Don’t Forget the Macaroni Salad

Every time we are planning a family get together I always hear, “Don’t forget the macaroni salad.” Thinking back I guess I got my basic recipe from Bonanza Restaurant. I spent a few years there while I was in college and even a few after college while I was waiting on a teaching job to become available. I must say my time at Bonanza proved to be some of the most formative years of my life. First, I was trained to be a server by some of the hardest working ladies I’ve ever met. They knew how to do a job right. They came from an era when everyone was a perfectionist. There was only one way to do your job. That was with 110% of your heart and soul. Second, I also had the privilege to step in the kitchen and help with the prep position from time to time. This was also in an era when most of the food bar had truly homemade items on it. You could say it was like cooking with your mom or grandma and getting paid to do it. Can’t beat that can you? I had already done a great deal of cooking at home and had developed quite a love for the kitchen. I loved tossing some recipes to them and of course picking up a few of theirs. I guess that’s why I think cooking is so easy. On any given day, I might have prepped enough food for hundreds of people. Cooking for 4 or even 30 is a breeze. One of the hottest items on the food bar was macaroni salad. It was made from scratch and I’m guessing the container we made probably fed at least a couple hundred. It took about 2 hours to make it, but boy was it worth it, because of course, you had to test it and see if it was right. It was never difficult to pawn a bowl off to the other workers to get a thumbs up. Give this recipe a try and remember it’s not that difficult. You’re not cooking for 200! Well, you will get so many request that you will think you need to make a bowl big enough for 200. Enjoy!

1 pound of elbow macaroni (cooked, drained and cooled)

1 large green pepper diced

1 cup diced celery

2 large English cucumbers diced

1/4 cup onion diced fine

3-4 tomatoes diced

You can adjust your veggies to your preference. I like my veggies to be about 2/3 volume to 1/3 macaroni.


1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s light)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 bottle of Skinny Girl Poppyseed Dressing

Mix together and pour over your salad. Refrigerate and let it rest for a day for the best flavor.

I have discovered that Skinny Girl Poppyseed Dressing makes an excellent dressing for this salad. It saves a lot of points to use this instead all mayonnaise dressing and w my family approved the change.

For those following WW a 1/2 cup serving =3SP

Interested in the original recipe? The dressing recipe is:

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup red wine vinegar

Mix together and pour over the salad and refrigerate overnight.

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