BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad
This pasta salad is anything but ordinary, and it has some unexpected, delicious flavors!
QUICK PICKLED ONIONS:
- ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup warm water
- ¾ tablespoon granulated white sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 16 ounces elbow or shell pasta, cooked according to package instructions
- 1½ cups chopped, cooked chicken
- ⅔ cup cubed white cheddar cheese
- ⅓ cup sliced scallions
- 1 large avocado, cubed
- 1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
- 1 cup fresh, sweet corn kernels
- ¼ cup cooked and crumbled bacon
- ¼ cup quick pickled onions
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
MAKE THE PICKLED ONIONS:
Place the onion in a large cup or jar. In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water, sugar and salt until sugar and salt are dissolved. Whisk in the vinegar, Pour the vinegar mixture over the onion. Let sit at room temp for 30 min. to 1 hour. Drain, and use for recipes. You'll need ¼ cup of the pickled onions for this pasta salad recipe. Use the rest for other salads or to top burgers!
ASSEMBLE THE SALAD:
In a small bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce, yogurt, mayo and honey.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the sauce. Add the chicken, cheese, scallions, avocado, tomatoes, corn, bacon and pickled onions.
Toss the salad gently until combined. Sprinkle on fresh cilantro; toss again. Serve!
- Make ahead tip: Prep all ingredients a day or two ahead of time and store them separately in the fridge. Stir together your dressing, and cook the pasta, chicken and bacon. Grate the cheese. Chop the tomatoes. Combine everything in a bowl just before serving.
- Leftovers of this pasta salad are wonderful! It won't be quite as saucy or creamy as on the first day, but it will still taste great. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.