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BBQ Sandwich Salad

Photo: Alison Miksch, Food Styling: Blakeslee Giles, Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Hands on time 45 mins
Total time 4 hrs, 45 mins

Serves 4-6 (serving size: 1/2 cup pork, 3/4 cup coleslaw, 1/2 cup french fries) 

This amazingly flavorful salad gives the full experience of a sauce-laden bbq sandwich, but without all of the extra bread (or the mess). Resting on a bed of hearty mixed greens and drizzled with a from-scratch buttermilk-ranch dressing, this salad is a bright and fresh cookout alternative that just might be the bbq experience that beats them all. 


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 3 cups thinly sliced English cucumber (about 1 medium cucumber)
  • 3 2.5 oz. seeded Kaiser rolls, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, mashed to a paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 26 oz. pkg. frozen crinkle-cut french fries
  • 5 ounces spring mix
  • 3 cups coleslaw mix
  • 2 cups prepared/leftover pulled/smoked pork
  • 1/2 cup bottled BBQ sauce

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seed, coriander seed, and peppercorns in a saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Pour over cucumbers in a large heat-proof bowl; let sit for 10 minutes, or until cucumbers soften. Refrigerate for up to 1 month. Chill at least 4 hours before serving. 

  2. Toss bread pieces, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  3. Combine buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, chives, mustard, salt, garlic, and pepper in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  4. Bake French fries in preheated oven on a rimmed baking sheet according to package directions. Set aside.

  5. Toss lettuce and coleslaw mix in a large bowl with 6 tablespoons ranch dressing. Divide amongst 4 plates. Top with pork, croutons, french fries, and pickles. Drizzle with BBQ sauce and more ranch.