believe it has a cheesy flavor, which many vegans and those who are dairy-free use to mimic cheese in certain dishes. It can be used as a savory condiment and sprinkled over popcorn or pasta, and also makes a great addition to scrambled eggs, gravies, soups or in this case, cheese sauce!
Now, to be perfectly honest with you, my son, the cheese connoisseur, doesn’t think it tastes like cheese. He prefers to call it gravy. He likes the taste and pours it all over his egg breakfasts, he just doesn’t call it cheese. For a dairy-free girl like me, it think it’s a close alternative! So, for you real cheese eating people, (take no offense at my tone. I just might be a tad jealous) you can totally skip the “cheese” sauce and slap some provolone on those bad boys. Just put them under the broiler for a minute or two, until the cheese melts, and you’re good to go! You can also easily substitute a sweet potato for the regular potato to make it paleo-friendly.
One step that you must not skip is seasoning the baked potato before adding the Chicken Philly mixture. Slice open the top of the baked potato, break up the inside, and mix in your butter, salt and pepper. You don’t want your last few bites to be dry, flavorless potato!
Then you can pile on the Chicken Philly mix…
And top it with the yummy cheese sauce. I’m telling you, my dairy-free friends, the possibilities are endless with this stuff. Use it on veggies, as an alternative to hollandaise sauce or on top of nachos. Let me know what ways you decide to use it!Enjoy the recipe!
- 2 large or 4 smaller baking or sweet potatoes (I used russet potatoes)
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free butter, divided among the potatoes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon dairy-free butter
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 onion, cut into strips
- 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
- splash of water, about 2 tablespoons
- 4-6 baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, original almond milk
- 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- *1 tablespoon tapioca flour/starch mixed with 1 tablespoon chicken broth
- Scrub potatoes (with a vegetable brush or whatever you have on hand) under running water to remove any dirt or residue. Pat dry and using a fork poke a few holes around the potato so that steam may escape while cooking. Rub the outside with butter or olive oil. Season with a little salt and pepper. You can “bake” them two ways: In the microwave or in the oven. I made mine in the microwave. To make it this way, place potatoes on a microwave-safe plate. Place in the microwave and cook on high for 5 minutes. Turn potatoes and cook for another 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. It may take a few more minutes, but just cook until a fork inserts easily. If you prefer to oven-bake them, preheat the oven to 350 F. After you season them, place the potatoes directly on oven rack, with a pan below to catch any oil or butter drippings. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a fork inserts easily. Let potatoes cool before cutting them open.
- Add the tablespoon of butter to a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When butter begins to bubble, add the chicken, garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until chicken begins to cook on the outside. Add onion, bell pepper and a splash of water, if pan is dry (this helps to steam veggies and cook them faster.) After a minute or two add the mushrooms and continue to cook until chicken is no longer pink on the inside and veggies are tender.
- In a small saucepan, combine milk and broth. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper until dissolved. Add the tapioca and chicken broth mixture, stirring until thickened. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm while putting the potatoes together.
- Cute a slit into the top of the potato lengthwise and open potato slightly. Break up inside of the potato with a fork and add butter and season with salt and pepper thoroughly. Divide the Chicken Philly mixture between the potatoes. Top with the cheese sauce and dig in! (If the sauce has thickened from sitting a while, add a little milk or chicken broth to thin.)
- *You can substitute 1 tablespoon of cornstarch for tapioca flour.
- -If not dairy-free you can use regular cheese of your choice.
- -Can be made paleo-friendly by using real grass-fed butter and a sweet potato
- -Can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth