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One Pot BBQ Chicken Pasta

A super easy one pot cheesy pasta dish loaded with tangy BBQ sauce and crisp bacon – even the pasta gets cooked right in the pot!

One Pot BBQ Chicken Pasta - A super easy one pot cheesy pasta dish loaded with tangy BBQ sauce and crisp bacon. Even the pasta gets cooked right in the pot!

It’s been a bit hectic here the last couple of days. Butters was neutered and Jason had LASIK surgery so between taking care of my boys, I’ve had very little time in the kitchen! Thank goodness for the one pot meal. It saved us from ordering mediocre take-out! Plus, with BBQ sauce, cheese and bacon, you just can’t go wrong.

And yes, this is another super easy one pot meal – a one pot meal where the  past gets cooked right in the pot! It’s doesn’t get easier than that, right? And if you want to keep it vegetarian, you can certainly omit the chicken. There’s just so many fun flavors, the chicken may not even be missed!

One Pot BBQ Chicken Pasta

A super easy one pot cheesy pasta dish loaded with tangy BBQ sauce and crisp bacon. Even the pasta gets cooked right in the pot!

10 minutes25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
  • 3 cups rotini pasta
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, or more, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes; drain excess fat, reserving 1 tablespoon. Stir in chicken and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, milk, red pepper flakes, pasta, salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 13-16 minutes.
  3. Stir in barbecue sauce and cheese until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately.

Adapted from The Recipe Rebel.

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91 comments

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    I had leftover chicken thighs that I used in this very tasty One Pot BBQ chicken recipe. I cut in half and was perfect for my husband and I .
    My husband gave it a thumbs up.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Absolutely delicious! It’s a family favourite and go to, easy week night dinner. And most of the ingredients you would have in your fridge. Kids even love it!

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Absolutely delicious! Made it for my kids and they asked for seconds. Definitely recommend for quick week night dinners that the entire family will eat.
    I included more chicken than suggested and obviously used more bacon.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Delicious!! Although I did add more cheese and sauce. Any idea as to the nutritional content per serving?

    • Hey Laura! Nutritional information is provided only for select recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, we recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information. Hope that helps!

  5. LOOKS SO GOOD, I HAVE SOME LEFT OVER BBQ CHICKEN AND WANT TO TRY THIS WOULD PINEAPPLE BE OK TO ADD TO THE DISH THNK YOU

  6. Made this tonight, used turkey bacon and added a little oil to make it crispy. Didn’t have pepper flakes so I substituted some chopped jalapeños. My family loved it!

  7. Has anyone tried freezing this meal? Im looking for make ahead meals!

  8. I’m making this right now, and I’ve NEVER tried one pot meals before, but I couldn’t resist, and i just tested to see if the pasta was cooked and it tastes AMAZING!

    Thank you for this recipe, I am astounded that I’ve never tried anything like this before. I haven’t even added the barbecue sauce yet … Eeeeeek! Love it, love it, love it! =)

  9. Omg!  Delicious!  My husband will love it.  Great recipe.  I  definitely make it again and again!

  10. Awesome great Sumner meal served with salad!!

  11. Great recipe!  Not a fan of cheese with BBQ so left that off. Next time I will cook pasta separately al dente and stir in just before serving.  

  12. Great recipe! I used 2 larger chicken breasts and garlic powder. I ended up with too much liquid-my fault for changing cook order but I had cut my thumb chopping the onion. I didn’t want to drain liquid out, so I added extra bbq sauce and cheese. I left it on low heat for a while longer and the pasta soaked it extra liquid up. I am sending left-overs with my 6 yr old to school tomorrow to eat as a cold pasta salad. I think it will be amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Do you have the nutritional information on this recipe?

    • Nutritional information is provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, I recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information. Hope that helps!

  14. Came across your recipe while looking for a way to use BBQ sauce at home. Great recipe. Made this  without the bacon, as its not part of our diet. Was a big hit. Ease of one pot cooking was a bonus.

  15. I made this last week for my husband and I and we both loved it! I am having people over for dinner tomorrow and would like to make this but double the recipe. I know that sometimes when doubling recipes, they do not turn out as well, do you foresee any problems with doubling this one?

  16. I don’t keep milk at home, as I don’t like to drink it and it goes bad too fast, but I do keep either boxed almond milk or canned evaporated milk on hand for cooking with. I’m afraid that the almond milk will make this taste weird, so I was wondering if I could use 1/2 C evaporated milk or just use 1/2 more chicken broth or water for the remaining liquid? Which do you think would be the best replacement for the milk? Thanks! Can’t wait to try this!

