BBQ chicken pasta salad is a crowd pleasing favorite with mozzarella cheese, olives, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, and artichoke hearts.
This is the absolute best chicken pasta salad I’ve ever had. My mom has been making this for as long as I can remember. Growing up this was a summer staple that my mom would make sometimes in a triple batch so we could enjoy it for a few days.
Using BBQ chicken makes this a hearty and full meal. Make the BBQ chicken for dinner the night before, making some extra to throw in this pasta salad. Or you can do what I’ve done in a pinch which is to use a rotisserie chicken cut up into pieces and toss the pieces in the BBQ sauce.
This BBQ chicken pasta salad is still one of my favorite go to dishes because it makes so much with even just one batch. The homemade dressing is wonderful and is even better when the salad has been allowed to sit. If we are having this for a party I’ll make it up in the morning and refrigerate it as long as possible. This allows the cheese and pasta to soak up the dressing a little bit. I like to serve it with Honey Lime Fruit Salad for a complete meal perfect for summer.
Blanching the broccoli isn’t an absolute must, but it’s so easy to do and it really brightens up the broccoli. That way the broccoli is that lovely rich green rather than a kind of grey-green that it can sometimes look especially when paired with all of the other ingredients in the chicken pasta salad.
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BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad
- 1 lb . Spiral pasta
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes , whole
- 3.8 oz can sliced black olives
- 1/2 med. red pepper , cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 med. green pepper , cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cups broccoli florets , cut into bite size pieces
- 8 oz . mozzarella cheese , cubed into approx. 1/2 inch squares
- 3 lg chicken breasts , cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 12.2 oz jar of artichoke hearts , halved
- 1 cup celery , coarsely chopped
- 1 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp ground rosemary
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking blanch broccoli florets in the pasta water for about 60-90 seconds. Remove broccoli and allow to cool. When pasta is done remove from the water and allow to cool.
Add salad ingredients into a large bowl.
Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour over pasta salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.