BBQ is one of my go-to comfort foods. I’m constantly loading up a slow cooker with that sweet, tangy sauce and any kind of meat I have handy… chicken, pork, ribs… I believe just about anything tastes good with a little BBQ sauce on it. I just happened to have a bit of leftover slow-cooked BBQ chicken that could have easily become standard, run of the mill sandwiches. But I imagined something greater for that leftover chicken. So behold: a creamy, cheesy casserole full of tangy, ooey-gooey goodness.
Cheesy BBQ Chicken Pasta Bake
Container count per serving: 1 red, 1/8 green, 1/2 purple, 2 yellow, 1 blue, 1 tsp.
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 1/3 cup shredded 2% sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 cups cooked whole grain pasta (I used rotini)
- 1/4 cup green onion, chopped, plus more for topping (optional)
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- 2 cups clean BBQ sauce. If you can’t find any at the store you can make your own
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground mustard
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat 2 tsp. of the oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, whisk in the flour until it becomes a paste. Cook until the flour becomes a caramel color, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn.
- Add the almond milk slowly, whisking until it thickens. Mix in the salt, pepper, and ground mustard. Next, add 1 cup of the cheese and whisk until melted and well combined.
- Heat a small pan over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tsp. of oil. Add the chopped red onions and green onions and cook until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the onions to the cheese mixture.
- In a casserole dish, add the cooked pasta, chicken and 1 1/2 cups of the BBQ sauce. Mix well until combined. Next, add the cheese sauce and mix well. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce and 1/3 cup of cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted on top. Top with more green onions, if desired.