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Barbecue Chicken Thighs
and macaroni salad with broccoli / watermelon

Active: 35 Total: 45

Tonight we're featuring a classic summer meal. Barbecue sauce becomes a thick, sticky glaze when brushed onto chicken thighs in this quintessential summer meal that was last featured in 2021.
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
Proteins
Cuisines

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Barbecue Chicken Thighs:
  • Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 1 1/2 lbs
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Barbecue sauce, gluten-free - 1/2 cup, plus extra for serving
Watermelon:
  • Watermelon - 1 lb, cubes or wedges
Macaroni Salad with Broccoli:
  • Pasta, gluten-free macaroni - 4 oz (sub any small gluten-free pasta)
  • 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

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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.

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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.

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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
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Increase your nutrition smarts


Reviews

Ratings

Original (26)
Gluten-free (2)
Paleo (5)
Vegetarian (6)

22 reviews

Doubled dressing for Mac salad which was a good choice. Everyone enjoyed the meal.

By: Jennifer
Posted: Jul 18, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

A successful meal, easy and no leftovers,

By: Johanna
Posted: Jul 13, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

This was perfect! I dry rubbed chicken legs earlier in the day and added barbecue sauce at the end of cooking. I made the macaroni salad with bow tie macaroni and it held onto the dressing and veggies well. I used a frozen mix of broccoli/cauliflower/carrot that also worked well. This may be our go to summer pasta salad! And you can't beat a side of watermelon.

By: Barbie
Posted: Jul 11, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

This was great. I really loved the flavor of the beans - they’d make a great picnic/BBQ side as well!

By: Melissa
Posted: Jul 03, 2022
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

Refreshing Broccoli Salad, Easy and Delicious recipe!

By: Sara
Posted: Jul 01, 2022
Diet: Paleo
0 Helpful

Always a favorite!

By: Laura
Posted: Jun 15, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful