This BBQ chicken pasta is simple, quick and packed with delicious smoky barbecue flavor, tender pasta and creamy, melted cheese.

My husband has a deep and abiding love for barbecue sauce.

His favorite pizza? Barbecue chicken. His favorite salad? Barbecue chicken with romaine, black beans and corn. His favorite burger? Barbecue ranch with bacon. His favorite sandwich? Barbecue beef. His favorite ice cream? Barbecue tracks.

Ok, just kidding on that one. Just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.

Tube pasta with pieces of chicken and BBQ sauce on top.

After the success of the homemade barbecue sauce and knowing the above details, I thought to myself, why not make all his dreams come true and transfer the barbecue passion to pasta., the almighty Barbecue Chicken Pasta invention.

A one skillet meal (have I mentioned I love skillet meals??), this dish was a huge success with my little family.

Simple, quick and packed with delicious smoky barbecue flavors, tender pasta and creamy, melted cheese, I’m hoping that if you ask my husband what his favorite pasta is…he’ll stay with the barbecue theme and give you this meal for an answer.

What To Serve With This:

Divine breadsticks or Cheesy Garlic Bread
Killer green salad (throw together your own or use a variation on this Gourmet Green Salad)
Fresh, seasonal fruit

One Year Ago: Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Pasta, and Parmesan
Two Years Ago: Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas


BBQ Chicken Pasta

4.75 stars (8 ratings)


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces penne pasta
  • cup barbecue sauce (see note)
  • cup sour cream
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  • In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat (you could also use a large pot if you don’t have a skillet this big). When hot, add the chicken and onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken and onions to a plate and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add the water, chicken broth, penne and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the liquid is almost absorbed and the pasta is tender.
  • Stir in the barbecue sauce and sour cream. Once mixed, add in the reserved chicken, onions and shredded cheese. Stir to combine and cook until everything is heated through.
  • Serve immediately and garnish with additional red or green onions and shredded cheese.


BBQ Sauce: here is my favorite homemade version. 
Updated Recipe: I’ve updated the recipe (on 7/2012) to reflect changes I’ve made over the years, namely to reduce the amount of liquid while cooking the pasta. If you have made this in the past and loved it as is, the original ratio was 5 1/2 cups liquid (3 cups water, 2 1/2 cups chicken broth) to 12 ounces pasta.
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 518kcal, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 96mg, Sodium: 1145mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 13g

Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe Original