So you were asked to bring a yummy “side” to your friend’s barbecue and your mind goes blank. Or perhaps you’re hosting a last minute summer or 4th of July get-together and need some dishes you can put together FAST. Festive Macaroni Salad to the rescue!
Just because this pasta salad is assembled in minutes, I promise it is anything but boring! Livened up with the addition of garden-fresh cherry tomatoes and finely chopped carrots and green beans add just the right amount of crunch. And where traditional macaroni salads are doused with mayonnaise, I have lightened mine up by tossing it with delicious and versatile Creamy Honey Dijon Dressing which adds a subtle tang from Greek yogurt and just a tad of sweetness from honey.
Festive Macaroni Salad
Yield: about 6 servings
Click HERE for the full recipe, but in the nutshell, here is what you do:
Make Creamy Honey Dijon Dressing. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Add water and a pinch of salt to a 6-quart stockpot; bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions on package. (6 to 7 minutes, or until al dente) Drain well. Allow to thoroughly cool (about 15 minutes) Can also cook pasta ahead and refrigerate.
In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients except dressing.
Fold in desired amount of dressing.
Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours. Taste; add additional salt and pepper and toss with some additional dressing, if desired.
Transfer to a decorative bowl. Cover and chill under serving.
Yield: about 6 servings
- ½ to 1 cup Creamy Honey Dijon Dressing
- 2 cups dry whole wheat elbow macaroni (or other small pasta-choose gluten-free if desired)
- 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup finely diced carrots (I used yellow and orange)
- 1 cup chopped steamed green beans (French green beans or haricot verte are more tender if available)
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Make Creamy Honey-Dijon Dressing. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Add water and a pinch of salt to a 6-quart stockpot; bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions on package. (6 to 7 minutes, or until al dente) Drain well. Allow to thoroughly cool (about 15 minutes) Can also cook pasta ahead and refrigerate.
- In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients except dressing.
- Fold in desired amount of dressing.
- Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours. Taste; add additional salt and pepper and toss with some additional dressing, if desired.
- Transfer to a decorative bowl. Cover and chill under serving.
No time to make the Creamy Honey Dijon Dressing? This salad would also be delicious tossed with your favorite honey-mustard dressing. (or other creamy dressing or mayonnaise of your choice)
Go herb-crazy! My recipe uses fresh parsley and dill, but feel free to choose any seasonal herbs you like such as basil, oregano and mint.
Festive Macaroni Salad pairs beautifully with:
More easy summer "sides"...
Coming to the Blog: Grilled Asian Burgers ‘n Pineapple with a Fantastic Slaw!
Ceeya next Time!
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