Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Creamy Skillet Buffalo Chicken Burgers

By Stacie Morgan, August 4, 2016, Recipes

Welcome to Cooking with Less Kilowatts! There is nothing better than sitting down in the evening to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. But did you know that changing what you do in the kitchen can make an impact on your monthly electricity bill? Each week, I will help you find ways to cook using less energy while still getting a satisfying, flavorful meal. Trust me – I won’t just tell you to do everything in the microwave. I’ll help you cut down on your energy consumption.

This week’s low energy use recipe is an easy, flavorful, and veggie-packed dish that cooks in the skillet in less than 20 minutes.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Creamy Skillet Buffalo Chicken Burgers | Bounce Energy Blog

A near-perfect dinner for any busy weeknight.

This is my go-to recipe when I’m craving buffalo chicken but don’t have a lot of time to make it. The concoction is inspired by one of my favorite slow cooker recipes which features buffalo chicken with ranch and lemon pepper seasoning. But as much as I love my slow cooker, sometimes I just want something I can cook cooks in under half an hour.

The dish is full of classic ingredients often paired with buffalo wings like celery and carrots along with ranch seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon pepper seasoning. I also find that combining the zingy flavors of fresh lemon juice and lemon pepper seasoning with fresh garlic and black pepper creates a delicious pairing with ranch seasoning.

I have played around with the ingredients and ratios in this recipe to find a good mix that makes the sauce not too thin, not too thick, and not too loaded with a lot of liquids to make it take longer to cook. You can make your own ranch seasoning, or just use something premade and store-bought. I suggest sticking with the dry ranch seasoning ingredients instead of using actual ranch dressing because you want to keep the consistency of the sauce correct at the end of the cooking process.

There are three keys to making this low energy use recipe a success:

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Creamy Skillet Buffalo Chicken Burgers | Bounce Energy Blog

We really do recommend a good cast iron skillet for this recipe.

  1. You might only need one skillet to cook everything, but it helps if that skillet is cast iron or another substance that retains heat well;
  2. Following the directions exactly in terms of the order in which you add the ingredients; and
  3. Keep the heat level on medium the entire time.

This dish doesn’t need to simmer and cook for an hour on the stove because the order of ingredients encourages a quick cooking time and doesn’t call for too much additional liquid or tomato paste.

These “burgers” are kind of like a creamy buffalo chicken sloppy joe, and they are guaranteed to be a huge hit for dinner this week!

Creamy Skillet Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Skillet Ingredients:

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Creamy Skillet Buffalo Chicken Burgers

We do love a colorful batch of ingredients.

  • 1 lb. Ground white meat chicken
  • 1 tbsp. Ranch seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • ½ c. White onion, chopped
  • ½ c. Celery, chopped
  • 1 c. Matchstick carrots
  • 2 Garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • ½ Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Lemon pepper seasoning (use one with salt)
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato paste
  • ¾ c. Chicken broth
  • ½ c. Buffalo wing sauce
  • 2 oz. Cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh chopped chives

Directions:

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Creamy Skillet Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Make sure the seasonings are evenly distributed throughout the ground chicken.

1) Season ground chicken meat with the ranch seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. Once mixed in, place in the refrigerator while prepping the other ingredients.

2) Prepare the celery, onion, chives, and garlic as shown in the “Ingredients” photo above. Cut carrots into thin matchsticks if not bought in the shape.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Creamy Skillet Buffalo Chicken Burgers | Bounce Energy Blog

Even more color!

3) Measure out the sauce, chicken broth, cream cheese, lemon pepper seasoning, and tomato paste to have it ready to add quickly during the cooking process.

4) Heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat and melt the butter in the skillet.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Creamy Skillet Buffalo Chicken Burgers | Bounce Energy Blog

You really do want those onions to be translucent before proceeding to the next steps.

5) Add the celery, onion, carrots, and garlic to the butter and sauté for 3-4 minutes until onions become translucent and the garlic is fragrant.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Creamy Skillet Buffalo Chicken Burgers | Bounce Energy Blog

The same goes for the chicken – it needs to be cooked through before you go to the next steps.

6) Move the vegetables to one side of the skillet and add the ground chicken mixture to the open side. Cook the chicken through for 4-5 minutes.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Creamy Skillet Buffalo Chicken Burgers | Bounce Energy Blog

As always, an even distribution of the flavors is key to an impactful dish.

7) Mix the chicken in with the vegetables and then add the lemon pepper seasoning, lemon juice, and tomato paste. Sauté for 3-4 minutes to let the tomato paste combine with everything.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Creamy Skillet Buffalo Chicken Burgers | Bounce Energy Blog

We’re adding just the right amount of liquids to create a creamy texture without things turning soupy.

8) Pour in the chicken broth and buffalo sauce, mix with the other ingredients, and let everything simmer for 5 minutes.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Creamy Skillet Buffalo Chicken Burgers | Bounce Energy Blog

The latent heat from the stove and skillet will help you melt down the cream cheese – but only if you stir quickly.

9) Turn the heat off. Add the cream cheese and stir in until thoroughly melted. Top with the fresh chives.

Cooking with Less Kilowatts: Creamy Skillet Buffalo Chicken Burgers | Bounce Energy Blog

What a great all-purpose recipe for any time of year!

Serve up the chicken on toasted buns with shredded iceberg lettuce and blue cheese crumbles. If your family doesn’t like big blue cheese, skip it or substitute shredded mozzarella cheese in its place!

Check in next week for another Cooking with Less Kilowatts series entry ready to help you create delicious, homemade recipes while keeping energy use and effort to a minimum!

Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan

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About 

Stacie is a Texas A&M graduate using her animal science education and passion for food to get creative in the kitchen. She previously worked in business before becoming a mom to a special little boy. She's excited to share recipes her family enjoys at home - and they may even help you save energy and be more green in the kitchen.

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