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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.

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EASY BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad - 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.
Table of Contents
  1. Pasta Side Dish for Chicken
  2. Ingredients in BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad
  3. How to make BBQ Salad Dressing
  4. Perfect Side for Pulled BBQ Chicken
  5. Expert Tips
  6. BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

Pasta Side Dish for Chicken

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!

ingredients in pasta salad

Ingredients in BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad

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.)

Easy BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad with a BBQ sauce vinaigrette!

How to make BBQ Salad Dressing

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).

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad in a white bowl with limes and some cilantro behind it

Perfect Side for Pulled BBQ Chicken

Pasta salad is the perfect potluck side dish – and this one doesn’t need to be refrigerated. If you’re looking for other easy side dishes, check out my Italian Pasta Salad and my Three Bean Salad too!

Expert Tips

  • Use rotisserie chicken or make pulled spicy chicken – or you can even use my instant pot shredded chicken.
  • Any pasta shape works in this recipe.
  • Use your favorite vegetables – this would also be good with bell peppers or chopped zucchini.
  • Use your favorite BBQ sauce for the dressing.

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BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad in a white bowl with limes and some cilantro behind it

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad

5 from 2 votes
EASY BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad – 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. This is a great way to use up leftover chicken!
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 6 -8 servings (main dish)

Ingredients
 

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

Instructions

  • 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.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Author Dorothy Kern

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This was a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lipton in 2017. The opinions and text are all mine.

Last Updated on April 13, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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5 Comments

  1. I’m into it. Pasta salad on its own can be somewhat bland so I love how you’ve added a little zip with the BBQ flavor.

  2. This salad is perfect for summer parties and potlucks! Your photos are especially gorgeous here! Really beautiful and they just pop!