Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad

Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe: A Refreshing Side Dish

Macaroni salad is a timeless classic, perfect for picnics, potlucks, or as a side dish for any meal. This recipe features tender macaroni pasta combined with crisp vegetables and a creamy dressing. It’s simple to make and always a crowd-pleaser. Here’s how to whip up a delicious macaroni salad that will become a staple in your recipe collection.

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 2 cups of uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup of celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of shredded carrots or diced cucumber

For the Dressing:

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  • 3/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon of paprika

Instructions

1. Cook the Macaroni:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the elbow macaroni and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
  • Drain the macaroni and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well and set aside to cool.

2. Prepare the Vegetables:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped celery, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, parsley, and any optional vegetables you’re using. Set aside.

3. Make the Dressing:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, granulated sugar, salt, black pepper, and any optional seasonings until smooth and well combined.
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4. Combine Salad Ingredients:

  • Add the cooled macaroni to the bowl of chopped vegetables.

5. Dress the Salad:

  • Pour the dressing over the macaroni and vegetables.
  • Gently toss until everything is evenly coated with the dressing.

6. Chill and Serve:

  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the macaroni salad for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Before serving, give the salad a final stir and taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed.
  • Serve chilled and enjoy!

Tips for the Perfect Macaroni Salad

  1. Cook the Pasta Al Dente: Be sure not to overcook the pasta. It should be cooked just until al dente to prevent it from becoming mushy in the salad.
  2. Use Fresh Vegetables: Freshly chopped vegetables add crunch and flavor to the salad. Feel free to customize the vegetables based on your preferences.
  3. Adjust the Dressing: The dressing can be adjusted to suit your taste. Add more mayonnaise for creaminess, or adjust the amount of vinegar and sugar for tanginess and sweetness.
  4. Add-ins: Get creative with add-ins like diced ham, boiled eggs, shredded cheese, or pickles for extra flavor and texture.
  5. Chill Before Serving: Allowing the salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving enhances the flavor and texture.

This classic macaroni salad recipe is a perfect side dish for any occasion. With its creamy dressing and colorful vegetables, it’s sure to be a hit at your next gathering. Enjoy!

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