  17. Just wanted to let you know we tried this recipe for the first time while camping, in our dutch oven. I doubled it, forgot the onion and garlic by accident and it was still a HUGE hit! Fed about 10 ppl and it was gone in about 10 mins. It’s the perfect recipe for camping and the first we made in our dutch oven. I’ve joined your blog and LOVE your recipes. Thanks so much for making my first dutch oven camping experience so tasty and easy.

    • what if i do not want it 1 pot and boil spaghetti separately, how should i reduce the portions for a nice sauce to mix spaghetti with ?

      • Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

  18. Hi there,

    thank you for this recipe, I found it year or two ago, and it’s probably my most often made meal in my rotation.
    My husband cannot get enough 🙂
    I use fresh tomatoes when I have them, and it’s even better. It’s super easy, and you can pretty much just use whatever you have on hand! Try adding spinach… it’s delightful.

  19. Recipe sounds yummy, but am I the only one questioning 1 chicken breast to make 6 servings? Way too much carbs and not enough protein in my opinion. Will try recipe but will use 2 or 3 breasts. 

  20. I made this tonight! I used shredded chicken, and doubled the BBQ sauce. AWESOME recipe!

  21. I made this for dinner tonight, and it’s incredibly delicious! I did make some modifications based on what I had available and my own preferences, but it still turned out great. I added a couple tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, some frozen corn, and extra crushed red pepper flakes.Because I didn’t have the recommended ingredients on hand, I used a taco cheese blend for the cheese, and made a broth substitute with chicken bouillon packets. This is really tasty, easy, and filling, and I bet it would be good with some other veggie combos and modifications too. Thanks!

  22. Delicious!! Made this tonight with some leftover bbq chicken. Didn’t have any bacon but did have some kinda dry baked beans loaded with smoked sausage, so I thought “what the heck” and stirred them in. So tasty and easy! Thank you!

  23. This looks so very yummy! I gave a shout out and a link back to the recip in my weekly “Saturday Morning Coffee Thoughts” post. Have a great weekend!
    http://www.perfectlycreatedchaos.com/2015/05/saturday-morning-coffee-thoughts_9.html

  24. Made this tonight and it was delish! I added a little more bbq sauce and cheese, and I removed the cover to let the liquid reduce faster. My husband loved it!

  25. Would it be completely absurd to use water in the pot instead of chicken broth? Or is there another less sodium packed option? I’m making this as-is, I’m just curious.

  26. Just had this for dinner – The title of your blog is right! My husband got seconds before I was halfway done. We’ll definitely make again!

  27. I decided to make this tonight, but modified with what I had on hand. Used boned chicken thighs instead of breasts, Alymer Accents tomatoes (Chili flavour), half a large onion, and didn’t have quite enough chicken broth, just a pinch of red pepper flakes. Also reduced the cheese, since I was low on cheddar, used 25 grams of a combo of parma and cheddar. Consensus? Hubby thought it was great. Our eight year old even SAW the onions in it as it was still cooking when he got home and suggested he was not eating that, but yet thought it was delicious! Found I had to stir a lot once I added the pasta, it stuck to the bottom. Definitely keeping this.

  28. Looks delicious! How much liquid should be left before bbq is added?

  29. This was DELICIOUS! I didn’t read the comments first and drained my tomatoes, but the pasta cooked just fine. Didn’t realize we were out of BBQ sauce, so I whipped up this recipe quickly and it worked very well: http://www.simplyscratch.com/2011/09/homemade-barbecue-sauce-part-1.html Thanks for an easy, yummy dinner!

  30. My son can’t have dairy. Can I substitute almond milk for the milk? I wouldn’t even put the cheese on his just my husband’s and mine lol

    • You can certainly try substituting almond milk but without further recipe testing, I cannot speak for how much this will change the overall taste/texture of the dish. Please use your best judgment to make the appropriate substitutions to fit your family’s dietary restrictions.

  31. Hi! This was fantastic! I was forced to modify it when i realized i didn’t have the canned tomatoes! I used a can of kidney beans instead. I didn’t think there was enough liquid so I added another 1/2 cup of chicken broth. I omitted the bacon, so I doubled the chicken and also added pineapple. I will try again when I have canned tomatoes 🙂

  32. Hi! I tried this recipe and it turned out great, I just had a slightly problem with there being liquid in this when I was finished. I know there should be some but it high enough to cover about 3/4 of the pasta and the cheese and bbq sauce got absorbed into it. Should I just let it boil without the cover near the end to get rid of some of the liquid? Thanks!

    • That’s a lot of liquid! I worry that your heat source was not set correctly as most of the liquid should have been absorbed. You can also reduce the amount of liquid for next time. Hope that helps!

