19 July 2013

Mayo-Free Macaroni Salad

This is the last post I ever thought I would write because I don't like macaroni salad.  It's pretty much the only dish I skip at a potluck or picnic.  It think it's the combo of mayonnaise and pasta.  I just find the two textures pretty unappetizing.  There's also the fact that most macaroni salads are chock full of celery.  I'm not the biggest fan of celery, either.

Recently I was reading a post on the blog Baked Bree about pimiento cheese.  She made the pimiento cheese without ever tasting one bite because she hates mayonnaise.  That post got me to thinking about dishes I like that have mayo in them that I don't care for either.  Macaroni salad was at the top of the list.  Since I married a man who doesn't care for mayonnaise I figured anything transformed
sans mayo would be a good idea.

This salad has another big difference from the normal picnic stuff -- it's a main course.  I added some sauteed chicken and mushrooms.  The addition changed this from a side to dinner and about 5 extra minutes.  It's already loaded with veggies, so the chicken and mushrooms joined the party without a hitch.  You can also add any other vegetables you might like.  It's one of those make it however you like dishes, so make it how you like and enjoy.

Mayo-Free Macaroni Salad

Print me, Please!!!

16 oz macaroni, cooked according to package directions
1 cup sour cream
2 cups large curd cottage cheese
1 bell pepper, diced
4 green onions, finely sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
2 Tbsps chopped pimientos
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika

In a large bowl, combine the macaroni, sour cream, cottage cheese, bell pepper, green onions, tomatoes, relish, and cheddar cheese.  Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

In a large nonstick skillet, combine the mushrooms and chicken over medium high heat.  Saute until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat; allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Stir the chicken and mushrooms into the macaroni mixture along with the thyme, salt, and paprika.  Serve alone or on a bed of lettuce.  Store in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

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