Mama's Macaroni Salad

"Easy and yummy cold pasta salad with a sweet dressing that reminds me of a poppy seed dressing. This has been handed down in my family for generations. Best made the day before to allow the pasta to absorb the dressing and the flavors blend. Hope you like it! PS This is also a great dressin for a sweet mayo slaw dressing."
photo by *Parsley* photo by *Parsley*
photo by *Parsley*
photo by Chabear01 photo by Chabear01
Ready In:




  • Cook macaroni according to package directions using salted water.
  • Drain and rinse with cold water to remove the starchy water and cool the pasta quickly.
  • Shake the strained to remove as much water as possible from the pasta. You want it as dry as possible but not sticking together.
  • Place in large bowl and add the veggies. (This really is best and prettiest when the veggies are diced small.).
  • Mix all the dressing ingredients together- I usually put it in an empty jar with a tight fitting lid- like an old mayo jar- and shake-the kids like to do this part! (The dressing can be made ahead of time and stored in refrigerator).
  • Pour dressing over pasta and veggies and stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Refrigerate.
  • NOTE: Holidays: The red and green veggies look great at Christmastime!
  • BBQ's/Picnics: Place the bowl on top of a bowl filled with ice to keep it really cold.
  • You can use other veggies too- Great way to use up the garden goodies!

Questions & Replies

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  1. This recipe is short, sweet, easy, to the point...and great. Perfect for that backyard picnic!!!
  2. This is a good, different-tasting macaroni salad. I liked the combination of vegetables. Yes, the dressing is very sweet, but I added some salt, pepper and dill weed and it balanced it out. It was still sweet, but not too sweet. The dressing gets a little thin, so I'd be sure the full-fat mayo (as I did) and to use the shell macaroni as written and not substitute. I'm glad I tried this and I will make it again with my few changes. Thanx for sharing.
  3. This is a nice change from the everyday dulldrums of regular Macaroni Salad. If you let it sit in the refrigerator overnight the macaroni picks up a bit more of the flavor by soaking up more of the dressing, and adds to the flavor of the salad. Thank You for sharing this salad.
  4. This was good, but too sweet for us. I liked the veggie combination, but the dressing seemed like too much for the amount of pasta and the sweetness was a little overpowering. I was looking for a deli-type macaroni salad and thought this would fit the bill...I so wanted it to work for us. It was nice for a change and I would try it again decreasing the sugar and increasing the pasta. This would be wonderful for someone who likes sweet salads, I'm sure. Thanks!


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