Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Ultimate Macaroni Salad

The Ultimate Macaroni Salad

One of Brian's most favorite foods is macaroni salad but not just any old version will do.  He and I share a mutual aversion to the mass market flavor of supermarket salads that all taste as if they originated in the same warehouse.  But he is particularly opinionated on how his favorite summer side dish should taste.

The Ultimate Macaroni Salad
For years he's challenged me to make him the 'ultimate' macaroni salad with, as he puts it, "lots of stuff in it."  Lots of stuff translates to lots of veggies and fresh herbs so that you're not just eating noodles coated in mayonnaise.  And although this has never been my favorite salad, it's hard to disagree with him when it turns a simple dish into one with complex flavors.

The Ultimate Macaroni Salad
So here then is my ultimate version of the all-American picnic side dish.  This recipe makes a lot of macaroni salad which is perfect when you have lots of guests for a holiday BBQ...unless, of course, you've also invited Brian.  Feel free to halve the recipe for less rabid macaroni fans.  Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 lb. Elbow macaroni
2 Stalks celery, diced
1 Yellow bell pepper, diced
1 Red bell pepper, diced
1 Orange bell pepper, diced
1/4 Cup scallions, chopped
1/4 Red onion, diced
1/4 Cup shredded carrots
1/4 Cup fresh parsley, chopped

For the dressing:
2 1/2 Cups low fat mayonnaise
1/2 Cup low fat sour cream
1/2 Cup low fat buttermilk
3 Tablespoons mustard
1/4 Cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar
Salt & pepper to taste

The Ultimate Macaroni Salad
Cook the elbow macaroni in boiling salted water according to the package directions until tender.  Drain well and set aside to cool.  In a large bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk well until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Add the vegetables, herbs and cooled macaroni and mix well. Season to taste and serve at room temperature.

36 comments:

  1. Yum! I love macaroni salad, and I like your buttermilk dressing recipe here. Sounds wonderful!

    Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend!

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  2. I adore macaroni salad and agree with Brian on his love for the supermarket variety! There is just something about that extreme tanginess which I can never get right on my own. And the creaminess...it is definitely full fat mayo in there! Must try yours soon.

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  3. I looovee macaroni salad and crave it like crazy during the summer. This recipe looks amazing, can't wait to try it. :)

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  4. This looks fabulous with colorful veggies and perfect dressing!

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  5. I am not second guessing how delicious this must taste :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  6. I love the little bite of cider vinegar in the dressing. I am not a fan of the typical store-bought macaroni salad but I like this version. A LOT! This would be such a great salad to bring to a BBQ.

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  7. I can taste the textures of the crispy veges mixed with the comforting creamy macaroni and dressing in my head :)

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  8. Yummy! I totally agree on store bought salads. I was short on time this past weekend and bought store bought potato salad. Worst. Sh**. Ever.
    This however, I could happily just shove a spoon into (the whole bowl) and eat it....

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  9. Oh this pasta salad sounds delicious! I can see why Brian loves it so much =)

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  10. I love the color you're getting from the bits of veggies in this. Also, I appreciate that you're not just using mayo--I'll bet the sour cream gives it a nice tang.

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  11. I would love to try this recipe. I love macaroni salad. I'm the only one so I'll half this one. :)

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  12. My hubby would love this. He's a huge macaroni salad lover. I can't eat it, allergy issues with mayo.

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  13. I love pasta salads and the creamier the dressing the better I like them! I will be trying this recipe soon! It's picnic season!

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  14. This pasta salad looks amazing! I adore a classic Macaroni salad. Thank you for sharing with me. And thank you for the kind words on my blog. I'm glad we found each other in this blog world!

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  15. Macaroni + cheese + pepper is a great taste!

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  16. I love macaroni salad!! I would eat it every day if I could. =] And it screams summer to me!

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  17. Looks perfect! I really like cider vinegar in my homemade summer coleslaw with tomatoes and cukes, so I'm guessing it really makes this macaroni salad pop!
    I'm making this tonight -- thanks for the inspiration!

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  18. This dressing sounds perfect - I usually put all those things in my macaroni salad so I'll have to try this dressing next time!

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  19. I have a guilty pleasure of store bought Mac salad too, it's such a classic! Can't wait to give this a try.

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  20. I'll have to try this out. I don't eat it so I tend to shy away from making it. But hubs loves it so I suppose I should try learning how at some point.

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  21. Hi,
    I found you on foodepix.om. Love this macaroni salad, it looks delicious.

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  22. I am surely coming again for more contents of yours.
    recipes for dinner

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  23. This looks so good! Joan posted it over at C,C, and more C today and I couldn't wait to come over and get this one! Looking forward to trying it.

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  24. I'm going to definately bookmark this one - sounds delish!

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  25. Anita - I just had to write and tell you how amazing this recipe is! I made one addition (chopped chicken) because I have to add protein to everything I eat right now, but this is ah-may-zing-a-ding-ding!!! I don't know if you made this up yourself or not but with the chicken, it is an entire meal - and great for lunches to take to work!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kelli! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. The recipe is my own but with much prodding from Mr. Hungry Couple, who likes a lot of "stuff" in his salads. Every time I thought I was done tweaking, he said "more!" I'm sure it's great with the chicken!

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  26. Cool website buddy I am gona suggest this to all my list of contacts.chef knives

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  27. I love your pictures and recipes. I'd like to inform you of a great new website www.foodieportal.com. I would like to invite you to come and join us and share your wonderful pictures with us. We are simply foodies and we are not photography snobs, so picture perfection is not important, all we care about is delicious food.

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  28. The mustard should taste nice

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  29. I've never been fond of 'store-bought' macaroni salad, because they usually put relish or pickle in it. This said, I just automatically assumed that if you were making macaroni salad, you HAD to put a pickle element in it. NOT!!!!! I made a half batch of this for a cottage dinner at the beginning of August. One of the attendees pretty much eats nothing. Let us just say, in the most loving, delicate manner, that she hoovered two plates of it! I made another half batch yesterday for hub and I. He was incredibly concerned that we'd not be able to eat such a large quantity over perhaps a two-day period. We did just fine, thank you very much ;-). A lovely, lovely, lovely recipe!

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  30. Eager to try this recipe! Is that 1/4th of a red onion or 1/4 cup of red onion? Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. It's 1/4 of a red onion. I hope you enjoy the salad!

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  31. Thanks for sharing this Post, Keep Updating such topics.
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  32. My mother in law got me hooked on homemade macaroni salad.
    And now I fix it sometimes for my hubby and children.Praise Yahshua for sweet idea's!
    Jewsforjesus.org!
    John 3:16!

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  33. My mother in law got me hooked on homemade macaroni salad.
    And now I fix it sometimes for my hubby and children.Praise Yahshua for sweet idea's!
    Jewsforjesus.org!
    John 3:16!

    ReplyDelete

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