Deli Mac Salad is a classic, creamy pasta salad that’s a staple at picnics, barbecues, and deli counters. It’s a versatile dish that combines the tendertexture of elbow macaroni with the crunch of fresh vegetables, all tied together with a tangy, creamy dressing. This recipe includes optional black olives for an extra layer of flavor and is garnished with fresh parsley for a pop of color and freshness.
- 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dill pickles, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
- Optional: 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
- Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Step 1: Prepare the Macaroni
Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the macaroni and rinse under cold water to cool. Ensure the macaroni is well-drained to prevent a watery salad.
Step 2: Mix the Dressing
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar. Season the dressing with salt and black pepper to taste. Mix until the dressing is smooth and well combined.
Step 3: Combine Ingredients
To the bowl with the dressing, add the cooked and drained elbow macaroni, finely chopped celery, red onion, dill pickles, green bell pepper, and, if using, sliced black olives. Toss everything together until the macaroni and vegetables are evenly coated in the dressing.
Step 4: Chill the Salad
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the mac salad for at least 1 hour before serving. This chilling time allows the flavors to meld and the salad to absorb the dressing, enhancing the overall taste.
Step 5: Serve
Before serving, give the salad a good stir to redistribute the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Garnish the Deli Mac Salad with freshly chopped parsley for a fresh, vibrant finish.
Step 6: Enjoy
Serve the Deli Mac Salad as a side dish at your next picnic, barbecue, or as a delicious addition to your meal. Pair it with grilled meats, sandwiches, or enjoy it on its own for a satisfying dish.
- Creamy Dressing: For a creamier salad, you can add a bit more mayonnaise or even a splash of milk to the dressing.
- Variations: Feel free to customize the salad by adding other ingredients like hard-boiled eggs, shredded cheese, or different types of vegetables according to your preference.
- Make-Ahead: This salad can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator, making it perfect for meal prep or for bringing to gatherings.
- Preparation Time: 15 minutes
- Chill Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Deli Mac Salad is a simple, flavorful, and satisfying dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its creamy dressing, tender macaroni, and crunchy vegetables, it’s sure to be a hit among both kids and adults. Enjoy this classic salad at your next gathering or as a delightful side dish to complement your meals.