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Simply Delicious Macaroni Salad

Updated on July 28, 2014
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Linda lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia. Her recipes are simple, delicious, and southern.

Simply Delicious Macaroni Salad
Simply Delicious Macaroni Salad | Source

Summer is a busy time and I don't want to spend hours in the kitchen. My mother was such a great cook and she always made it look so easy. We weren't rich but Mom knew how to put a nutritious meal on the table, even on her limited budget. She taught me not to be afraid of trying new things and experimenting with whatever you have on hand.

Now that I'm on my own, I still love my Mom's recipes but I get tired of the same old summer salads, I like to change them up once in a while. Unless you get really wild, it's hard to mess one up. This is one of my favorites and I hope you will enjoy it too.

Preparation Time

30 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients

  • 1 small box macaroni, I like the small shells.
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 oackage Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Boil a small box of macaroni in salted water per the package instructions. While it's cooking, you can chop your onions, peppers, and cucumber.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and Ranch Dressing mix until thoroughly blended.
  3. When the macaroni is done, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and drain well.
  4. Add the chopped peppers, onion, and cucumbers and toss gently until mixed well.
  5. Drizzle the dressing over the pasta and veggies and toss lightly with a rubber spatula.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Refrigerate and enjoy.

Variety is the spice of life

As I said earlier, I like variety and this simply delicious macaroni salad can be modified in so many ways. Here are some changes I made from time to time. Give them a try.


  • Add some chopped heirloom tomatoes right before serving.
  • Throw in some small chunks of your favorite cheese (you can't go wrong with cheddar).
  • Forget the mayonnaise and Ranch Dressing mix. Use 3/4 cup of bottled Ranch Dressing.
  • Feeling a need for a little spice? Use Italian Dressing instead of Ranch.
  • Like it hot? Toss in a a little chopped jalapeno or sweet banana pepper.
  • Are you a carnivore at heart? Add some chopped ham.
  • Black olives add color and depth of flavor too.
  • Change the texture of the dish using spiral or bow-tie pasta.

Use a little imagination and make that summer salad one they will remember. .

No chemicals added!
No chemicals added! | Source

Rate the Overall Value of this recipe.

5 stars from 1 rating of Simply Delicious Macaroni Salad

Buy local and buy organic

Before you throw your money into the bid food giants who don't care about your health, check out your local sources for the products you need. Buy from a local farmer or from a farmer's market. Family farms are being threatened with extinction and your support will help keep them alive.


Many small farmer's are turning to smaller crops grown organically without pesticides and other chemicals. As more of us become aware and concerned about the quality of our foods, they will be here long after we put the corporate giants out of business.


In a perfect world, we would all grow our own food but it's not a perfect world. That doesn't mean we can't eat healthier though. Check out the resources in your area. Many communities are starting community gardens where you help tend the garden and you get fresh food in exchange. And don't forget those organic co-ops. It's a great way to eat healthy and to get introduced to some things you've never tried before. You won't believe how much better vegetables taste when they go straight from the farm to your table.

Well it's lunch time here in the southeast and I have a bowl of simply delicious macaroni salad calling my name. I hope you will experiment with your summer veggies and give this a try.

© 2014 Linda Crist

Comments

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  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

    Some great ideas to add to macaroni salad Linda. I would never have thought of using ranch dressing but I'm sure it gives an extra zing!

    We are so fortunate to have so many Farmer's Markets cropping up ... allowing us to buy farm fresh produce.

    Voted up, useful, and interesting.

  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    i love macaroni soups but never tried it with saladds

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Rebeccca, thanks for the visit. I appreciate the share too.

    teaches12345, I appreciate the support. Hope you enjoy this when you try it.

    guildon, thanks for stopping by. I love ranch dressing too. Happy shopping at that new garden!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Rebeccca, thanks for the visit. I appreciate the share too.

    teaches12345, I appreciate the support. Hope you enjoy this when you try it.

    guildon, thanks for stopping by. I love ranch dressing too. Happy shopping at that new garden!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Rebeccca, thanks for the visit. I appreciate the share too.

    teaches12345, I appreciate the support. Hope you enjoy this when you try it.

    guildon, thanks for stopping by. I love ranch dressing too. Happy shopping at that new garden!

