It’s like BBQ Chicken Pizza in the form of a Casserole!
I was inspired by my love for BBQ chicken pizza to make a baked pasta dish full of the same delicious ingredients a while back. I’ve been hanging onto this idea and procrastinating making it because, like pizza, I was sure it would just be loaded with calories. Well, I was wrong! Which is awesome because I will surely be making this dish plenty in the future it was absolutely delicious! And surprisingly low in calories!
Personally, my favorite version of BBQ chicken pizza of has BBQ sauce, chicken, red onion, fresh cilantro, bacon and of course plenty of cheese! I thought, why not put these all together and substitute the pasta for the crust? It makes for quite a delicious weeknight meal.
Though, there are a number of steps to this recipe, most of them can be done way ahead of time, such as cooking the pasta, the chicken, and the bacon. All could be done making other recipes and then the leftovers thrown together on a weeknight to make an easy casserole dinner!
La Pasta Bake Innards:
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked (about 2 cups shredded)
- 1/2 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
- 3 cups cooked Penne Pasta
- 1 small Red Onion sliced
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese (I used part Skim)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Gouda Cheese
- 3 strips Bacon cooked and chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup light Sour Cream
- 1/4 cup low fat Milk
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Cilantro
- Olive Oil
Calories per serving (1/6 of casserole): 346, Fat: 18, Carbs: 19, Protein: 26
How to Cook La Pasta Bake:
1. Cook 2 Chicken Breasts marinated in 1/4 cup BBQ Sauce.
As I said many things can be made ahead of time, thus I cooked my chicken in the crockpot overnight on low in BBQ sauce. I made 4 breasts in 1/2 a cup so I would have extras to put on salad or a sandwich. The crockpot is great because the chicken shreds easily and marinates in the BBQ sauce as it cooks.
You can easily cook the chicken the day of in a skillet, or the oven.
2. Cook your bacon.
3. Cook 3 cups Penne Pasta (I just cook the whole box then save the left overs for later)
4. If you cooked your pasta, bacon and chicken ahead of time, when you are ready to actually make your casserole slice your red onion and cook it in 1 TBSP olive oil in a skillet over medium high until they soften and begin to brown, about 7-10 minutes.
Also preheat your oven to 350 degrees
5. Meanwhile as your onions cook, place your shredded chicken, pasta, 1/2 cup of the gouda cheese and 1/2 a cup of the mozzarella, only 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce, the milk, sour cream and chopped bacon in a large bowl.
6. When the onions are finished add them to the bowl and stir everything until it is all mixed well.
7. Place the pasta mixture in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
8. Sprinkle the rest of the shredded gouda and mozzarella over the top of the casserole.
9. Place it in the oven for 25-30 minutes, and sprinkle the fresh Cilantro on top just before serving.