As far as I am concerned this is the only way to eat macaroni salad. I think this is one of those recipes that has been widely circulated; I got it from my Mother-in-law. It is my favorite macaroni salad and a staple at all of our holiday meals. With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner I thought I might start sharing some of my traditional dishes. This has an unusual sauce made with sweetened condensed milk, but don’t knock it until you try it! It is some kind of delicious. I don’t usually eat green peppers, but somehow I really like the way they taste in this salad. I just can’t think of eating Thanksgiving turkey or ham without this macaroni salad. It looks so appealing with the colorful carrots, green peppers and purple (I always say purple because they are purple, not red) onions and all of those vegetables provide a wonderful crunch. You can make this a day ahead or the night before, but you may need to add a little extra mayo before serving. It will keep for a couple of days, well covered in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long. There’s more of my favorite holiday dishes to come over the next few weeks and I hope you will find some new favorites for your holiday spread.
The Best Macaroni Salad
16 oz macaroni, cooked and drained
1 green pepper, diced
1 purple (red) onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, shredded or diced
2 cups mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
1 8 oz package shredded cheddar cheese
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a large bowl, mix cooked and drained macaroni with vegetables. Stir in mayonnaise until well combined, add cheese and mix well. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan combine all sauce ingredients and heat, stirring frequently until sauce is heated through and just starts to bubble. Pour over salad, stirring until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.