Perfect Creamy Macaroni Pasta Salad

How to make the best macaroni pasta salad with a light creamy vinaigrette and crunchy, colorful vegetables. Skip to the Creamy Macaroni Pasta Salad recipe or read on for our tips on how to do it.


How to make the best macaroni salad

There are many ways to prepare pasta salad. We’ve already shared a few with you, including our quick and easy Pasta Salad, this Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber, and for a gluten-free salad, this Mediterranean Zucchini Pasta Salad.


When preparing a cold and creamy pasta salad, keep these tips in mind:

  • Don’t overcook the pasta.. Use the package directions for your chosen pasta as a guide, but taste them a minute or two before they’re done. When done, drain the pasta and move on to our next tip.
  • Rinse cooked pasta with cold water. before mixing with the dressing. If you’ve ever made a pasta salad that got sticky, it could be because you didn’t rinse the pasta before tossing it with the dressing. Cooked noodles are coated with starch. By removing the starch, the lettuce won’t be as sticky or clumpy.
  • Choose lots of colorful vegetables and textures to add to the salad. It’s just better like this.
  • Use a light and flavorful dressing.. Since the base of our dressing is creamy, we like to spice it up with some sour vinegar and mustard. If you like sweeter salads, you can also add some honey.

How to make a creamy pasta dressing

For a creamy macaroni salad, we like to use a slightly different version of our potato dressing (it gets great reviews). Instead of just using mayonnaise, which can weigh down the dough, Mix mayonnaise with sour cream.

Since sour cream has a certain kick, it brings out the flavors of the dressing just like fresh lemon juice would with other dishes.

In addition to mayonnaise and sour cream, we use these ingredients:

  • yellow mustard adds a bit of color and complements the flavor of the dressing well. We usually use Dijon mustard in our recipes, but just like our potato salad, we prefer plain yellow mustard for the best pasta salad.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar gives the dressing even more flavor. A tablespoon is enough. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, most types of vinegar will work, especially white or red wine vinegar.
  • salt and pepper They are essential for making the vinaigrette. There is a lot of pasta and vegetables in the bowl. Nobody wants a naked salad, right? We start with 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and go from there to taste.
  • Honey is an optional ingredient.. We usually avoid the sweeter pasta salads, but if that’s your thing, add a tablespoon of honey to the dressing and you’ll be a happy camper!

What’s in a creamy pasta salad?

What you add to your macaroni salad is entirely up to you, but consider checking these boxes:

  • When choosing the shape of the pasta, choose something that will stick to the dressing. Shapes with nooks and crannies like angled macaroni, small shells, or even spiral shapes work well.
  • Add color and texture with a variety of veggies. We always add onions at the end, preferring red onions for the pop of color. In addition to onions, we like celery, peppers and radishes. You can find more vegetable suggestions below, where we present possible salad variations.
  • We like to add chopped cucumbers for a bit more salt. You can skip that or swap it out for a sweeter option like pickles or something else, go for the spicy!

possible options

This pasta salad has many variations. Here are three of our favorites:

  • For a healthier creamy pasta salad, try replacing the mayonnaise with low-fat mayonnaise and some or all of the sour cream called for in the recipe with yogurt. The yoghurt makes the dressing a bit spicy, but it still tastes good.
  • Turn this into an Italian pasta salad. add a handful of chopped ham or salami and a few cubes of cheese. A sprinkling of dried oregano would also be great.
  • For more than one vegetable saladconsider peas, tomatoes, corn, cauliflower, or broccoli.

Perfect creamy pasta salad with macaroni

  • COOK

The key to the best creamy pasta salad is rinsing the cooked pasta under cold running water before tossing it with the dressing. If you skip this step, the bandage will become sticky. We also “flame” the onion, which tames the flavor of the raw onion so the onion doesn’t overwhelm the salad. A quick soak in cold water will do the trick.

Makes about 6 servings

will need

For the salad

8 ounces dry macaroni or small pasta

1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)

1 medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)

3 radishes, trimmed and finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)

1 medium cucumber, finely chopped, optional

For the dressing

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise, try our homemade mayonnaise recipe

1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard, substitute for Dijon mustard or whole wheat mustard

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 to 2 tablespoons honey, optional for the sweet version


    Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse well under cold running water.

    Meanwhile, place the chopped onions in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand 5 minutes and then drain. This “defines” the onion and ensures that it doesn’t taste too strong in the salad.

    In the bottom of a large salad bowl, prepare the vinaigrette. Whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. For a sweeter macaroni salad, add honey to taste.

    To the bowl with the dressing, add the rinsed macaroni, drained onions, bell peppers, celery, radish, and pickle. Mix well. Taste and then season with additional salt and pepper.

Advice from Adam and Joanne

  • Store pasta salad tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Nutritional Information: The nutritional information below is an estimate. We use the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, take a picture and use the hashtag #inspiredtaste. We love seeing your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutritional value per serving: Part 1/6 of the recipe / calories 252 / total fat 10.4g / Saturated Fatty Acids 2.9g / cholesterol 10.6g / sodium 317.2 mg / carbohydrates 32.2g / fiber 2.1g / total sugar 2.4g / protein 6.9g

AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

Article content is collected and compiled by:

Source :

Similar Posts