Barbecue chicken pasta

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This barbecue chicken pasta is easy to do and uses simple ingredients. Their cool, cheesy, Quick and absolutely full of flavor!

The perfect chicken!

Behind every great chicken paste is perfectly seasoned, smooth and juicy chicken. It is one of the main ingredients here, so we should make the most of our chicken.


It is important to season the chicken well to not only let the chicken shine, but also inject flavor into the sauce itself. This is what you will need:

  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper

Butterflying chicken

Here you will want to make butterflies on chicken breasts to make 4 thinner breasts. This will help them cook faster and more evenly. Will also do it increase the ratio of seasonings to chicken.

Once the chicken is sliced, topped with a condiment and drizzle of oil, you just need to fry over medium-high heat until it starts to char and is almost cooked through. From there, let it rest (important for retaining juices) and then cut it into thin strips.

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Top tip – Allow the chicken to reach room temperature before frying. Frying meat directly from the refrigerator causes it to seize up and release too much moisture (i.e., tough, tough chicken).

Making barbecue chicken pasta

Once you have your chicken, it is very easy. I recommend leaving the char / chicken flavor in the pan and starting from there.


I recommend adding bacon to this pasta, not only for its crisp texture, but also to inject a delicious smoky flavor (it pairs perfectly with BBQ sauce and chicken!)

BBQ sauce

Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly) most of the sauce is not actually barbecue sauce. I use about 1/2 cup, along with chicken stock and chopped tomatoes. It seems to me that much more dominates the pasta and makes it too sweet / spicy. In all cases, be sure to use a good quality BBQ sauce!

How to make barbecue chicken pasta (quick summary)

  1. Fry bacon.
  2. Add Red pepper and Red onion.
  3. Fry until charred / smooth.
  4. Add chicken soup, Chopped tomatoes and BBQ sauce.
  5. Add cooked pasta with a pasta water splash.
  6. Stir in chicken and cheddar cheese.

BBQ Chicken Pasta Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use cooked / roasted chicken?

Insurance! Approximately 2 cups of diced / shredded chicken should suffice. I still recommend covering the seasoning for extra flavor.

Can I reheat this pasta?

Yep! Cover well in the refrigerator, and then reheat on the stove, using leftover pasta water, chicken broth, or simply water to dilute as needed. Make sure the chicken is very hot.

What to serve with barbecue chicken pasta?

Honestly, this is already a hearty dinner, so don't feel like you have to serve it with an accompaniment. But if I feel very hungry, I usually go for garlic bread (or garlic bread with cheese!)

If you like the sound of this paste, definitely check out my similar recipes!

Recipes with barbecue sauce

Pasta recipes with chicken

All right, let's get into the full barbecue chicken pasta recipe, okay?

How to make barbecue chicken pasta (Complete recipe and video)


  • 2 Chicken breasts, close to room temperature (approximately 7 oz / 200 g per breast)
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: Garlic powder, Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon each: Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper (or to spice up the preference)
  • Olive oil, as necessary


  • 10.5oz / 300g Penne pasta, or other short pasta
  • 3.5oz / 100g Bacon, diced
  • 1 cup / 100 g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1x 14 oz / 400 g can of Chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup / 125 ml Chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup / 125 ml BBQ sauce
  • 1 half Red onion, finely diced
  • 1 small Red pepper, finely diced
  • Salt and black pepper, try out
  • Mark chicken breasts to create 4 thinner, same-size breasts. Top with 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and salt, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

  • Fry over medium / high heat for a few minutes on each side until it begins to char and cook in the center. Remove from the pan and let rest. Just before you need to, cut the chicken into thin strips, making sure to cut it at a slight angle and against the chicken's natural grain.

  • Meanwhile, fry 3.5 ounces / 100 g of bacon over medium heat in leftover chicken oil (add more if necessary) until golden brown. Add 1 finely chopped medium onion and 1 finely diced small red pepper and continue to fry until the bacon is crisp and the vegetables are tender and start to burn.

  • Pour 1 / 2cup / 125ml of chicken broth, 1 can of chopped tomatoes and 1 / 2cup / 125ml of BBQ sauce. Stir until completely mixed, then simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to soften / explode and the sauce begins to thicken.

  • Meanwhile, add 300 g / 10.5 oz. Of pasta to the boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Just before draining, retain a cup of starchy pasta water.

  • Combine the pasta with the sauce and pour 1 / 4cup / 60ml of your starchy pasta water. Once combined, stir through your chicken strips and 1 cup / 100g of cheddar cheese until the cheese melts and becomes sticky. Decrease with a little more starchy pasta water if necessary. Season to taste.

  • Serve hot and enjoy!

a) Chicken seasoning – Seasoning the chicken is a must. First of all, it is one of the main ingredients, so it should shine. Second, it will inject more flavor into the sauce. The sauce itself is very simple, so the chicken seasoning is much appreciated. b) Can I use cooked / roasted chicken? – yeah! I recommend using 2 packed cups (crushed or diced). I also recommend still coating the seasoning for the reason above. I usually fry it in a little oil for a minute or just to preserve the flavors. c) BBQ sauce – The star ingredient, so make sure it's a good quality sauce. Personally, I think 1/2 is enough for this recipe, otherwise it gets a bit sweet and too much barbecue sauce, but I'd rather work after adding all the ingredients if you feel like you want more. d) Remains – If you predict there will be leftovers, I recommend saving some of the water from the paste. Reheat leftovers on the stove with a stream of pasta water to dilute the sauce. You can also use a little chicken broth to loosen the sauce or water if that's all you have. e) Calories – Based on sharing between 4 using 1 tablespoon of olive oil to cover the chicken.

If you loved this barbecue chicken pasta recipe, make sure to check it out for later! Did you already do them or have a question? Give me a shout out in the comments below and pick up your free ecookbook on the go!


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