Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Springtime Macaroni Salad with Peas

I am so glad that spring is finally here! The flowering Dogwood and Redbud trees have been so beautiful and I'm thankful that they didn't freeze with all of our late freeze warnings. This week is supposed to hit 80 degrees a few days, so it's time to bring out warm weather foods! Yeah! I have been making this Springtime Macaroni Salad with Peas for so many years, that I don't even remember where it came from for sure! I think it may have originated with my Grandmother, as I do remember eating macaroni salad at her house, but my memory is a little fuzzy as to the details. I enjoy this salad because I use either fresh or frozen peas, not the mushy ones from the can, along with fresh carrots, celery, bell pepper, onion and cucumber. It's a great salad to serve with a sandwich, or you could add some diced ham and have a main dish salad, if desired.

2 cups macaroni or small shell pasta ( I use the high fiber macaroni)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen small green peas ( thawed, if using frozen), uncooked
1 rib celery, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/2 of a small cucumber, diced
1 thin carrot, peeled and sliced
2-3 T of diced red onion, or green onions( scallions)
1/2- 3/4 cup of mayo, (I use regular, but low fat works well too)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard, or to taste
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. sugar, if desired
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot of boiling, salted, water, cook the macaroni for the least amount of time on package directions. When done, drain macaroni in a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain well. Add macaroni to a large bowl along with the other vegetables. Mix mayo, mustard, vinegar and seasonings together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed, and then pour dressing over the salad ingredients, mixing well. Chill until ready to serve. I find that if I'm serving the salad the next day, that I have to add more mayo, as the macaroni soaks up the dressing, as pasta typically does. But this is an easy, flavorful salad that is great alone, or served with anything from sandwiches to barbecue! The sweet flavor of the peas and the crispness of the other vegetables makes it a great warm weather salad, plus, it's very economical to make.
This is one of the few dishes that I use peas in. Do you make macaroni salad?


  1. What a great looking macaroni salad! I love macaroni salad at a bbq. I have never made it, but my grandma makes a mean one! Hers doesn't have all the veggies... man I need to get her recipe.

  2. Look at all the nice healthy veggies and so colorful! Well done!

  3. My mom used to make something very similar when I was a kid. This salad just sings Springtime...so elegant!

  4. Oh boy does this look tasty. I love creamy macaroni salad...yum!

  5. This looks really good. I don't make macaroni salad very often but I think the peas are a great addition! We've been eating lots of soups this winter and in the summer time we like to have salads, so your idea of adding meat to this dish is perfect!

  6. This does remins me of spring and looks so delicious.

  7. pasta and peas pair together so well, and it surprises me every time. although i'm not too keen on mayo, i can see how it would work in this salad, especially in combination with that dijon! happy spring!!

  8. Pretty colors! I like macaroni salad in the springtime but I've never put peas in it. Great idea!

  9. this looks healthy and very warm weather-ish
    we were having good weather until today's weather spoiled it a bit!

  10. I love your blog! Thankyou!!

  11. I have a ton of food allergies, so I have to make my own special version of macaroni salad. I use macaroni that's made out of brown rice, and a special mayonnaise substitute that's made out of tofu (which sounds totally disgusting, but it's actually not bad). And then I add onions, celery, red pepper - and sometimes I throw in chicken to make it into a whole meal.

  12. I just made it and I loved It. The dressing was the best part! I added black olives to mine. Thanks for the great recipe.

  13. Lynda, I find your blog to be a 'breath of springtime' and I come back often to see what you're up to. I think you must be a GREAT Mommy, MIL, wife etc. and I wish you the best of luck in your 'foodie' adventures.

  14. Man, this is GOOD! I almost just ate the whole thing by MYSELF. I didn't mean to, but I just couldn't help myself and I'm on a diet to fit into my wedding dress! Geez... For my last "helping", I sprinkled dried dillweed on it and that was really good, too. I used whole mayonaisse because I don't like the lower calorie kind.


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