BBQ Chicken Pasta

This recipe may be my new favorite on the whole blog.   I had it last week and have been dreaming about it since, I may have to make it again very soon.  I was curious about the flavor combination (bbq sauce and cheese?) but being a huge fan of Gouda I figured I had to like it, and boyy did I.  This is a good weekday recipe because you can pop your chicken in the slow cooker in the morning, and then all you’ll have to do is assemble and bake when you get home.

It’s also pretty budget friendly.  Gouda tends to be an expensive cheese, but did you know that you can ask the grocery store to cut you a block for the exact size you need?  Don’t shy away from it since a solid wedge is over $8.  All you need is the 4 oz. required, which cost me about $3.  Don’t let Greek yogurt scare you either, a 6 oz portion is only one personal cup which runs anywhere from $.80-$.99 depending on brand.

You get the point, I’m convincing you to try this.. so do it!

BBQ Chicken Pasta– slightly adapted from chocolate broccoli

Serves: 6

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons honey barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 (14 oz) box whole wheat penne pasta
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey barbecue sauce
6 oz. fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 cup (4-ounces) aged Gouda cheese, shredded
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker with a little bit of water or chicken broth to cover the bottom.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Shred chicken with fork and knife when done (chicken will shred easily).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  3. Combine shredded chicken and 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

  4. In a large non-stick skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions to the pan and saute until softened. Add penne, broth and salt, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12 minutes, until liquid is almost absorbed- the pasta should be tender and the mixture slightly thickened. Stir in the yogurt and 1/2 cup barbecue sauce . Once mixed, add in chicken and shredded cheese- stir to combine and continue to heat until cheese is melted.

  5. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish and top with panko and parmesan cheese. Drizzle with a small additional amount of barbecue sauce.

  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until panko/cheese is golden.

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