Blow that deli macaroni salad out of the water in every way. Great taste from fresh ingredients with these easy step-by-step photo instructions.
Classic homemade macaroni salad is a crowd-pleaser at every cookout, potluck, picnic, and any family gathering. But the deli version is just OK, not bad but not outstanding. You and your family deserve outstanding.
Anybody can buy the macaroni salad but take up a few notches and show up with your version. And as a bonus, you will know what's in it.
A nice medium 4. I won't be doing it often since it makes too much for two. But it is a solid side dish.
I looked around a lot. I read a lot of recipes but just ended up just combining several. I don't think you can go wrong making macaroni salad.
This is a basic recipe. Add or subtract what you want. Cook some pasta, make a mayonnaise-based sauce, and put in what you like. It is that simple.
My main problem was trying to make it "cooking for two" friendly. I finally decided that it just wasn't happening for me. I wanted the pepper in the recipe (my taste).
Otherwise, you can cut this recipe in half and make it more "cooking for two." I decided I was mainly going to use it for gatherings and holiday cooking, so I'm ok with the eight servings.
This is an easy recipe to cut in half. I use it for gatherings, so this is 8 servings.
Cook 2 cups pasta according to package directions. A one-pound box of pasta is generally 4 cups.
In a large bowl mix 1 cup mayonnaise (regular or low-fat), three tablespoons milk, two tablespoon vinegar, one tablespoon mustard, 1-2 teaspoon sugar to taste, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Finely chop one small or ½ medium red onion, two stalks celery and one pepper (red or green).
Mix pasta with the dressing, veggies, and 1 cup of shredded mild cheddar cheese. Refrigerate for a few hours to blend flavors.
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Originally Published May 25, 2014. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.