Posted by Megan | Lunch, Misc, Pasta, Salad, Sides, Vegetarian

Few things signify summertime like get-togethers where friends and family feast on BBQ, burgers, salads and frozen treats. This macaroni salad fits the bill for those types of events and is an old favorite I turn to over and over again for these occasions. I stole the recipe from my mom, who got it from what appears to be either a magazine or a jar of Hellman’s (not sure which). It’s been a backyard picnic standard for so many years in my life that I’m not really sure how to have a summer party without it! So when I was invited to a little summery get-together at some friends, I knew exactly what I was going to make. I knew I had never blogged about this recipe and I knew it was always a hit, so I decided to whip it up and take it along. Plus, how easy of an ingredient list is this? The only thing I don’t typically have in my fridge is the celery, but I happened to have it on hand that week for some reason, so it worked out perfectly.

My biggest caution with this recipe is not to wait until the last minute! For some reason, I always think it’s a grand idea to mix this up right before heading out the door. Bad idea. In fact, I almost recommend cooking the pasta the night before you need it, allowing ample time for it to cool down, because there’s nothing grosser than mixing warm macaroni and mayonnaise. Ew. Definitely get the macaroni noodles done in advance. Then make sure you allow enough time for this to sit in the fridge before taking it to a party! When it’s first mixed and prepped, the flavors have not combined and to be frank, it tastes kind of gross. Trust me – I’ve tasted it and realized that a few too many times. Allow at least one hour of refrigeration before you plan to serve it. Longer is better, especially if you’re taking it somewhere where it will be sitting out for a bit! As long as you follow those two crucial steps (allowing the noodles to cool and allotting enough time for the dish to chill and mix flavors) then this will surely be a hit! Not a macaroni salad person? Try one of our other recipes, for potato salad or egg salad.

Summertime Macaroni Salad (serves 8)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked, drained and cooled
1 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, AC vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, tossing well to coat. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving. Enjoy!

*The original recipe also calls for 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped and included. We’ve never done this, but if that’s your style, definitely add it!

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