Tired of dinner decisions? Enjoy a 14 day trial to our meal plan service, voted #1 by Lifehacker, and reduce your mental load today.

Barbecue Chicken Thighs
and macaroni salad with broccoli / watermelon

Active: 35 Total: 45
Tonight we're staying close to home with a classic summer meal from the United States. Barbecue sauce becomes a thick, sticky glaze when brushed onto chicken thighs in this meal that was last featured in 2019 and feels quintessentially summer.
Smarts: The noodles will soak up the creamy sauce used in the pasta salad, so wait to stir everything together until shortly before serving.
Cooking methods: This recipe includes instructions for using the oven or grill. Select your preferred method.
Tags

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Barbecue Chicken Thighs:
  • Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 1 1/2 lbs
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Barbecue sauce - 1/2 cup, plus extra for serving
Watermelon:
  • Watermelon - 1 lb, cubes or wedges
Macaroni Salad with Broccoli:
  • Pasta, macaroni - 4 oz (sub any small pasta shape)
  • Bell peppers, red - 1/2, finely diced
  • Shallots - 1 clove, diced
  • Broccoli florets - 8 oz, finely chopped
  • Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Mayonnaise - 2 Tbsp
  • Sour cream - 2 Tbsp (sub plain or Greek yogurt)
  • Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
  • Vinegar, apple cider - 2 tsp

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Just a moment...
% Daily Value
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...

Increase your nutrition smarts

Choose Cooking Method

Prep

  1. Pasta - (If prepping right before cooking, get grill heating before continuing with prep.) Boil pasta according to package directions. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Bell peppers / Shallots / Broccoli - Prep as directed. (Chop these ingredients fairly small since they will be mixed into the pasta salad.) Combine bell peppers and shallots. Store broccoli separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Steam broccoli - Place broccoli florets in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and microwave on high until they are tender but still have some crunch, 2 to 3 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Make dressing - Combine garlic powder, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, and vinegar. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  5. Chicken - Tenderize chicken and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  6. Watermelon - Slice into wedges or cubes for serving.

Unlock this meal along with hundreds of smart meal plans and never stress about "What's for dinner?" again

Try for free
Learn More

Make

  1. Heat grill to 450F / 232C degrees. Clean grates and brush with cooking oil.
  2. While grill is heating, combine pasta, bell peppers, shallots, and broccoli. Add dressing and stir to combine. Season with some salt and pepper. Refrigerate while chicken cooks.
  3. Grill chicken, turning every few minutes until chicken reaches 165F / 74C degrees, 8 to 12 minutes. During the last few minutes of cooking, generously brush chicken on both sides with barbecue sauce, repeating several times.
  4. Serve chicken with some extra barbecue sauce. Enjoy pasta salad and watermelon on the side.

Prep

  1. Pasta - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing with prep.) Boil pasta according to package directions. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Bell peppers / Shallots / Broccoli - Prep as directed. (Chop these ingredients fairly small since they will be mixed into the pasta salad.) Combine bell peppers and shallots. Store broccoli separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Steam broccoli - Place broccoli florets in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and microwave on high until they are tender but still have some crunch, 2 to 3 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Make dressing - Combine garlic powder, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, and vinegar. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  5. Chicken - Tenderize chicken and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  6. Watermelon - Slice into wedges or cubes for serving.

Unlock this meal along with hundreds of smart meal plans and never stress about "What's for dinner?" again

Try for free
Learn More

Make

  1. Heat oven to 425F / 218C degrees.
  2. While oven is heating, combine pasta, bell peppers, shallots, and broccoli. Add dressing and stir to combine. Season with some salt and pepper. Refrigerate while chicken cooks.
  3. Heat a skillet with cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs and sear on one side until golden brown. Flip chicken thighs and brush the tops generously with barbecue sauce. Transfer skillet to oven and continue cooking in the oven for 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the thickness of chicken), until chicken reaches 165F / 74C degrees.
  4. Serve chicken with some extra barbecue sauce. Enjoy pasta salad and watermelon on the side.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Just a moment...
% Daily Value
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...

Increase your nutrition smarts


Reviews

Ratings

Original (34)
Gluten-free (1)
Paleo (4)
Vegetarian (7)

Most Helpful

Added the broccoli to the pasta water instead of steaming it in the microwave.

By: Alexander
Posted: Jul 27, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
2 Helpful

17 reviews

Delicious! My favorite things at a backyard bbq are the sides so this was like a whole dinner of sides. We really liked the beans and the mac salad.

By: Julie
Posted: Oct 03, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

My partner doesn’t typically like mayonnaise-based salads but this one was so good. The mix of sour cream and vinegar made it better than many macaroni salad’s I’ve had before. I roasted the broccoli first (425° for about 10 minutes), since I don’t own a microwave.

By: Kait
Posted: Aug 17, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Very tasty! I loved the macaroni salad in particular though next time I'd add more garlic powder and maybe some dried mustard too for a bit of an extra kick.

By: Vickie
Posted: Aug 12, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

I chose this meal because I'd wanted to use up leftover fresh broccoli. The doctored up BBQ sauce is very tasty. I made the salad precisely as instructed and it's very good also. When you look at it, the salad is mostly green because of the broccoli so be ready for that if you have picky kids who won't even try it or who don't like broccoli. I'd call it "Broccoli Salad with Pasta."

By: Sandra
Posted: Aug 10, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

I only made the chicken, but it was super easy and tasty. I'll have to try the pasta salad another time.

By: Caitlin
Posted: Aug 06, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Used chicken tenders. Easy meal to pull together. Salas is delicious!

By: Alyssa
Posted: Aug 02, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful