Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta

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*Note: I've updated the recipe (on 7/2012) to reflect changes I've made over the years, namely to reduce the amount of liquid while cooking the pasta. If you have made this in the past and loved it as is, the original ratio was 5 1/2 cups liquid (3 cups water, 2 1/2 cups chicken broth) to 12 ounces pasta.


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks

1 red onion, diced

2 cups water

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 ounces penne pasta

2/3 cup barbecue sauce

1/3 cup sour cream

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat (you could also use a large pot if you don't have a skillet this big). When hot, add the chicken and onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken and onions to a plate and set aside.

In the same skillet, add the water, chicken broth, penne and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the liquid is almost absorbed and the pasta is tender. Stir in the barbecue sauce and sour cream. Once mixed, add in the reserved chicken, onions and shredded cheese. Stir to combine and cook until everything is heated through.

Serve immediately and garnish with additional red or green onions and shredded cheese.