Happy Thursday!

I love Thursdays.  I don’t know if it’s a left-over feeling from college, but Thursday always seems like it’s part of the weekend, and it brings Friday so much closer.

I’ve been without caffeine for the past 50 or so hours, and I can tell you that I am not enjoying it at all.  I’ve been dealing with some health/sleep issues, so I decided to kick it out for a bit, and I am not a fan.  I don’t know how people go through life without it.  Of course, not everyone has an autoimmune disease regularly flushing their energy levels down the toilet, but let’s pretend that’s besides the point.

I’ve also been reading The Help (like everyone else and their mother and their aunt and their grandmother, which is who I borrowed my copy from).  It’s good.  I’m sure you’ve heard.  Read it.  It nags at my white guilt and I can’t put it down at night, which doesn’t help me get any more sleep.

Anyway, I know you’re looking for something spectacular to make for dinner tonight or this weekend, and I’m here to tell you that I have it.

How Sweet It Is’s BBQ Chicken Pasta Bake.  She’s a woman after my own heart.

I happen to have an obsession with almost anything bbq chicken related.  I can eat KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce straight from the bottle.  Because that’s a normal thing to do.

I made this a few months ago (twice) and I couldn’t keep out of it.  I would have eaten the entire pan in one sitting  if I hadn’t gotten so full, although that barely stopped me.  These pictures don’t really do it any justice.  It’s full of cheesy, barbecuey goodness (can someone make me stop putting a ‘q’ in barbecue?)

So, do yourself a favor and make this.  Preferably right now.  I would highly suggest making this if you happen to have special guests coming over or someone to impress.  Not that I’d do that; I’d much rather hog it all to myself.

BBQ Chicken Pasta Bake

serves 2-3

  • 4-5 ounces boneless chicken breast, shredded
  • 3 cups cooked whole wheat pasta
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce (OR MORE, NOM)
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 3-4 ounces shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Prepare pasta and shredded chicken and set aside.  In a small sauce pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sliced onions with a sprinkle of sea salt and let caramelize – about 10 minutes.  During this time, combine shredded chicken with 2 tablespoons bbq sauce. Once onions are caramelized, set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour to create a roux. Immediately add skim milk and turn down to low heat. Add 1 ounce cheese and stir until cheese is melted and mixture thickens – about 2-3 minutes.

In a casserole dish, alternate layering pasta, bbq chicken, and onions. Add cheese mixture about 1-2 tablespoons at a time, throughly mixing to act like glue and hold the pasta together. Top with additional cheese sauce, remaining shredded cheese, BBQ sauce drizzles and bread crumbs.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Devour.