Peppers and Olives Macaroni Salad

1 lb macaroni, cooked to package instructions
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon
1/4-1/3 cup coarsely chopped manzanilla olives with pimento (I used these which are prechopped)
splash of olive juice
1 large cubanelle pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
freshly ground black pepper


In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together until evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour prior to serving.

My thoughts:

Macaroni salad can be a tricky thing. I enjoy a deli-style macaroni salad as much as the next person but macaroni salad can easily go so wrong. I’ve seen too many that go too sweet (sweet relish and sugar?!), I’ve seen some that have raisins in them. Raisins. Who would do that to a person?

I don’t make macaroni salad often but when I do, I like to go as savory as possible. Last night I was trying to think of a side dish after having rice for lunch and potatoes the night before. We had a ton of macaroni noodles in the house so I thought, why not make a pasta salad. My original idea was pretty different but I had to pivot quickly after realizing I didn’t have some of the ingredients I swore I bought last week. Anyway, I decided to go with a more flavor-packed version of the classic deli salad. I loaded it up with olives, pimentos, Cubanelle peppers and nearly as much Dijon as mayonnaise. If you like a creamier salad, add a little more mayo to taste, in this version, the dressing just coats it. Tons of paprika and my fave celery seed round out the flavors.

It really is a flavorful salad. Even people who would normally pass it up (my husband) enjoyed it and is have more for lunch today.

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