Barbecue Chicken Penne

Lunch / Dinner

Barbecue Chicken Penne

This unique pasta sauce proves that fresh can be fast and is always best. Plus, once you see how easy it is to make, you’ll never go back to jarred sauce again.

Just because it isn’t barbecuing weather doesn’t mean the flavors are tabled for the season. Create the rich, intense, smoky flavor of barbecue in a traditional Italian tomato sauce. Just one special ingredient — barbecue spice mix — makes a whole new kind of red sauce to smother your pasta.


4 servings

Total Time

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Test Kitchen Tip

Barbecue seasoning mixes may also be labeled as rubs or spice mixes. Feel free to use your favorite.


Preheat oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with foil.

For the chicken, toss together chicken, oil, and 2 Tbsp. barbecue spice mix; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Roast chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°, about 15 minutes. Divide cheese evenly among chicken breasts, sprinkling on in last minute of cooking.

For the pasta & sauce, cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water according to package directions; drain.

Cook bacon in a sauté pan until crisp; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and reserve 2 Tbsp. drippings.

Sauté bell peppers in drippings in same pan over high heat until liquid evaporates, 810 minutes.

Add garlic and onions; cook 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp. barbecue spice mix.

Stir in crushed and diced tomatoes, reduce heat to medium–low, and cook sauce 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, sugar, and bacon; season with salt and black pepper.

Toss sauce with pasta. Top each serving with a sliced chicken breast and garnish with cilantro.


There’s no need to thaw the frozen peppers. Just sauté them over high heat until all liquid evaporates.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

Calories: 816

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 32g 49%

Saturated Fat 11g 55%

Cholesterol 149mg 49%

Sodium 2309mg 96%

Carbs 66g 22%

Fiber 5g 20%

Protein 61g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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