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This BBQ chicken pasta is a quick and simple way to use up leftover chicken! It’s cheesy and delicious.

If you’re a fan of these flavors, I think you’ll enjoy my BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizza next.

BBQ chicken pasta sauce over penne (in bowls)

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.

close-up of BBQ chicken pasta

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.

Love BBQ chicken? Try my Instant Pot BBQ Chicken or these BBQ Chicken Skillet Nachos.

BBQ chicken pasta sauce over penne (in a skillet)

More chicken pasta recipes you’ll love:

BBQ chicken pasta in two white bowls

Will you give this BBQ chicken pasta recipe a try?

Questions? Made this recipe? Leave me a comment below!

BBQ chicken pasta sauce over penne (in bowls)
4.50 from 2 votes

BBQ Chicken Pasta

This BBQ chicken pasta is a quick and simple way to use up leftover chicken! It's cheesy and delicious.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 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.


Calories: 552kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 89mg, Sodium: 622mg, Potassium: 558mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 341IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 193mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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4.50 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Sue says:

    4 stars
    Think you could use the same mixture and pop on top of nacho chips? Would be a nice change too.

    1. Natasha says:


  2. Ben says:

    We put off making this for way too long. After working 12 hour days, it’s an awesome, quick dinner that was absolutely delicious. Her use of canned Rotel removed the drudgery of having to cut up a bunch of stuff.

    Our meals from Salt and Lavender never look as pretty, but I’m terrible at plating. If you’re looking for a quick meal that is extremely satisfying, plus leftovers, go with this.

    1. Natasha says:

      That makes me so happy!! So glad you enjoyed it, Ben! Thanks for leaving me a comment! 🙂

  3. Yura says:

    Can I use chicken sausage for this recipe?

    1. Natasha says:

      I think that would be delicious!