The Best Macaroni Salad recipe starts with macaroni noodles, peppers, onions and radishes and is mixed with a secret-ingredient creamy dressing!
THE BEST MACARONI SALAD
TIPS FOR MAKING MACARONI SALAD:
- My Mom always made this with radishes and green pepper. Always. Radishes are my Dad's favorite. I love that pepper-y crunch of radishes and you don't often see them in pasta salad so it's a nice crunchy surprise. You could add red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes or even green peas. You could even add PIMIENTOS!
- I have only made one slight change to my Mom's original recipe and you'll see that in just a minute. But, I think the key is to overcook the elbow macaroni just slightly. Most of the time when you cook pasta, you want it al dente (with just a little bite to it.) When making pasta salads though, you want the noodles to be nice and soft. This makes for better eating but it also helps to keep the noodles from absorbing too much of that dressing as it all cools in the refrigerator.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)
salt & pepper
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST MACARONI SALAD:
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.
WHAT TO DO IF IT LOOKS DRY?
Sometimes when you go to serve your macaroni salad, you'll notice that the noddles have absorbed a lot of the dressing. This happens and is totally normal. Some folks prefer it this way. But if you like your salad to be super creamy, all you need to do is mix up a small bowl of a bit of mayo and a little more chicken stock or milk. Whisk it together then stir into your macaroni salad. Give it a taste to make sure it has a good balance of salt and pepper, then serve.
CRAVING MORE PASTA SALADS? HAVE A LOOK AT THESE!
THE BEST MACARONI SALAD
- 1 (16 oz) box macaroni noodles
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 1 green pepper, diced
- ½ cup radishes, diced
- ½ cup onion, finely diced
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 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 and store in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
- Stir again before serving.
Originally published: June 2013
Updated & republished May 2019