  33. Pingback: Cookies and Cups 50 Dinner Ideas Using Rotisserie Chicken » Cookies and Cups

  34. Wow this sound scrumptious and easy to make. I would like try this definitely.

  35. And should I use yellow or red onions?

  36. You think I could use Korean BBQ sauce? (I am not adding pork btw)

    Also, loving many of your Asian inspired recipes (particularly teriyaki and sesame ginger salmon, among others!)

  37. Yummo!! Made this last night. Super easy and very flavorful…my two teenage boys gobbled it up!

  38. Made this dish last night and it was DELICIOUS!!!! I’ll definitely be making it again, thank you!

  39. I made this for dinner tonight. I didn’t have any milk (BF drank the last of it with a shameful amount of oreos yesterday, lol), so I used a scoop of sour cream instead. It turned out awesome.

    Out of curiosity, how do you figure out how much liquid is enough to cook the noodles, but not so much that the sauce is runny/too thin?

  40. Wow this looks incredible! I love your photos!

  41. This looks so good! Your pictures are beautiful!!! I will be making this and I’ll further comment on it. I’m sure it is so tasty! Love your blog by the way. I’ve made at least 4 recipe’s from it 🙂

  42. Thank you for posting this recipe! I can’t wait to try it! I was wondering how much liquid to use if we omitted the can of tomatoes.

    • Lindsey, I do not recommend omitting the can of tomatoes. It is a crucial ingredient for flavor, texture and liquid to cook the pasta.

  43. This was so easy and had wonderful flavor. For ease, I used bacon bits. My husband and I sprinkled the pepper flakes on our own plates so it wasn’t too spicy for the kids. I will definitely make this again.

  44. Seriously. This was amazing. I already had a whole, deboned bird in the fridge so I just used about half of that meat. I cooked the bacon (and left in all the grease, because YES) then added the onion and garlic. After it was done I added the diced chicken to soak up a little flavor! Omitted red pepper flakes so my 8 month old could partake as well. Used Stubbs honey pecan BBQ sauce, gluten free pasta and raw local Colby cheese. My 4 and 6 year old had thirds. I don’t always leave comments but when I do it’s because the meal was damn delicious.

  45. Delish! I didn’t have any chicken, so I used ground turkey and added jalapeños! I think next time I might add some corn. Thank you for an easy and yummy recipe!

  46. This is sad to ask but what I can substitute for the bbq sauce ?

    • Sam, there really is no appropriate substitute for BBQ sauce as it is the main star in this dish. If you are allergic or not a fan of BBQ sauce, then I recommend trying a different pasta recipe. You can check out my other pasta recipes here: https://damndelicious.net/recipe-index/pasta/.

    • If you were trying to make this with things on hand and didn’t have BBQ sauce, you could always whip up your own bbq sauce! It’s not hard to make. You can usually find a quick recipe with either a ketchup, vinegar, or a mustard base.

  47. I hate to even ask this, but my husband doesn’t eat cheese (he lives a sad life-lol). Do you think this would work without cheese? (I’m sure it would change the taste, but I was wondering if you think it could still work.)

  48. Is there an herb that you sprinkle on at the end? In the picture I see specks of green. Just wondering if it was cilantro or basil or something else. Thank! Looks delicious.

  49. Goodness, you must be tired from tending to your boys! Make it vegetarian by leaving out the chicken? Mmmm – how about the bacon and chicken broth?

  50. Are the tomatoes drained first or do you need the liquid for cooking the pasta?

  51. What brand if BBQ sauce did you use?

    • Candace, I prefer to use Trader Joes’s BBQ sauce but feel free to use your favorite kind. There’s so many varieties out there so the possibilities are endless!

  52. One pot meals, always a life saver in my book.

  53. I really love all these one pot recipes – keep’em coming!

  54. Wow — I’m honoured that you found some inspiration on my site! Looks awesome!

  55. I love your one-pot meals! Let’s be real, no one likes dishes. This is an awesome idea.

  56. Chung-Ah: This looks incredible! Love your 1 pot meals. I try to keep leftover roast chicken or roast turkey in the frig for ease with meal planning; this recipe will be a perfect use for my roasted poultry.

  57. Love this! There’s nothing better than only one pot.

  58. We all need the easy go-to meals here and there. This one looks like a winner.

  59. I think I will be making this dish this weekend! Looks delicious!

  60. You and your one-skillet dinners – love them! Such a time saver (and energy saver b/c there’s only one thing to wash!) 🙂

  61. Nice and easy. Thank you.

  62. You are the easy dinner queen! BBQ sauce, bacon, cheese…how can this dinner not be amazing?
    Answer: it can’t. Pinned! 😀

  63. I love your new recipes for one-pot meal, so convenient and packed full of flavour 😀 x