Last Saturday we celebrated my mom’s birthday at our house–complete with games and lots of grandkids (all my mom really wants). Oh, and food. Food is very important to my family. My sister took care of the dessert. We were in charge of dinner.
My husband has been really into smoking meat lately, so on the menu was smoked pulled pork, macaroni salad, and baked beans.
We’ve done this type of meal a lot over the last few months ever since he started this delicious new hobby, and every time we’d make a quick trip to the store for the sides I always cringe when we’d have to buy macaroni salad for anywhere from $4-6 per pound. Ugh!
I finally decided to make it myself for this occasion, but unfortunately I did what everybody knows to be a big kitchen no-no.
I did not try this recipe before making it and serving it at our family gathering. And it was a big fat recipe fail. (As in, no one ate it).
So after feeling like a failure as a person and never wanting to cook again, I decided to get back on the macaroni salad horse and find the perfect recipe.
Two days later, the battle of the macaroni salads ensued. I did some searching, tweaked a couple of recipes I found, and spent almost all of nap time making not one but two different macaroni salads.
Dinner that night was leftover pulled pork and a super fun taste test party that my kids participated in. (I hyped it up quite a bit because they were not at all excited about being asked to eat mommy’s macaroni salad again after Saturday night’s ordeal). They did actually try both!
It was a unanimous decision. We had a winner! I’m excited to share the recipe with you, in case you ever need to whip up some homemade and much less expensive mac salad (and it really was so easy). I adapted it from a blog called Made from Pinterest. The runner up was pretty tasty, as well, and you can find that recipe here.
It’s a really nice blend of sweet and tangy. This is what I was looking for, since we really wanted to mimic the traditional Hawaiian plate macaroni salad style. The other recipe I linked to (the runner up) is definitely more sweet and less tangy if that’s more of what you’re looking for. But I gotta say, the winner really was quite yummy.
Now to have people over for dinner again so that I can redeem myself. 🙂
- 1 16 oz. package of macaroni
- 2 cups best foods mayo (important to use this brand!)
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 T brown sugar
- 2 T diced onion
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, but make sure it is nice and soft, not al dente
- Meanwhile, dice veggies
- When pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water
- Return to pan and mix in vinegar
- Allow to cool and set for about 10 minutes
- Mix in the rest of the ingredients
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving