BBQ chicken pasta recipe – yet another 30 minute wonder that absolutely anyone can pull off. It’s creamy, sweet, smoky and of course, gluten-free and Coeliac-friendly as always.
BBQ chicken pasta recipe, anyone? This one makes cooking from scratch feel like an absolute breeze and is actually incredibly budget-friendly too. With that smoky, sweet and creamy tomato sauce, who could possibly turn this one down?
This is exactly the kind of family friendly meal that I both crave and rely on from week to week. It’s such a nice spin on your average ‘pasta in tomato sauce dish’ – something which we end up eating far too often due to a general lack of cooking inspiration!
Whilst super simple in its execution, its bold flavours and ability to please whoever is around the table is very hard to match. Plus, using a bunch of store-cupboard ingredients, this recipe is super affordable and serves 4 without breaking the bank.
Best of all, this entire meal can be made on the hob so it’s relatively quick, easy and with very little mess to clean up afterwards.
Here’s all the humble, supermarket-friendly ingredients you’ll need:
BBQ chicken pasta recipe: What you’ll need…
- Dried gluten-free pasta: You’ll find this down the free from aisle in supermarkets without problems at all. I’d highly recommend using brown rice pasta if you find your pasta breaks very easily – it’s stronger yet without adding any extra unwanted extra flavour!
- Garlic-infused oil: An instant injection of wonderful garlic flavour – no chopping or pre-frying of fresh garlic required. And if your garlic oil doesn’t have any bits of actual garlic floating in it, then it’s low FODMAP too.
- Red (bell) pepper: This is just my pepper colour of choice for this recipe, though any others will do. Green is stronger in flavour, if you’d prefer.
- Chicken breasts: The timings of this recipe are centred around cooking the chicken breast perfectly, without drying it out. If using boneless chicken thighs, fry them until noticeably golden instead of just sealed as they’ll need a little longer.
- Cornflour or gluten-free plain flour: This is to help thicken the sauce – you should have enough thickening power from tomato puree and BBQ sauce but this helps to speed up the thickening process a lot also.
- Smoked paprika and cayenne pepper: Here’s my spices of choice for this recipe. Try and get smoked paprika if you can as it adds a ton more flavour. Cayenne pepper adds a mild heat so add more or less as required.
- Salt and pepper: These matter more than you think so don’t forget these! No need for heaps of either as stock and BBQ sauce will both contain salt and we’re already using cayenne pepper too.
- Tomato puree: This helps to thicken the sauce so it’s velvety smooth and not too thin. It also boosts the tomato flavour a bit too.
- Gluten-free chicken stock: Any stock will work, as long it’s gluten-free! You’ll find these cubes labelled as ‘gluten-free’ with all the other stock cubes in the supermarket. A ham stock cube works really well too as it adds even more of a smoky flavour.
- BBQ sauce: This isn’t a ‘special’ gluten-free BBQ sauce per se, it’s just a BBQ sauce that happens to have zero gluten-containing ingredients and no ‘may contain’ warnings. You’ll find them stocked with all the regular BBQ sauce – see the FAQ section below for a link to the one I used.
- Cream cheese: This adds a wonderful creamy finish that brings the final dish together.
- Extra mature cheddar: This is just for a finishing touch so feel free to use whatever grated cheese you prefer.
- Spring onion greens: Again, another finishing touch and the sweet onion flavour works so well against the BBQ sauce.
So, what does my BBQ chicken pasta taste like? As I mentioned, the sauce is not only smoky, sweet and luxuriously thick and tomato-y, but it also has a creamy element too thanks to the cream cheese.
The chicken chunks are super tender, with flavoursome bursts of red pepper throughout, which it also kind imparts upon the sauce too.
Finished with a sprinkling of cheddar and spring onions, this dish is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. For a cheesy, stringy, al forno finish, why not top with mozzarella instead of cheddar and pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown? It’s up to you!
Here’s a few frequently asked questions about different dietary requirements as well as links to the products I used:
BBQ chicken pasta recipe: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?
It is gluten-free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!
Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination.
Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make sure that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).
Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten-free products.
Can I make your BBQ chicken pasta recipe dairy-free?
All you’d need to do is use dairy-free cream (instead of cream cheese – use a like-for-like amount) and a smoked dairy-free cheese instead of cheddar for the topping. Easy!
