Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta

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This was one of those recipes that at first glance was almost too weird for me.  I mean, BBQ sauce is one of the greatest condiments ever developed- but on pasta? 

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I suppose I never eat my Mac & Cheese without BBQ sauce (this southern child has been practicing that since age 8, ya’ll.) this recipe wouldn’t be a total flop- now would it? 

Whole wheat penne soaks up the flavors of low sodium chicken broth and sauteed garlic & onion.

You end up cooking the pasta like rice- no draining here! 

And thats always find with me.  I hate despise cleaning the pasta water residue off of my colander.  What a slimy mess. 

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Next- time for sauce-making. A little BBQ goes a long way- the starchy broth remaining in the pan after 12 minutes of cooking allows for the sauce to thicken nicely without adding in a thickener (like flour) or making a roux.  I took a creamy note from fat free Greek yogurt

I used smoked cheese. I have a mild obsession with the hearty flavor of smoked cheese. I just can’t get enough of it- and neither can my Fireman.   I end up slapping is hand out of the bowl of grated goodness one (or twenty) times. 

And after two threats of ‘I’ll turn on the food processor if you stick your hands in there again..’, he goes in for a third nibble. 

Smart aleck.   

Of course I would never let those magic, life-saving hands go to any harm. And he knows it- testing my patience with the smokey cheese.  I can only imagine what our children will be like.   

I had some shredded chicken breast I cooked up in the slow cooker over the weekend (5 frozen breasts, 2 cups chicken broth or water, salt, garlic powder, pepper- low for 7 hours) 

Rotissere chicken would work of course- or even if you added a step to this recipe and cooked off your chicken in a skillet while the pasta cooks away- that works, too.

So awesome.

The leftover queen called her Fireman’s bluff when he threatened to eat what was left yesterday.  Even though he did this while I was eating my lunch.. leftover BBQ Chicken Pasta. 

I’m a tad greedy.  Don’t mess with my starch, busta.   

Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups each


  • 2 cups shredded chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons honey barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium Texas sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cups fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (13.25-ounce) box whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup honey barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt (such as 0% FAGE)
  • 1 cup (4-ounces) smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine shredded chicken and 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

In a large (12-in) non-stick skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions to the pan and saute until softened. Add penne, broth and salt, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12 minutes, until liquid is almost absorbed- the pasta should be tender and the mixture slightly thickened. Stir in the yogurt and barbecue sauce . Once mixed, add in chicken and shredded cheese- stir to combine and continue to heat until cheese is melted.

Pour into a large baking dish and top with panko and parmesan cheese. Drizzle with additional barbecue sauce- about 2 tablespoons. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until panko/cheese si golden.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 453; Fat: 9 g; Carbohydrate: 66 g; Fiber: 8 g; Protein: 29 g


  1. I wish I could reach out to my monitor and get me some BBQ chicken pasta. My stomach is complaining already. Looking so delicious and yummy! =)

  2. Katie Martin says:

    What’s the best way to cook the shredded chicken?

    • I use my slow cooker- every time. Throw 4-5 frozen chicken breasts, 1 cup water or chicken broth, salt, pepper, and chili powder..whatever seasonings you want in there and set it to low for 7 hours. I like this way so that I can have leftovers for whatever I need later in the week- salads, sandwiches, whatever.

      You can always just boil your fres chicken breasts- 3-4 breasts, in a stock pot for about 40 minutes.

      For 2 cups shredded chicken you should do at least 2-3 chicken breasts, depending on the size of them:) Hope this helps!


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