ABC Shrimp Salad is a perennial favorite but I just wasn't feeling it today. I was watching Food Network again while I was sick this past week and the Neelys made a version of this salad on their show. I was intrigued with the dressing, I love BBQ sauce on just about everything so how wrong could it be on pasta?? It was actually very good. Next time I'll make a bit more sauce so that it's more moist but overall this was a very, very good salad. I can see lots of options to customize it to your individual tastes. They used pulled pork on the show. I had baked chicken in the fridge so I used that instead of the pork. I also added corn and bacon. I can also see a vegetarian version using black beans being very good. I'm also going on the assumption that you can add about any vegetable that you like and it would work. The sky's the limit.
BBQ Pasta Salad
Adapted from Food Network-Down Home with the Neelys
1 lb curly pasta
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup mayo
1/2 c. BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
2 ribs celery, chopped fine
2 green onions, sliced thin
8-12 oz chicken
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup corn
Salt and pepper
Bring 4 qts water to a boil in a large pot. Salt water and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse and cool. Transfer to a large bowl.
In another bowl combine vinegar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, mayo and BBQ sauce. Whisk together until smooth. Add chopped vegetables and toss to coat. Pour dressing over pasta and mix well. Add chicken and bacon. Stir in if desired.