Once the summer is here I begin looking for side dishes that are cold. We often make a cold plate for lunches so cold side dishes are a must. A cold plate might consist of fruit salad, a pasta or macaroni salad, cheese and crackers, a tossed salad, or a sandwich. Anything that we can make that's cold and doesn't require any heating.
One of my favorite side dishes is macaroni salad. I've made several over the years and I definitely have my favorites. Neither my husband nor I like macaroni salad that is sweet or loaded with mayonnaise. We both prefer a more mustard based salad.
This loaded macaroni salad has both mayonnaise and brown mustard in it and just a small amount of sugar. It's loaded with bacon, celery, broccoli, peppers, onions, and cheddar cheese. Most of the macaroni salads I make don't have the bacon and cheese in it but it's a great addition to this one. We also really liked the crunch of the veggies in it.
As a side note, I'd recommend making the dressing for this and reserving about a quarter of a cup of it for the day after you make the macaroni salad. The salad really soaks up the dressing the day it is made so I like to keep a little dressing to mix with it the next day.
The macaroni salad is absolutely delicious. The dressing is creamy and has a hint of spice from the mustard as well as some tang from the mayonnaise. The bacon adds a bit of saltiness while the cheese adds a sharpness. All of the vegetables give the macaroni salad flavor and a crunchiness. It's a delicious loaded version of macaroni salad perfect for summer picnics.
- ¾ lb. macaroni noodles, cooked and drained
- ¼ c. sour cream
- ½ c. mayonnaise
- 1 T. sugar
- 1 T. vinegar
- 3 T. brown mustard
- salt and pepper
- ¾ c. sharp cheddar cheese, chopped
- 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- ½ c. broccoli, chopped
- ½ bell pepper, chopped
- 3 T. red onion, minced
- Place the cooked macaroni in a large bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, brown mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Add the cheddar cheese, bacon, celery, broccoli, pepper, and onion to the bowl with the macaroni. Toss to combine.
- Add the dressing to the bowl with the pasta and vegetables. Mix well until everything is coated with the dressing.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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