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Healthy and Easy Macaroni Salad

The perfect side dish with so many summer meals, this healthy and easy macaroni salad is super simple to prepare. We prefer our macaroni salad less creamy and a bit on the lighter side, making this recipe a bit healthier without sacrificing any of the flavor. It’s a summer salad you can feel great about making and eating as well! This amazingly easy macaroni salad takes under 10 minutes to prepare.

healthy and easy macaroni salad

What you need to make this Healthy and Easy Macaroni Salad:

ingredients for healthy macaroni salad

How to make this Healthy and Easy Macaroni Salad:

Step 1: Make the Pasta

Bring a medium sized pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain well. Set aside to cool completely.

make the pasta

Step 2: Make the Dressing

In a medium bowl, mix together the reduced fat mayonnaise, vinegar, pickle juice, honey, mustard, salt and pepper; set aside. You can adjust for salt and pepper once all of the salad ingredients are combined.

make the dressing

Step 3: Prep the Veggies

Bell peppers add a nice sweet and crunchy texture to this salad, our family prefers red or orange bell peppers, although you can also use yellow or green. I find an easy way to dice bell peppers is by first cutting the peppers in half, lengthwise. Then, remove the seeds and pith. Cut strips into the halves, being careful not to cut all the way through. Stack and dice as usual.

prep the peppers

Chop the scallions or chives; dice the celery; with a box grater, shred the carrot and set aside.

dice the veggies

Step 4: Combine

In a large bowl add the well drained pasta, chopped veggies and scallions or chives (reserve a handful for garnishing, if desired). Add the dressing and toss salad to evenly coat.

combine the ingredients

Step 5: Taste and Refrigerate

Taste to adjust for salt, pepper and acid (vinegar or pickle juice). Once you’re happy with the seasoning, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving or overnight for the best flavor. The time in the refrigerator allows the dressing to be absorbed into the pasta.

cool the macaroni salad
macaroni salad hero shot

Garnish with reserved scallions or chives. Serve with Honey BBQ Drumsticks or Tasty Turkey Burger.

Healthy and Easy Macaroni Salad

Healthy and Easy Macaroni Salad

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 17 minutes

The perfect side dish with so many summer meals, this healthy and easy macaroni salad is super simple to prepare. We prefer our macaroni salad less creamy and a bit on the lighter side, making this recipe a bit healthier without sacrificing any of the flavor. It's a summer salad you can feel great about making and eating as well!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

  • 1-2 tablespoons pickle juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup mini peppers, diced (3 peppers)
  • 3 scallions or 1 bunch of chives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped (1 stalk)
  • 1/2 cup carrot, grated
 (1 medium)

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain well. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the reduced fat mayonnaise, vinegar, pickle juice, honey, mustard, salt and pepper; set aside.
  3. Dice the bell peppers and celery, chop the scallions, and shred the carrots; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl add the pasta and veggies. Add the dressing and toss salad to evenly coat.
  5. Taste to adjust for salt, pepper and acid (vinegar or pickle juice). Once you're happy with the seasoning, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving or overnight for the best flavor.
  6. Garnish with reserved scallions or chives before serving.

Notes

Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3-4 days.

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