Pulled chicken, veggies, and cheddar cheese come together with noodles and a creamy BBQ dressing to make this delicious BBQ chicken pasta salad. It’s a great dish to pack for lunch or to bring as a side to a potluck or picnic.
This post may contain affiliate links. I receive compensation from purchases made through affiliate links (more information).
Recipe Notes & Tips
I used cellentani the first time I made this, and it worked well. A substantive, large-ish noodle tends to hold up well with the ingredients. Farfalle (bow ties) or fusilli (spirals) also work well. I don’t recommend macaroni elbows – they tend to be too small.
This is a great recipe for using a rotisserie chicken, leftover pulled BBQ chicken, or leftover grilled chicken. I usually make some generic pulled chicken in the slow cooker and keep it in the freezer for recipes like this one. The Recipe Rebel has a good recipe for slow cooker shredded chicken.
The recipe calls for pulled chicken, but you can use diced chicken instead if that’s what you prefer. This would be a good way to use leftover grilled chicken.
You can use any BBQ sauce you prefer for this recipe. I’ve used a variety of sauces to make it, and it’s always turned out great. I’ve never used a South Carolina mustard-based sauce (yet), but I will one of these days!
Making Ahead & Storage
You can make this (mostly) a day ahead of time. Assemble everything, but don’t add the dressing until the day of. The noodles tend to absorb the dressing and the salad starts to dry out. Leftovers can he stores for a couple of days, but the quality starts to diminish after that because it starts to get too dry.
BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad
- Combine ingredients for dressing and set aside.¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup BBQ sauce, ¼ cup sour cream, 2 tsp relish, 2 tsp yellow mustard, ¼ tsp sugar
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain in a colander and toss with a small amount of olive oil (1-2 teaspoons) to prevent noodles from sticking together. Set aside and let cool completely (OK to leave in the colander).½ lb uncooked pasta, 1 tsp olive oil
- Toss chicken in 1 cup of BBQ sauce and set aside.3 cups pulled or shredded cooked chicken, 1 cup BBQ sauce
- Once the pasta is cool, transfer to a large mixing bowl. You may need to separate into two bowls depending on the size.
- Combine the cooked pasta, chicken, red bell pepper, onion, celery, corn, cheese, and parsley.3 cups pulled or shredded cooked chicken, 1 red onion, 2 ribs celery, ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, 1 can corn, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 red bell pepper
- Add the dressing and stir until it is well-distributed throughout the pasta salad.