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Nothing says summer more than homemade macaroni salad. There are many ways to fix macaroni salad, but I’m the most fond of the type that my Mom used to make growing up. I have adjusted her recipe just a little over time to add a bit more flavor since I don’t put green olives in my macaroni salad.

Start off by boiling some macaroni noodles in water that contains olive oil. Once cooked, drain and cool by rinsing with cold water. In a mixing bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, minced onion, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Mix well. Pepper to taste.

Dice up the cucumber and tomatoes.

Add the vegetables to the cool macaroni noodles in a large mixing bowl. Add the dressing and mix well. Refrigerate at least for a few hours. I usually leave mine overnight.

This recipe is rather simple and can be customized to your own taste and preferences. I normally fix 1/2 a box of macaroni noodles at a time. If you are feeling a larger crowd, double the amounts in the recipe.

Macaroni Salad

1/2 box macaroni noodles, cooked and cooled
1 cucumber, diced
15 grape tomatoes, quartered (If you have access to homegrown tomatoes later in the summer, use 2 tomatoes)
1 Tbsp minced onion
1 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I prefer Hellmans)
1 Tbsp yellow mustard (use a bit less if you don’t like that much mustard)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp smoked paprika (can use a dash more if you prefer)
Pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil

1. In a pot, boil the macaroni noodles according to the box directions. Add the olive oil prior to the water boiling. Once done, drain and rinse with cool water to cool the noodles down.

2. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, minced onion, and smoked paprika. Mix well.

3. Pour cooled macaroni noodles in to a mixing bowl. Add in the cucumber and tomato, mix gently to combine.

4. Add in the mayonnaise mixture, 1/2 at a time. Stir. I usually add in more of the dressing than you think you will need. The pasta will absorb some of the dressing while in the refrigerator.

5. Place macaroni salad in a container, cover, and chill for several hours. Preferably chill over night.