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Super Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe

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Easy Macaroni Salad, a classic favorite, is known for its simplicity and versatility. With tender pasta, crisp vegetables, and creamy dressing, it’s perfect for any occasion, from picnics to barbecues.

macaroni salad in a white bowl | Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and Simple: This macaroni salad recipe is straightforward and perfect for beginners or a quick meal.
  • Versatile Side Dish: Easy Macaroni Salad pairs well with BBQ, sandwiches or as a standalone light lunch.
  • Customizable: Add your favorite veggies or proteins to make it your own unique dish.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Elbow Macaroni Noodles: The base of the easy macaroni salad, providing a chewy texture and neutral flavor that carries the other ingredients.
  • Red Onion: Adds a touch of sharpness and crunch, enhancing the overall texture and taste.
  • Green and Red Bell Peppers: Contribute a sweet, slightly tangy flavor and vibrant color, making the salad more appealing.
  • Fresh Carrot: Introduces a crunchy texture and sweet taste that complements the other ingredients.
  • Mayonnaise: Acts as the creamy binder for the pasta salad, giving it a rich and smooth texture.
  • Dijon Mustard: Brings a tangy and spicy note that cuts through the richness of the mayonnaise and balances the flavors.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: To enhance the overall flavor profile, highlighting each individual ingredient of this classic macaroni salad.
Super Easy Macaroni Salad ingredients

How To Make Easy Macaroni Salad?

Step One: Start By Cooking The Macaroni

Cook macaroni to al dente according to package directions, drain and rinse. Transfer to large bowl, let cool.

Step Two: Chop Up The Veggies

While macaroni cooks and cools, chop red onion, bell peppers, parsley and dice carrot, set aside.

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Step Three: Combine All The Ingredients

Add red onion, bell peppers, parsley, carrot, mayonnaise, mustard and salt and pepper to macaroni. Mix well, refrigerate until cool.

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Step Four: Serve

Serve your creamy macaroni salad cold or at room temperature.

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Cooking Tips

  • Extra Veggies: Add blanched frozen peas, chopped green onions, and diced cucumbers for a crunchy and fresh addition.
  • Balancing Flavors with Vinegar: To balance the flavors of the dressing, consider adding a dash of apple cider vinegar.
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Substitutions

  • Creamy Upgrade with Sour Cream: Change your macaroni salad by substituting mayonnaise with velvety sour cream or infuse richness by blending half sour cream and half mayonnaise for a delectable homemade twist.

Storage Instructions

  • Fridge: If you have any leftovers, you can transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate them until you’re ready to serve. You can also make macaroni salad ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 2 days.
  • Components: I would really recommend adding the macaroni salad dressing and the veggies towards the end, or a few hours before you intend to serve, to get the best flavor, texture and color.

What to Serve With This Recipe?

  • Instant Pot Whole Chicken: Cook seasoned whole chicken until tender, shred or carve, and serve with easy macaroni salad.
  • Instant Pot Salmon: Cook seasoned salmon until tender, flake, and serve with homemade macaroni salad.
  • Instant Pot BBQ Ribs: Cook seasoned ribs with BBQ sauce until tender, finish under broiler, and serve with easy macaroni salad.
  • Grilled Chicken: Pair your easy macaroni salad with grilled chicken for a satisfying and flavorful meal.
macaroni salad in a white bowl | Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe

Macaroni Salad Recipe

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Discover the perfect Easy Macaroni Salad recipe for a quick and delicious meal.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. Elbow Macaroni noodles
  • ½ Red Onion
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • ¼ cup Parsley, fresh
  • 1 Carrot
  • ¾ cup Mayonnaise (can use vegan mayonnaise)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • Salt and black Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook macaroni to al dente according to package directions, drain and rinse. Transfer to large bowl, let cool.
  2. While macaroni cooks and cools, chop red onion, bell peppers, parsley and dice carrot, set aside.
  3. Add red onion, bell peppers, parsley, carrot, mayonnaise, mustard and salt and pepper to macaroni. Mix well, refrigerate until cool.
  4. Serve your creamy macaroni salad cold or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Boosting Nutrition with Veggies: Increase the nutritional value of your easy macaroni salad by adding blanched frozen peas, chopped green onions, and diced cucumbers for a crunchy and fresh addition.
  • Balancing Flavors with Vinegar: To balance the flavors of the dressing, consider adding a dash of apple cider vinegar along with other ingredients for a well-rounded taste.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 260mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

Did you make this recipe?

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FAQ’S

Can I Use Any Type Of Pasta For Macaroni Salad?

Traditional macaroni salad uses elbow macaroni, but you can experiment with other small pasta shapes.

How Can I Prevent The Macaroni From Becoming Mushy In The Salad?

Rinse cooked macaroni under cold water to stop the cooking process and maintain texture.

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