This pasta salad has it all, BBQ, ranch, tomatoes, avocados, corn and more! It’s perfect for picnics, BBQs, potlucks and more!
Macaroni salad is a summertime must. It is a great make ahead dish so all you have to do is pull it out and serve it when it’s time to eat. This version is loaded with taste and texture. There is the ranch and bbq sauce of course, but also veggies and that wonderful pasta. Top it with a drizzle of BBQ sauce and a few fresh herbs for a pop of extra flavor.
Summer is definitely in full swing around here! The heat and humidity are up, sure, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Nope, I’m talking about BBQs and picnics!
Summer just begs for a few of each. Maybe I should change that to quite a few in our case!
Whether that means spreading a blanket under the tree in the backyard to eat a sandwich and piece of fruit or something more sophisticated that requires a basket and some travel, it is all fun!
I batted around the idea of putting together a fun sandwich or wrap, but couldn’t find the inspiration for something fun and new. In reality, I basically never eat sandwiches unless it’s the occasional grilled cheese and those aren’t very picnicy.
My husband eats sandwiches almost every day, by I wouldn’t consider his ham, cheese, mustard and mayo on white bread very earth-shattering!
So I moved on to what I’ve been really loving lately, a picnic salad! I have definitely had a thing for them these past couple of years.
For a little while I made a bunch of quinoa salads, the caprese quinoa salad was our favorite. Of course I love our deviled egg potato salad and recently I’ve been into other grain salads. Both the asparagus barley salad version and the Mexican street corn version are amazing!
But this week I was in the mood for a delicious pasta salad. It is amazing how many ways you can switch up a salad like this.
But this time I thought I’d use some of our favorite classic summer flavors. That’s right, BBQ, ranch, tomatoes and corn. Doesn’t that sound like summer already?
I made ours as a side dish, but you could add some chicken and make it the whole meal if you’d like. Take a big bowl to a potluck and watch it disappear or spoon it into jars as an easy carry along to a picnic.
You can use ranch seasoning from a packet or make your own seasoning mix and adjust the amount to your flavor preferences. I wanted it to have a noticeable ranch flavor without it kicking you in the face, you may choose to add a little more depending on your taste.
While this salad is the prettiest and freshest the first day, it does keep rather well. We ate it as a side dish on Sunday and then I brought some to work for lunch the next several days along with some greens. A few days in the avocados start to oxidize, but it still tastes great!
So break out your pick-i-nick baskets and throw together this salad. You might as well head out and soak in some of this sunshine!