Barbecue Chicken Pasta

One of the things that I prepare, that my husband loves most, is my barbecue chicken pizza. I really enjoy it as well, but I wanted to change things up a bit. I decided to take that recipe and create something new out of it. This pasta is easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner, kid friendly and also super flavorful at the same time. The chicken, barbecue sauce, pasta and cheese all come together to create something so tasty, and the cilantro and green onion round this dish off with exactly the flavors it needs.

I always like to cook my own chicken, but if you would like to simplify this dish even more, please feel free to use rotisserie chicken in its place. Just add it in after you have cooked the onions and garlic. When buying your can of diced tomatoes with chilies, choose them based on how spicy you want this pasta to be. We like things spicy, so I opted for the hot tomatoes with habaneros. The original or mild tomatoes will both work in this dish as well. Be sure NOT to drain your tomatoes – that juice becomes and important part of this pasta.

One of the best parts of this recipe is the fresh cilantro and green onion on top, so unless you don’t like the flavor of one of those, I recommend loading your plate up with both!

Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you, and please enjoy!

Barbecue Chicken Pasta

Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Barbecue, Cheesy, chicken, cilantro, green onion, Pasta
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 612kcal


  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chillies mild, original or hot
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 12 oz medium pasta shells
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese shredded
  • chopped cilantro and green onion for topping


  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Season the cut up chicken with salt and pepper.  Add the olive oil and chicken to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the red onion and continue cooking until the onion is translucent and the chicken is cooked through.  Add the garlic and sauté 2 more minutes. 
  • Add the diced tomatoes (do not drain!), barbecue sauce and cumin to the skillet.  Combine well and reduce the heat to low.  Allow to simmer while the pasta is cooking.
  • Boil the pasta shells according to the package instructions.  Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.  Add the chicken and sauce mixture to the pasta and combine.  Add both cheeses and fold together until the cheese is melted.  Top the pasta with cilantro and green onion and enjoy!


Sodium: 845mg | Calcium: 326mg | Vitamin C: 3mg | Vitamin A: 487IU | Sugar: 18g | Fiber: 3g | Potassium: 741mg | Cholesterol: 109mg | Calories: 612kcal | Saturated Fat: 9g | Fat: 20g | Protein: 42g | Carbohydrates: 65g | Iron: 2mg

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