We were having grilled chicken the other night and I wanted something quick for a side dish. One of my favorite blogs is Mel's Kitchen Cafe and that's where this recipe comes from. I made a few changes most notably I used orechiette since Trader Joe's doesn't carry macaroni noodles. The salad was delicious and a perfect addition to our meal.
BBQ Macaroni Salad
8-12 ounces turkey kielbasa, diced (I left this out since we had chicken as a main course)
1 pound elbow macaroni (orechiette)
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
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise (I used full fat organic since that's what I had in the fridge)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
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 it’s creamy texture.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from The Cook’s Country Cookbook