I know you saw the title of this recipe and came here to see what makes it the best macaroni salad ever.
You’re skeptical, I get it.
Thing is…. it’s ridiculously simple and delicious and has absolutely nothing but the basics in it but it’s magic and will have you hooked in 1 bite. Maybe 2 bites…
There are no measurements, you’ve got to make it like mom does… with your heart.
Ha. Sappy. But accurate.
Eyeball it. You got this.
Mom’s Macaroni Salad
aged cheddar cheese
mayo or miracle whip
salt & pepper
Boil macaroni as per package directions until soft. (Mom likes hers a little more well done than al dente so do it up right!) At the end of cooking, throw in a handful of frozen green peas and let cook for a minute. Drain and let cool to room temp.
Cut up a few radishes into slices. About 2 – 4, just enough to add some color to the pasta.
Cut up one or 2 pickles into tiny cubes.
Cut up about 1/4 of a green pepper into tiny cubes.
Finely dice about 1/4 of an onion.
Cube up aged cheddar cheese into tiny cubes. (Do NOT shred it, that is not mom’s way. Cube it.)
Give it a good stir. Can you see little bits of all the different color ingredients?
If yes, you’re good to go. If no, add a bit more of whatever ingredient isn’t showing up enough. When you think it looks good, stir in the mayo.
Make it good and creamy. Stir it well then let it sit for 5 minutes so the pasta can soak up some of the mayo. Creamy enough? Ok. Still seem dry? Add in more mayo a spoonful at a time.
Chill until ready to eat. Definitely give it at least an hour or two in the fridge. Just before serving, season with salt and pepper!
Word of advice – if you want to make this ahead of time: mix in the ingredients but DO NOT mix in the mayo. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Mix in mayo about half an hour before serving and place back in fridge until ready to use.
One of the best things about this salad is you can make a little bit or a huge amount.
For those of you insisting on measurements. *Sigh* I get it. I’ll do my best to guesstimate here, but you really do have to go by how it looks.
For about 4 cups cooked macaroni I’d say 1/3 cup peas, 3 radishes, 2 baby pickles, 1/4 of a green pepper, 1/3 cup onion, 1/2 cup cheese, and 1 cup mayo. Totally guesstimating here guys…. use your mom-senses to make sure it feels right.
You should be able to see all the ingredients every time you give it a stir. And if you’re unsure about the mayo, start low and add slow. You can’t take it out after if you’ve added too much.
Let us know if you give it a try! We’re pretty sure you’ll fall in love with it!