Sometimes you just need some good comfort food, you know? We've been feeling really homesick lately, and so we finally decided to bite the bullet and buy 3 plane tickets (can you say ouch?) to go home in October! We are so excited to see our family and friends, and wish that the 5 days we will be there won't fly by us. We needed to celebrate our excitement about this trip, and nothing says love, family, and happiness quite like comforting homemade mac and cheese. And for us, being from Kansas City, that also means Barbecue.
Holy Mama. This stuff. Is. Good. We literally scarfed every single ounce of this super comforting pasta down! I mean, how can you not love cheese + pasta + chicken + BBQ Sauce + bacon? It might not be good for your waist-line, but it is certainly good for your soul!
Stovetop BBQ Chicken and Cheese Pasta (slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is)
yields: 6 servings
1 Rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
4 cups whole wheat pasta shells
2 TBSP olive oil
4 TBSP butter
1 red onion, sliced thin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
4 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces gouda cheese, shredded
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 cup BBQ sauce
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
4 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
Toss the chicken and 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce together and set aside.
Heat a large pot over medium-low heat.
Add the olive oil and butter.
When the butter is melted, toss the red onion slices in and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
Saute the onions for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until caramelized.
While the onions are cooking, cook the onions (try to time it so that the pasta is done about the same time as the onions). Drain and set aside.
Increase the heat on the onions to medium and whisk in the flour.
Whisk constantly for 5 minutes, until the flour is golden and fragrant (you've made a roux!)
Slowly add the milk, whisking in between each addition until all the milk has been added and you have a smooth and slightly thickened sauce.
Reudce the heat to medium-low and add in the grated cheese and the mustard.
Continue to stir until the sauce is creamy and the cheese has melted.
Add in the pasta, stirring to coat, and then toss in the chicken.
Drizzle the remaining 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce over top.
Serve immediately with the green onions, cilantro, parsley and crumbled bacon on top.