Cowboy Pasta

This is one of our favorite pasta salads. It has such an amazing sauce that is the perfect blend of spice and BBQ. It quickly becomes everyone’s favorite!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried mini pasta shells (I never use the full box, normally about 3/4 of a pound)
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons hot chili sauce
  • 15 ounce can whole kernel sweet corn, drained
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3-5 scallions, diced

Directions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil; cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • In the meantime, saute bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain off grease. Wipe out skillet, leaving a little of the bacon grease. Add the ground beef; cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through and no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Season with the cumin, red pepper flakes, and with a pinch of salt and pepper. Drain off fat. Set aside to cool completely.
  • In an extra large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and hot chili sauce until combined and smooth. Add in the cooked pasta, bacon, beef, corn, tomatoes, cheese, and scallions; toss to combine and coat.
  • Enjoy right away or refrigerate until ready to serve.

It also makes great leftovers!

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