This BBQ chicken pasta is a quick and simple way to use up leftover chicken! It’s cheesy and delicious.
This easy pasta recipe is ready in about 30 minutes.
I tested this recipe a couple of times, and the first time I just felt it needed a little extra something. I used fresh tomatoes, and the sauce wasn’t saucy enough. I gave it some thought and decided to use Ro-tel diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used the “original” kind). I definitely like the second go-around better because the bit of heat and extra flavor Ro-tel brings to the recipe really makes it, in my opinion.
With that said, you could for sure use regular diced tomatoes instead of Ro-tel if you can’t have spice for whatever reason. This is a pretty kid-friendly recipe, I’d say… even with the Ro-tel (I know a lot of people introduce spice to their kids at a young age so they get used to it). It’s definitely not crazy spicy… but it has a little kick.
You can grab a rotisserie chicken from the store to make this recipe or use up any cooked chicken you may have lying around in the fridge. I prefer to chop/dice the chicken vs. shredding it for this recipe, but either will work fine, and I think it’s probably a personal preference.
Use any kind of pasta you have on hand. I used penne.
More chicken pasta recipes you’ll love:
Will you give this BBQ chicken pasta recipe a try?
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BBQ Chicken Pasta
This BBQ chicken pasta is a quick and simple way to use up leftover chicken! It's cheesy and delicious.
- 4 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
- 2 cups cooked chicken chopped or shredded
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 (10 fluid ounce) can Ro-tel diced tomatoes & green chilies with juices
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce use your favorite
- 1 cup shredded mozza/cheddar blend
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta
Boil a salted pot of water for your pasta and cook al dente according to package directions. Meanwhile, cut the bacon up into small pieces (I use kitchen shears to do this quickly) and fry over medium-high heat in a skillet until crispy.
Take the bacon out of the pan and remove it to a paper towel lined plate. Leave about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan.
Sauté the onion in the remaining bacon grease for about 4 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add the red pepper in and continue cooking for another few minutes.
Add in the chicken broth and diced tomatoes. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the chicken, bacon, and BBQ sauce. Let it warm through.
Stir in the cheese just before serving (or sprinkle it on top and cover the pan and let it melt or put it under the broiler for a few minutes if you're using an oven-safe skillet). Season with extra salt & pepper if needed. Toss with the drained pasta and serve immediately.
- Ro-tel diced tomatoes can be a bit spicy, so feel free to replace with regular diced tomatoes if you need it to be mild.
- Chopped parsley or cilantro is a good garnish for this pasta but totally optional!
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.