Want a non-traditional dish to serve that’ll wow your family? The Best Shredded BBQ Chicken Macaroni and Cheese is a hybrid meal that is easy to prepare and made with simple ingredients. Slow cooked bbq flavored chicken breasts, a three cheese sauce cooked mixed green chiles and rigatoni, topped with pickled red onions. Make room for this flavor explosion one-pot meal you'll make over and over again!Jump to Recipe
WHAT IS SHREDDED BBQ CHICKEN MACARONI & CHEESE?
I was inspired to recreate this dish after dining with friends @wood_shop_bbq in Seattle! I'd had meals similar with a protein paired on top traditional mac and cheese but this dish was next level. With that said, it was only right that I recreate my own version of this delicious one pot style meal. In addition to the pickled red onions, the remaining ingredients create a flavor that just pairs so well together!
This dish is filled with slow cooked bbq chicken breasts as well as a three cheese sauce mixed with cooked rigatoni and canned green chilies. Next, this tasty meal is topped with additional bbq sauce, herbs and the start that brings this all together, pickled red onions.
With just a handful of pantry and fridge ingredients, you'll have a delicious meal to share with family and friends that will for sure start a pleasant conversation.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN THE BEST SHREDDED BBQ CHICKEN MAC & CHEESE?
As has been noted, this recipe requires general pantry and fridge staple ingredients. There are a few substitutions depending on what you have on hand. But first, let's discuss the ingredients you'll need.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- BBQ Sauce
- All Purpose Seasoning or BBQ Seasoning (listed in the recipe card)
- Cheddar Cheese
- Smoked Gouda Cheese
- Spicy Pepper Jack Cheese
- Diced Green Chilies
- Pickled Red Onion
- Dried or Fresh Parsley
SUBSTITUTIONS FOR SHREDDED BBQ CHICKEN MAC & CHEESE
I don't have chicken breasts on hand? Any substitutions? Yes! I've created a similar recipe using shrimp, it's just as good!
Do I have to use rigatoni? No. Rigatoni is what I prefer in this recipe. In detail, the large pasta is able to adhere to the cream sauce and a small amount, is extremely filling. Use whatever pasta you have on hand and follow the recipe instructions.
I'm not into spicy foods, can I make this without spice? In this case, omit the green chilies, spicy pepper jack and sriracha ingredients to make this recipe less spicy.
I've never prepared pickled red onions before. What do they taste like and how do I make them? Pickled red onions are the new trend, you must try them! With that said, I know they can be a bit questionable if you've never tried them. If you like pickled veggies or dill flavored pickles, you'll love pickled red onions. For this dish, the onions provide a tangy and almost sweet note that completes the bbq flavored dish. Click here to learn how to make them and be sure to watch the recipe video as well!
HOW TO PREPARE THE BEST SHREDDED BBQ CHICKEN MAC & CHEESE
This recipe is a simple to make. And by all means, be sure to prepare your crockpot chicken 2-3 hours before you are read to serve dinner. Remember that tipi and the rest is extremely simple.
Shredded BBQ Chicken
Let's get started with how to prepare this easy dish (that looks like it takes hours to create). My mouth is watering just typing the words out!
First, begin by placing chicken breasts in a small crockpot and add onion, bbq seasoning, bbq sauce and sriracha sauce. Cook on high for 2-3 hours until chicken is cooked through. *Note. Pound chicken breasts to 1” thick if very thick. This cuts down on cooking time and helps to not overcook and dry your chicken out.*
Lastly, shred chicken with two forks and keep on warm until the macaroni and cheese is prepared.
Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
First, preheat the oven to a low broil and then prepare the pasta water according to package instructions.
Next, in a large sauté pan, add butter and garlic paste. Sauté for 30 seconds and add heavy cream, whisking until combined. At the same time, slowly add in all cheeses stirring until thick and bubbly, season with white pepper (if you'd like to keep the sauce white in color).
Then add green chiles and stir. Lastly, mix rigatoni and cheese sauce and place in a baking dish and top with remaining cheddar cheese. Broil for 3-5 minutes until bubbly and golden.
Finally, to assemble- place cooked shredded bbq chicken on top of mac and cheese, drizzle with bbq sauce, garnish with parsley and top with pickled onion. Enjoy!
BBQ Smoked Chicken Mac & Cheese
- 1 lb Rigatoni
- 1 tsp Parsley
- 1 cup Pickled Red Onion
- ¼ cup BBQ Sauce for topping
BBQ/Smoked Chicken Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Favorite Season All
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- ½ teaspoon White Pepper or black pepper
- 1.5 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- 2 tb Water
Three Cheese Sauce
- 1.5 cups Heavy Cream
- 1 tsp Butter
- 1 teaspoon Garlic
- ½ cup Sharp Cheddar + ⅓ cup for topping
- ⅓ cup Smoked Gouda
- ¼ cup Spicy Pepper Jack
- 4.5 oz Can Diced Green Chilies
Crockpot BBQ Shredded Chicken
- 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1-2 tablespoon BBQ Seasoning
- ½ Onion
- ½ Cup BBQ Sauce
- ¼ cup Sriracha
- Prepare pickled onions according to listed recipe in blog post.
- Prepare rigatoni according to package instructions.
Crockpot Shredded BBQ Chicken Breasts
- Place chicken breasts in a small crockpot and add onion, bbq seasoning, bbq sauce and sriracha sauce.
- Cook on high for 2-3 hours until chicken is cooked through. *Note. Pound chicken breasts to 1” thick if very thick. This cuts down on cooking time and helps to not overcook and dry your chicken out.*
- Lastly, shred chicken with two forks and keep on warm until the macaroni and cheese is prepared.
Smokey/Spicy Mac & Cheese
- In a large sauté pan, add butter and garlic paste.
- Sauté for 30 seconds and add heavy cream, whisk.
- Slowly add in all cheeses stirring until thick and bubbly, season with white pepper.
- Add green chiles and stir.
- Mix rigatoni and cheese sauce, place in a baking dish and top with cheddar cheese.
- Broil for 3-5 minutes until bubbly and golden.
- To assemble; place shredded chicken on top of mac and cheese, drizzle with bbq sauce, garnish with parsley and top with pickled onion. Enjoy!
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