BBQ Chicken & Pico de Gallo Pasta Salad
- 2 organic boneless skinless chicken breast fillets
- 2 tablespoons green s’chug
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- ⅓ cup honey chipotle BBQ sauce
- juice of 1 lime
- ½ white onion, diced
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced with salt
- ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
- 8 ounces whole wheat pasta (half a 1 lb./454g package, or about 3 cups dry)
- 1 (15.5 ounces, 439g) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (8.75 ounces, 248g) can yellow sweet corn, drained and rinsed
- 2 avocadoes, diced
- salt to taste
- cayenne pepper to taste
- garlic powder to tasteRecipe yields: about 7 servings (1 serving = 2 cups)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat cookware in one teaspoon olive oil. Mix BBQ sauce and green s'chug together in the cookware, then add chicken breast fillets, piercing them with a fork and coating them in the sauce. Put in the oven uncovered for 40 minutes. (This will vary depending on your chicken breasts, oven, and preferences. My 1.3 lbs of meat cooked perfectly at this temperature and amount of time, but some people swear by different strokes.
- Make sure all surfaces, utensils, and sponges have been disinfected after preparing the chicken breast.
- In a large pot, bring 10 cups of water and ½ tablespoon of salt to a boil. Stir in pasta. (I used durum wheat semolina whole wheat fusilli organic pasta.) Cook pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until al dente, or for about 7 minutes. (Have a glass of ice water nearby that you can dunk a hot piece of pasta in before chewing it to check the texture. Maybe also take this opportunity to drink some water.) Drain pasta and run cold water over it before returning it to the empty large pot and coating in 1 teaspoon olive oil. Drain and rinse black beans and corn and add to the large pot. Add lime juice, onion, tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, and avocados. Let the combination sit in the fridge until the chicken has cooked and cooled enough to tear up with your fingers. Add shredded chicken to the salad along with salt, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder.
- Garnish with lemon slices. Plop some Greek yogurt or sour cream on there, too, because you're worth it (and it may prevent a fire in your mouth).
This pasta salad is best chilled, but if you’ve got company who’s been waiting an hour, it’s still delish served straight away. Garnishing is your call. I was really into a lemon wedge, more salt, a couple tablespoons of full-fat Greek yogurt, and a hit of ground ginger, but you might want to try more BBQ sauce, some sweet paprika chicken taco seasoning, or hot sauce. However you take it, the stuff is spicy, refreshing, and super good.
I’ve written a lot of recipes, but this one might be my favorite.