I must start by telling you that this is the macaroni salad recipe of my childhood. My father has been making this macaroni salad the same way since I can remember.
What’s different about this recipe is that unlike traditional macaroni salad, there’s no celery or onion or bell pepper. The only veggie here is carrot. Yup, you heard that right…carrot.
The carrot adds a sweet refreshing taste and on top of that, it adds a load of Vitamin A too, hence the name A+ Macaroni Salad. So why the plus? Well, the carrot adds Vitamin A PLUS Vitamin C, beta carotene and a number of other vitamins and nutrients. Oh and another PLUS you’ll love is that this A+ Macaroni Salad is super easy to make.
Start by cooking your favorite brand of elbow macaroni according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, finely chop carrots in a food processor. You could also grate them using a hand grater (the way my father does it) but I recommend using the food processor. It’s much faster and easier. Plus the last time I tried to grate carrots using a hand grater, I cut my pinkie finger. I still have a scar 🙂
Once the pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water. Then drain again.
Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and add the carrot. Then mix in mayonnaise, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Before serving, stir in more mayonnaise.
Enjoy as a side to your favorite barbecue fare or sandwich.
5/27/16 – UPDATE: We easily made this macaroni salad gluten-free by simply swapping out traditional elbow macaroni for a gluten-free version!
- 1 lb. box of elbow macaroni (traditional or gluten-free)
- 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into four or five pieces
- 1½ cups mayonnaise
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again. Once cooled and drained completely, add to large bowl.
- Use the pulse setting on a food processor to finely chop the carrots. Add to the bowl with the pasta.
- Mix in 1 cup of mayonnaise.
- Stir in salt and pepper to taste.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until ready to serve.
- Before serving mix in the remaining ½ cup of mayonnaise (after refrigerating the left overs, you can continue to add a little more mayonnaise each time before serving if desired).