Cola BBQ Sauce with Broccoli Slaw, Smoky Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Baked Beans

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Cola Ribs

Tangy, slightly spicy and sweet, this delicious Southern-style BBQ sauce will quickly become a favorite. Slather it over ribs, chicken and burgers at your next cookout and watch the crowd go wild, especially when served with our Broccoli Pecan Slaw, Smoky Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Bacon Brown Sugar Baked Beans.

Serves: 8 or more
Difficulty: easy
Cook time: 15 min
Make ahead: sauce will keep up to a month


Cola BBQ Sauce
2 c cola (Coca-Cola works well)
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c ketchup
1/2 c A-1 steak sauce
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
1 t liquid smoke
1/4 c white vinegar
2 T prepared yellow mustard
1 t onion powder
1 t granulated garlic
1/2 t ground black pepper
dash of hot sauce, such as Tapatio pinch of salt

Broccoli Pecan Slaw
1 t salt
1 lb fresh broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
4 c red cabbage, finely shredded
1 c yellow bell pepper, diced
1 c candied (glazed) pecans
3/4 c mayo
1/2 c sour cream
1 1/2 T Dijon mustard
1 t lemon juice
3/4 t salt
pinch black pepper

Smoky Mac ‘n’ Cheese
8 oz elbow macaroni
3 T butter
1/4 c flour
2 1/2 c whole milk
1/2 t salt, plus more for boiling pasta
pinch white pepper, ground
1/2 t dry mustard
1/4 t Spanish smoked paprika
4 dashes hot sauce, such as Tapatio
2 c smoked Gouda, grated (approx. 1/2 lb)
1 lb Tillamook Cheddar, grated

Bacon Brown Sugar Baked Beans
1, 15 oz can ea: kidney beans, black beans and pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 c ketchup
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 yellow onion, diced fine
2 T molasses
1/2 c brown sugar
1 t dry mustard
1 t paprika
pinch of salt


Cola BBQ Sauce
In a sauce pot over medium-high heat, boil cola and brown sugar until syrupy and reduced to about 1/2 c. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer, lowering heat to medium for 8 min. Use immediately or chill in airtight container. Sauce will keep up to a month, refrigerated.

Broccoli Pecan Slaw
Add salt to 2 quarts boiling water. Blanch broccoli in boiling water, removing as soon as it turns bright green, approx. 1 min (should be crisp-tender). Drain and plunge into ice water. When cool, drain and toss with cabbage, bell pepper and pecans; set aside. Combine mayo, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add desired amount of dressing to vegetables, enough to coat. Serve immediately.

Smoky Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Boil pasta in lightly salted water until al dente, approx. 8 min. Drain and set aside (do not rinse). In large pot, melt butter with flour over medium-high heat, stirring until fragrant, approx. 2 min. Add milk and spices/seasonings, stirring constantly until simmering. Add cheeses, a little at a time, until incorporated (some clumping is normal). Add pasta, toss and serve.

Bacon Brown Sugar Baked Beans
Cook bacon over medium heat in skillet until beginning to crisp. Add onion and cook 4-5 min. Add remaining ingredients, then bring to a simmer, cooking 5 min. Taste; add more salt and sugar as desired. Serve immediately.