The Country Cook: Mom's Macaroni Salad
                                                   

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mom's Macaroni Salad

I have about five or six meals that I clearly remember my Mom making very regularly when I was a kid. I never really thought about them much until I was grown and wanted to make them for myself. They were just something my Mom made and I loved them because she made them. I never questioned why she used certain ingredients or how other Moms made those same dishes. All I knew was my Mom made this and it was good. Do you feel that way about meals from your childhood? I could eat a million others that have the same names as what my Mom made, but they will never taste as good to me because it's not how my Mom made it. It's no disrespect to the other cooks. Their food is perfectly good and I'll sure enough eat it. But it's not Mom's. And, of course, my Momma raised me better to never say such a thing to another cook.  You just say, "Thank you and that was delicious!".  And appreciate that someone went through the trouble to make you a meal with their own two hands. It would be rude and unladylike to ever comment that someone's food is not as good as your Moms....but still. In our heads, you know we are thinking it, am I right?
So this here is my Mom's Macaroni Salad. Now, I know, it ain't the same as your Moms or Grandma's or Uncle Marvin's or Great Grandma Betty. And that's alright. You make yours the way you like it. There's room in this world for plenty types of macaroni salad. But if you've never had the pleasure of making this dish on your own, then maybe, just maybe, you'd like to make it this way. I have only made one slight change to it, and that you'll see in just a minute. And I'll tell you too that my Mom only ever made this with green peppers and radishes as the veggies. That's it. She never, ever swayed from those two added vegetables. I'm not sure why, but she kept it real simple that way. And that's how I still enjoy it. But I do sometimes add other stuff in when it starts popping up in my garden. I'll add fresh tomatoes or cucumbers or maybe even some diced ham and fresh peas.  But the base of the recipe always stays the same.

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz.) box macaroni 
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 cup radishes, diced
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
salt & pepper, to taste
This right here is my little secret weapon when it comes to some creamy pasta salads. If you have a pasta salad recipe that calls for just mayo, consider adding a touch of chicken stock to your dressing. It helps smooth out the mayo and keeps the salad from getting too "goopy" while adding a bit of extra flavor.
Directions:
Prepare macaroni according to package directions. Drain macaroni well, and rinse with cold water until pasta has cooled.
 Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine mayonnaise with chicken stock.
Whisk together well and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
I do enjoy about a tablespoon or so of freshly ground black pepper in this.
Add in drained pasta along with green pepper, radishes and onion.
Stir well until combined.
 
Cover with plastic wrap.
Now, this next step is really important. You need to put it in the refrigerator and let it cool for at least 3 hours. This really helps the flavor come together and give the pasta a bit of time to soak up the mayonnaise mixture.
Stir again before serving.
Enjoy!

36 comments :

  1. Hello Brandie ,
    I have been following your blog , made some awesome things from you , apple crescents , LOVE how you inspire...have been in Germany now for 6 months to settle up Family Estate and can not wait to get home to Montana to try more of your ideas !!
    Keep up the good food !
    Karin

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  2. My mom made this salad,too!The only difference is the chopped tomato she added to hers.Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    Lisa Bryant

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  3. This is a great summertime salad! I usually leave out the radishes because dh doesn't like them. Sometimes I even add imitation crab meat chunks and a bit of seasoning and serve as a light main course. Thanks for sharing, now I'm hungry for it! Diane

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    Replies
    1. Adding drained, canned salmon and serving w/sliced tomatoes and crackers is a great hot-weather meal at our house!! Also, add celery salt to taste gives it a kick too!

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  4. My mom would thin the mayo with some milk - either way, I think thinning it out is a good idea.

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  5. This is interesting as I have never seen or tasted this variation of macaroni salad but sure will be willing to give it a try. I have always made macaroni salad just the same as potato salad with the only difference being pasta instead of the diced potatoes. The basic edition would be hard cooked eggs, celery, pickle relish and onions with a mayo based dressing. Radishes and bell peppers have neve rbeen included in my experience. I wonder if this is a regional type deal as many recipes are.

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  6. Just made this tonight. Put cubed cheese, celery, and red pepper in so far so good. Not sure if I can wait the 3 hours... Lol

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  7. As a Southern girl myself -it is so nice to see that southern manners were still taught. Ladylike is not a word used very much anymore. Such a shame! Just an FYI this kind of salad tastes better with the macaroni warm when mixed and it will absorb the flavors better. Thanks for the recipe.

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  8. I also make Macaroni Salad very much like potato salad. But I'm not picky, I'll try most recipes at least once.

    But as to the point about prefering the way Mom made foods, when my sister and I were about 9 and 10, we were invited to my mother's friend's hous for dinner when my mother was in the hospital for surgery. She went to a lot of work and made homemade biscuits. Even though we were raised bettter than that, my sister and I told her that her biscuits looked like cookies because they were so flat. I'm sure she wanted to smack us but didn't even respond. My mother would have been so disappointed in us for being so rude. We just preferred Mom's biscuits.

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  9. Could you please explain how to use the comment section? I use anonymous, not because I wish to remain so, but because I do not know how to use the other choices. I don't have a Google or AIM account. I need to learn new tips using for the PC. Thank you.

