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This BBQ Chicken Pasta with bacon bits and cheese on top is a perfect easy pasta recipe that the whole family will love. Ready in about 30 minutes and cooked all in one pan.

A big pan filled with cooked barbecue chicken and bacon pasta, with a spoon dipped in ready to serve.

Throwing everything together in one pan for a quick midweek dinner is my idea of winning at life. Especially when that recipe is totally delicious, is made up of simple store cupboard ingredients and is ready in less than half an hour. 

Well here’s another one for you, because it’s likely one-pot pastas should be on all of our weekly meal plans now we know what life-savers they are.

Oh HELLO BBQ Chicken Pasta. A bowlful of that winning combo of chicken and bacon, all brought together in a rich barbecue, smoky sauce.


Why you’ll love this BBQ Chicken Pasta recipe

⭐️ Ready in 30 minutes, made in one pan

⭐️ Rich in flavour and comforting

⭐️ Budget-friendly, simple ingredients


A close up of cooked BBQ chicken pasta.

About this BBQ Chicken Pasta recipe

A recipe that involves the word ‘BBQ’ flavoured is always a total hit in my house. It tastes like such a treat, so it’s only fair I found a way to get this smoky, sticky, rich and deep flavour into a one pot pasta (the holy grail).

We based this recipe originally on some of my other favourite one pan pasta recipes, like the classic Sausage Pasta recipe that we all love.

Initially in the first test versions, we made our own barbecue sauce to add in with the pasta, but I have to say, we all felt that 1) it was a bit more of a faff than needed 2) to keep this quick and minimal ingredients, a better result would come from using ready made BBQ sauce. (Of course, you could make your own if you prefer!)

Test number 3 and we were onto a winner, we added cheese on top, popped it under the grill and 10/10 all round. Hope you love it too!


BBQ Chicken Pasta Ingredients

The ingredients for the recipe BBQ Chicken Pasta all laid on a counter top.
  • Bacon lardons – Or pieces of smokey bacon, chopped small
  • Chicken breasts – You can use chicken thighs (boneless and skinless) if you prefer, but they will take longer to cook
  • Onion – Fresh or frozen pre-prepared is OK 
  • Garlic – You can also go for jar/frozen or fresh here
  • Red peppers – Or whichever colour you prefer
  • Dry pasta – Any pasta shape you prefer
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Sweet smoked paprika
  • BBQ sauce – Any good quality shop brand is fine here
  • Vegetable stock – Made with a cube is fine, I like Marigold brand
  • Grated mozzarella

How to make BBQ Chicken and Bacon Pasta

Step 1 in the recipe for BBQ Chicken Pasta. Fry the chicken and bacon in a pan.
  1. Fry the bacon lardons for 5 minutes in a sauté pan (the pans I like are here!) then add the chicken until browned.
Step 2 in the recipe for BBQ Chicken Pasta. Fry the vegetables in with the cooked chicken and bacon.

2. Add in the garlic and vegetables and cook as per the recipe below.

Step 3 in the process for BBQ Chicken Pasta recipe. Add tomatos, flavouring, pasta and barbecue sauce to the pan.

3. Add the dry pasta, chopped tomatoes, smoked paprika, BBQ sauce and 500ml of the vegetable stock and salt and pepper and cook with the lid on until most of the liquid is absorbed (timings in the recipe below).

Step 4 in the recipe for BBQ Chicken Pasta. Sprinkle over cheese and grill until melted.

4. When cooked, stir and sprinkle over the cheese. Grill for 3-5 minutes until melted.

Hint: Cook the pasta until al-dente. Stop cooking when the sauce has reduced and thickened and the chicken is cooked through.


Substitutions

  • Sweet smoked paprika – I use this as it’s warming and a little smoky, but also fine for childrens’ palates. If you want something a little more spicy, add or substitute regular paprika.
  • Chicken – If you want to make this meat-free, you could use vegetarian chicken substitute or another protein, or just omit this ingredient and the bacon.

BBQ Chicken Pasta Leftovers

In the fridge You can keep this recipe in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat fully before serving.

If you don’t serve this as soon as it’s cooked, you’ll find that the sauce absorbs into the pasta and there’s not a lot left. It won’t affect the taste, you may just want to add a splash more stock when you warm it through.

Can you freeze BBQ Chicken Pasta? I’m not a big fan of freezing pasta as it can go quite mushy when defrosted and reheated.

All that said, there’s nothing wrong with freezing for lunch if you have leftovers, it’s just not quite as good as fresh or reheated from the fridge.

Top tip for making this Chicken and Bacon Pasta

Sauce

I always make up 750ml of stock and then check on the pasta as it cooks and add more if it’s looking dry. If you like very ‘wet’ saucy pasta, go ahead and add it all at the start.

FAQs

Can you recommend a good pan for this recipe?

Try and use a big lidded pan for this recipe. I have tried-and-tested some one-pan pans recently and there were some good ones in that list. Hope this pan review helps.

Can I make this a healthier recipe?

If you stick to lean chicken breast, use wholewheat pasta and omit the cheese, you could reduce the fat content and increase the fibre content. You could also add additional vegetables.

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

5 from 27 votes

BBQ Chicken Pasta {One Pan}

This one pan BBQ Chicken Pasta recipe has bacon bits and cheese on top for a full, delicious, comforting meal that’s super simple and ready in about 30 minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 200 g Bacon lardons
  • 600 g Chicken breasts, Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 1 Onion, Peeled and chopped.
  • 3 Cloves of garlic, Peeled and crushed.
  • 2 Red peppers, Deseeded and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 250 g Dry pasta
  • 400 g Tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Sweet smoked paprika
  • 6 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 750 ml Hot vegetable stock, See notes.
  • 100 g Grated mozzarella
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Heat a saute pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon lardons and fry for 5 minutes until starting to brown. (They won’t need any oil as they usually release their own fat.)
  • Add the chicken pieces and cook for a further 5 minutes until the chicken is sealed and starting to brown.
  • Add the onions, garlic, peppers and continue cooking for another 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
  • Add the dry pasta, chopped tomatoes, smoked paprika, BBQ sauce and 500ml of the vegetable stock and salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir and pop the lid on and cook for 15-20 minutes cooked through and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Five minutes before the pasta is due to be cooked, preheat the grill to high.
  • When the pasta is cooked, give everything a good stir, sprinkle over the cheese and pop under the grill for 3-5 minutes until melted and golden.

Notes

Stock: I always make up 750ml of stock and then check on the pasta as it cooks and add more if it’s looking dry. If you like very ‘wet’ saucy pasta, go ahead and add it all at the start.

Nutrition

Calories: 878kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 59gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 2262mgPotassium: 1253mgFiber: 6gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 2994IUVitamin C: 90mgCalcium: 205mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Family Food
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Sarah Rossi founder of TamingTwins.com and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Quick and easy, made it as part of the weekly meal plan
    Children loved it (we have a super fussy 4 yr old at the moment)
    Looks like the pepper has been added in recipe now. Will likely add some more veg like courgette just to try and get some more in. Delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    I’m just making it now and wondered where the red pepper is too! I’m adding it in with the pasta etc as I’ve only just noticed. Looking forward to eating this when it’s ready!

  3. I made this for supper tonight and it was tasty , but missing a vital something. Then I realised I’d left out the red pepper. But – it’s not mentioned in the recipe – unless I’ve totally missed it . Now I really really have to make this again, properly.

    1. 5 stars
      I’m just making it now and wondered where the red pepper is too! I’m adding it in with the pasta etc as I’ve only just noticed. Looking forward to eating this when it’s ready!