My mother used to make macaroni salad now and then when I was growing up. She didn’t make it often because it was a bit tedious to make at the time and usually only during the Summer months. Macaroni salad belongs on the table when you have a barbeque, yeah? This is something that when I was single, I would make and eat it not just as a side dish with dinner or lunch, but eat it as a main dish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner or as a snack.
Over the years I’ve found a shortcut here and there to make it a little easier. Buying sliced black olives instead of slicing a whole can and using sweet relish instead of cutting sweet pickle slices into a fine dice. It’s the little things that help.
When I was making last week’s menu plan, I realized I had not made macaroni salad since going gluten-free. I don’t know why. I just haven’t. I figured it would go along nicely with the pulled pork bbq I was planning on making.
When I was doing the grocery shopping, I found one more thing to make my job easier in making this. Sliced spanish olives. YES! One less think to put on the cutting board. This left me with just dill pickle slices to fine dice. I use an egg slicer to dice my eggs. Pretty much near perfect every time. I do miss being able to use salad macaroni since there isn’t any gluten-free available at this time. I loved how the little pieces of diced pickles, eggs, and pimento pieces would get stuck inside. With the gluten-free pasta shells, I get more than just a little piece stuck inside the shell. Almost the same!
Make this ahead time to make sure it has time to chill in the refrigerator. It always tastes better the next day, so make it a day ahead of time!
Macaroni Salad – serves 8 (or more)
1 package salad macaroni, elbow macaroni, or pasta shells (gluten-free if you are gluten-free)
1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, diced (omit for vegan)
1 can black olives, sliced (or 1 can pre-sliced)
1 small jar Spanish olives, sliced (or 1/4 – 1/2 cup pre-sliced)
1/2 cup sliced sweet pickles, diced (or 1/4 cup sweet relish)
1/2 cup sliced dill pickles, diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayo
3-4 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon raw local honey or unrefined sugar (can omit)
Prepare the macaroni/pasta according to package directions and drain. In a large bowl, combine the mayo, mustard and honey/sugar until you have a smooth dressing. Add remaining ingredients and combine well to get the dressing distributed. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.