Can I make your BBQ chicken pasta recipe veggie or vegan?
Of course! To make it veggie-friendly:
- Swap the chicken for either 250g extra-firm tofu, chopped into 1in cubes and coated in a little cornflour (ensure gluten-free) or 300g chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
- Use gluten-free veggie/vegan stock as required
To make it vegan:
- Combine the dairy-free and veggie advice above.
Is this recipe low FODMAP?
It can be – see the guidance below! With these changes made, one serving of the finished dish would be a safe low FODMAP serving size:
- Ensure your garlic-infused oil doesn’t have any actual bits of garlic floating in it (the one in Tesco is safe, but sadly the one in Aldi is not, for example)
- Use a low FODMAP stock cube to make the stock
- Use a low FODMAP BBQ sauce
Which BBQ sauce did you use?
I always tend to use this, but whatever you use, as long as it’s gluten-free, it’ll be fine!
Can I add more veg?
Yes, this really is a recipe you can make your own! However, make sure your pan is big enough or it won’t be able to accommodate the extra bulk. Here’s a few things I’ve added in the past:
- More red/green/yellow pepper (chopped into chunks)
- Mushrooms (diced)
- Courgette (diced)
- Celery (finely chopped)
Simply fry these along with red pepper as instructed in the recipe.
Is this a healthy recipe?
In my opinion, it is! If you want to make this recipe healthier, you can always do one or all of the below:
- Use light cheddar or just reduce the amount on top (or both!)
- Use a low-calorie garlic-flavoured spray instead of garlic infused oil
- Use low-fat cream cheese
Can I freeze your BBQ chicken pasta?
Yes! Once cooled, simply portion into airtight containers and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
To reheat from frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight then reheat in the microwave until piping hot in the middle.
You can also store this in the fridge for 3-4 days and microwave until piping hot too.
BBQ chicken pasta recipe: Tips for quick and easy prep + cooking
- Get all the ingredients out and ready (chopped, if needed!) before you start cooking. Trust me, it makes cooking feel a lot easier!
- Use gluten-free brown rice pasta if you can. It’s stronger and can take being overcooked without becoming fragile – the regular kind of gluten-free pasta is fine, just try not to overcook it or it can break easily when stirred!
- Once the pasta is done (try a bit to see if it’s hard or not) don’t cook it for any longer than you have to. Gluten-free pasta has a bad habit of easily falling apart when overcooked, so don’t leave it simmering too long once cooked. And once cooked, don’t stir everything too much after either!
- Don’t settle for a thin sauce. A thin sauce generally means you just need to simmer things for longer. You’ve got both flour and tomato puree to thicken the sauce, as well as a little residual starchiness that’ll inevitably coat the cooked pasta. So there’s no way you won’t get a beautiful, thick sauce!
- Add more cream cheese if you prefer an even creamier sauce. The current level of cream cheese adds a subtle creaminess, but double it for a more intense taste!
BBQ Chicken Pasta Recipe
- 250 g dried gluten-free pasta
- 2 tbsp garlic-infused oil
- 1 red (bell) pepper diced
- 2 chicken breasts skinless, boneless and chopped into 1in chunks
- 1 tbsp gluten-free plain flour or or cornflour
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- pinch salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 250 ml gluten-free chicken stock
- 100 ml BBQ sauce ensure gluten-free
- 1 tbsp cream cheese
- 50 g extra mature cheddar grated
- handful spring onion greens finely chopped
- Prepare the dried gluten-free pasta according to the packet instructions, drain and set aside.
- In a large pan, add the garlic oil and place over a medium heat. Add the red pepper and fry until slightly browned, followed by the chicken. Fry the chicken until sealed.
- Stir in the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper. Fry for a further minute.
- Add the tomato puree, stock, BBQ sauce and allow to bubble away and thicken up for around 10 minutes.
- Once thickened a little, mix in the cream cheese and then add the cooked pasta.
- Finish with grated cheese and chopped spring onion greens.
Thanks for reading all about my BBQ chicken pasta recipe! If you make it, I’d love to see how it turned out so don’t forget to take a snap of your creations and tag me on Instagram!
Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me on Instagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo!
Thanks for reading,
Don’t forget to pin this for later!