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BBQ Chicken Chopped Pasta Salad

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


Homemade barbecue sauce, grilled chicken, and veggie-packed pasta salad make this a perfect summer meal, and ideal for leftovers or meal prep!



For the Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

For the Salad

  • 1/2 pound short cut pasta
  • 1 pound thin cut chicken breasts or tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. For the BBQ sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small skillet. Bring the pan to medium heat until the sauce bubbles; stir to combine everything. Let the sauce bubble gently for 4 minutes, then turn off the heat. Taste, and adjust the seasonings to your preference. Let cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  2. For the salad, cook the pasta to al dente per the package directions and let cool while you cook the chicken and prep the veggies. For the chicken, preheat a large skillet to medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook the chicken for about 4 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through, then drizzle 2 tablespoons of the sauce into the skillet. Toss the chicken in the sauce for 1 minute, then remove to a plate. Add the corn kernels to the same skillet and toss in the chicken drippings for 3 minutes until slightly charred, then turn off the heat and let the corn cool.
  3. To assemble, cube the chicken. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the pasta, then toss with the veggies and herbs. Serve the pasta veggie mixture topped with a heap of chicken and extra sauce. Enjoy!


Feel free to broil or grill the chicken - any way you enjoy cooking chicken is fine!

For meal prep, I'd store the chicken/sauce and pasta salad separately, then combine right before eating. 

Speed this up with your favorite bottled barbecue sauce and/or leftover chicken!

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30