Curried Macaroni Salad

Friday 6 July 2018

I am always on the lookout for a new macaroni salad. I love macaroni salads in the summer.  Why?  Because there are no potatoes to peel, you just boil the macaroni, prep any other ingredients, drain the macaroni and stir it all together with a dressing.  Easy. 

I discovered this recipe the other day over on Simply Delicious Food and it intrigued me.  I often make a curried chicken salad and its fabulous.  I just love it!! 

I had an interesting combination of colours and textures . . .  in the way of chopped red peppers and cucumber . . .  celery . . .  red onions  . . .  and chopped peaches!  Chopped Peaches???? Say what???  I'm in!  I love peaches!

I thought the creamy dressing was also a bit unusual.  It uses a small portion of sweetened condensed milk . . .  like the Borden's stuff. (Not evaporated milk, don't make that mistake.) I love sweetened condensed milk. I could eat it with a spoon.  Colour me intrigued.

This gets mixed with mayonnaise.  I always use a good quality mayonnaise without naming any names . . .  okay, I will . . . Hellman's. It has the right amount of tang.

You whisk the mayo together with the sweetened condensed milk, some seasonings and some lemon juice. It was lovely and thick.

At this point you will want to taste it . . .  the dressing.  Make any adjustments you need.  I felt it could use more curry powder. We like curry powder.  I am not fond of cayenne.  I don't like food that bites me, so I opted for more curry powder and less cayenne.

I would rather use more black pepper instead of more cayenne pepper, but fill your boots and do whatever you prefer! 

I also chose to add a heaped dessertspoon of good quality Mango Chutney. (I like Geetas)  I do that with my curried chicken salad, and I thought it would also go well here.  I was right.  It added a special extra touch of sweet/hot/spicy oomph.

Altogether we were really, REALLY pleased with this.  It went down a real treat with our guests also! Do make sure you save out some of the dressing to stir in just prior to serving.  The macaroni will absorb the dressing as it sits. This has always been my special tip to keep pasta salads creamy when serving.

*Curried Macaroni Salad*
Serves 6 
An old classic updated with a creamy curry flavoured dressing.  This is delicious. 

250g elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained, rinse and drain again (2 cups dry)
1 sweet red bell pepper, trimmed, seeded and chopped
3 TBS chopped red onion
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and cut into cubes
2 celery sticks, trimmed and cut into small cubes
1 400g tin of sliced peaches, drained, rinsed, and drained again, cut into cubes (14-oz tin)

For the dressing:
170g of good quality mayonnaise (3/4 cup)
2 TBS sweetened condensed milk (Like Bordens)
1 heaped tsp of medium curry powder
pinch ground turmeric
pinch ground cayenne pepper
1 TBS fresh lemon juice, or to taste
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

parsley to garnish (optional)

Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain well, rinse with cold water to cool down and then drain well again.  Put into a bowl.  Toss together with all of your prepared vegetables.  To make the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth and well combined.  Reserve about 1/3, then pour the remainder over the macaroni and vegetables.  Toss together to combine completely. Cover and chill until you are ready to serve.  Stir in the remaining dressing just prior to serving. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

The clever cook could add some cooked shrimps, salmon or chicken to this and turn it into a whole meal salad, serving it on chilled lettuce leaves. A sprinkle of roasted salted cashew nuts would also make a great garnish. This makes a great take-along to bring to any gathering!  Bon Appetit!


  1. this sounds like something lovely for a pot luck!

  2. Sounds interesting! I like when I go somehwre and they have salads:) Because here..of course like at your home..we make them:) Nice to feel catered to;)

    1. Yes it is Monique! I think every meal should be celebrated Nd enjoyed, even the simple ones! Xo

  3. I'm going to have to try this. The condensed milk sort of throws me here. Now I need to find another recipe where I can use ALMOST a whole can of condensed milk!

    1. Don't worry, I got that covered tomorrow Jeanie! My refrigerator toffee squares. I used the whole tin minus what I used here with no problems! xo

  4. This one intrigued me for much the same reasons you gave - an interesting sounding pasta salad, but with unusual ingredients like peaches and condensed milk. I'd never have put this combination of ingredients together, but then fruit in curry usually goes really well, so maybe it was just me being over cautious.

    Unlike you, I like a bit of bite, so I upped the cayenne to my taste. I thought your idea of making it into a meal was excellent, so I added cooked shrimp and served it on a bed of finely sliced iceberg lettuce. I used the rest of the condensed milk to make my mum's baked lemon cheesecake, so it didn't go to waste.

    We really enjoyed this take on the good old maraconi salad - I like it that you think outside of the box as sometimes I know I can be a bit reluctant to try something that sounds a bit weird and I need you to do a test run for me :)

    1. Marie, I am so pleased you took the chance and made this unusual salad! This makes me very happy! Your addition of shrimp sounds very good! I am betting your mum's cheesecake is also very good! I love cheesecake in any way shape or form. Yes, sometimes it is a great thing to think outside of the box. So pleased you threw caution to the wind and tried this and that it was enjoyed! Thank you so much! xoxo


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