We have been on a non-stop BBQ menu rotation the past few weeks between the Fourth of July celebrations, hosting a friend’s bridal shower, and my husband’s newfound hobby: cooking in his new Kamado-style smoker. There are zero complaints over here, I love all of the outdoor cooking and dining. I have found though, that my usual BBQ-side repertoire was getting a little bit stale. In an effort to mix it up, I decided to give a fresh spin to one of my favorite BBQ side — macaroni salad. I love a classic macaroni salad but have been looking for something a bit more grown-up and a tad bit lighter for these warm weather al fresco dinners. This version has a lemon-herb dressing that I made with tons of fresh herbs from the garden and bright citrus combined with Dijon and mayonnaise. For color and crunch I mixed in red peppers and red onions, and loads of cracked black pepper and peas. I’m definitely going to be adding this one to future BBQ menus! Get the recipe below:
- 1 lb of Small Pasta (Bowties, Elbows, Medium Shells)
- ½ Cup of Frozen Peas
- ½ Large Lemon, juiced and zested
- ½ Cup of Mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp of Dijon Mustard
- 2 Tsp of Fresh Thyme, minced
- 2 Tsp of Fresh Parsley, minced
- 2 Tsp of Fresh Basil, minced
- ½ Cup of Red Pepper, diced
- ½ Cup of Red Onion, diced
- Black Pepper
- Additional chopped fresh herbs for garnish
- Prepare pasta as directed, add frozen peas to the boiling pasta water for the final 1-2 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Prepare the dressing by whisking together the lemon juice and zest with mayonnaise, dijon mustard, and fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, basil).
- Once pasta and peas are cooled to room temperature, coat them with the lemon-herb dressing and mix in the red pepper and red onion pieces. Toss to fully combine and season well with black pepper to taste.
- Chill for at least 30-minutes before serving, and garnish with additional fresh herbs.
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