Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta

You know a Monday doesn’t go all that well when on your way home from work you stop into a Walgreens for a 2012 day planner and come out with a day planner and a 6-pack of Sam Adams Winter Lager. Don’t judge, it was a long day. And I only had one lager.

Where do I start with yesterday? Perhaps I jinxed myself…who knows. But as planned, the day was torture.

Was it the 1 hour and 45 minutes I spent in morning traffic getting to court? The 2 blocks I booked it to the court room to be on time? The 1 hour and 45 minutes I spent waiting in court only to be told my “not guilty” plea would earn me another 10 day wait for a piece of mail informing me of my next court date? The unpaid 2-hour meter that I, lord-loving, dodged a parking ticket in? Should I mention that I hadn’t had breakfast (running late) and couldn’t leave the courtroom to use the bathroom after feeding my coffee addiction in the way of 20 glorious ounces?

Then there was the 1 hour drive to the clinic..and then loads of work to do. And then off for another hour drive to go administer an exam. And then a 40-minute drive home (that included a pit stop for a 2012 planner and Sam Adams).

Did I mention it rained all…day…long? ‘Cause it did. Tomorrow, too. How lucky can one rain-hating girl get?

Without a doubt, the highlight of this week was Sunday night when I made this dish (things can only improve from here, I imagine). Sadly, I was SO excited to try this meal that my photo-taking resulted in very sub-par results. So firstly, don’t judge this recipe by its looks and secondly, make this recipe for a pick-me-up…or just because it rocked Mr. Prevention’s world. It’s simple, requires one skillet, and it’s some serious comfort food packing lots of flavor. Who said barbecue season was over? (Says the girl in Ohio who’s told to expect snow tomorrow…)


Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and My Kitchen Cafe

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1 red onion, diced
3 cups water
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
12 oz whole wheat penne pasta
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup 2% mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 cup 2% sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. 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, the pasta is tender and the mixture is thick and syrupy. Stir in the barbecue sauce and Greek yogurt. 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. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 383 calories; 7.5 g. fat; 45 mg. cholesterol; 343 mg. sodium; 57 g. carbohydrate; 6.5 g. fiber; 29.5 g. protein

Result: Honestly, this was an impressive meal. Between its likelihood to be a hit among young and old, awesome nutrition stats (under 400 calories, low in fat, sodium-controlled, high in fiber, and packed with protein), and the fact that it’s ready in 30-35 minutes from start to finish makes this one a huge hit. And one skillet…that’s it! No muss, no fuss! Enjoy!


Today will be a better day. I feel it just typing that “out loud” :)



  1. says

    This looks like something my hubby would love too! Your photography is getting better with each post Nicole- not that it was EVER bad but I’m so impressed with the photos you’re taking! :)

  2. says

    Whoa! I’m surprised you only had one lager! That sounds like quite a day. And I get so cranky when I haven’t eaten, so I probably would have been MISERABLE in that court room!
    The pasta sounds marvelous. I think Nick would be stunned if I handed him a bowl of pasta with sour cream, BBQ, AND cheese! I gotta do it.
    I hope today is a better one for you Nicole.

    • Nicole says

      I changed the sour cream to Greek yogurt in the ingredient list, but forgot to in the instructions. The Greek yogurt worked great in place of the sour cream…and I think any man would love this (or woman!).

  3. says

    I despise anything that includes having to deal with the state. Today’s lunch hour will be “enjoyed” at the DMV. Where I’m almost positive I’ll have to return to tomorrow because I have absolutely no clue what I’ll need to bring with me for renewing my plates. Yes, I’m that clueless… and I have to have it done by the 30th. (oh, is that tomorrow?)

  4. says

    Oh no, I’m sorry about your day! I’m sending you a huge hug, my friend! You’re right, today can only get better. :)

    This pasta looks amazing…definitely a pick-me-up on a chilly/damp fall or winter day!

  5. says

    I love this dish and have made it many times for people who have had babies since it is such a great recipe. I’ve never thought about making it healthy though. Thanks for doing it for me, I’ll have to try it with the Greek yogurt!

  6. says

    sub par?…your photos are just beautiful! Even the ones you dub as sub par! Sorry for the crap day…hopefully a better one is on the horizon for ya . Hubby wouldn’t like this, but boys and I would…so maybe for a day he isn’t dining with us!

  7. says

    Sorry yesterday sucked ass Nicole – but today will be a better day – I just know it! 😀

    Love your dish – sans the red onions – ew!

  8. says

    I was going to make a funny comment about the Sam Adams coming from Walgreens – then I kept reading! Yikes that is rough day!!!

    As for the pasta. Oh. M. Gee. I love stuff like this!

    • Nicole says

      Allison, thank you for your sweet comment — I’m glad you enjoyed the pasta! I just checked out your blog and wow – you are a SPEED DEMON! I look forward to reading more :)

  9. Dawn says

    I just made this the other night and It is definitely a new favorite in our house! It was so good! Thanks for sharing!

  10. says

    This was such a great dish! I feel like I’ve been making everything you post lately, haha! My one year old is super picky but LOVED the BBQ flavor the pasta and chicken, plus my husband is total guy and the taste of anything BBQ excites him!


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