There is something I love about a casserole. And if you are making a casserole from the Pioneer woman, you know it’s going to be good! Have you ever heard of her Chicken Spaghetti? I have seen her prepare it on her show, and it has mounds of pasta, chicken, cheese, and a creamy sauce. It differs from traditional spaghetti, however, because it has no tomatoes and is also flavored with seasoned salt and cayenne pepper. Her recipe has 504 5-star reviews on the Food Network web page, so you know it’s bound to be good. When I was sent a box of Banza pasta to try, I thought this might be a great way to use it and create a more macro friendly version of this casserole.
It begins with a box of Banza pasta. This pasta is unique because it’s made from chickpeas and has less carbs and more protein than a traditional pasta. For comparison, a 2 oz dry serving has 190 calories, 3.5F/32C/14P, while a traditional rotini has 200 calories, 1F/42C/7P for the same size serving. When I prepared it, it was pretty much the same instructions as a box of regular pasta. I tried it after it was cooked, and I wouldn’t have guessed that it was a different pasta if I didn’t already know. After I used the Banza pasta to make it a little more macro friendly, I decided to take it a couple steps further. Instead of using a regular can of cream of mushroom soup, I used the 98% fat free version to save some fats. I also used less cheese, but a sharp cheddar to give it a more intense cheese flavor.
While we are on the subject of flavor, it was a huge hit for the family. It was definitely a winner to me when I saw the portion size I got to consume. Anybody else swayed by how much volume you get to eat? HA! I kept loading and loading pasta onto my plate. I thought for sure I had too much, but nope! For 1/5 of a serving, it’ll cost you 14F/35C/37P, or just under 400 calories of cheesy pasta. What more could a girl ask for?
- 8 oz Box Banza Rotini
- 10 oz cooked and shredded Chicken
- 177 g bell pepper, diced (one bell pepper)
- 145 g onion, diced (half an onion)
- 5 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 10 3/4 ounce can of 98% fat free Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (if you are afraid of too much spice, start with 1/16 tsp of cayenne pepper. Taste and then add additional cayenne pepper, if desired)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Prepare an 8 ounce box of Banza pasta according to the instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, 3 oz of shredded cheese, diced bell pepper and onion, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, cream of mushroom soup, and 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Add an additional 1/2 cup of chicken stock, if needed.
- Pour pasta mixture into the casserole dish. Top with remaining 2 oz of shredded cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until dish is bubbling. If the cheese starts to get too brown on top, cover with aluminum foil for the remainder of the baking.