  • quildon profile image

    Angela Joseph 3 years ago from Florida

    Yum, yum. I've never thought of adding ranch dressing to a macaroni salad. Great idea. I also love the idea of buying from the community gardens. One was recently started in my area.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

    I haven't had a good macaroni salad in quite awhile and I am going to have to try this one very soon. I love your message on buying organic. It is the best approach to healthy eating.

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    Looks fabulous! I am always for good summer salad recipes, and this one looks like a winner. Shared!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks moonlake.

  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 3 years ago from America

    A favorite of mine, marcaroni salad. The picture of the garden is beauiful. Voted up

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, that sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing it.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

    That looks yummy, Linda. I love macaroni salad. Shoot, I love pasta anything! I make traditional mac salad but I also make a pasta salad with tri-colored spiral noodles. I add in the veggies you mention but I also include sliced black olives and raw broccoli heads. Those have to be torn pretty tiny. I put carrot shavings in it, shredded cheddar and top it with Good Season Italian salad dressing and a bit of Tabasco. The longer it sits, the better it tastes.

    Now, I'm hungry!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Linda, I love them too. Please write about your recipe! I also love ranch dressing on almost anything. lol Thanks for the visit.

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Pasta salads are one of my favorite cold meals...I like your recipe, I never considered using dry ranch dressing for seasoning, I bet it tastes delicious! Thank you for that tip. One day I'll have to create a hub about my favorite pasta salad recipe! :)

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Eric. Thanks! I never make anything the same way twice. lol I really do like it best with cucumbers, tomatoes and cheddar cheese with Ranch Dressing. I didn't have tomatoes on hand when I made this one though.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Yummy and yummy in my tummy!! I like how you added different ingredients ideas.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks Jackie. Hope you enjoy it.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 3 years ago

    @ Radcliff: When my kids were in elementary school, they taught me to make Kraft macaroni and cheese and add a can of tuna and a can of green peas (drain both cans first). Eat it hot. Frankly it is uncommonly delicious for a kid's meal. We had many a supper of this. (They learned it from their best friend.)

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Sounds delicious! I will certainly make this; thank you!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Kindred, I was 20 cents away from pay-out this month so I had to do something to get a slight boost today. lol It only made sense to do the buy local/organic. I'm trying to do my part towards that end. Thanks for the visit, the read, and the hugs mostly. Returning some fresh ones to you.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Sign me up for that salad, Kindred. I was glad to see you add "buy organic" in the hub. I think this is so important for people to do....we just have to keep raising awareness about it. Well done my dear...hugs coming your way.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Radcliff!, Thanks the comment. I love tuna in pasta salad too but have not made one with chicken. See, the possibilities are endless.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Miz B! My mom used canned pimentos too! I like the crunch and color of the bell peppers, especially in the summer when you get them fresh. I do make a kidney bean salad but it's very different. Mine has hard boiled eggs, onions, and sweet pickle and the dressing is mayonnaise. I think I'll try your version next time. And, I'll be watching for your macaroni salad recipe too. Thank you for your sweet remark. Things seem to be settling down a bit and it feels good to have a little time to write. I've got some rust to knock off though. Hugs to you and Mr. B.

  • Radcliff profile image

    Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

    Mmmmm . . . mac salad is so perfect for summer. It's simple and versatile--I like to add some tuna or chicken and greens. Thank you for the reminder and the recipe!

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 3 years ago

    Hey, my friend, I love macaroni salad, and yours looks simply delicious and easy to make. It is very similar to the one my mother used to make except that she used bottled pimentos instead of red bell peppers. I still make macaroni salad except that I have to use gluten-free pasta and I'm still experimenting with which brand has the best texture. I make a pasta salad that is a knock-off of one a local pizza parlor used to make (it's out of business now). It uses ranch dressing instead of mayonnaise. When I make another and get the ingredients down pat, maybe I'll post it.

    Have you ever made a kidney bean salad? Just substitute the kidney beans for the macaroni, and you have it. Very delicious, especially with ranch dressing. Good to see you back writing hubs on a regular basis. Voted up++