Loaded Southwestern BBQ Pasta Salad — an easy make ahead pasta salad that’s loaded with flavor, veggies, and fun! Your whole family will love it!
I made this pasta salad for a pool party we attended. I love the fact that this full flavored super yummy pasta salad doesn’t have mayo in it (as you know, I’m not a fan of mayo). This would be great for a picnic or any summer get-together! It’s perfect for lunches as well; pack up some pasta salad and a little sandwich, and you’re brown bagging it in style!
This Loaded Southwestern BBQ Pasta Salad was a big hit! Black beans, creamy BBQ dressing, all the southwestern veggies! Super yummy.
Use any smaller pasta that you like. Macaroni, farfalle, fusilli, rotini, anything fun. Use your favorite BBQ sauce for this. I used a nice mesquite flavor BBQ sauce the first time I made this, it added a nice smokey flavor to the dish. Maybe you like your BBQ sauce a little spicy, a little sweet, a little fruity, it’s all good. Use your favorite, the one you like the best!
If you wanted to make this more of a main dish, you could throw some cooked shredded chicken into it. I’d also love some cut up sausages (veggie links for me please) tossed into it.
I use a little quick cooking trick for the red onions so they aren’t so harsh and overpowering. Just place them in your strainer or colander, drain the boiling pasta water over the onions, and voila, easy softened onions!
Loaded Southwestern BBQ Pasta Salad
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- 1 pound small shape pasta
- ½ cup red onion , finely diced
- ¾ cup BBQ sauce
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 can black beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn , thawed
- ½ red bell pepper , diced
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta cooks, place chopped red onion in the bottom of a strainer. Once pasta has cooked, pour the boiling water over the red onion through the strainer, and strain the cooked pasta. Place the drained pasta and red onion in a large bowl and allow to cool.
- In a smaller separate bowl, stir together BBQ sauce, sour cream, chives, cilantro, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and thyme and pour over pasta. Toss to mix.
- Add all remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Garnish with additional shredded cheddar and chives or cilantro as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.