It’s the most sought after barbecue side dish in the south

It’s fresh, colorful and not your usual barbecue side.

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While ribs, steaks, hot dogs and burgers are usually the main attraction of a barbecue, the array of food served alongside is just as important (and is often the best part of a barbecue, if we are honest).

Corn on the cob, potato salad, and baked beans are usually in the mix, but far be it from us to tell you that’s where the options end. In fact, none of these classic sides top the list of what southerners want when it comes to summer barbecue sides.

One category of side dishes that has become very popular is pasta salads.

They’re a great prep side that travels well and are wonderful served cold on a hot summer day, so we can’t say we’re surprised. And of all southern life pasta salad recipes that we have created, you all have favorite one in particular. It also happens to be a riff on a classic side dish.

The most sought-after barbecue side dish in the South is our broccoli, grape and pasta salad, and once you taste it, we think you’ll understand why.

<p>Jennifer Davick</p>
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This side dish has it all

Pasta salads, including this one, are a host’s dream. They are easy to scale up or down depending on the number of guests, are easy to transport, and get even better when seated and marinated. This pasta side dish is inspired by broccoli salad, with a dressing that mimics its sweet and tangy flavor and lots of crumbled bacon in the mix.

Pecans add crunch to this creamy salad (made with mayonnaise, like any good Southern recipe should), but what really makes this dish special are the grapes. Juicy and sweet, they help balance the flavor of the red wine vinegar in the dressing and the salty bite of the bacon.

Why Readers Love This Side Dish

Our Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad is just the kind of effortless dish that makes hosting a barbecue a little easier. Even if you’re not the host, you might feel stressed about what to bring as a guest. No one wants to claim the dish which remains untouched throughout the party. You also need to consider many variables when it comes to side dishes, including how long the dish can sit without getting soggy.

This recipe ticks all the boxes for a must-have summer side dish: flavor, portability, and a wow effect. That’s why our readers come back to it again and again.

“This salad is so good I can eat two servings in one sitting. Everyone in my family loved it. Try it and you’ll be glad you did!” writing southern life reader Sherry Bartel.

As well as pleasing guests, another reader noted how well leftovers keep, serving them for dinner with grilled chicken the next day. And like many of our recipes, if you can follow the instructions exactly, you can also easily customize this salad to make it your own, like southern life reader Jenny McGurk who says she added feta cheese.

The other interesting part of this recipe? It does not require you to turn on the oven. Of course, we tell you to toast the pecans in the oven, but you can also do it in a pan on the stovetop and save yourself the heat.

Related: This Is The Most Searched-For Summer Recipe In The South

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