Who Doesn’t Love a Good Macaroni Salad?
Move over light and tangy pasta salad, this sweet and creamy macaroni salad is taking center stage.
Macaroni salads made with a mayo-based dressing aren’t as popular as they once were. The simple elbow macaroni seems relegated to Mac and Cheese.
But sometimes a good old Creamy Macaroni Salad can’t be beat. And this recipe for Creamy Macaroni Salad is sweet perfection and just in time for picnics and cookouts.
Thank You to the Church Ladies
I’m not sure where the recipe actually originated as I found plenty of versions on the internet.
But the recipe I use came from the 1992 Hometown Collection of America’s Best Recipes cookbook.
Credit for this Macaroni Salad recipe goes to the Elmhurst, Illinois, Redeemer Women’s Guild’s Palate Pleasers II collection. These ladies knew what’s good! I wish I could get my hands on a copy of the entire Palate Pleasers II cookbook. Ebay here I come!
The cookbook is one of the best collections of church and community recipes. The Favorite Potluck Recipes section is the reason it’s still on my cookbook shelf. I have “excellent” or “very good” written in the margins of most recipes.
The standouts are the recipe for Italian Picnic Salad (soon to be a blog post) and for this Macaroni Salad recipe. It’s SO creamy and delicious.
My Version of Macaroni Salad
I still remember the first time I made this recipe. Between the sweetened condensed milk and extra 1/2 cup white sugar originally called for, it was SUGAR OVERLOAD. But I knew it had potential.
So, my version completely eliminates the extra 1/2 cup of white sugar from the original recipe. And believe me, it is NOT missed.
It’s still a super sweet and creamy macaroni salad, with just the right amount of tang. But I’m sorry to say it is LOADED with fat from the mayo and sugar. The focus is on taste not health. But it’s so worth it! It’s so delicious–it’s almost a dessert! Moderation, moderation.
How to Make The BEST Creamy Macaroni Salad Ever
- COOK the macaroni in salted boiling water according to package directions and DRAIN.
- RINSE with cold water. DRAIN. SET ASIDE.
- CHOP the carrots, peppers and red onion.
- PLACE vegetables in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, COMBINE sweetened condensed milk, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt & pepper.
- MIX to thoroughly combine.
- ADD cooled macaroni to the large bowl with the vegetables.
- Gently MIX in the dressing until well combined.
- COVER and REFRIGERATE overnight.
The mixture will appear liquidy or soupy at first. It will be much less so after the Macaroni Salad sits in the fridge overnight. So make it a day ahead of time.
What Else Goes with It
More Great Side Dishes
Macaroni Salad Retro Style
- 1 16-oz package elbow macaroni
- 4 carrots, shredded
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 1 medium red onion or sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cups mayonnaise (I use Hellmann's)
- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup cider vinegar (or rice vinegar if you like a lighter taste)
- 1 teaspoon salt (I like to use seasoning salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- COOK macaroni according to package directions; drain. RINSE macaroni in cold water; DRAIN well.
- In a large bowl, COMBINE macaroni, carrots, green pepper, and onion.
- In a small bowl, WHISK together the mayo, sweetened condensed milk, vinegar, salt and pepper. STIR until mixture is smooth. POUR dressing over macaroni and TOSS gently to combine. COVER and REFRIGERATE overnight.