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  10. I seriously think I may be eating that recipe right now. I went to a friend's party over the weekend and they sent us home with leftover pasta salad that looks / tastes like this recipe I think! :)

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  11. I have never seen radishes in pasta salad! I'm sure they give this a great crunch. We love them in my house so I will definitely be leaving them in. Can't wait to try this one. Made your mexican taco bake this past weekend and everyone raved. I'm still just scratching the surface on your site. The coca cola cake is next! Cheers, Elizabeth

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  12. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However
    I am experiencing troubles with your RSS. I don't know why I cannot join it. Is there anybody else getting the same RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    Here is my site; visit

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  13. I like to throw some tuna fish in my macaroni salad (which I make like yours, except I have never put in the chicken stock) and I put chopped up cukes in it. The best ones to use are the little pickling cukes. Now, my Mother would always put Spam (cut up into cubes) into her macaroni salad.

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  14. Have never made it with chicken stock, but will try it next time!

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  15. Love macaroni salad! Have never used radishes or chicken stock. Can't wait to try :)

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  16. Tried Three Of Your Recipes Tonight....Crockpot Italian Beef....Mom's Macaroni Salad....3-Ingredient Lemon Crumb Bars......Everything Was a HUGE HIT!!!!.....Love The Flavor of Everything n How Easy To Prepare Everything Was!!!....I Think I Also Tried Your Crockpot Chicken Bacon n Cheese Casserole Last Weekend....It Was Very GOOD ALso!!!....Thanx So Much For Your Recipes n I Will Continue To Try MORE of THEM!!!!!!

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  17. I just want to say thanks for your Recipes.they all look so good the only thing i tried so far is the butter dip biscuits and well they didnt come out to good but i think its something i did wrong lol.the flavor was good but they came out heavy not light and fluffy.but i will try again.I just wanted to thank you for your time you put in these recipes and you share them with all of us.I get tired of the same old things and can never come up with things just out of my head like that so here's to you for the extra brains thank you!!!!!

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  18. I just seen this site today an have been strolling thur all your recipes for the last two hours cannot wait to start cooking tomorrow I love that you have print friendly I have copied them will surly be using them all in the days ahead Thank you so much for sharing all your great recipes!!!!

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  19. Radishes are such an underrated veggie. So easy to grow and if the kids grow it they will eat it. Will need to add radishes next time I make mac salad

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  20. I always put celery, cucumber, onion green pepper or red pepper for color. Thin mayo with little milk, but will try stock next time, also pinch of sugar in mayo. Love your receipes!

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  21. I added shrimp to this recipe. Awesome.

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  22. I am going to try it, as I never judge a dish without tasting it.

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  23. can't wait to try the chicken stock i have always just used milk, thanks for the tip!

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  24. Made this macaroni salad for the first time today and it is the best macaroni salad I have ever tasted! The chicken stock gives it a great flavor.

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  25. The salad is great!! I have one question-is chicken broth the same as chicken stock? I ask this because I used chicken broth and it did not taste the same as when I first made the recipe.

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  26. How many servings will this make? I need to make a salad for 12. Thanks!

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  27. I like the idea of using chicken stock, since I don't like mayonaise.I use more chicken stock than mayo when I make chicken salad. And speaking of things that never taste like Momma's.I can never cook turnip greens like her. I do them the same way she did. but they never taste like hers . She passed a way 12 years ago and I still can't get them right. I'm the same way about my mil's sweet potato cobbler. I've just about got it right but not exactly

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  28. I made this today as a lighter, out-of-the-potato-side-dish-rut to go with our burgers and beans tonight. My fiance' and I did some "quality control" sampling before I put it in the fridge to "schmiel" (as he says). Boy, was it a hit! The proportions of dressing to ingredients is spot on, and I agree, a tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper was perfect! Took me about 4 radishes to finally get the hang of dicing one, but I'll be ready for next time. And there WILL be a next time! Thanks again!

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  29. I love to cook and have found your website to be a real jewel. I like that you have pictures that show each step. This is a great thing for a beginner cook and is even helpful for us older cooks.

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  30. Having this chilling in the fridge right now. Can't wait to eat it

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  31. I mix half mayo and half Miracle Whip and thin it out with peppercorn ranch. This really makes a very creamy and flavorful dressing.

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  32. I make macaroni salad in some form all the time, and your recipe is quite similar to mine. I've never heard of adding radish, and probably wouldn't because I don't like them. Some things that I do different, is to add diced celery. I also thin my mayo, either with milk, or with some Marzetti's southern recipe sauce. I also like to throw in a little parmesan and dill for flavoring. Sometimes I will even add a dash of garlic powder. I probably don't make it the same way twice, LOL! But it always gets eaten, and I get a lot of compliments. I love your recipes!

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  33. Have a empty nest now. Just myself. One of my 3 children was soooooo picky, so I would have to cook according, a lot of times...dang it!
    Now I am "free" to make anything I want... and I am enjoying it. Radishes....YES...I love them!!! Their going in next time. My Mom use to wash them and cut off ends and put them in a bowl on the dinner table. A sprinkle of salt...YUMMY. Same with sliced red onions and green peppers's. Looking forward to trying your recipes...Thank-you, Cindy

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  34. I love your comments about your Mother's cooking, I was fortunate and had a Mom who was a super cook, and you are right nothing tastes as good as the way our Moms made them. It is so unfortunate that we sometimes loose them and sadly all those wonderful recipes she made went with her. My mother was a from scratch cook. Her pot roast was not falling apart after it was done, oh no it cut beautifully into solid slices, and her gravy was to die for. When I try to cook some of her specialties, they just never taste as good as hers. My friends do consider me a good cook, but I will never reach the extent of her expertise. Fortunately I do have quite a few of her recipes in my file. It brings back such wonderful memories just to read them, and imagine that Mom is there in the kitchen with me. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you share with us.

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