BBQ Pasta Salad

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This BBQ Pasta Salad is sure to be unforgettable at your next potluck or summer party! This delectable salad is loaded with BBQ pulled pork, sharp Cheddar cheese, crisp corn, and other fresh veggies. Drizzle a BBQ-spiked creamy dressing on and this salad is ready to devour.

Overhead image of BBQ Pasta Salad BBQ Pasta Salad

Who else eats pasta salads like crazy during the summer? They are always one of our go-to choices during the summer, since the whole family loves them, the oven doesn’t need to be turned on, and they come together so quickly.

This Mediterranean Pasta SaladTaco Pasta Salad, and Asian Pasta Salad have been on frequent rotation this summer. They’re all quite different from each other and total crowd pleasers; my boys practically lick their plates clean — that is, as long as I leave out any olives, ha!

This pulled pork BBQ Pasta Salad is another unique pasta salad, and equally as crowd-pleasing and quick to assemble. When you read pulled pork and quick in the same sentence you may be questioning that, because we all know pulled pork takes a good part of the day on a smoker (or in the slow cooker) to be ready.

So for this salad, we use a convenient store shortcut — pre-cooked, seasoned, and sauced pulled pork. It works so well in this salad.

Ingredient shot of all the ingredients that go into BBQ Pasta Salad.

Let’s talk pulled pork

Store-bought pulled pork has made its appearance a couple of times on this site since it is so convenient when you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table. BBQ Pasta Salad uses about half of a standard pulled pork container, so you can use the rest of it in one of our other favorite pork recipes — like this BBQ Pork Pizza. You could even throw the entire container in the salad if you’d like a more meat-centric dish.

I recommend using your favorite store-bought pulled pork — one you’ve tried and know you love. If you don’t know where to start, my personal favorite (readily available) pulled pork is Jack Daniel’s Pulled Pork with BBQ Sauce®.

Another great alternative is using leftover pulled pork. If you’ve made your own pork, it will work perfectly in this salad. Simply toss it in some BBQ sauce (to taste) before adding it to the pasta. The pulled pork in these Pork Taquitos is a personal favorite pork recipe.

BBQ Pasta Salad dressing ingredients

  • Mayo. A good mayo can make all the difference in the dressing and the salad as a whole. We love Hellman’s/Best Foods® in this dressing.
  • BBQ sauce. Any BBQ sauce you enjoy is one you’ll likely enjoy in this dressing. My personal favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ® (original) sauce or Stubb’s Original BBQ® sauce.
  • Apple cider vinegar. This helps balance the sweetness from the mayo and BBQ sauce.
  • Hot sauce. Here’s another ingredient to help balance the sweetness. I don’t find the sauce makes it spicy, but rather works to balance flavors. Add slowly or leave it out if you are concerned about heat.
  • Seasonings. Chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and a little salt and pepper add depth of flavor and a tiny kick to the dressing. Again, add spices slowly if you are worried about the heat.

More ways to use BBQ Sauce:

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BBQ Pasta Salad

5 from 2 votes
BBQ Pasta Salad is sure to be unforgettable at your next potluck or summer party! This delectable salad is loaded with BBQ pulled pork, sharp Cheddar cheese, crisp corn, and other fresh veggies. Drizzle on a BBQ-spiked creamy dressing and this salad is ready to devour.
Print Recipe

BBQ Pasta Salad

5 from 2 votes
BBQ Pasta Salad is sure to be unforgettable at your next potluck or summer party! This delectable salad is loaded with BBQ pulled pork, sharp Cheddar cheese, crisp corn, and other fresh veggies. Drizzle on a BBQ-spiked creamy dressing and this salad is ready to devour.
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword BBQ Pasta Salad
Prep Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Calories 616kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $8.21

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (227g) farfalle (bowtie) pasta (1/2 of 1 box; about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 2 small ears fresh corn (or 1 cup (135g) frozen corn)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced (~3/4 cup;105g)
  • 2 stalks celery (~1/2 cup; 66g)
  • heaping 1/2 cup (66g) sharp cheddar Cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 2 thinly sliced green onions, (~1/4 cup; 13g)
  • 1 cup (250g) seasoned and fully cooked BBQ pork cooked according to package instructions (Note 1) (~1/2 of 1, 16 ounce container)

Salad "Dressing":

  • 1/2 cup (100g) mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup (72g) BBQ sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (like TABASCO)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Small pinch cayenne pepper, optional
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • PASTA:  Prepare the pasta according to package directions. (Don't cook all the pasta; only use 3 cups!) Make sure to generously salt the water. (I add 1 teaspoon to every 4 cups of water.) Don't forget to salt the pasta water or the whole salad will taste under-seasoned. If using frozen corn, add it to the boiling pasta water 1 minute before pasta will be done. Drain pasta, rinse under cold water, let cool, and allow to dry. Thoroughly dry before adding it to the other ingredients. Add cooked and cooled pasta to a large bowl.
  • PREP VEGGIES: While the pasta is cooking, prep the veggies/other salad additions. Cook pork according to package directions and allow to cool to room temperature. Use two forks to shred the pork a bit more if needed. If using fresh corn, grill (See Note 2) or simply cut it off the cob and add to the salad raw. Dice the pepper, thinly slice the celery, cube Cheddar cheese pieces, and thinly slice green onions. In a large bowl, add the pulled pork, corn, pepper, celery, Cheddar cheese, and green onions.
  • DRESSING: In another small bowl, whisk together the mayo, BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. (Add to taste, I add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.) Whisk until combined and smooth.
  • DRESS: Pour dressing over the salad (adding to preference-- you may not want it all). Gently toss ingredients until combined. Taste again and season with any additional salt/pepper as needed. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.
  • STORAGE: This salad is best enjoyed the same day it is made. If making it ahead of time, I recommend keeping the salad and dressing separated and combining the two right before eating.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Either use leftover BBQ pulled pork or get some from the freezer/fridge section in the grocery store. (My personal favorite is Jack Daniel's Pulled Pork with BBQ Sauce.) Cook according to package directions. If you'd like the salad to have more meat in it, add the entire container.
Note 2: If you'd like to grill the corn, preheat the grill to 400 degrees F. Shuck and remove silk from corn. Rub oil all over the sides (about 1/2 teaspoon) and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Place corn on the grill and with the lid closed, turn every 3-5 minutes (check at 3 minutes, turning 4 times total) until the corn is nicely charred and crisp-tender. Remove corn from the grill, allow to cool slightly, and cut off the cob.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 616kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 810mg | Potassium: 402mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1543IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 269mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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6 Comments

  1. I feel like I eat pasta salads ALL THE TIME in the summer, they’re just so good! I’m loving this barbecue version, Chelsea! So creative! I don’t think I’ve ever made one quite like this before. I love the addition of pulled pork. Sounds delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    Heyy you are an aammaazziinggg chef, do you have a cookbook?? Cos if you don’t you should definitely make one!!

    1. You are so kind! Thank you 🙂 I don’t have one currently, but hopefully someday in the future!

  3. I made this last night. I used smoked chicken instead of pork. My friend that smoked the chicken, has his own brand of bbq sauce so I used that in the dressing. It was soooo good. Will make this again!

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