{Slow Cooker} BBQ Chicken Chili Mac

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 40 mins
Servings 6 servings

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Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Chili Mac is a hearty one pot pasta meal that cooks completely in the crockpot!

black slow cooker with bbq chicken chili mac and title above image in black
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You guys, I think sometimes I underestimate this whole it-being-winter thing.

Can you blame me? Sometimes it feels really strange to make supper at 3:00 just so I can photograph it for the blog. And then there’s that awkward “do you try to keep it warm until it’s actually supper or do you refrigerate it and reheat it later?” issue.


metal spoon scooping bbq chicken chili mac from black slow cooker

So I made this and, quite frankly, it was fantastic. So I had to remake it at an unnatural time of day so I could get some decent photos for you, in the hopes that you might be able to see how fantastic it was.

As a food blogger, I love looking to other food bloggers, and recipe sites, and cookbooks for inspiration.

But I am super proud of myself when I actually think of a recipe idea that I’ve never seen before.

We cooked a chicken on the weekend so that I’d have some extra chicken to use for a quick and easy meal during the week. And slow cooker = quick and easy. And we pink puffy heart quick and easy. And slow cookers.

I tried a chili mac a little while ago, and it went over really well here. Then I thought, “Barbecue chicken. Chili Mac. Barbecue Chicken Chili Mac?!”

Just say yes.

grey bowl with bbq chicken chili mac topped with shredded cheese and chopped parsley

So I went to Pinterest. And I typed in “slow cooker chili mac”, and I didn’t find much. There were only a few recipes, and most added cooked pasta at the end of the cooking time. I wanted to do this without adding any extra pots. And I wanted that BBQ chicken chili flavour. And that I didn’t find anywhere.

Aside from stirring in the dry pasta half an hour before eating time, this is really a dump it and forget it kind of meal. But I’ll take that over completely mushy, overcooked pasta in my chili mac any day. And I had cooked chicken, so that’s what I used. But I don’t think you’d have any problems adding raw, diced chicken to the slow cooker at the beginning of the cooking time. It will probably release more juices into the chili, so you might want to reduce the liquid just a touch or add a touch more pasta.

*I have also made this with chopped turkey, and it’s just as fantastic!

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{Slow Cooker} BBQ Chicken Chili Mac

5 from 3 votes
{Slow Cooker} BBQ Chicken Chili Mac: a hearty one-pot pasta meal that cooks completely in the crockpot! Forget dirtying other dishes — you can cook it all together without risking mushy pasta. www.thereciperebel.com
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 40 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 6 servings
Calories 607cal


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 540 ml can black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed 19oz
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups dry macaroni about 340g
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  • Add chicken, pepper, onion, beans, chili, powder, tomatoes, garlic, barbecue sauce, ketchup and chicken broth to slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours (because I used cooked chicken, the cooking time is pretty flexible — if using raw chicken, you’ll want to cook at least 6-8 hours on low). Shred or chop the chicken.
  • Half an hour before you wish to serve, set slow cooker to high and stir in salt to taste and dry pasta.
  • After 20-25 minutes, check to see that your pasta is cooked (if not, give it a little more time. I found that 25 minutes was perfect). Stir in cheese and serve.


*I like to prep everything the night before, and just dump it in the slow cooker in the morning and turn it on. Saves a lot of time when things get crazy!
**NOTE: Nutrition information is estimated and will vary depending on exact serving size, types and brands of products used.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 607cal | Carbohydrates: 83g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 1442mg | Potassium: 1126mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 1715IU | Vitamin C: 41.1mg | Calcium: 371mg | Iron: 5.7mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Raegan Dyck says

    My family loved this meal tonight. So delicious and I’m not a chili lover. Great flavour and you don’t always get that in an easy crock pot recipe. Thank you!

  2. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain says

    Yeah winter is definitely kicking my butt too. It’s supposed to be -15 here tonight because of crazy polar vortex 2015, and man would my night be improved if it involved a giant bowl of this bbq chicken chili mac and cheese! So warm and comforting, I love this recipe, Ashley! 😀

    • Ashley says

      Thanks Jess! That sounds like the kind of weather we’re having too lately — we’ve had down to -45 Celsius! And yet, I’d still take a big bowl of ice cream after… Lol

  3. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says

    Ashley, I love this!!!! Barbecue Chicken Chili Mac is genius!!! and it looks freaking fabulous!! I totally feel you on cooking and shooting and doing all of this before an actual real meal time. . ah the life of a food blogger. . I, just like you, am at the mercy of the sun and natural light. . but I would have devoured this right after the photoshoot! 🙂

    • Ashley says

      Haha, I definitely sampled it Alice! I think I’ve just gotten used to the weirdness of it all and I only cook lunch now. Lol. Thanks so much!

