There are a few things that you just can not buy. I was walking around, trying to pick out some easy sides for a BBQ last Saturday, trying to make life easier by not making everything from scratch. I picked up the macaroni salad (it was basically fluorescent orange), I looked at the tiny little container for $6, and I started doing the math on how much we would need to feed everyone (and none of us enjoy, again, it was fluorescent orange).
Forget it. I knew that I had the best recipe at home, the one that when I make it, I keep eating it and only it for days on end. I also realized that I’d already spent almost half the time it takes to make a good homemade version trying to talk myself into a crappy store-bought one. I wasn’t making any sense. Costco can do that to you, especially on a day when your daughter keeps begging you to take her back for second rounds of broccoli and krispy kreme donut samples. The girl has an iron stomach.
So, here it is – my ultimate macaroni salad recipe. It’s Amish style, with eggs and cheese, and all kinds of other delicious stuff that will keep everyone coming back for more. You get the macaroni cooking, then you get the dressing mixed together, then just toss it all up and you’re done. It can be eaten right away, or made ahead of time. The flavours just get better and better while they soak together, I usually try to make it 1 day before I need it, then keep eating leftovers for another two.
- 1 lb (16oz) elbow macaroni
- 1 medium red onion, diced fine
- 3 celery stalks, chopped fine
- 2 tbsp sweet pickle relish
- 2 cups miracle whip dressing
- 3 tbsp yellow mustard
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 tsp white vinegar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp celery seed
- ¾ tsp paprika
- 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
- finely chopped chives to top (optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the macaroni. Boil for 8 - 10 minutes, until tender, but not super soft. Drain, rinse with cool running water to stop the cooking, and set aside.
- In a very large bowl, whisk together the red onion, celery, relish, miracle whip, mustard, sugar, vinegar, salt, celery seed, and paprika. When the mixture is uniform, add the chopped egg and cheese, and whisk to distribute.
- Add the cooked macaroni, and toss with a spatula or wooden spoon to evenly coat all the macaroni with the dressing. Top with chopped chives if you want.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until serving. Can be eaten right away, but is the best after it has sat overnight.