Healthy Macaroni Salad
Summertime. Parties at your place and backyard barbecues. That’s exactly where a macaroni salad shines the best. This cold pasta salad can easily be made within 20 minutes and it goes along with everything. Potlucks, burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, BBQs, picnics, anything you can think of. Macaroni salad is there to save the day.
What is a Macaroni Salad?
Macaroni salad is the king of versatile pasta dishes. It’s often made with elbow Macaroni, celery, peppers, and carrots in a simple creamy mayonnaise dressing. It’s likely that you have all the ingredients in the kitchen right now. It’s a cold pasta so it is very suitable as picnic food since it does not need to be reheated. The mayonnaise often makes the macaroni salad a bit heavy. In this recipe, I’ll be making this salad with olive oil, lemon juice, and maple syrup that makes for a sweet tangy salad that won’t weigh you down for the party and ensure that you have a great time.
Notable Ingredients at a Glance
Macaroni – The pasta needs to be cooked Al dente. The most common choice is elbow pasta. However, you can make it with any pasta that you have on hand. It just needs to be a shape that holds onto a lot of the dressing in every bite. You will need one cup for 2 portions of salad.
Mushrooms – You will need about a cup of cooked mushrooms. You can pick favorites here and choose whichever kind of mushrooms you like.
Red bell pepper – finely chopped Red bell pepper is great in a salad. You’ll need about 1 cup.
Zucchini – A cup of finely chopped zucchini would add to the crunchy texture of the salad contrasting with the mushy bite of the pasta.
Olives – Half a cup of olives cut into rings would give a tangy taste to the salad.
Oregano – A tablespoon of the dried stuff adds complementary flavors to the pasta.
Fresh parsley – You can use a half cup of fresh parsley or 1tsp if you are using dried parsley.
Chili flakes – You can use store-bought chili flakes or homemade ones.
Olive oil – 1/4 cup for drilling and making the dressing of the salad.
Lemon juice – 2 tablespoons to add acidity.
Maple syrup – 1 tablespoon of good quality maple syrup really contributes to the authentic flavor of the salad
Salt and Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon or to taste.
How to prepare Macaroni Salad?
Starting off, we will cook the macaroni in 6 cups of water until they are soft but firm. This is also called the al dente stage. Wash the cooked macaroni under running water to prevent them from clumping together.
In a pan, add oil and separately saute the mushrooms Zucchini, and bell peppers till the mushrooms are soft and the Zucchini is cooked. At this point, you can also add the macaroni to get some color on them but this is optional.
In a large mixing bowl add the macaroni-cooked mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, Olives, Oregano, and parsley. to this will add the dressing for our salad.
In a separate mixing bowl, add the olive oil, Chili flakes, lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt. Briskly whisk the mixture and add it to your macaroni bowl. Toss to coat the pasta in the dressing and mix everything well. Be careful not to break the pasta.
Serve it warm or cold as you desire.
Some expert tips for preparing Macaroni Salad
- The entire thing should take 15 minutes to prepare. Assembling the salad takes about 5 minutes. The proportion given in this recipe serves 2 people.
- You can add ingredients of your choice. It’s a salad after all! Peas, capers, fresh Dill, and pickles can be added to add your own unique twist to this recipe.
Healthy Macaroni Salad is very tasty recipe and it is very easy to prepare it. It is super delicious and it is a very flavorful recipe.
- 1 cup – macaroni
- 1 cup – cooked mushrooms
- 1 cup – red bell pepper finely chopped
- 1 cup – zucchini finely chopped
- ½ cup – olives
- 1 tbsp – oregano
- ½ cup – fresh parsley or 1tsp if you are using dried parsley
- 1 tsp – chili flakes
- ¼ cup – olive oil
- 2 tbsp – lemon juice
- 1 tbsp – honey
- 1 tsp – salt
- Cook the macaroni in 6 cups of water till they are soft but firm i.e., al dente.
- Wash the cooked macaroni under running water.
- In a large bowl add the macaroni, cooked mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, olives, oregano and
- Now let us prepare the dressing for the salad.
- In a bowl take the olive oil to it add chili flakes, lemon juice, honey and salt.
- Mix well.
- Now add this dressing to the macaroni bowl and toss everything very well.
- Serve it warm or cold as you desire.
- Enjoy healthy macaroni salad as a snack or main meal.
Keywords: healthy macaroni salad