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Thursday, June 30, 2022

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad

The pasta salad of the Summer!

Serve this loaded & flavorful side dish for any gathering and it will be the hit of the night.

This post is sponsored by Cookies BBQ Sauces and Seasonings.

Collage of bowls of pasta salad - bbq chicken, veggies, corn and sauce.

Summer is in full force and that means pool parties, barbecues, leisurely patio nights and gatherings with our friends and family. And of course, that always means FOOD!

I get a ton of requests during the warmer months for dishes that are easy, can travel well, can be prepped a day ahead and ones that can feed a crowd. Entertaining is big in the Summer! Dinners linger longer into the night and lazy days are spent near a pool or beach.

When Cookies BBQ and I started brainstorming a fun, new Summer recipe to share we knew we wanted it to be unique, yet inviting enough for both kids and adults to love. My new BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad fits the bill!

Stainless steel bowl of rotini pasta, grilled chicken, peppers, green onions and corn.

This pasta salad is colorful AND flavorful. We decided to use two Cookies products in this dish – both the Flavor Enhancer seasoning to coat the grilled chicken and their Sweet Hickory barbecue sauce to mix into the dressing.

Combined they are fantastic.

I added other fresh flavors as well – sweet corn {from my freezer, frozen off the cob last Summer, but any corn will do}, diced mini sweet peppers and bright diced green onions. Together it makes the most beautiful and colorful bowl of greatness.

Stainless Steel bowl with a spoon of mixed pasta salad.

And you cannot forget the pasta!

You want a twisty pasta that will hold the dressing, allowing it to stick to all the nooks and crannies. So, for this dish I choose a traditional rotini. And corkscrew type of pasta will do – even a mini elbow or small macaroni. You want a pasta that has hiding spots for all that flavor to sink into!

One trick – anytime I make a pasta salad I undercook my noodles just a WEE bit. Remember the noodles are going to sit in a sauce in the fridge and will get softer the longer they sit. So by undercooking them they have the perfect bite when ready to eat.

Bowl of pasta salad next to plated serving with Cookies BBQ bottle of sauce

Cookies Flavor Enhancer {which you coat the chicken in before grilling/sauteing} is made of salt, pepper, garlic, chili powder, sugar and red pepper. It’s the perfect seasoning for any veggie, meat or fish. It makes the chicken extremely flavorful in this pasta salad.

Cookies Sweet Hickory BBQ Sauce is the best of both worlds – a little sweet, with a touch of smoke. Pineapple juice and cayenne pepper create a thick, sweet and zesty sauce. It’s the perfect bbq sauce to mix with creamy mayonnaise in this pasta salad.

Honestly, I will stake a claim you’ve never had a pasta salad like this one. I was BEYOND surprised at how good it was.

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad on a white plate with fork.

You know how when attending a potluck or barbecue there is always that same old BORING pasta salad at the table? It’s okay, but just okay?


Every single person is my family {that is including 3 kids} loved this one. It’s different, it’s hearty and it accompanies any meal with gusto. Honestly, I was just as excited to eat it on day 2 as leftovers!

And let’s just say – since it has grilled chicken in it – you can just go ahead and eat it solely as your lunch. I won’t tell anyone.

Close up bit of bbq chicken pasta salad on a fork. Background of plated salad and seasonings.

Look at that – the PERFECT BITE.

Perfectly cooked pasta coated in a creamy barbecue sauce, juicy grilled chicken and bursts of fresh produce in corn, peppers and green onions. Everything you love about Summer in just one bite.

Go ahead and lick your plate {when no one is watching}.

To find any Cookies BBQ products in your area, visit their store locator here.

Collage of bowls of bbq chicken pasta salad and Cookies BBQ Sauces and Seasonings.

A huge shout out to one of my favorite Iowa companies, Cookies BBQ for sponsoring this post. Together we created a great one!

After you try this recipe for your next gathering be sure to come back and let me know how much you enjoyed it. I always welcome star rating reviews on the below recipe card. It helps other readers to know just how great a recipe is!

This post is sponsored by Cookies BBQ Sauces and Seasonings

Would you like to comment?

  1. Looks so good!!

  2. This is SO GOOD. Have made a few times now. I add cilantro and I like to grill or air fry red bell peppers before throwing them in.