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Summertime Macaroni Salad

Summertime Macaroni Salad recipe

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Summertime Macaroni Salad is the perfect dish for picnics, barbecues, and family gatherings. This creamy and colorful salad is packed with fresh vegetables and hard-boiled eggs, making it both nutritious and satisfying. The light and tangy dressing made with fat-free mayo and Greek yogurt keeps it healthier without sacrificing flavor. Easy to make and even easier to enjoy, this salad is sure to become a favorite at your summer events.

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • Green onions for topping

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup fat-free mayo
  • 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons all-natural honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook the Macaroni:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the elbow macaroni and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
    • Drain the macaroni and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool the pasta. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the Vegetables and Eggs:
    • While the pasta is cooking, chop the red bell pepper, carrots, celery, and red onion into small, bite-sized pieces.
    • Peel and chop the hard-boiled eggs.
  3. Make the Dressing:
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the fat-free mayo, fat-free Greek yogurt, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey until well combined.
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Combine Salad Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and cooled macaroni, chopped vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs.
    • Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to coat everything evenly.
  5. Chill and Serve:
    • Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
    • Before serving, give the salad a good stir and top with chopped green onions for a fresh touch.

Cook’s Tips and Variations:

  • Vegetable Variations: Feel free to add or substitute other vegetables such as cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, or peas.
  • Protein Boost: Add cooked and diced chicken breast or canned tuna for an extra protein boost.
  • Herbs: Fresh herbs like parsley, dill, or cilantro can add an extra layer of flavor to the salad.
  • Creaminess: For a richer taste, you can use regular mayo and full-fat Greek yogurt.
  • Spice: If you like a bit of spice, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or some chopped jalapeños to the dressing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I make this salad ahead of time? A: Yes, you can make this salad a day in advance. In fact, it often tastes better after sitting in the fridge overnight as the flavors have more time to meld together.

Q: How long does this salad keep in the fridge? A: This macaroni salad will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Q: Can I use a different type of pasta? A: Absolutely! You can use any short pasta like rotini, penne, or shells.

Q: What can I use instead of Greek yogurt? A: You can use sour cream or even plain yogurt as a substitute for Greek yogurt.

Q: Is there a vegan version of this recipe? A: Yes, you can make a vegan version by using vegan mayo, vegan yogurt, and omitting the eggs. You can also add chickpeas or other legumes for protein.

Summertime Macaroni Salad is a delightful addition to any summer meal. Its colorful and crunchy vegetables combined with a creamy, tangy dressing make it a refreshing side dish that’s perfect for hot weather. Easy to customize and prepare, this salad is sure to be a hit at your next picnic or barbecue. Enjoy the delicious flavors and the simplicity of this classic summer dish!

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