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Best Macaroni Salad Ever - 1.69 calories per gram

best macaroni salad ever

Here's the recipe for the BEST mac salad ever featured on the Girl's Night In Post. I think I found this recipe year's ago on the Food Network site but over the years I've tweaked things here and there to make it more my style.

It's worth every single last calorie. But the key is to make this salad at least 24 hours in advance so the dressing can really soak into the noodles!

Best Macaroni Salad Ever: 1.69 calories per gram


For the Dressing:
  • 1.5 cup buttermilk
  • 1.5 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Cayenne pepper and/ or hot sauce to tast

For the Salad:
  • 3 cups cooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound lean, cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet pickle
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

Garnish Ideas (optional and not included in calories):
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Black olives
  • Cubed Cheese
  • Scallions or chives


  1. To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl; cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. For the salad, toss macaroni in a large bowl with ham, celery, peas, pickles, and red pepper; add dressing and toss again.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours. It gets better for the next 48 hours and keeps for a week in the fridge 
  • Make at least 24 hours in advance
  • For the buttermilk, I make my own with 1.5 cups 2% milk & 1.5 T vinegar and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  • For 3 cups cooked  macaroni boil 2 heaping cups of dry noodles in heavily salted water
  • If you use relish instead of chopping up individual pickles, reduce to 1/4 cup
  • For the bell pepper, I just use 1 bell pepper and don't really bother with the measurements
  • Cube cheese, if using, into small cubes no more than 1/4 inch big. The smaller the better in this case.


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