  4. Christina @ Bake with Christina says

    What an awesome and delicious twist to classic mac & cheese! This seriously looks SO yummy and I just need a bowl full right now! Haha 😛 Pinned!

  5. Sarah @ The Gold Lining Girl says

    Omgosh – this looks perfect! Combines so many of my favorite things too, and it looks so warm and filling! It’s a great meal all on its own – one pot! I know what you mean about taking food photos – you have to wait for the perfect window of time when the sunlight is best, and that makes for some strange cooking hours! Haha!

  6. Sarah@WholeandHeavenlyOven says

    Oh man I’m SO there with you about having to photograph SO early in the day! I do all my photography between 9am and 10 and it seriously feels so weird making dinner so early in the morning! Not to mention the super-weird looks I get from my family! LOL. But this mac? Seriously SO freaking genius! I love that the whole thing cooks entirely in the crockpot!

  7. Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. says

    Isn’t the lack of light right now annoying! I keep thinking I have time to take photos of something and then suddenly it’s already dark. Oh well. This slow cooker macaroni looks so good, and I love that it’s all done in the slow cooker!

  8. Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says

    Haha, totally feel the same way 🙂 Sometimes I think I want to share a certain meal and then I get lazy when I think of what time I have to make it just to take a decent photo lol. This bbq chicken chili mac is such a great idea! I love that you combined these favorite meals into one. Yay for another slow cooker winner too! It looks incredible!!

    • Ashley says

      Thanks Kelly! I don’t mind cooking in the morning, but then we’re definitely eating leftovers for supper! Lol

  9. Kacey @ The Cookie Writer says

    I always LOVE your photography! That being said, I bet my dad would love this recipe (minus the onion since he has some weird phobia!) I always cook in the morning as well since this Canadian winter has made sure my natural light is ever-so lacking.

  10. Michelle { A Latte Food } says

    Yes, yes, yes–I feel you and the weird food timing issues. Plus, what’s worse is once I taste it, I totally want it now and not in a few hours. It’s a real test of my practically non-existent willpower. This chili, though, looks amazing. It literally encompasses three of my favorite things: mac, chili, and barbecue. Pinned!

  11. Shinee says

    Yes, this looks like a winner, Ashley!

    PS: Luckily the days are getting longer and longer from now on. Slowly, but sure. I totally understand your pain. 🙂

  12. Annie @Maebells says

    Oh yes! This is so my kind of meal! I rarely think of the BBQ chicken flavor unless we are grilling so I love that you incorporated that into a delicious winter time dish! And I am so with you on the unnatural times of day! Yesterday I was standing on a ladder right in the front window, photographing dinner at 10am then I realized my neighbor was standing in his yard watching me. :/ Awkward.

    • Ashley says

      Oh Annie, that’s so funny! Thankfully we don’t have neighbors watching here! I honestly can’t remember the last time I made supper… I’m always cooking in the morning so I can photograph the food! Lol

  13. Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen says

    I’ve been doing the same thing, making dinner early in the day just so I can photograph in natural light. It feels a little weird to have to reheat dinner the first day I made it – the things we do for blogging!

    I cannot wait to make this slow cooker chili mac! I have a feeling I’m going to need lots of easy meals like this in the coming weeks, and it looks like a warm, comforting meal for a cold night! Pinned!

    • Ashley says

      Haha, there are SO many great cooks out there sharing stuff, I’m always just amazed when I search and don’t find like 25 different versions already! Thanks Karen!

  14. Sherri@The Well Floured Kitchen says

    Love that I don’t have to cook the pasta separately! This looks amazing, pinning to try asap. The good news is that we’ve already passed the shortest day of the year- the light is coming back soon 🙂

  15. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says

    I totally feel the same way, Ashley! I think that’s why I focus more on baked goods, because I can make them anytime of the day. 🙂 This bbq chicken chili mac looks delicious! I love that you made this in the slow cooker. Sounds so flavorful and perfect for the winter!

    • Ashley says

      It totally makes sense Gayle! I love baking for that reason too! Thankfully, the husband is getting used to me only ever cooking lunch and not supper. Lol

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