With picnic season here, it's time to entertain friends and family at your up coming events. One of my favorite prepared salads is classic macaroni salad with cheese!
When making any pasta dish, it's important to bring plenty of water to boil in a big pot and salt the water once it comes to a boil. Stir in pasta and cook on high stirring often. If you don't have a big enough pot, cook pasta in batches to avoid uneven cooking due to crowding. Overcooked pasta makes for a mushy salad so cook to the lowest time recommended on the label. Drain quickly and rinse with cool water.
Starchy salads can get dry when making ahead. I like to hold back some dressing after mixing it together to stir in before serving. Once macaroni salad is ready storing it in gallon size Zip-lock bags to save room in the fridge or pack easy in ice chests when headed to an outdoor event.
Cheddar Macaroni Salad
Creamy and rich macaroni salad is great served along sandwiches or with a cookout. Try a different pasta like mini shells, Tubini, Rotoni and diced cheddar instead of grated for your own look.
2 pounds elbow macaroni
¼ cup mustard
2 cups mayonnaise
2 cups sour cream
1 cup buttermilk dressing
¾ cup sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon thyme fresh chopped
2 cups celery chopped
1 pound cheddar cheese grated
salt and pepper
- Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add a teaspoon of salt. Cook macaroni until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Do this in batches if your pot is too small to offer ample room for pasta to cook. Strain in a colander and rinse in cold water. Drain thoroughly.
- In very large mixing bowl whisk together mustard, mayonnaise, sour cream and buttermilk dressing. Stir in relish and thyme.
- Fold in macaroni, celery and cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place into serving bowl and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.
BUTTER MILK DRESSING
You will only need half of this recipe for the above salad.
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup buttermilk
2 cloves garlic minced
2 scallion or green onion chopped
2 tablespoons parsley chopped
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
- Whisk mayonnaise and sour cream together until combined.
- Add vinegar, buttermilk and garlic, whisk until smooth.
- Stir in onion, parsley, onion powder, salt and pepper.
- Chill before serving.