One of the most requested recipes to make for any family function or picnic is classic macaroni salad.
It is a go-to recipe that is served at nearly all picnics, potlucks or group events.
I had never been a big fan of macaroni salad. I just couldn’t trust what it was going to taste like because every time that I would try it at an event or get together, it never tasted the same.
One time it was sooooo sweet that I couldn’t even finish my portion. The next time I tried it, it had so much vinegar that it made my mouth pucker.
And don’t forget all the variations and additions that you can add to macaroni salad. Pimento cheese, olives, and even zucchini can be hidden beneath the noodles.
No thank you! All I ever wanted was classic macaroni salad! You know the one that has just the right tangy mix of mayonnaise and relish, mixed with a hint of mustard and is slightly sweetened by just a dab of sugar?
That classic recipe that includes diced hard-boiled eggs and a few crunchy vegetables and is served nice and cold and tastes refreshing on a hot summer day.
That was the classic macaroni salad that I was looking for.
So I decided to make the recipe that my grandmother had in her recipe box and see if it was the classic recipe that I was craving.
BINGO!!! I only made two simple changes to that original recipe. I substituted sweet pickle relish for diced sweet pickles and changed the yellow mustard to Dijon mustard.
The blend of flavors was amazing! To make things a little healthier, I sometimes will use light mayo instead of regular mayonnaise.
Or for my vegan (or egg free) family and friends I will omit the eggs and use a vegan mayo.
I have tried this recipe with Greek Yogurt, and it just doesn’t taste the same. And because I eat it in moderation, I prefer to keep it as written.
Well, most of the time…. I am not against adding in a little chopped bacon once in a while!
Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked
3 hardboiled eggs, diced
2 ribs of celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup pickle juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Green onions or parsley for garnish (optional)
1. To a large bowl add cooked and drained pasta, eggs, celery, red bell pepper and onion.
2. In a small bowl combine the relish, mayonnaise, pickle juice, sugar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Add the dressing to the macaroni and toss until evenly coated.
4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
**Add additional salt and pepper to taste and garnish with green onions or parsley (optional).
Mary and Jim
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Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe
- 1 pound elbow macaroni cooked
- 3 hardboiled eggs diced
- 2 ribs of celery diced
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
- ¼ red onion diced
- ¼ cup sweet pickle relish
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup pickle juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Green onions or parsley for garnish optional
To a large bowl add cooked and drained pasta, eggs, celery, red bell pepper and onion.
In a small bowl combine the relish, mayonnaise, pickle juice, sugar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add to the dressing to the macaroni and toss until evenly coated.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Add additional salt and pepper to taste and garnish with green onions or parsley (optional). Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms