Weeknight Recipe: BBQ Chicken Pasta

A couple months ago, my church congregation started a monthly potluck.  I enjoy the opportunity to socialize with fellow church members & friends.  But the real bonus is trying out new foods.  This month, I came up with a new dish that was sure to please.  I simply combined some favorite ingredients & flavors & it was a hit!  I’ve had a few requests to share the recipe, so I thought you all might enjoy a taste.  
You will need:
1 box pasta (I used penne, but any shape works just fine)
Small onion, diced          
2 TB butter
2 TB flour
1 c milk
4 oz cream cheese
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp chipotle
Salt & pepper to taste
½ c BBQ sauce
2 c diced chicken, cooked (I used a rotisserie chicken, which makes for a quick weeknight meal to put together.)
Red bell pepper, diced
1 cup corn
¾ c cheddar cheese
¾ c Monterey jack cheese
Boil the pasta according to package directions.  While your pasta is cooking, chop the onion & red bell pepper.  Set aside. 
Since I used a rotisserie chicken, I also took this time to remove all the meat from the chicken & dice.  Or rather, my wonderful husband did the messy part for me (thanks, babe!).  One chicken yields more than the two cups needed for this recipe, so you can save the extra for chicken salad for tomorrow’s lunch. 🙂
Drain pasta & set aside.  In the same cooking pot, add butter & onions.  Cook until the onions are translucent.  Sprinkle with flour & stir.  This is a roux that will thicken our sauce.  Once the roux has cooked for about a minute or two, stir in the milk, a little at a time.  Not too fast, or you’ll get lumps.  Once the milk has been all added, stir in the cream cheese til it’s melted. 


Stir in the BBQ sauce, cumin, chipotle and salt & pepper. 

Add the red bell pepper, corn, and chicken.  Stir until combined.  I found it best to add the pasta at this point, since it’s easier to combine the mixture while in a large pot versus a flat glass dish.

Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 dish & top with the cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted & bubbly.

Enjoy your quick weeknight meal!  With the busy Fall season here, I am adding a few extra meals to my freezer here & there.  It’s super easy – just double your recipe & make one batch for dinner & one for the freezer.  You’ll thank yourself later!

Linking up to some Phat Parties as I have the time 🙂

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