Creamy Macaroni Salad

Thursday 13 June 2013

 Creamy Macaroni Salad

 I was a little late in life in coming to the macaroni salad table.  It wasn't something that my mother had ever made when I was growing up. 

 In fact we only ever very rarely had macaroni at all, and when we did it was in a hot dish or casserole, not a salad.

Creamy Macaroni Salad

As an adult I have come to love pasta salads, and none better than plain old macaroni salad.  There is so much you can do with it. 

 Macaroni is the perfect canvas on which to play with your favourite flavour combinations.

Creamy Macaroni Salad

I have one pasta salad recipe that has somewhat of a pesto type of dressing, but those types of dressings are better suited to a fluted or ridged pasta . . . one that will hug onto the dressing and tuck it into all of it's crevices.  

Macaroni calls for something a bit more sublime . . .

Creamy Macaroni Salad

In fact it is well suited to a creamy type of dressing  . . . nothing over stated, and yet  . . .  rich.  

A dressing which will cling generously and coat it without overpowering the value of the macaroni . . . or else why even use macaroni or anything else for that matter.   

You want something which will enhance all of macaroni's properties.

Creamy Macaroni Salad

And of course something which dresses up well with a bit of crunch and colour, which you get from the liberal use of fresh vegetables here . . . celery, carrots, radishes, onion and peppers . . .

 Creamy Macaroni Salad

The dressing itself is not overly mayonnaise-y . . . 

it's lightened a bit with the use of salad cream, and some fresh and tangy lemon juice, with just a hint of sugar to counteract the tartness of the lemon so that it doesn't smack you in the face and make your jaws ache . . .

 Creamy Macaroni Salad

Quite, quite delicious actually.  This recipe combines all of the elements of several macaroni salad recipes I have taken to through the yeas, and comes out as the perfect salad for me.  

My husband  seems to enjoy it as well . . . even if it does have the dreaded macaroni in it! ☺

 Creamy Macaroni Salad 

*Marie's Creamy Macaroni Salad*
Serves 6 to 8
A combination of what I think are the best elements of any macaroni salad I have ever eaten.   Simple and delicious.

boiling water
1 chicken stock pot
1 pound of elbow macaroni
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small bag of radishes, trimmed and diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 small red onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
For the Dressing:
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup salad cream
the juice of two lemons
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
a small handful of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Add the chicken stock pot to the boiling water.  Add the macaroni and cook according to package directions until desired done-ness.  Drain well.  Rinse in cold water.  Drain again and then tip into a bowl.   Add all of the vegetables and stir together to combine.  

Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.  Fold this dressing into the macaroni and vegetable mixture.  Smooth over and cover.  Chill for about 3 hours before serving.  Stir again just before serving.  If desired sprinkle with some more parsley.

Note:   A chicken stock pot is a small plastic pot, holding about a TBS of stock concentrate.  There are a variety of different ones on the market.  I normally use the Knorr ones.  You could also turn this into a main dish salad by adding cubes of cheese and meat or fish to it.  Ham, Tuna and Salmon are each one very nice additions.  One stock pot makes 500ml of 2 cups of chicken stock.

Salad Cream is a thin mayonnaise type of dressing sold over here in the UK.  The North American equivalent would be Coleslaw Dressing.  Kraft makes one as does a company called Marzetti.


  1. I made a macaroni salad today too, I used a sun dried tomato dressing, olives, pepperoni, cheese onion celery kidney beans carrot green peas fussili pasta, I love creamy macaroni salads the best, I make one with celery onion miracle whip and green relish and a tin of good red sockeye salmon, that is favorite with our family, I will try yours Marie, it sounds wonderful!

  2. What is salad cream? I live in the US and have never heard of it. I love your blog, by the way, and pin your recipes all the time. :)

  3. Yeah, I have to ask as well, what is salad cream? Is it something like Miracle Whip in the US, which is considered "salad dressing"?

  4. That sounds delish Laurie, and quite similar to one that I make! Scrummo!

    SkyBluePink and MM, Salad Cream is a British dressing which is very similar to Kraft Coleslaw dressing! Hope this helps! If you can't find it you can substitute milk for it. It won't quite be the same, but it will still taste very good!

  5. I had never heard of salad cream either..

  6. What is a chicken stock pot please and can I substitute something?

  7. this does sound deliciously creamy and I love that you've slipped quite a few veggies in there -
    Mary x

  8. Amelia, a stock pot is a little plastic pot which holds about a tablespoon of concentrated Liquid stock, so they are quite strong. I believe each makes about 1 1/2 cups of stock when reconstituted. You could sub stock cubes if you wished, or stock powder. Hope this helps!

  9. OH it looks so yummy..want some.

  10. Marzetti is quite good, wish we did have the actual salad cream that is available in UK & Canada, tho...(Heinz brand, no?) They even have it in squeeze bottles & in "light" versions I've seen!

  11. Yes, Heinz is a brand Kip. You can use coleslaw dressing if you can find it. I think Kraft makes a version!

  12. This is one of the best pasta salads ever – thank you so much for sharing!

  13. Thanks RAchel, it's a recipe I have been using for a very long time! I guess you could say it has stood the test of time! xx


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