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Kathryn's Macaroni Salad

Updated on June 18, 2013

This is actually the same list of ingredients I use to make my potato salad with the exception of adding mustard. I always try to see if I can apply things I know about one thing and do it for something else. If you know how to run a PC you have the basic knowledge base to run a Mac. For every type of salad there is a similarity of ingredients used. Some may work better in some recipes better than others. For example, I really don't think tomatoes would work well in potato salad and potatoes wouldn't work very well in a lettuce based salad. One of my most anal moments was thinking lasagna sauce and spaghetti sauce were two different things. They're basically the same exact recipe, but used for different things.

My potato salad has evolved over the years from the basic potato salad recipe my mother taught me of hard boiled eggs, mayo and boiled potatoes. I love onions, so onions is a mandatory ingredient. My mother mentioned having a potato salad with mustard in it that she liked so I started adding mustard, because it does add an interestingly tart flavor to it. Once I didn't have mustard so I substitute some Italian dressing, since it has it's own tart flavor. I thought it tasted just as well as it did with mustard. And the sweet relish adds a little bit of a sweet taste to it.

Anyway, the first time I made macaroni salad, I saw no reason not to use the same ingredient as you use to make potato salad, although I've always omitted mustard from the macaroni salad, since it seems to be too heavy a flavor to mix with macaroni. Potatoes have a slightly different taste than macaroni and they definitely have a different texture. They also require stronger flavors to flavor them than macaroni does.

A friend gave me some boxes of macaroni and cheese to use because she wanted me to make some of my macaroni salad. The cheese in brands of macaroni and cheese other than Kraft aren't very good and the macaroni and cheese comes out pretty tasteless. So I used it to make the macaroni salad, but I had a lot of problems with it when it was cooked, to the point I almost contemplated tossing the macaroni out and cooking some elbow macaroni. It was of a lighter texture than elbow macaroni, not to mention I'd cooked it for 10 minutes and that was several minutes too long. When I started mixing the ingredients in it felt like it was going to turn into one big glob of mush. If I hadn't have put all the ingredients in, I would have given up on it. But I worked on it a bit, putting a bit more mayo than usual, and it turned out okay. But I would recommend using elbow macaroni in macaroni salad because it's heavier than the macaroni they use in the macaroni and cheese boxes. In short, just because it's macaroni, doesn't mean it should be used for macaroni salad.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 8 servings


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sweet relish
  • 1 onion, cut up
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • dash garlic salt and pepper


  1. Place cooked macaroni in large bowl. Cut-up hard boiled eggs and onions. Add sweet relish and mayo and mixed it together. Add garlic salt and pepper for taste.
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