Have you ever been to a summertime BBQ, potluck or get together and not seen a big bowl of macaroni salad on the table? I don't think I have. It screams summertime. It leaps off the table onto your plate no matter how hard you try to resist it. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's ok and sometimes it really stinks. You get to the point where you whisper "Who brought the macaroni salad?" behind your hosts back so you can determine if it's the *good* salad or not.
Well, no more. Take this recipe to your next get together and everyone will ask you for the recipe. When you're all making the same recipe you'll know it's going to be good every time, all the time. It's like insurance for your stomach :)
I'm going to give you the base recipe, which kicks some mega macaroni salad booty, but at the end I'll give you some add-in ideas to make it a little different or, in some cases, even make it a complete meal.
16 oz macaroni noodles, cooked and rinsed under cold water
1 cup mayo (or 1/2 mayo and 1/2 miracle whip type dressing)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons regular mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon (or more) pepper
1/2 onion, grated with juices reserved
Boil macaroni noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water; set aside. In a large bowl mix mayo, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper until well mixed.
Add cold noodles and stir. Mix in the grated onion and mix well.
Cover and let sit at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours. Leftovers are even better!
Here are a few ways you can change this salad up:
- add 2 medium stalks of celery, diced and 3 chopped hard boiled eggs (this is what I did in these pictures)
- add chopped bell peppers and diced cooked chicken
- add green onions, diced tomatoes and salad shrimp
- add ham, defrosted frozen peas and small cubes of cheddar cheese
- add grilled vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, onions and onions are good)
- add diced, cooked chicken, diced pickled jalapenos, defrosted frozen corn and avocado chunks
- add olives, celery, hard boiled eggs, sweet pickle relish and shredded carrots
As you can see, there are really no end to the things you can do with this. Like so many other good recipes, this gives you a place to start. It's a great salad with a solid base. Leave it as it is and be more than pleased or add to it and make it your own. Change things up, make it full fat or slim it down. Leave things out, add things I've never even thought of.
Have fun with it....just promise me that you'll make it. It's worth the 15 minutes you'll spend putting it together :)
I'm proud to be linking this recipe up at Little House Living's Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange