There’s something about this particular time of year that makes eating cold pasta salad dishes even more wonderful. And this classic, tasty, and oh-so easy macaroni salad recipe is a summertime staple that everyone loves. It’s a great addition to potlucks, picnics, birthday parties, graduation parties, bridal showers, backyard barbecues, and more. This dish is super easy to make and always a crowd pleaser, so make sure to print or pin it so you can serve it up at your next gathering.
Favorite Side Dish Salad Recipes
I’ve shared some of our favorite salad recipes in the past as I’m always game for a great, family friendly recipe. You can check out our favorites: strawberry fluff jello salad, homemade strawberry romaine salad recipe, creamy chicken pasta salad recipe, chicken and wild rice salad recipe, and finally, our yogurt fruit salad recipe. Today, I want to add this Classic Macaroni Rings Pasta Salad to the lineup. No get together or cookout is complete without this staple dish.
Ingredients For This Classic Macaroni Rings Pasta Salad Recipe
I love how the ingredients in this yummy recipe are ones that I typically have on hand already! These are all staples for my family:
- Macaroni Rings
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Frozen Peas
- Chopped Ham
- Miracle Whip (or Mayo)
Cook macaroni rings according to box instructions. You’ll want to cook al dente. Once done, rinse quickly with cool water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
Dice 1/4 cup onion into the smallest sized pieces possible. Place in a medium sized bowl. Chop the celery into tiny little pieces and add to the bowl. Cut up 2 cups of deli ham into bite sized pieces and add to the bowl. Add the 1 cup cheddar cheese, 1 cup frozen peas, and cooked pasta to the bowl. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the 1 1/2 cups miracle whip, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon vinegar. Beat well until fully combined. Drizzle the dressing mixture over the bowl of ingredients.
Gently stir until fully incorporated. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Then serve.
Print This Delicious Pasta Salad Recipe
- 7 ounces (approximately 2 cups) macaroni rings pasta
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups chopped ham
- 1 1/2 cups miracle whip (or mayo)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Cook macaroni rings according to box instructions. You'll want to cook al dente.
- Once done, rinse quickly with cool water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
- Dice 1/4 cup onion into the smallest sized pieces possible. Place in a medium sized bowl.
- Chop the celery into tiny little pieces and add to the bowl.
- Cut up 2 cups of deli ham into bite sized pieces and add to the bowl.
- Add the 1 cup cheddar cheese, 1 cup frozen peas, and cooked pasta to the bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the 1 1/2 cups miracle whip, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon vinegar. Beat well until fully combined.
- Drizzle the dressing mixture over the bowl of ingredients. Gently stir until fully incorporated.
- Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Then serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 611mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 3gSugar: 17gProtein: 13g
These nutritional facts are offered only as an estimate and could vary slightly.
5 Mistakes To AVOID When Making A Pasta Salad
Before whipping up a bowl of your favorite pasta salad for your next shindig, party, or barbecue; be sure you’re not making any of these pasta salad mistakes.
- Not using the correct size and shape pasta. When it comes to picking a pasta for your next salad, there are a lot of choices available on the store shelf. Believe it or not, you’ll find the size and shape of the pasta DOES actually matter when making this yummy, summery side dish. It’s best to stay away from fresh pasta, which doesn’t hold up quite as well. Also, while linguine and spaghetti are delicious in their own rights, pasta salad isn’t the dish to use them in. They are much better suited for recipes like this Million Dollar Spaghetti.
- You don’t want to overcook OR undercook your pasta. The pasta is your star of this dish so it’s important to ensure it’s cooked just right. If you leave it on the stovetop too long, it’ll quickly become mushy. When undercooked, it’s tough to chew. I’ve found that just 30-60 seconds past al dente offers great results.
- Making your pasta salad too far in advance is a big no-no. When you’ve got a big event coming up, planning ahead and getting a jump on all the work is totally my jam. Preparing a cold pasta salad a day in advance is fine but you want to avoid too much before that as the dish will become soggy over time.
- Under-seasoned pasta lacks flair. Unlike warm meals, the flavors you’ll experience in cold dishes tend to be more muted. This means they require a little more seasoning over warm dishes. The last thing you want is a bland pasta salad.
- Not adding your dressing while the pasta is still luke warm. While I do suggest giving the pasta a quick ‘cool’ rinse to stop the cooking, there’s no reason to wait until the pasta is completely cooled to add the dressing. Slightly warmed pasta will absorb your dressing easier, creating a pasta salad that’s well-seasoned and full of flavor.
Head over to our best recipes on the internet page where you’ll find a variety of main dishes, side dishes, snacks, and desserts that our families love.