BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese

This post may contain affiliate links.

BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese is an easy recipe made in 29 minutes. It combines the delicious flavors of BBQ chicken with creamy mac and cheese! This family friendly dish is sure to be a hit with everyone at the dinner table!

BBQ Chicken mac and cheese in large oval casserole dish topped with fresh chopped cilantro

When it comes to creating new recipes for the blog, I love putting creative new twists on classic blog favorites.

The most popular recipe on the blog is Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne. I created this recipe in my first 6 months of blogging and it’s been a hit every year since! It’s simple, cheesy, pasta deliciousness. What’s not to love?

If you love BBQ Chicken Pizza (which, come on, who doesn’t?!) you’re going to love this BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese!

The combination of creamy mozzarella cheese with BBQ chicken, equals winner, winner chicken mac and cheese for dinner! If you’re looking for a big bowl of comfort food, you’ve come to the right place!

Mac and cheese topped with bbq sauce and cilantro in large oval baking dish

How to make BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese

Cook macaroni noodles in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside. In a separate large pot on the stove over medium high heat, add cream cheese and chicken broth. Whisk consistently until the cheese is melted and smooth.

Reduce the heat to medium and add onion powder,  garlic powder, kosher salt and black pepper. Add shredded mozzarella cheese and stir continuously until the cheese has melted into the sauce. Add shredded chicken and barbecue sauce to the pot with the cooked macaroni noodles. Stir everything together, then transfer to a serving bowl and top with fresh cilantro.

Can I make this mac and cheese vegetarian?

Yes! Simply omit the chicken. The cheesy BBQ sauce is so good on it’s own, you can definitely make the dish without the chicken. You’ll also want to substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Feel free to toss in some veggies too! Instead of the cooked, shredded chicken, add some roasted veggies to the dish.

Prior to starting the mac and cheese recipe, place veggies on a baking sheet. Broccoli and cauliflower florets or diced bell peppers and zucchini all work great.

Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and top with salt and pepper. Place in a 400°F oven for 15-20 minutes. Toss the veggies into the dish at the end with the pasta.

Can I make this recipe gluten free?

Of course! Simply substitute gluten free macaroni noodles into the dish. While most chicken broths and BBQ sauces are gluten free, it’s always a good idea to check the labels to confirm.

How many calories are in BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese? 

This recipe serves 4 people and is 748 calories per serving.

Mac and cheese in large oval baking dish, topped with bbq sauce, with a large serving spoon in the dish

Can’t get enough mac and cheesiness in your life?! Try these other delicious Mac and Cheese Recipes!

Mac and cheese topped with bbq sauce and cilantro in oval casserole dish
4.75 from 4 votes
Print

BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese

BBQ Chicken Mac and Cheese is an easy recipe made in 29 minutes combining the delicious flavors of BBQ chicken with creamy mac and cheese!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 29 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 748 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 12 oz uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 8 oz cream cheese cubed
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 cups cooked & shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • ½ cup bbq sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Cook the macaroni noodles according to package directions, drain, then set aside.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, add the cream cheese and chicken broth to a separate large pot on the stove, and bring to a boil.

  3. Whisk consistently until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.

  4. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, combine well, then add the mozzarella cheese.
  5. Stir continuously until the cheese has melted into the sauce, then add the chicken and bbq sauce.
  6. Add the cooked macaroni noodles, stir to combine, then transfer to a serving bowl and top with the cilantro.

Recipe Notes

Vegetarian Option: Omit the chicken.  The cheesy BBQ sauce is so good on its own, you could definitely do it without chicken! Also, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Gluten Free Option: Substitute gluten-free macaroni noodles. Always make sure the chicken broth and BBQ sauce used is gluten-free.