Summer Macaroni Salad

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Need an easy side dish for all those great barbecued dinner recipes? This Summer Macaroni Salad is the perfect complement to all those grilling dishes.

Simple Macaroni Salad

We love to grill our dinner as often as possible. It’s still warm enough that we don’t want to turn on the oven if it can be avoided. So the grill is in heavy use now and will still be for at least another couple months. That means I am always looking to create great side dishes that are minimal prep and keep the kitchen cool too. It’s even better if they require very little clean up. This simple Summer Macaroni Salad is definitely all those things and so delicious that rarely do we have leftovers.

Simple Macaroni Salad

For this particular recipe I added olives, corn, tomatoes and cheese to my pasta and seasonings. I love the versatility of it though as grilled chicken, black beans or even chopped peppers would be great mix-ins as well. I love that it can be made ahead of time and actually enhances the flavor to do so. I can toss it all together in the morning and let it chill until we are ready to make dinner. However, if my husband knows it’s in the fridge… he’ll sneak a little for lunch. So I’m thinking I now need to make it between lunch and dinner prep to keep the snacking from happening. But I’m happy that he likes it, and my 3 very hungry teens always go for this first when filling their plates.

Simple Macaroni Salad

I know this makes a fabulous addition to any backyard barbecue party. We have brought it to many a church potluck and it’s one of the first bowls to empty out. In fact, I have started making a double batch whenever we are sharing with either guests or taking it to a gathering. It’s so simple and so tasty that it will become your new “go-to” side dish too.

Summer Macaroni Salad

Yield: 6 to 8 cups

Prep Time:15 minutes

Cook Time:10 minutes

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic (or white wine) vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 16 ounces macaroni noodles
  • 2 cups cooked corn - either canned, frozen or fresh cut off the cob
  • 2 whole tomatoes- diced
  • 1/2 cup halved black olives
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, onion, chives, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Set the bowl aside while you cook your macaroni and corn.
  2. Fill a large stockpot 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil. Add in your macaroni and cook to package directions for al dente (usually 8 to 12 minutes). Once cooked, drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again and add to your mixing bowl.  Toss to combine with the dressing mixture.
  3. In a small saucepan cook your corn, bringing to a boil. Once cooked, strain and rinse under cool water before adding to your bowl of other ingredients.
  4. Add the tomatoes, black olives and cheese.  Toss gently until all ingredients are combined and well distributed throughout. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour prior to serving.


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Gina Kleinworth

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  • Shawn @ I Wash You Dry wrote:

    I agree, I love that this has a lot of summer veggies in it, especially tomatoes. Yum!

  • Joshua Hampton wrote:

    This summer macaroni salad rocks. I love that it’s loaded with veggies.

  • Kate @ Framed Cooks wrote:

    We are totally a grill-in-the-summer family too – that is the plan for tonight as a matter of fact!  Love this salad recipe, and love that adorable green dish it’s in just as much!