BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad

8 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Easy BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad with a creamy BBQ dressing, corn, bell peppers, black beans and juicy chicken breast. A perfect summer side!

I’ve made an Easy Pasta Salad, I’ve done an Italian inspired Antipasto Pasta Salad (this recipe is very popular!) and a very American Chicken Bacon Ranch 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.


  • 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.

Chicken BBQ Pasta Salad with corn and black beans


  • 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.


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.


According to the USDA’s official website, chicken is cooked through when the internal temperature is at 165 degrees F (73.8 degrees C.)

Bowl of Pasta Salad with Chicken, Corn and Beans

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BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad

Easy BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad with a creamy BBQ dressing, corn, bell peppers, black beans and juicy chicken breast. A perfect summer side!
Yield 8 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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.


Calories: 607kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 933mg | Potassium: 608mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 1130IU | Vitamin C: 43.2mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2.4mg

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad with BBQ mayonnaise sauce

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. It was delicious. I brought it to a party and everyone raved about it! I will definitely make it again.

    1. Love to hear stories like yours! Thank you Melissa and thank you for the five star review.

  2. Now one of my absolute favorite pasta salads. Have made a few times, followed the recipe exactly except for the cilantro (no fans in my family.)
    Even made without the chicken, and is always such a big hit. Love it.

  3. This is an easy, quick recipe to make with left over chicken! It was a big hit with my family a hot summer day!

  4. This was a wonderful and tasty pasta salad! I did not cook my onion or my jalapeño before adding it to the salad. It was awesome!

  5. Well it’s not summer and I have left over chicken so made this but served it warm and substitute pepper with celery and it was so darn good and now we can have the left over for lunch tomorrow cold. It’s a keeper that’s for sure.

  6. This is so good! A great summer recipe. We had it for dinner with some roasted broccoli on the side. Thanks for the recipe ?

  7. I had a bunch of BBQ chicken and corn on the cob leftover and was searching the internet for a way to use it up. I also just so happened to have all the ingredients for this pasta salad, after reading other comments I decided to make it tonight. My family hasn’t tried it yet but they won’t be disappointed- it is SO good!!

  8. Another good recipe. I keep running across your recipes and every one I have tried have been very good.

  9. This was a total crowd pleaser. I added more bbq sauce than the recipe called for to give it more of a tangy flavor. My family wants me to make it for our big family reunion, so I’m going to substitute the chicken with Tyson’s “Grilled and Ready” chicken for my lazy girl needs 🙂

  10. I debated making this recipe because the combo of mayo and bbq sauce seemed pretty weird. However, I ended up making it, substituting crushed red pepper because I didn’t have jalapeños and topped it with shredded cheddar cheese. It was delicious!

  11. Many pasta salad recipes recommend making them the night before and refrigerating for the flavors to meld… yours seems to be a “same day” one… can you make it a day ahead or is it better to make it the same day???

    1. It’s so easy I prefer to make it that day but you can definitely make it the day before. It’ll last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

        1. Hi
          Thank you for this recipe I’m going to try it. But I’m trying to loos my sugar intake . Do you know what I can substitute for the mayo?
          Thank you

  12. This was delicious! I made this for a family reunion and it was a big hit. My fiancé really enjoyed it too. He wanted to store the recipe in evernote so we wouldn’t forget about it. I might add some garlic and or bacon next time too!

    1. You just made my day! Thanks for coming back to let me know Dana. I’m so happy you all enjoyed it.

  13. What a great recipe for busy nights! So quick and flavorful too! I will definitely be making this again this week!

  14. This pasta salad was AMAZING! Seriously soo good and the perfect thing to bring to a BBQ. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Enjoying your blog. One of my new faves, thanks to my sister who told me about your blog. Lots of wonderful recipes. Love that you do 2, to include a dessert. Duh, I just now got it…hence the dinner then dessert lol. Think I will try this recipe soon for sure. Fresh or frozen corn?

  16. This recipe looks AMAZING!! You have never steered me wrong on any recipe I have found on here, they’ve always been hits with my family. I will make this soon!