Easy BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad with a creamy BBQ dressing, corn, bell peppers, black beans and juicy chicken breast. A perfect summer side!
BBQ CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
Now it’s time to do a Southern style BBQ chicken pasta salad that has a conveniently short cook time. BBQ fans out there, this one’s for you. While you’re at it, pair this recipe with Southern Baked Beans and Baked Mac and Cheese.
Blow everyone else at the potluck out of the water with this chicken pasta salad recipe that is rich, flavorful and, best of all, drenched in a creamy dressing made from BBQ and mayonnaise. This is one of those easy recipes that you can whip up last minute and no one will be able to tell that you didn’t spend all day on it.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
- In a large pan on medium high heat, cook the chicken in the vegetable oil until browned and cooked through.
- Add in the onions and cook them until they turn transparent.
- Remove the chicken and cut it into bite sized pieces and set aside in a small bowl.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil and stir in the shell pasta.
- Let the pasta cook until it’s still firm to the bite but cooked through, or al dente.
- Drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water until it’s chilled.
- Whisk the barbecue sauce and mayo together in a large salad bowl.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix it all together until the pasta shells are coated.
- Put the whole thing in the fridge and chill it until you’re ready to serve.
- Avocado: chop up an avocado and serve it over the top of the salad as a delicious garnish.
- Grape tomatoes: add whole, washed cherry tomatoes to the salad as you chill it to give your salad a pleasant crunch.
- Penne: you can use any kind of pasta you want, but shells, rotini and penne work the best in my experience. Try mixing it up for a different fun texture.
- Sour cream: add just a dollop of sour cream to the top of the salad as a fun, summery garnish.
- Cheese: you can sprinkle some cheese onto the top for a savory zing. Try cheddar, parmesan or for a Greek twist you can use feta.
- Cayenne: leave the black pepper at home and try something with a bit of a kick. Sprinkle a little over the top and enjoy.
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- Boneless Buffalo Chicken Wings: buffalo sauce is amazing, and when you pair it with juicy boneless wings you get the perfect main dish to compliment your pasta salad side dish. Want the bones? My Classic Buffalo Wings are legendary award winning wings!
- Pulled Pork: rich, savory, and delicious, this is a great recipe to bring to your next get together or BBQ.
MORE EASY SUMMER SIDE DISHES:
- Coleslaw – The classic staple! Or make the KFC Coleslaw (Copycat) version!
- Macaroni Salad – Never buy this again, this is the best version ever.
- Potato Salad – No eggs in this one, this is your perfect classic recipe.
- Cucumber Tomato Salad – A Healthy, quick non creamy salad option.
How to Store BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad:
- Serve: you should not leave chicken pasta salad out for longer than 2 hours for the sake of your stomach.
- Store: your leftovers will be good in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: you can freeze chicken pasta salad, but you may want to freeze the sauce separately to make reheating easier.
WHEN IS CHICKEN SAFE TO EAT?
According to the USDA’s official website, chicken is cooked through when the internal temperature is at 165 degrees F (73.8 degrees C.)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 red onion chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno peppers de-seeded, de-veined and minced
- 1 pound small pasta shells
- 1 cup bbq sauce
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1 orange bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1 cup corn
- 15 ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
- Add the vegetable oil to a large skillet on medium high heat and add the chicken, cooking for 4-6 minutes on each side.
- Remove the chicken, add in the onions and jalapenos and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until softened.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of water one minute shy of the directions on the box, then drain and rinse.
- Mix the bbq sauce, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces then add to the large bowl with the dressing along with the onions, jalapenos, bell peppers, corn, black beans and cilantro and toss well before serving.