BBQ Chicken Bake!

Recently, I have been making light lunches with fresh mozzarella slices topped with a bit of olive oil, fresh strawberries and basil – sometimes even for breakfast! Ssshhh!!! It’s been truly delicious and uplifting! There’s just something devious feeling about such a simple yet decadent tasting quick meal before heading off to the gym.

Alas, the day has come when my strawberry supply has run out and I hadn’t made it to the grocery store for more, so what is a girl to do with all that leftover mozzarella?

Baked pasta time y’all!

Everyday this week something has kept me from making our favorite pizza dough, so this time I decided to re-create it into a pasta bake thats quick, easy and satisfies the BBQ chicken pizza craving – which has been really hard to overcome lately. *Shakes head* Any thoughts as to why?

Could it be the crispy, purple slivers of onion?

The refreshing cool crunch of cilantro?

The incredibly addictive and stringy mozzarella cheese that seems like it will stretch across the room as you pull your slice away from the pie?

*Shrugs*

Who knows? All I know for sure, is that this will hit that proverbial spot and leave you wishing you had made more! What can be better than that in a casserole dish?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • one red onion, sliced
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1 lb pasta, uncooked
  • 16 oz of grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Pat dry the chicken, cut out into bite sized pieces and place it in an oven-going dish and cover it in about 1/3 to 1/2 of the BBQ sauce. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Slip the dish into the oven and bake for about 30-40 mins until the chicken has been cooked through.

Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat, adding the butter once the pan is heated through. Once the butter stops foaming, add the onion. Season with salt and pepper, stirring casually until the onions are tender and start to caramelize. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In the meantime, cook the pasta according to directions but remove them from the water about two or three minutes early. They will soak up the sauce and cheese and finish cooking in the oven so you don’t want perfectly cooked pasta.
Measure the milk in a 3 or 4 cup capacity measuring cup then add the remainder of the BBQ. sauce and the sour cream to it, mixing well.

Add the onions and the milk mixture to the drained pasta. Pick out just the chicken out of the baking dish and add that to the pasta. Add about 3/4 of the mozzarella cheese to it and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into a large, oven-going casserole dish then top with the remaining cheese.

This can be covered and refrigerated at this point until needed. Once you are ready to eat preheat the oven to 400ºF and bake for about 20-30 minutes until the cheese has completely melted and turned golden brown.

Sprinkle a bit of fresh cilantro on top and serve piping hot!

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