Macaroni Salad with Bacon, Fire-Roasted Red Peppers & Smoked Mozzarella

Nut Free Fish Free Soy Free Gluten Free 

This is a great salad to serve with hamburgers, steaks or chicken. A perfect dish to bring to a cookout!

Dressing ingredients:
2 cups mayonnaise (check label for allergens)
5 tablespoons maple syrup
½ tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons light cream
4 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika

Salad Ingredients:
1 medium head broccoli, cut into flowerets
3 cups dry gluten-free elbow macaroni (or other short pasta) - Check label for allergens
½ tablespoon vegetable, canola or olive oil (to toss into cooked pasta to prevent it from sticking)
8-ounces smoked mozzarella - shredded or cut into small cubes (or use regular mozzarella, if desired)
¾ cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
½ pound bacon, cooked crisp
¾ cup thin sliced fire-roasted red peppers, about 1” long
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder

In a small bowl, blend all the dressing ingredients. Cover and place in refrigerator to chill.
While the dressing in chilling, cook the macaroni according to package directions until al dente. Once cooked, drain and toss with the oil to prevent sticking.

Blanch the broccoli florets by dropping them into boiling water for 2 minutes, draining, and then submerging into cold water. Drain again, and set aside.

Next combine the mozzarella, carrots, onions, bacon in a bowl. Toss to blend. Add the cooked pasta and the fire-roasted red pepper strips and toss again. Last add the blanched broccoli, and season to taste with the salt and pepper, and the garlic powder.

If serving immediately, add in all of the dressing and toss to coat. If serving at a later time, reserve ½ cup of the dressing to add in immediately before serving.

Serves 6.

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