BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad
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BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad is an easy side dish recipe that everyone loves! This yummy pasta salad recipe is full of corn, tomatoes and chicken and dressed with a BBQ sauce vinigarette! It’s the perfect easy weeknight meal or potluck pasta dish. It goes perfectly with Lipton Iced Tea, who sponsored this post.
Summer is the time for all things ENTERTAINING! Pool parties abound for me…and that means lots of hungry people to feed. I’m hosting our second annual 4th of July party next week and this pasta salad is making an appearance for sure. It didn’t last a day when I made it the first time – it’s that good.
Pasta salad is my go-to party dish because it’s easy, flavorful, and everyone loves it. This easy BBQ chicken pasta salad is all things barbecue: the dressing is the most amazing and delicious BBQ flavored vinaigrette. I’ve been thinking about a BBQ dressing for awhile now and am so glad I finally got a chance to whip it up.
Have you ever bought a bag of BBQ chips and then ate the whole bag? Yeah, that’s kinda how I felt about this salad, because the dressing tastes like my favorite chips!
Whenever I’m planning a party I like to come up with all the details, from decorations to food and drinks. I always say I’m going to do a potluck but then people show up with their side dishes and I already have a ton of food; I just can’t help myself! For example, I told everyone that, for the 4th of July, I’m just buying meat for the grill and doing some drinks. But now I think I have to make this pasta salad…and then I’ll probably have to make some flatbread…and maybe some cheesy dip too.
I know what I’m serving for drinks – iced tea! Lipton Sweet Tea Iced Tea is one of my favorite drinks, and it pairs really well with almost every summer dish. Plus, everyone else loves sweet tea too, so it’s perfect for a party.
Paired with this teensy-bit-sweet BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad, we’ve got a delicious and easy summer meal.
Let’s break down everything that’s in this salad, ‘kay?
Pasta, obviously. I used rotini, but you can use your favorite. I also think penne or shells would work really good.
I added red onion, because whenever I think of BBQ flavored anything, I think of red onion. Same goes for the chicken – it’s like required whenever something is barbecue flavor. You can use any leftover chicken you have (maybe from your BBQ last night) or grab a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store (my favorite to use in this salad).
I added corn and tomatoes because those are two quintessential summer flavors, IMO. Plus the cilantro because, well, I could eat that plain. The smell alone is intoxicating! (If you’re not a cilantro lover, leave it out, or use Italian parsley.)
And then…well, then there is the dressing.
I decided on a BBQ vinaigrette for this pasta salad. It’s a super simple dressing recipe that starts with BBQ sauce as the base. Use your favorite kind of BBQ sauce – I love a sweet one but you can use anything your heart desires. Then I added some onion, garlic, spices, vinegar, citrus, and oil and the result is a thick dressing that tastes like a BBQ chip. Toss the pasta salad with it and you have BBQ pizza….in a pasta salad.
Really, this BBQ chicken pasta salad is PERFECT for all things summer. It’s a great easy weeknight meal or party potluck dish. Just make sure you don’t eat it all by yourself…like I did (oops).
And, of course, don’t forget the drink that goes perfectly with pasta salad: Lipton Iced Tea. The natural flavors have a refreshing taste and uplifts any dish, including BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad.
BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad
For the salad:
- 1/2 lb. Rotini Pasta — cooked and drained according to package directions
- 3/4 cup red onion — diced
- 1 cup corn kernels — frozen and thawed or fresh, cut off a cooked cob
- 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups shredded chicken — I used rotisserie
- 2 tablespoons cilantro — or to taste
- BBQ sauce dressing — recipe follows
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon finely diced red onion
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste or 1 garlic clove — crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper — to taste
- Stir together cooled pasta, onion, corn, tomatoes, chicken, and cilantro in a large bowl.
- Make the dressing: add all dressing ingredients to a jar or sealed container. Seal and shake well to combine. Pour over pasta salad and toss to combine.
- Serve within 2 days. Store tightly covered in refrigerator.
Tortellini Pasta Salad
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lipton. The opinions and text are all mine.