A quick and easy pasta salad with barbecued chicken and bacon in a creamy barbecue sauce dressing!
With all the warm weather I’ve been enjoying cold pasta salads a lot lately, especially those eaten as a meal, like this barbecue chicken pasta salad! The idea behind pasta salads is that it is a salad with a pasta base that has been cooked and then cooled before adding the rest of the salad ingredients. This pasta salad is a grilled chicken, followed by bacon, paprika, corn, beans, and onions. The dressing for the pasta salads is usually creamy, with a base of mayonnaise, and in this case, it is a combination of mayonnaise and barbecue sauce. This barbecue chicken pasta salad is great as a side dish or as a meal on its own and is just as great when served with the chicken still warm from the grill or after the salad has cooled in the fridge. I love to make a great batch to have leftovers for several days and I usually eat it while it’s still fresh from the fridge!
Sometimes I like to change this recipe a bit and some great ideas are: add tomato, add avocado, add ranch spices to the dressing, add cheese, cover with corn chips!
BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes Servings: 12
A quick and easy pasta salad with BBQ chicken and bacon in a creamy BBQ sauce dressing!
- 1 pound pasta (gluten-free for gluten-free)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 ounces bacon, cut into small pieces (optional)
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
- 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup of corn
- 1 cup black beans
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
- Cook the pasta as directed on the package, drain, mix with olive oil and let cool, mixing every 5 minutes. (The oil and mixing help prevent it from sticking together while it cools.)
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon until crispy and set aside on paper towels to drain.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste, and grill (or pan fry), over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side, before setting aside to cool, basting with BBQ sauce, and slicing into bite-sized pieces.
- Assemble salad with pasta, bacon, chicken, bell pepper, corn, beans, onion.
- Mix the BBQ sauce and mayo to make the dressing.
- Toss the salad and dressing along with the cilantro and green onions and enjoy!
Option: Season the chicken with your favorite chicken seasoning in place of salt and pepper.
Tip: Cook the chicken and bacon the day before.
Option: Add diced avocado!
Option: Add diced tomatoes!
Option: Add 1 packet ranch seasoning to the dressing! (Or add: 1/2 teaspoon parsley, 1/2 teaspoon chives, 1/2 teaspoon dill, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder)
Option: Add shredded cheddar cheese!
Option: Top with crunchy corn chips!
Nutrition Facts: Calories 313, Fat 11g (Saturated 2g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 36mg, Sodium 233mg, Carbs 46g (Fiber 4g, Sugars 6g), Protein 18g