May 23, 2018

Picnic macaroni salad

Whip up a batch of this macaroni salad for your next cookout or picnic. Bell pepper, celery, and green onions add flavor, color, and crunch. This salad is simply seasoned and is not a sweet macaroni salad. It goes perfectly with pretty much any cookout food- hot dogs, burgers, sausage, chicken, ribs, etc. This weekend is the unofficial start of summer so it's a perfect time to make macaroni salad! This salad will feed about 10 or so people as a side dish. It's best made the night before or at least a few hours ahead so it can chill and the flavors all get happy together.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my post recently about lacking inspiration lately. I've been having a lot of trouble finding inspiration and time to create new recipes. My posts have been a little sparse because of that. It is a challenge each day with the almost 2 year olds to get time to work on my ideas. This is not a complaint - simply a fact! Or when I do make something I'm just not in the proper head space to measure and take notes. My husband works odd hours so eating regular meals together doesn't happen a lot these days. And, folks, it was a long, long, cold winter. We just had our first local asparagus! I'm hoping that the longer days, warmer weather, and arrival of fresh produce will help me kickstart my creativity again. I'm going to try to plan better to use some time on my husband's days off to focus on my cooking more again. I want to do it and make it a priority when possible. I have a lot of ideas. Ideas are not the challenge! I hope to create and share more family-friendly recipes as well as more healthy toddler foods.

Picnic macaroni salad
3 cups elbow macaroni
1 cup (approximately) mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon paprika, divided
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon (approximately) salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 hard cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 green onions, sliced thin

Cook the macaroni in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water.

While the pasta cooks, stir together the mayonnaise (1 cup), mustard, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper (use to taste - start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more if desired) in a large bowl. Stir in the vegetables, reserving some of the green onion tops for garnish. Fold in the eggs and cooked pasta. Cover and refrigerate until serving (if serving right away taste for seasoning and add garnishes below).

Taste for seasoning. You can add more mayo if it looks a little dry. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with remaining 1/4 teaspoon paprika and reserved green onion tops. 

What was I cooking one year ago?: rhubarb sour cream bread
Two years ago?: pineapple chicken & snow peas
Three years ago?: sweet soy chicken & vegetable noodles
Four years ago?: Farfelle with chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, & tarragon cream sauce
Five?: rhubarb pie
Six?: rhubarb bars
Seven?: chickpea & eggplant phyllo tarts
8?: buttermilk pancakes


  1. Very delicious and definitely perfect for picnic!

  2. I don't always feel like preparing food for my blog, but I'm always interested in eating. :-) So when I fall into the blahs -- and we all do -- I usually am able to snap out of it in a few weeks just by trying different dishes. Not things I necessarily want to blog -- just new tastes. Anyway, this salad is lovely. And perfect for the season! Thanks so much.

  3. this sounds so good!! i love that there isn't any relish in this salad...we never have that around and i hate to buy a jar just for a few tablespoons. and i totally feel you on the recipe rut. i'm there too! :)

  4. I know what you mean with blogging and inspiration, but you have a great excuse ~ those 2 year olds. Sometimes I slow down and think I'll stop blogging and then a couple of days later, I'm back at it. Your salad is great, perfect for the holiday weekend! Thanks!

  5. Don't you just love a picnic!?! It brings back memories of carefree childhood days - of course that was when I didn't have to make the salad!!! But I love making memories with my loved ones and this salad sounds like a great make for a wonderful picnic! Thank you for sharing at Friday Frenzy.

  6. oh, i hear ya about lacking inspiration! i only have one babe and i can barely scrape together a blog post--i don't know how you do it! this salad looks so tasty and full of great textures--bravo. :)

  7. This definitely does look perfect! The paprika on top looks lovely :) Pinned!

  8. I'm all over a macaroni salad that looks as good as this that paprika!!!

  9. Your timing is perfect! I've been having a craving for a pasta salad and yours looks wonderful!

  10. I love this classic dish-perfect for all those summer cookouts!

  11. I agree with you about making macaroni salad the day before for a better taste. I've not put egg in mine before (I do in potato salad) so thanks for the inspiration.


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