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posted October 26, 2022

Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is LOADED with tasty flavors and tossed in a creamy and delicious BBQ ranch dressing. Tender grilled BBQ chicken, tons of fresh veggies, roasted corn, and a sweet/zippy sauce make every single bite a little bit different.

Grilled chicken pasta salad in a wooden bowl with text overlay - Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad.

Chicken Pasta Salad

BBQ wouldn’t be complete without a handful of tasty sides and salads to compliment the main dish. This grilled chicken pasta salad is the perfect BBQ side for potlucks, weekend BBQs, and more. 

This salad is packed with a bunch of awesome ingredients, making it a satisfying side that can easily act as the main course. It’s great for family reunions, picnics, or any other time you’re needing a large side that will help feed a crowd. You can also adjust the servings to match your needs.

Chicken thighs and cobs of corn on the grill.

Ingredients for chicken pasta salad in a large wooden bowl.

Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad

Ready to make this salad? It’s packed with some awesome ingredients, so make sure to jot these all down.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 Tablespoon Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub (or your favorite BBQ Rub)
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup green onions

This recipe also uses homemade BBQ Ranch Dressing. This stuff is insanely good, and I highly recommend making extra to use in other recipes or as a dip. Here’s what you need for the dressing:

You can purchase all my products listed above in the Hey Grill Hey Store, or you can make Homemade Sweet Rub, Homemade Vegetable Seasoning, and Kansas City BBQ Sauce from scratch.

Hey Grill Hey Everything BBQ sauce being added to BBQ ranch dressing next to a bowl of pasta salad.

How to Make Chicken Pasta Salad

Once you have everything gathered up and ready to go, it’s time to make this salad! Here’s how to make chicken pasta salad (with grilled chicken and corn!).

  1. Preheat. Fire up your favorite grill (gas or charcoal work well for this recipe) and preheat it to 450 degrees F. Preheat the grill for two-zone grilling, with one direct heat side of the grill and one indirect heat side of the grill.
  2. Make the dressing. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and mix well to combine. Place the sauce in a sealed jar and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  3. Season the chicken. Season the chicken on all sides with Sweet Rub. If you don’t have a bottle of Sweet Rub on hand, you can make this rub using my recipe for Best Sweet Rub.
  4. Grill. Place the seasoned chicken and corn on the cob on the grill. Cook the chicken for 4-6 minutes per side (8-12 minutes total). If the chicken isn’t at 165 degrees F after this time, move them over to the indirect heat until they reach this target temperature.
  5. Chop. Remove the chicken and the corn from the grill. Chop the chicken into cubes, and cut the corn off the cob.
  6. Assemble. Add the cooked pasta, cubed cheddar cheese, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, avocado, and green onions to a large bowl. Top with the chicken and corn. Mix well to combine. 
  7. Add sauce and enjoy! Right before serving, add the sauce to the pasta salad and toss to evenly coat. Dig in!

BBQ ranch dressing being drizzled on top of a chicken pasta salad.

Tips for Grilling Chicken Pasta Salad

Here are some tips for making this awesome chicken pasta salad.

  • Make in advance. For easy assembly, do all of your chopping (except the avocado), grilling, noodle cooking, and dressing mixing in advance. When you’re ready to serve, toss it all together and enjoy.
  • Don’t dress too soon. With most pasta salads that use an oil-based vinaigrette, they’re almost better made in advance and mixed well before serving. Since this dressing is creamy, it is best tossed just before serving.
  • Got leftovers? Your noodles may have absorbed some of that tasty dressing, you can make some additional dressing to bring it back to life the next day or make things even easier on yourself and drizzle it with BBQ sauce.
  • When in doubt, add bacon! It’s not in the recipe, and not really needed, but bacon makes everything better, this salad included.

BBQ chicken pasta salad in a wooden bowl.

More BBQ Salad Recipes

Looking for more sides and salads to beef up your BBQ this weekend? Look no further than Hey Grill Hey! We have a handful of delicious grilled salads for any occasion.

Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

Connect with Hey Grill Hey! If you want to see more of my recipes, tips, and behind-the-scenes action, follow along on my social channels. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube!

Once you finish smoking and enjoying this , be sure to come back to this post and leave us a comment letting us know how it turned out. Hey Grill Hey is dedicated to creating an environment of supportive and backyard-friendly BBQers that are here to help you become a backyard BBQ hero.

BBQ chicken pasta salad in a wooden bowl.

Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad

Susie Bulloch
This pasta salad is LOADED with tasty flavors and tossed in a creamy and delicious BBQ ranch dressing. Tender grilled BBQ chicken, tons of fresh veggies, roasted corn, and a sweet/zippy sauce make every single bite a little bit different.
Prep Time : 20 mins
Cook Time : 15 mins
Total Time : 35 mins
Servings : 12 people
Calories : 374kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 Tablespoon Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub (link in recipe notes)
  • 2 ears sweet corn (husks and silk removed)
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta (cooked al dente according to package instructions and cooled)
  • 8 ounces medium cheddar cheese (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • ½ cup yellow bell pepper (cut into 1/4 inch thick slices)
  • ¼ cup red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 avocado (pitted, peeled, and diced)
  • ¼ cup green onions (whites and greens sliced)

BBQ Ranch Dressing

Instructions

  • Preheat. Turn on the grill and preheat it to 450 degrees F for two-zone cooking, with one high heat side and one indirect heat side.
  • Make the BBQ ranch dressing. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and stir well to combine. Refrigerate in a sealed jar until ready to use.
  • Season. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub.
  • Grill the chicken and the corn. Place the seasoned chicken on the direct heat side of the grill. Also, add the corn to the direct heat side of the grill. Close the lid and cook for 4-6 minutes. Open the lid, flip the chicken, and rotate the corn on the cob. Close the lid again and grill for an additional 4-6 minutes. Remove the corn and check your chicken for doneness with an internal thermometer. Your thighs should read 165 degrees F. If they aren’t quite ready, move them to the indirect heat side of the grill, close the lid, and continue cooking until you hit your target temperature.
  • Chop the chicken. Remove the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 4-5 minutes before chopping it into bite-sized pieces. Also, remove the corn from the cob and cut the corn off the cob.
  • Assemble. Add the cooked noodles to a large serving bowl. Next, add in the cubed cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper slices, red onion slices, diced avocado, and green onions. Add in the chopped chicken and corn. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Add the dressing. Right before serving, drizzle the BBQ ranch dressing over the salad and toss to evenly coat.
  • Enjoy. Serve the salad right after adding the dressing for the best flavor. Dig in!

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 285mg | Potassium: 343mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 386IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 184mg | Iron: 3mg
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