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Homestyle Macaroni Salad

2014 July 1
by Emily Hill

A classic homestyle macaroni salad with a light, creamy dressing and the tasty addition of diced ham, red bell pepper and tomato.

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Homestyle Macaroni Salad -- A classic homestyle macaroni salad with a light, creamy dressing and the tasty addition of diced ham, red bell pepper and tomato. | isthisreallymyilfe.com

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When my dad requests macaroni salad for his retirement party, you bet I’m going to scour the Interweb for the best homestyle macaroni salad recipe. I refuse to buy store-bought macaroni salad when we’re talking my dad’s heard-earned retirement.

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Homestyle Macaroni Salad -- A classic homestyle macaroni salad with a light, creamy dressing and the tasty addition of diced ham, red bell pepper and tomato. | isthisreallymyilfe.com

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After doing a bit of browsing (and pinning), I settled on this macaroni salad from Favorite Family Recipes. Wanting an excuse to taste test the recipe, I served it alongside steak for our family Father’s Day dinner.

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Homestyle Macaroni Salad -- A classic homestyle macaroni salad with a light, creamy dressing and the tasty addition of diced ham, red bell pepper and tomato. | isthisreallymyilfe.com

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It was a huge hit. Like, HUGE.

When I made it, I chose to leave out the carrots (kind of wish I’d left out the peas) and added diced ham, red bell pepper and tomato. Next time I think I’ll add in some diced dill pickle too. Heck, I may even throw in some diced avocado just before serving.

Sometimes I get crazy like that.

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Homestyle macaroni salad

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But I’m totally going to leave the dressing as is. It was perfect.

Printable recipe for homestyle macaroni salad below.

Homestyle Macaroni Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Light yet delicious classic macaroni salad. This is my new go-to recipe for backyard barbecues and family parties. Huge hit! Adapted from Mom's Macaroni Salad on FavoriteFamilyRecipes.com.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 (16-oz.) package elbow macaroni
  • 1½ c low-fat mayo
  • 2 T mustard
  • ¼ c low-fat sour cream
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 cup diced cheddar cheese
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Optional:
  • ⅔ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and diced
  • ¼ to ½ cup chopped dill pickle
  • 1 to 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
Instructions
  1. Prepare macaroni al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
  2. Combine mayo, mustard, sour cream, apple cider vinegar and sugar in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Combine macaroni with ham, cheese, bell pepper and celery (and any optional additions) in a large bowl. Add mayo mixture and toss until pasta is evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Notes
If macaroni salad appears a bit "dry" after being refrigerated overnight, add milk a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.

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