Festive Macaroni Salad

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:
 

Instructions

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.

 

Festive Macaroni Salad
 
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 Labor Day party and need some dishes you can put together FAST. Festive Macaroni Salad to the rescue! Just because this macaroni 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.

Yield: about 6 servings
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups dry whole wheat elbow macaroni (or other small pasta-choose gluten-free if desired)
  • Salt
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Make Creamy Honey-Dijon Dressing. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. 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.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients except dressing.
  4. Fold in desired amount of dressing.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours. Taste; add additional salt and pepper and toss with some additional dressing, if desired.
  6. Transfer to a decorative bowl. Cover and chill under serving.
MPM Mini-Bites
Make Ahead and Storage Tips: macaroni salad may be prepared undressed up to 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Use dressed salad within 2 days. Dressing may be made up to 2 days ahead. Store, covered in refrigerator; whisk before adding to salad.
 

Notes

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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Festive MAc

2 Responses

  1. Such a delicious side dish for summer entertaining Linda!
  2. What a beautiful, colourful macaroni salad, Linda! I love the flavours you have used as well. Sharing! Thank you so much for being a part of Hearth and Soul, and for all your support, my friend! Hope to 'see' you again this week!

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