This macaroni salad with bacon and cheddar is a family favorite! Even my daughter, who doesn’t like mac and cheese, loves it. We serve it all summer long (and sometimes in the dead of winter too – it makes for a nice change!)
I’ve got the basic recipe for you below along with some variations that you can try. There are so many ways to change this up according to what you like or what you have on hand.
It’s time for backyard barbecues and picnics in the park! I just love this time of year. Summertime just screams cold dishes and salads to me. I like to have some that are hearty, like pasta salads and the like but I’m pretty fussy about those.
Here’s one that after some experimentation over the years, I’ve come up with and really enjoy. Not only that, but I recently served it to my mom and daughter, both of whom aren’t big on macaroni salad, and they both really loved this one.
1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
1 cup mayonnaise – you can try getting creative with some of those mayo blends like avocado mayo or roasted garlic mayo but for this recipe, just plain old Hellmann’s is my preference
1/2 onion, diced – I prefer either red or Vidalia
6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces and fried until crispy (Small cubes of ham are a good substitute).
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
8 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
Salt and pepper to taste (I personally find it salty enough between the Ranch mix, cheese, and bacon)
Other additions that can be yummy in this too: chopped celery, chopped hard-boiled eggs, leftover cooked peas, chopped radishes, leftover cooked corn, baby spinach, arugula
Adding some fresh herbs can be nice too – parsley or basil are good options.
Instructions: This is so quick and easy. Once the macaroni and bacon have cooled, simply mix all the ingredients together. I like to cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for a few hours to chill before serving. Yum!
I’m joining the party and linking this recipe post up here – be sure to check out the other great recipes, crafts, and DIY posts in this linky party: