Macaroni Salad Recipe

Macaroni Salad with Lots of Goodies,

...with Lots of Options

What occasion doesn't call for a simple Macaroni Salad recipe? Well, a soup party, perhaps; I wouldn't serve it with soup.

But no picnic, barbecue, hot or cold sandwich, or fried chicken dinner would be complete without it.

Stick with the classic pickle-olive-onion recipe with mayo dressing (no one will complain) or gourmet it up by adding goodies or changing out the dressing.

Classic Macaroni Salad

1 pound salad macaroni
1 (6-ounce) can black olives
1 medium yellow onion
1 cup finely chopped dill pickle
1 cup mayonnaise (more or less to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water until tender. Don't overcook it. Rinse with cold water and drain well in a colander.

In the meantime, slice the olives and chop the onion.

Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl. Add the olives, onion, pickle, and mayonnaise. Salt and pepper the mixture to taste. Chill.

Add up to 3 cups of great goodies to the classic macaroni salad recipe for flavor and color. Don't overdo it, though. Adjust the dressing if necessary.

  • 1-2 cups chopped ham
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup sliced celery (2 stalks)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or dill
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar chopped pimentos, drained
  • Substitute red or green onion for the yellow onion
  • 1 cup tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, small-cubed
  • Substitute sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for table salt and pepper

Change out the dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons plain or Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar.
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup sour cream

Here's a delicious, out-of-the-box macaroni salad dressing idea from 101 Cookbooks:

  1. Reserve some of the liquid used to cook the pasta. Saute 4 cups of sliced green onions (3-4 bunches) and 3 minced garlic cloves in 1/4 cup quality olive oil. Puree the onion and garlic with the juice and zest of one small lemon and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta liquid. Add more liquid as necessary. Stir in 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and dress the pasta. If the salad seems too dry after a day or so, add a little mayo.

Back to BBQ Ideas for more like the Macaroni Salad Recipe

Potato Salad Recipes

Homemade Caesar Salad

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