BBQ Macaroni Salad
A unique twist on classic macaroni salad, this meaty BBQ version is utterly addicting; its perfect for a potluck, BBQ or a simple meal.
A deliciously unique twist on classic macaroni salad, this meaty BBQ version is utterly addicting and is perfect for a potluck, summer BBQ or just a simple weeknight meal.
The pasta salad, chock full of seasonings, meat (optional for all you non-meat-lovers out there) and crunchy vegetables, manages to be both flavorful and light.
The creamy BBQ/mayo sauce combined with the smoky seasonings coats the noodles with a tangy, sweet blend of flavor and tastiness.
After trying this recipe, I’m not sure I will ever want to get all crazy and venture out to make regular old classic macaroni salad again.
And judging by how this was absolutely inhaled at the church potluck I brought it to – well, I’d say the BBQ version is here to stay.
BBQ Macaroni Salad
- 8-12 ounces turkey kielbasa, diced
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 4 green onions, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- ½ cup BBQ sauce (see note)
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon canola oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped turkey kielbasa and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a paper towel-lined plate and let it cool slightly before using in the recipe.
- In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the macaroni and cook until nearly tender, about 6 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse with cold water until cool, draining again briefly. Transfer the moist pasta to a large bowl.
- Stir in the kielbasa, bell pepper, celery, green onions, vinegar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Let the pasta sit for about 5 minutes to absorb the flavors. Stir in the mayonnaise and barbecue sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- The salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Check the seasonings before serving and stir in a few tablespoons of warm water before serving, if needed to bring the salad back to its creamy texture.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from The Cook’s Country Cookbook