Lightened Up Macaroni Salad | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lightened Up Macaroni Salad

Lightened Up Macaroni Salad: Lighter version of a classic side dish.

If given a choice between macaroni salad and potato salad, my husband will choose macaroni salad every time.  Me...I am more of a potato salad kind of gal...

Lightened Up Macaroni Salad: Lighter version of a classic side dish.

But to keep my man happy, I most often make macaroni salad.  Macaroni salad and potato salad are THE salads of summer....and go perfectly with anything cooked up on the grill.  This is my husbands favorite macaroni salad recipe....lightened up, but still strong on flavor. 

This side dish makes a frequent appearance at our table during the warm months. I love the crunch from the red peppers as well as the color they give to the salad.  If you like banana peppers, be sure to put them in...they really give the salad an extra punch of flavor!

Lightened Up Macaroni Salad
from the kitchen of MKA

Servings - 10    Serving size - 1/10th of recipe   Points Plus per serving - 4 points+
Calories - 153.6,   Total Fat - 3.5g,   Carb. - 26g,   Protein - 4.4g,   Fiber - 1.5g

12 oz. any shaped dry pasta ( I like to use small shells or elbows)
2 TBS. red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
2 TBS. reduced fat mayonnaise ( such as Hellman's)
1 TBS. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried tarragon
salt and pepper, to taste
1 hard boiled egg, finely chopped
2 medium stalks of celery, finely diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, finely diced
2 TBS mild banana peppers, finely diced ( optional but adds a lot of flavor) 

1.  Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions and rinse well with cold water to cool.  

2.  In large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mayo, olive oil, and tarragon to combine into a vinaigrette.  Add in the celery, onion, red pepper, banana pepper, egg and cooked pasta.  Stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and let sit in refrigerator for at least a half and hour to let flavors mingle.  Stir again before serving. 


Again, I am apologizing for the lack of recent posts lately.  Life is just keeping me too busy to sit much at the computer this month....and cooking has not been as frequent around this house as usual because of it.  

The weather is finally, finally cooperating a bit this week, with warmer temperatures and less rain and I am itching to grill this week.  I hope you all are doing well and getting to enjoy more seasonable weather around your neck of the woods as well.

I also want to give a huge shout out to Denise@ The Bread Fairy for awarding me with yet another Versatile Blogger Award!!!   Wow!  I am going to have to give this some more thought to come up with more facts about myself and a list of new blogs, since I received one not that long ago....check out her incredible blog full of delicious breads!  Thank you Denise!

Looking for more pasta inspired side dishes?  Try these!
Garlic and Parmesan Orzo with Fresh Veggies from Life Tastes Good


  1. My husbands fav is macaroni salad too. Can't wait to give this a try. :)

  2. So colorful! Just gorgeous! I enjoy pasta salads...but sans mayo. I wonder if Greek yogurt would work as a sub here? Don't stress about not posting- life gets busy! We will be here :)

  3. Thanks for sharing! I think my boyfriend prefers potato salad like you and he doesn't like anything over-dressed so this is perfect! :D

    Hope you have a great week!

  4. @ Erica...I don't see why greek yogurt wouldn't work....give it a try and let me know! :)

  5. Great looking recipe (as always) Renee. Hope you enjoyed your Mother's Day!!! Have a good week - hope your life gets less crazy very soon!!! Take care.

  6. I love when life gets in the way of blogging! :D It's nice to unplug every once in a while too.

    I am more of a potato salad, but I think my hubs prefers pasta salad - I can't wait to try your version. :D

  7. Aww, thanks for mentioning my blog, you are too nice. Oh by the way great recipe here.

  8. Oh, this is beautiful...along with sounding delicious! It's especially appealing with since you lightened it up :)

  9. Such a pretty salad. I haven't been doing as much cooking lately as usual either! Too many other things going on and the nice weather is calling me outside.

  10. Mmm! This will be perfect for our BBQ this weekend!

  11. I was just saying that I wanted to have some macaroni salad but I wanted a change up. Now I am going to definitely be making yours! Yum!



Thank you for visiting! Share what's on your mind and make my day! Make this recipe? I'd love to hear how it turned out for you! Share on social media with #RKArecipes