Flavored with a light and simple barbecue-style sauce, this tasty pasta casserole combines tender chunks of chicken with creamy melted cheese, bacon, onion and a bit of fresh cilantro to make an easy one-dish dinner.Print
Baked Barbecue Chicken Pasta
Bite-sized chunks of chicken in a light barbecue-style sauce combine with pasta, bacon, creamy melted gouda and a bit fresh cilantro to make this flavorful baked pasta casserole.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- 3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 8 ounces pasta (penne, rotini, ziti)
- 1/4 lb bacon (preferably thick-cut), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- 3 to 4 scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (or parsley), chopped
- 4 ounces smoked (or regular) Gouda cheese, coarsely grated
For the sauce:
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1-1/2 teaspoons chipotle pepper sauce (more or less to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and generously coat a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Cook and drain the pasta according to package directions and set aside.
- Fry the bacon until crisp, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan and add the red onion.
- Sauté the onion until softened, 2 minutes, then add the chicken and continue cooking, stirring often, until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes longer.
- Remove the pan from the heat, add the reserved bacon and combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- While the chicken cools, prepare the sauce by combining the ketchup, honey, soy sauce, vinegar and mustard in a measuring cup. Stir in the chipotle pepper sauce to taste.
- Add the sauce to the chicken mixture along with the scallions, cilantro and all but 1/4 cup of the grated cheese. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.