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Macaroni salad

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A barbeque with in-laws coming up and I'm doing salads. I want to make macaroni salad, but they ( the in-laws, not the macaroni) are VERY white bread. I need a recipe that is similar to what you would buy in a supermarket, but something that I won't be ashamed to make. Does that make sense?

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  1. I make my macaroni salad with mayo, hard boiled eggs (yolk mashed for the dressing, white cut up in the salad), a little white vinegar, celery salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Many supermarket brands use a little of sweet relish in theirs but I personally don't like mine sweet. I use about 1 cup of mayo per pound of cooked macaroni and then add the other ingredients to taste. Make sure you chill the salad for a few hours before serving to incorperate the flavors !! Good luck and hope I helped.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jimbosox04

      That's just what I had in mind - the pickle relish part of store bought salads is a turn off for me.

      1. re: eimac

        I confess I like a bit of sweetness in a macaroni salad, but I wouldn't use pickle relish. I would say to chop up a couple of decent sweet pickles and add them. The larger chunks isolate the sweetness, unlike relish which tends to be overwhelming plus includes other flavors you might not want.

        I would also add a bit of chopped onion, and frozen peas (they will thaw in the hot pasta), and possibly a chopped up carrot (throw in with the cooking water at the end to blanch). Not a fan of garlic powder, though.

        1. re: coney with everything

          oh yeah, got to have tiny baby peas or it is just not right. I generally use some sweet gherkins, well drained so the sweetness comes in as an interesting note but does not over power the salad. I really love to use small shells for the macaroni they make it easy to scoop up the different bits in the salad. Small shrimp are also a welcome addition.

        2. re: eimac

          The deli I worked at used just the brine from the roasted pepper hulls and also the brine from either sweet pickles or relish rather than the real thing. More subtle that way.

        3. re: Jimbosox04

          My DH loves macaroni salad, so I make this often. My version is similar, use celery not the salt, mustard, good portion of sweet relish, red onion, mayo and lots of sliced hardboiled (11 minute) eggs so they are bright yellow, and then I drain a can of tuna that has been packed in water, and mix it through. Recently prepared the food for a friend's party, they loved the tuna and macaroni salad. And, leave the tuna out if you don't think they would like it...salt and pepper should be to your preference. I'm a bit heavy handed with salt and pepper, or any spice for that matter. If making a lot for large group, place lots of eggs around the edges, so everyone get one.

        4. I hear you. This one is great, but I would decrease the salt a bit.

          http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

          Another one that is good and much lighter is http://www.recipezaar.com/155858

          Either of these should fit in with your in laws.

          1. Just wanted to add that if you want another alternative that I sometimes make you can just cook the macaroni, chill it, then add a bottle of Italian Dressing and Pamasian/Romano Cheese, some cherry tomatoes and chopped veggies like, cucumber, celery, red onion, always a hit with my friends and family. The key is to use alot of CHEESE !!! Not too healthy but delicious.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jimbosox04

              You might add some blanched, chopped broccoli florets to this one.

            2. White trash mac salad - try this standby from a very old Betty Crocker - still my favorite and always gone in no time.

              Cook macaroni, rinse and cool
              Add vinegar and let sit while you do the rest
              Chop onions, celery, red (or whatever color) peppers and pickles of your choice - I like sweet
              Toss together

              Dressing - miracle whip and mayo combined with a salt and pepper

              Can add olives, cheese cubes, shrimp

              1. My mom makes a very white bread one; but I still love it.
                Celery, chopped onion, salt, pepper, celery seed, celery salt, Hellmans Mayo, bit of cider vinegar, macaroni. Mix it all together and let sit an hour before serving. Sometimes she uses dill pickle juice instead of the vinegar. Also tasty.